Sunday, 19 May 2024

Foodie Freak: A visit to Cabo

I hadn’t been to Cabo’s restaurant in Clearlake in quite a while, and I did remember it as having really good food, so I thought that it was time to go again.

Normally I’m an eat-alone type of person. It could be a primal urge from when mankind had to fight for every scrap of food, so he’d tear a piece off a carcass and then run away from the group in order to not lose his food to a stronger tribe member. Maybe it just gives me a chance to enjoy my food with my own thoughts and not have to worry about entertaining dinner guests with conversation. But most likely it’s because if I eat alone, I’m free to flirt with the cute waitresses. Hey, I’m getting older and having a young, pretty girl smile at me is now the highlight of my day.

But this time my wife, daughter and I all went out to eat together, and wouldn’t you know it, there was a smokin’ hot waitress there. Oh well, time to concentrate on the meal I guess.

When you first arrive, you are seated with warm tortilla chips and a couple types of salsa. What is it about that combination that makes you instantly ravenous? Everyone at the table snatches at chips until the basket is empty and the waitress brings more and the process starts again.

Before I go on, I will first have to mention that I love spicy food. No, probably not like you enjoy spicy food, I’m much more hard-core than that. I consider Tabasco sauce so mild that it can be used to clean wounds. I have a large assortment of hot sauces in my fridge, and my wife can only handle two of them. So I naturally decided to have the Camerones a la Diablo, The Devil’s Shrimp. My wife had the chicken fajitas, and my daughter ordered the garlic fries and shrimp cocktail.

The Camerones a la Diablo and the chicken fajitas each came with a trip to the salad bar, which isn’t anything very impressive, but I can see its being missed by folks if they didn’t have it. I would have forgone the trip to the salad bar had I any idea of the amount of food that was about to be placed in front of me.

The entree comes on extra-large plates, packed to the absolute brim with ingredients; you are going to be full by the end of this meal. Two words of warning: one, unless you have asbestos hands, don’t grab the plate – HOT, HOT and HOT! And two, you only get two tortillas (your choice, flour or corn) with your order, so you will want to request some extra tortillas on the side to handle all of the food.

My shrimp were well cooked, and as I tasted the sauce I was impressed by the complexity of flavor, but thought that it wasn’t spicy enough to justify the namesake. I shared these thoughts with my wife, so she tried the sauce and then said in a strained, breathy voice, “It’s hot enough; the back of my throat is melting.” Oops, sorry, it made my lips tingle but that’s about it.

The shrimp came with refried beans, rice, grilled vegetables, sour cream and guacamole. The chicken fajitas come with the same accompaniments, and they were all well cooked and delicious.

The shrimp cocktail was nothing like what we were expecting. It was warm with the shrimp swimming in a mild, soupy sauce. I wouldn’t say it was bad; it just isn’t what we were expecting. The garlic fries are covered in cheese and garlic, and the cooking process caramelizes the garlic making it fantastically sweet. But like the rest of the food, the plate is piled so high that this is not a one-person dish. These fries would make a good shared plate for four people.

The price for dinner was fair for the amount of food served, and we left with full bellies and plenty of left-overs. The décor has a touristy, “cabo flair” to it and a wide-open feel so it doesn’t seem crowded as the room fills up, and it does fill up so get there early for best seating.

Note to the readers who are shocked at my flirting with young waitresses: my wife has been my own personal editor for everything I have written for years. You would be shocked at some of the things that she has edited out over the years! By comparison, my flirting with waitresses is tame, especially if my wife lets it slip through!

Note from Ross’s wife/editor: Ross is like a strong alcoholic drink, best in small doses over a long period of time; too much too fast can cause vomiting with accompanied groans.

Ross A. Christensen is an award-winning gardener and gourmet cook. He is the author of "Sushi A to Z, The Ultimate Guide" and is currently working on a new book. He has been a public speaker for many years and enjoys being involved in the community.


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