By Carol Kramer
The middle of December, Hugh and I were invited to help pass out blankets and food with the Trinitarians of Mary at Mount Tabor Monastary in Tecate. By noon, our work was finished and we went to find a place to eat. We had heard about El Lugar de Nos from DB members but had not had the opportunity to try it. Luckily, it was only a couple blocks from where we stopped to ask for directions: Avenida Benito Juarez #384 Colonia El Rufugio. It looked closed; then we saw the sign with hours:
Wednesday and Thursday 1pm to 11pm
Friday and Saturday 1pm to 1am
Sunday 1pm to 5pm
Since it was only 12:15pm on a Friday we had 45 minutes until the restaurant opened. No problema. It just so happened that only a few miles down the street was El Mejor Pan de Tecate—-truly THE BEST bakery in Tecate. We shared delicious pastries and coffee first and then returned to El Lugar…
It soon became clear that my dream of a chile relleno was not to be but what a wonderful surprise was in store.
This restaurant is unique, classy, casual and funky all at the same time. The taco list was special:
Duck Tacos, 84 Hour Tacos — slow-cooked meat and caramalized onions — Lamb on toasted corn tortillas, Hibiscus and Goat Cheese Tacos.
Entrees included: Grilled Salmon, Rib Eye, Flank Steak, Spicy Caribbean Chicken, Octopus, Shrimp and for the very adventuresome Sliced Beef Tongue.
There were homemade pizzas baked in the inside “horno”: BBQ, Grilled Veggie, Sautéed Hibiscus. There were also delicious salads and Paninis.
The list of desserts included homemade ice cream. Since we had done dessert first, we passed.
Food presentation was artistic —my tortilla soup came in a heap of cheese, avocado, chipotle, mint and tortilla chips and then the flavorful broth with pasilla chili oil was poured on top. The wait staff was fun and attentive.
The décor ranged from homey to elegant. There were several patios. Since it was raining, we just looked outside and vowed to return in the warmer weather to sample other moods and delicacies.
El Lugar de Nos
Avenida Benito Juarez #384 Colonia El Rufugio
Tecate, BC, Mexico
Wednesday and Thursday: 1pm to 11pm
Friday and Saturday: 1pm to 1am
Sunday: 1pm to 5pm