Thursday, January 3, 2008

Review: Mustafa's Restaurant in the Baja Wine Country

Breakfast in the Baja Wine Country

By Betty V.

It's the holidays in the Baja Wine Country and I was getting that "lets go out for breakfast and cozy up at a local restaurant" thing. It was time to get out and brave the chilly Baja California winter .

So today, I chose Mustafa's Restaurant. It is located on the highway at the north end of San Antonio de las Minas in the Valle de Guadalaupe.

Open since 1986, Mustafa's is famous in the valley to both locals and tourists. Surrounded by grape vines and some nice big trees, I really like the ambiance there because it just feels good. It is cozy and comfy and with the weather in the high 40's, cozy and comfy had my name written all over it.

Once my husband and I entered the large restaurant, we were met by Lupita Rubio, our server today. Her smile is infectious. She is truly courteous and kind. We sat next to the "fire place" where they had a nice heat coming from the heater that kept us warm today. It must have been about 47 degrees outside today. Hey it's winter in the Baja Wine Country and it can be a bit chilly. I was ready!

I ordered some hot chocolate to start and my husband ordered his usual American Cafe con leche (coffee with milk). Lupita was quick and fast with the service. We took a picture of her serving the coffee. She was so shy and it was quite refreshing. She represents her community extremely well and reminds us again why we all love to live in Mexico.

My family has eaten at Mustafa's severel times before so I kind of knew what was best to order in advance.

In the past, for dinner, we have eaten their Moroccan dishes with a very savory taste but this was breakfast and I was not in the mood for Moroccan style Borrego (lamb). So I just went native and ordered a country Mexican dish called Bistec Ranchero.

Bistec Ranchero is beef cut into cubes or strips lightly sautéed with onions, tomatoes and non-spicy peppers. It came with a side dish of Chilaquiles. Chilaquiles are toasted tortilla strips with red sauce and cheese. It also had refried beans and scrambled eggs. All this was served with freshly made flower tortillas. Wow, I love these things! I can eat the flour tortillas by themselves. They are so good. Talk about scrumptious! As for the main course, the meat was very tender and savory and those Chilaquiles were very tasty. I enjoyed it.

Our waitress Lupita Rubio was friendly and very attentive to our needs. She came back often to ask if my husband wanted refills for his Cup of Joe. Our food came on time and the presentation was very good.

My husband had a mushroom and cheese omelet with the same side dishes. He reported that it was very good and tasty and that he was surprised because, at the prices posted, he expected less but got more.

I did notice that a lady next to us ordered Hot Cakes with a side of sausage but that like many restaurants in Mexico, if you order sausages, you get a side of hot dogs. That's not abnormal but to Americans coming down to Mexico, if you want that American style breakfast sausage make sure you ask for it up front and make it clear, otherwise, you'll be getting the Mexican cousin of that Jimmy Dean American sausage.

Overall, for breakfast, I recommend Mustafa's. It is nothing fancy. Just down home country food in a cozy country atmosphere. So if you're looking for cozy comfort, this will do you up just fine.

Happy Holidays from the Baja Wine Country!
Mustafa's Restaurant has indoor dining specializing in Mexican style breakfasts and lunches with an Arabic flavor. Services large groups with prior reservations.
Km. 93 Highway #3 Tecate-Ensenada in San Antonio de las Minas, on the main highway.
(646) 155-3185


Michael said...

I enjoyed reading about our fathers resturant. Its been a few years since ive been down to see my fathers place.. Its the best place to have breakfast south of the border I think, im trying to get motorcycle club im with to take a trek down there this summer to enjoy the hospitality and great food that has made my dads place so popular.

Peter said...

I think that my Father and his wife Nellie have a great place. I have totally enjoy my time there, food and the wine are excellent. Hope to visit soon as i live in Washington State. Just for the record Mustafa has 5 children, I am the oldest and live the furthest away. If any of you reading this have the chance, I highly recommend coming to Restaurant Mustafa for a great meal and a good glass of wine.

Peter Ali
Snohomish, WA USA