About 2 blocks from @FPSouthoftheBorder, on a Cabo back street, there is a hole in the wall of a taco shop. They do have other items on the menu, which are actually quite good, but when you have the opportunity to have their tacos, DO NOT pass it up. You will need nothing else. I could each here each day for each of my 7 days vacationing in Cabo.

How to be Neighborly: Give Gardenia’s a chance.

Here’s how it works: you order your taco (mine are the fried fish and fried shrimp) and a homemade corn tortilla with the chosen protein arrives on a plate. Nothing else. (Again there are other options as to proteins such as healthier grilled options, but why bother when these two are so good). What’s this, you say? No toppings? No sauce? Silly gringo, they say. And then the toppings arrive, and you get to BYO (build your own) Taco. Here are you choices:

  • Shredded cabbage (check)fish tacos
  • Avocado salsa (check)
  • Blistered and salted serrano peppers (delicious, but you will only do this once)
  • Salsa (check)
  • Pico de Gallo (check)
  • Pickled Onions (check)
  • Pickled jalapenos (no, gracias)
  • Diced onions and cilantro (no, gracias)
  • Lime (only if I’m feeling zesty)
  • Crema (check)
  • Awesome sauce (check, check, check)

IMG_2066It’s a masterpiece of your own creation, which is influenced by their expert suggestions. The kicker is the “Awesome Sauce.” What is awesome sauce you say? Well, I can’t tell you for sure- it’s what we call the mysterious plastic bottle on the table. Spicy, warm, nuanced, totally unique.  Mama Gardenia keeps it a closely held secret but you can purchase a jar for $10. Jess got a jar and we all applauded her for it. However, should you not be around Gardenia’s and you have a hankering for some unique awesome hot sauce, here is my attempt to recreate it.

Awesome Sauce

(Gardenia’s Hot Sauce)

  • 5 cloves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 allspice cloves
  • 1 lg cinnamon stick
  • 2 dried pasilla ancho chiles
  • 2 dried California chiles
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 16 oz white vinegar

Put all ingredients in a bowl and cover with the vinegar. Push the chiles into the vinegar to cover. Allow to soften at least 5 hours, or overnight. Strain ingredients, reserving vinegar, and put into a blender. Put 1 c of vinegar into the blender, and blend until smooth.

Use the Awesome Sauce for anything that needs hot sauce:

  • Eggs
  • Tacos
  • Burritos
  • Bloody Mary’s… etc.




4 thoughts on “Gardenia’s

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