Finca Altozano, the asador campestre restaurant owned by celebrity chef, Javaier Plascencia, is among the most popular eateries in Valle de Guadalupe. It's one of the first eating places in the wine country when approaching from Tecate and may be the largest so that it's not hard to get a table though reservations are recommended.
My first visit to Finca Altozano was in June 2017 when we stopped after leaving Ensenada on the way home. My friend wanted to buy bread from the in-house bakery to take back to Southern California. I was trying to take photographs through the large windows and the bakers invited us to come inside. They were carefully portioning out and shaping loaves.
I pointed to teleras cooling on a rack asking to buy some. They explained that these were reserved for the Lupe torta truck and not sold. Though not for sale, they gave us one to try. These sandwich rolls are made from a lighter dough and have a tighter grain.
The regular size loaves are made with natural yeast starter and formed into different shapes.
This bakery supplies the restaurant with bread, as well as a few select retail outlets, such as La Flor de la Calabaza in Ensenada.
In March 2018, I returned with chowpals, Madeleine and Thomas Nash, for the signature Wood-fired Local Quail, 250 pesos. A basket of the housemade bread was served with an array of salsas. The most unique of the salsas was a creamy white one made of habanero, crema and mayonnaise, that almost reminded me of Big Bob Gibson&amp;amp;#39;s Alabama barbecue sauce.
Three quail, halved, were served on a bed of roasted portobello mushrooms and Swiss chard and garnished with micro-greens. Some delectable soupy beans seasoned with chorizo were served on the side.
You&amp;amp;#39;d think we had not eaten all day, the way we scarfed up those so tasty little birds and mopped up the juices with the spongy bread. Only a pile of tiny bones remained on my plate.
One feature of Finca Altozano are the many ranch dogs that roam the property and the open-air restaurant. They have been mellow and well-behaved in my experience.
I was back again in April 2018 for a special event at Animalón, the seasonal pop-up restaurant. But beforehand, we stopped at the Lupe torta truck, housed in an Airstream trailer in Finca Altozano&amp;amp;#39;s parking lot.
The men folk would have an early start for a fishing trip the next morning and picked up sandwiches for their lunch. https://www.facebook.com/BajaLupe/
Lupe&amp;amp;#39;s mascot is a miniature pig who follows after the customers and is content to sit at your feet. Plascencia has asked customers to not be feeding him.
Carretera Tecate - Ensenada Km 83
Ejido Francisco Zarco, Valle de Guadalupe
22750 Ensenada, B.C.
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