A New Way for Cooking with Charcoal

Some of my Spanish-speaking friends have already commented on the name of this restaurant, particularly the second half of it. The name of the restaurant is CarbόnCabrόn, and, yes, the second part by itself is one of those “bad words” we’re not supposed to say. Our hostesses for the evening, Mariela and Alicia, explained that it would be like our saying, “That blankety-blank fellow” or something similar. Anyway, that’s the name of the restaurant, and it really does have a lot to do with Carbon—you know, that element with atomic number 6 in the Periodic Table that we all memorized in Chemistry class and immediately forgot once the class was over. Stacks of wood that have been “burned” to give them a darker color are used as dividers between the rows of tables, but that wood is never used for cooking.

Charcoal (or ash) is incorporated into most of the dishes. The Margarita (served with Mezcal instead of Tequila) had some ash mixed in to give it the black coloring. Sweetbreads (not sweet breads), without going into detail what parts of an animal are their origin (you can find that out on your own), made an excellent appetizer. Here are the details I got when I asked about their preparation: After blanching them for 10-15 minutes in milk and nutmeg, they are marinated with lemon and clarified butter and chilled. They are then put on the grill (over charcoal, of course) for just a short time, turning once, so they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The plate is garnished with some purple onions and a grilled lemon wedge, and the final touch is a tasty slice of watermelon radish. We had a knife for cutting, but they were so perfectly prepared that the fork was sufficient.

CLICK HERE for a short YouTube video (1:15) on our dinner at CarbόnCabrόn.

In case you haven’t guessed it already, wood is everywhere; the coasters are a thin slice of a tree branch, and each serving of sweetbreads was served on wood. Speaking of appetizers, there were more! We each had a plate that had a half ear of grilled corn, two spinach stalks, some shredded radish and a few mayonnaise dollops for dipping the corn. I wasn’t expecting to be eating without utensils, but they brought plenty of napkins to sop up the dripping mayo and whatever comes off of cooked corn. Still more. Next was a plate of Yellowtail Ceviche to share (thank goodness) served with some homemade bread. The Yellowtail was combined with chopped pineapple, Persian cucumber, charcoaled habanero, and lemon. Apparently the little purple flowers aren’t part of the recipe, but they didn’t taste all that bad. The daily-fresh Yellowtail was excellent, so tender and moist and flavorful.

One salad and three appetizers later, it was time to bring the entrees. Yes, your read that correctly. The saving grace was that we were served smaller portions of each entree (thank goodness or we might have exploded right there!). The bone marrow was topped with a Parmesan crust, some avocado mousse, and tortilla toast for eating it like a chip and dip. This could be a tasty appetizer when only one half-bone is served. I’m certainly not complaining about portion sizes as we had all that we could eat. The final entree was a super-moist and tender Wagyu Beef, with four slices for each of us. I had to personally compliment Chef Miguel as he was the one who prepared the sweetbreads, the bone marrow, and the Wagyu (from our state of Idaho) over the charcoal grill. I’ve had plenty of Kobe Beef in Kobe, Japan, and I thought Miguel’s serving was every bit as good (in fact a little tastier) than the super-premium Kobe Beef.

Rather than describing the Creme Brulee dessert, I encourage you to watch the 45-second YouTube video I took while our server Ivan was explaining it.

When you come to Los Cabos at the tip of the Baja California peninsula, I want you to come to the CarbόnCabrόn Restaurant and enjoy the magnificent food that Chef Alfonso (“Pancho”) and Sous Chef Daniel lovingly prepare Monday through Saturday. It’s in El Merkado in the Koral Center at KM 24.5 on the Los Cabos Corridor (just south of Pemex).

Happy Travels!

Stuart Gustafson is America’s International Travel Expert® who speaks on cruise ships, writes novels, sends out a monthly newsletter, is an avid TripAdvisor reviewer, and loves everything about travel. Visit his website at www.stuartgustafson.com. You can also connect with him and other travelers on his International Travel Expert page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/International-Travel-Expert-147321228683651/

All information and images copyright © 2018 by Stuart Gustafson Productions, LLC. America’s International Travel Expert is a U.S. Registered Trademark of Stuart Gustafson Productions, LLC. Ownership of images and content from other sources remains with those sources or their attributions; no ownership by Stuart Gustafson Productions, LLC, is implied or claimed.

Note: This was a SPONSORED visit meaning that the restaurant and/or its public relations firm covered all my expenses in exchange for my writing an unbiased review. Regardless, the review is purely my subjective view of the service and perceived value received had I been paying for it in full myself. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”