Jeff Smith 11:59 p.m., Feb. 8
- Community Blog
Back in the late 1990’s, Linda Mentley was a well respected real estate broker of upscale properties in a prosperous suburb just outside Detroit. But during one particularly frigid winter, Linda and her husband, Fred, came to the conclusion that the time had finally come for them to head for warmer climes. After discussing their plans with family and friends, they set their sights upon the Florida Keys.
Once settled into their new home, they bravely embarked upon the adventurous path of becoming restaurateurs, which was something that Linda, with a longstanding reputation as an aspiring gourmet chef, had always wanted to try. And when she realized the bountiful supply of fresh local seafood that was now available, it was no surprise that their new restaurant, A Pink Flamingo in Paradise, quickly began to draw a steady stream of tourists and locals who became hooked on their fine cuisine.
After several years of successful operation, Linda received a letter from a friend on the west coast saying that she and her husband had found ‘A new kind of paradise’ in Baja California. This intrigued Linda to the point where she felt that she simply had to plan a trip to the area herself in order to appraise its potential. And, after arriving, she noticed that in addition to its sunny and dry Mediterranean-like climate, Baja also offered a plethora of fresh seafood that could easily supply her needs if she were to establish another restaurant there.
Linda and Fred discussed the idea of relocating to Baja and agreed that it might literally offer them new frontiers of opportunity for both business and partial retirement. Within a few months, they were on their way …and shortly after that the concept of Baja Mama’s was born!
While their menu generally focuses upon exquisitely fresh local seafood, Linda does her best to incorporate a variety of comfort foods such as rich and crusty, baked macaroni and cheese, tender pot roast, steaks and chops on a rotating basis. Baja Mama’s also offers up an incredible Sunday brunch buffet, which has become a regional legend in its own right. In addition to a wide variety of fresh fruits and desserts, there is a table laden with salads, casseroles, egg dishes and a revolving array of goodies that vary each week. The kitchen also encourages guests to create their own 'made to order' omelet from a host of fresh ingredients. The restaurant happens to be part of Sharky’s Sports Bar complex, which has been a popular local watering hole for ages, and periodically features closed circuit sporting events and live musical entertainment.
But, undeniably, it is Linda Mentley’s passion for good cuisine in a relaxed and comfortable setting that makes her restaurant a special place that people keep coming to back year after year. So, if you happen to be looking for an out of the way place that is just a stone’s throw from a peaceful estero where you can enjoy a marvelous meal at a reasonable price, perhaps the time has finally come for you to visit your Baja Mama.
Located just past downtown Ensenada in Esteban Cantu on the road to the La Bufadora Blowhole. Reservations & Information: (Cell) O44-646-137-0704