Meals schedule… Breakfast (buffet style) Saturday (arrival day) from 7 to 9 a.m. and Sunday thru Friday from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Lunch (buffet style) Saturday (arrival day) from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday thru Friday from Noon to 1:30 p.m. Dinner (table service) nightly from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The grand Spanish Colonial dining room at Rancho La Puerta, complete with a spiral staircase winding around a central fireplace, symbolizes the convivial atmosphere so important to the Ranch experience. Here you can dine at round tables with new friends (seated in order of arrival) or choose to dine alone or with a smaller group of your choosing, just as you would in any fine restaurant. Dinners are sit-down affairs with an attentive waitstaff; breakfasts and lunches are served buffet-style --informal and lively. The dining room is presided over by Chef Gonzalo Mendoza and Sous Chef Mariela Manzano, who bring farm-fresh ingredients to life with creative presentations worthy of any city’s finest restaurants.
Olive-shaded patios surround the dining room, and are popular for lunch. In summer, we often serve the Friday night farewell dinner outside, followed by dancing to a live band. The atmosphere is magical.
The Ranch's diet, which is lacto-ovo vegetarian, includes a seafood "catch of the day" five to six times a week for dinner, and several times for lunch. (A vegetarian alternative entree is always offered for those who don't eat fish or shellfish).
Seafood is a source of great pride
It comes from Ensenada's Mercado Negro, an open-air covered arcade on the waterfront where fishermen display their catch in a bustling environment reminiscent of the great fish markets of the Mediterranean. (Although the name literally translates as "black market" it is most assuredly not that!) Our buyers hand-select fish several times a week, pack it in ice, and rush it home to our chefs. We buy either the whole fish, or in the case of something huge like swordfish, large portions. A whole fish is fresher by nature (there's less handling) than one already filleted.
For those interested in additional healthy fats, we always have available virgin olive oil, natural peanut butter, nuts and seeds. Our diet is very closely aligned with that recommended by Walter C. Willett, M.D., from Harvard's Graduate School of Public Health, author of "Eat, Drink and be Healthy."