Km 19 Cocina de Campo is owned and operated by Jose Ramon Redo and Martha Ofelia Pastor de Redo. They serve traditional Mexican food that you would typically find on a ranch – in other words, good hearty fare. Jose Ramon (known as Ramon) is not a trained chef but he is a very good cook and he obviously has a love and passion for what he is creating. He arrives early every morning to make the salsas that are the backbone of the dishes. He also prepares fresh cookies, cinnamon rolls, croissants, sweet breads called conchas and coyotas filled with brown sugar or caramel.
There is a lovely garden that Ramon puts to use for his soups, stews and salsas. He is growing herbs, nopale cactus, aubergines, cucumbers and tomatoes. He also plans to raise his own chickens and use the fresh eggs in the restaurant.
The breakfast menu consists of fresh eggs – any style, chilaquiles, enchiladas and pan dulce. Try the nopale cactus with scrambled eggs to start your day off.
The lunch menu changes each day and when we arrived on a Wednesday, the special was beef stew which was filled with earthy chiles and slow-braised meat. Thursdays Ramon prepares green Pozole with chicken, tomatillos and pumpkin seeds and Saturdays he makes a red Pozole with guajillo chiles, chicken and pork. Sopa de Tortilla is on the menu every day and I found it to be heavenly. Sundays Ramon really puts on his chef’s hat and prepares pizzas cooked in his wood burning oven and Paella with saffron rice that includes shrimp, clams, octopus, mussels, chicken, pork and chorizo.
Also on the menu is Chilorio, a slow-cooked pulled pork recipe which originated in Sinaloa and is made with a delicious ancho chile sauce, beef Birria stew with 3 kinds of dried red chiles, Chile Rellenos stuffed with cheese and Shrimp in red sauce.
My friend who I was having lunch with asked for chicken even though it was not on the menu and they whipped up beautiful chicken tacos for her.
When purslane is in season (the taste is similar to watercress or spinach), Ramon uses it for his baby back ribs in green sauce.
Km 19 is rustic but very comfortable and well thought out. It is a nice structure that is completely screened so there is no problem with pesty flies or bugs. It is also cool inside and surprisingly quiet even though it is fairly close to the highway. They do not have a liquor license but you can bring your own wine and there is no corkage fee.
Breakfast is served all day beginning at 8:30 am. Lunch begins at 12:30 and they close at 4:00 pm.
It is located across the highway from Las Ventanas Resort and the old Melia Cabo Real. There is ample parking and easy access on and off the carretera.
Ramon and Martha strive to make the customers comfortable while serving well prepared home cooked food. This little gem of a restaurant has so much potential and I am excited to try the many dishes that Ramon prepares with such care. You can find me on Sundays happily dining on Paella and playing with the baby chicks.