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Puerto Vallarta


guajolote
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I'm heading to Puerto Vallarta in a couple of weeks. Has anyone been to any of these places?

Cafe de Artistes

River Cafe

Trio

Cafe Maximilian

Chef Roger

Also, if you have been to any especially good places serving regional Mexican cuisine let me know.

Thanks

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I have a friend that lives there - runs a fishing charter business. Haven't talked to him in a while and may not be able to get in touch, but I'll try.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I would also like to go fishing - if you have a phone number or location I'd appreciate it.

I'll try to track him down. I'm sure he has email. I'll be in touch. :rolleyes:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I'm heading to Puerto Vallarta in a couple of weeks.

Think I've tracked down my friend. I've emailed him to see if he is still in the tourismo biz. He's been there for a number of years and has really good connnections. I'm waiting to hear back from him.

By the by....

Do you already have accomodations???

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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We're going with my parents (they're going to babysit :smile: ) and they've booked a place. Best of all, it has a kitchen...

Pueblo Bonito? It's my fave. :biggrin:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I'm heading to Puerto Vallarta in a couple of weeks. Has anyone been to any of these places?

Cafe de Artistes

River Cafe

Trio

Cafe Maximilian

Chef Roger

Also, if you have been to any especially good places serving regional Mexican cuisine let me know.

Thanks

Have been in touch with a friend who lives there. He says that all of your choices are great and you'd enjoy them.

Except for Chef Roger, which is closed.

Also, you might try the Desperado Marina Bar & Grill. I've heard that is good, and a lot of fun. Very lively place with all the private boats and fishing charters coming and going.

:biggrin:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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  • 1 month later...
I'm heading to Puerto Vallarta in a couple of weeks. Has anyone been to any of these places?

Cafe de Artistes

River Cafe

Trio

Cafe Maximilian

Chef Roger

Also, if you have been to any especially good places serving regional Mexican cuisine let me know.

Thanks

ack! where did you go guajolote? If I'd seen this thread I would have sent you to Las Cazuelas. Last time I was there they were doing rose petal sauce... talk about *drool* it was magnificent. clickity here for more

Born Free, Now Expensive

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  • 6 months later...

I originally wrote this for epinions. Hope it helps:

What I Wanted from the Trip: I am a devout foodie, and Mexican is one of my top three favorite cuisines. I was looking for great food. However, my wife and I also needed to recharge our batteries and were looking for a place with both cultural options and lazing-around options. We also didn't want to have to spend too much money. We wanted to keep our total budget for 10 days, including airfare and room, to under $2000 if possible (and we succeeded). Puerto Vallarta with its old world architecture, artists, diverse dining, and beaches was our final choice.

Location: We stayed in downtown Puerto Vallarta, el centro, the romantic zone. I don't have much info on Nuevo Vallarta, Marina Vallarta, or even the hotel zone. I didn't want to spend that kind of money (and might as well just go to Las Vegas if I was just looking for a resort and didn't want local culture).

Food Recommendations: I've listed out here some of my favorite food experiences and places.

Comida Corrida: One of the best deals is the comida corrida. Lots of the little mom and pop Mexican places nestled within the shops and storefronts have one. It was running 35 pesos when I was there (less than $3.50). You'll get an appetizer, usually a choice of soups, a choice of entree, and a drink, usually whatever jugo (juice) they've made that day. Options for entrees are things like moles, albondigas (meatballs in sauce), or some sort of stewed dish. The entrees are usually served with beans and rice and fresh made tortillas. And salsa, of course. I got stuffed every time. Most of the places seemed relatively clean, though I always checked it out first. My favorite place for comida corrida was Tia's on Pino Suarez and Cardenas near Playa Los Muertos. They also serve a desayuno (breakfast) special for 25 pesos with eggs any style, chilaquiles (a yummy tortilla casserole), and beans. Another good place for desayuno and comida similar in style to Tia's, but without a comida corrida, is 3 Huasteces on Olas Altas, just south of Playa Los Arcos across from A Page in the Sun. Very good tortillas and a very good mole pueblo. Few items over 50 pesos and its solid quality.

btw, there's also a little Indian place on Cardenas, can't remember the name. It serves Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine. Excellent. I've had some great Indian food and this place was up there. Best rice I think I've ever had. Got a sampler plate from them. Fabulous lentil curry. Vegetarian curries were only 20 pesos, meat curries were 50.

Food Stands: There are tons of food stands, taco huts, etc, in PV. If you walk away from the beach up Basilio Badillo or one of the other major streets you'll find plenty. Many serve excellent tacos, quesadillas, or even pozole. And they're cheap. Expect to pay 5 pesos for a taco. Two of my favorites were actually very close to the beach. Both were at Cardenas Square next to Daiquiri Dick's at the corner of Cardenas and Olas Altas (btw, probably the best painted bowls, platters, and welcome signs can be found here, too, by a native-Mexican woman; she'll give you a different price every time and you should give her exact change because I believe she can't add or subtract). One serves just tacos and quesadillas, 5 pesos for tacos, 10 for quesadillas. They press and grill the tortillas before you. You get choice of two kinds of meat or onion (cebollita) for filling. The other is closer to the beach, looks a bit scary, but isn't, and advertises "Pozole Rico". Yum. I had their costilla de puerco (rib of pork) with beans and rice and tortillas for 30 pesos. Rich, flavorful dish that was excellent. You can see them dutifully cleaning all their cooking equipment in purified water. They are extremely nice. There is an excellent food stand that can sometimes be found in the Parque Hidalgo just a couple blocks past the most northern end of the Malecon (you know you're at the most northern end of the Malecon when you see McDonald's, yuck; even worse, the Malecon begins with a Hooter's). They serve huaraches (means sandals, don't confuse them with the food). They are fantastic. Only place I found serving huaraches in PV. Cheap and a lot of food. A huarache, btw, is a thick corn tortilla piled with sauce and other toppings and cheese. Almost like a Mexican pizza, you might say.

Nice Restaurants: It took me a while, but the last two nights in PV, after looking at tons of menus and asking around, I found two great Mexican restaurants that a midwesterner's grandmother wouldn't be afraid to eat at. They were Los Milagros on Juarez and Pipila and Xitomate on Morelos and Aldama (both just a couple blocks away from the ocean near the Malecon). The former is traditional Mexican with a variety of dishes from a variety of regions. I had their mole rojo and my wife had their mixed molcajete. We both had soups for appetizers, me a chipotle soup, and my wife a lime soup. The mole was very good served with a tender breast of chicken, beans, rice, and tortillas. It was under 80 pesos and a fair portion. The flavor was excellent, rich, sweet and spicy. My wife's dish was impressive, served sizzling in a large basalt molcajete (large mortar for grinding foods). It had a whole grilled nopale cactus paddle, tender beef, large succulent shrimp, sausage, and chicken all in a mild tomato salsa with cheese. Very, very good. About 140 pesos. The soups were both good as well. They were a brothy soups with mixed vegetables and meat and the hint of their respective attractions, chipotle and lime. We had the orange flan for dessert, which was good. They have live music and very good service with very friendly waiters. btw, a table next to us ordered the tequila flamed lobster. They turned off all the lights and flamed it table side. Very cool. Nice Mexican garden decor with linen table cloths and napkins.

Xitomate was nueva cocina mexicana. The place looked it, too, with chic fixtures, place settings, and furniture. All very Mexican, still. This was our most expensive meal of the trip, but they more than earned it. In Portland, a meal like this would have been almost twice as expensive. In a city like San Francisco, Chicago, or New York, forget about it. My wife started with the thinly slice scallops with cucumber and jicama julienne and aguachile sauce, 88 pesos. I don't usually like seafood, but this was excellent. They served it with thin, crispy tortillas and you made little tostadas. My wife and I were practically battling with our forks over every bite. For dinner, my wife had the grilled salmon in poblano chile sauce, squash blossom, and tender corn, 126 pesos. Tasty sauce. I can't stand salmon so I didn't try it, but the sauce was great. My wife enjoyed all of it. It was served with an excellent sautee of mixed squash and root vegetables and small roasted potatoes dusted with chile powder. I had the heart of beef tenderloin with chipotle sauce, 148 pesos. It was cooked perfectly medium rare as I had asked and was very tender and flavorful. The sauce was good and again it was served with the sautee of vegetables which were excellent. The meat was served on top of some sort of tasty potato cake. We had the special, toluca ice cream cake, for dessert. Fantastic. A kalua, espresso, vanilla ice cream cake with caramal sauce and nuts on top. It really was fantastic. Also served with fresh berries. 48 pesos. Some nice touches: they served an amuse bouce before the meal, a small huitlicoche (corn mushroom) quesadilla that was quite tasty. They also served chips and four salsas. All the salsas were excellent, two red salsas, one green, and a mixture of pickled onions and jalapenos. The chips were red corn with sesame seeds baked on. Very tasty and interesting. The service was **** quality. The waiters spoke impeccable English. The chef came out and congratulated a woman celebrating her birthday. The maitre'd classily and cooly brought her dessert, putting a candle in it, and lighting it for her.

Food Warnings: At first I was a bit disappointed. There's not as much variety in the types of Mexican as there is in, say, Mexico City, especially for someone like me who is not a huge seafood fan. We first looked at places recommended in various guidebooks. eg, Cafe Ollas, a very popular place that would be better named Cafe Parrilla, because most things are grilled, came highly recommended. However, both my wife and I found it mediocre and overpriced. The atmosphere was decent, the service was good, but the food was lacking. Oily and bland tortilla soup, greasy quesadillas, mediocre fish, burnt chips, etc. I would suggest steering clear of places that obviously cater to tourists unless you really don't like food that's not entirely familiar. Places like Fajita Republic will be packed and they'll give you decent fajitas like you're used to back home at your local Tex-Mex place, but you'll be missing out on some new and wonderful flavors and be paying twice as much. Steer clear of hotel restaurants, too. They can even be lamer, serving little more than hamburgers spiced up only by being called hamburguesas. They probably won't even be as good as Red Robin or the like. I'm sure there are exceptions, but odds are... If you're paying over 100 pesos for an entree it better be some of the best food you've ever had. (btw, I checked out Oscar's, a place recommended here on epinions; it looks okay, the setting is nice, but the menu looked very boring.)

Places to Stay: We stayed at the Playa Los Arcos and the Hotel Yazmin. For two nights we paid $240 at Los Arcos. The room was Motel 6 quality with cable and air conditioning, but the view was nice, overlooking the pool and beach. Hotel Yazmin, half a block away, was 450 pesos a night, with excellent air conditioning, great hot water and water pressure, very thorough maids, and decent, though a little stiff, beds. We chose that over the slightly closer to the ocean and slightly cheaper Hotel Lily because they had a nice garden and courtyard. Either would be an excellent modest cost choice, though. (By comparison, in the hotel zone or Neuvo Vallarta in the resorts, you will pay close to $200/night or more; and all the action is downtown.)

Activities: You get a lot of the same activites that you find in places like Hawaii, but at a much lower cost. We took a day trip on a boat with open bar (though I don't drink), continental breakfast, lunch, and snorkling for $35/person. We probably could have talked the guy down, too, but we took a similar trip for $70/person in Hawaii and jumped at the chance. We went snorkling at Los Arcos (only mediocre snorkling because of the murkiness of the water as compared with Hawaii or Cancun), then on to Los Animas Beach (probably the best beach in the bay) and Quimoxto for a hike or horseback ride (125 pesos extra for the horse and not worth it; the horses were very scrawny and old looking; the hike is easy) up to a waterfall. The waterfall is okay. The lunch is mediocre. Be warned of the breakfast. The fruit had been sitting out by the time we got to it. I avoided it. My wife gobbled it up. She came down with la turista. If nothing else, I would take a water taxi to Los Animas. It is a very beautiful and uncrowded beach with nice sand. Bring a lunch, though.

Also parasailed. 250 pesos and well worth it. Only about 10 minutes but very fun. Felt very safe and they land you right where you take off on the beach, on a dime. My wife parasailed, too, and loved it.

Make sure you meander on the malecon at night. Lots of art, street performers, etc. You can watch the spanish galleon shoot of its fireworks, too. Try La Chata for a place to eat. Ate at their Guadalajara restaurant and really liked it. Cheap, too.

For all activies, shop around and bargain. Don't buy it the first time someone comes up to you if you're at all budget conscious.

Compared to Hawaii: Compared with a trip to Hawaii, Puerto Vallarta is a steal. From Portland, OR, I paid about half for what my airlines tickets to even Honolulu would have been. I was able to stay in a range of hotels for certainly less that I would have had to spend in Hawaii. The activities were generally half to a third the price, and the food was similarly priced. I think Puerto Vallarta is an excellent choice for the traveller looking for a modest tropical escape. The sand isn't as nice, and the snorkeling and swimming isn't as good, and the water isn't as clear, but if you're more of a jet ski, parasailing, getting a tan, seeing the sights type of person, it's a much better deal.

Final Tips: Just keep on walking by the timeshare salespeople. If interested at all (they'll give you about $100 worth of trade for activities or whatever if you do the thing), then just say yes, go to the thing, say no over and over to the sales pitch, and take your gift and leave. Don't feel bad. However, to the beach vendors, they're just very poor fellas trying to get by, be polite. A "no, gracias" and wave of the hand is usually enough. Also, a couple pesos to the beggars isn't like giving money to the panhandlers in the US. There isn't much opportunity for a guy with a missing leg in Mexico. Finally, don't be an ugly American. Be polite, don't treat people like servants, look the lowliest worker in the eye and say "hola". You'll find there are a lot of bright, friendly people just scraping by with hard work in Mexico. If you get a chance, talk with them. In PV, most of them speak better English than you or I speak Spanish.

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Thanks for the fabulous report. My husband and I are heading there on Saturday and I am looking for all the tips I can get. My list of restaurants is growing quite long!

I loved Big Al's Sunset Dinner Cruise. If it's still running, you can book it in the lobby of the Krystal, where you should at least stick your pretty little head into Bogart's Restaurant. It's the most gorgeous and romantic place.

On the Sunset Dinner Cruise, they take you back into the canals where the rich folks live with their speedboats and sailboats and yachts parked right out the back door. That was the best part. It's a real eye-opener.

Also, the Jungle Tour is interesting.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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It has been awhile, but a place called "el patio" I believe, we really enjoyed it.

Not on the ocean, it was on the rooftop of a 4-6 story building. No roof, just the open air.

I have that one on my list, it sounds so romantic. Did you have dinner there or just drinks? What kind of food is it?

Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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I loved Big Al's Sunset Dinner Cruise.  If it's still running, you can book it in the lobby of the Krystal, where you should at least stick your pretty little head into Bogart's Restaurant.  It's the most gorgeous and romantic place.

On the Sunset Dinner Cruise, they take you back into the canals where the rich folks live with their speedboats and sailboats and yachts parked right out the back door.  That was the best part.  It's a real eye-opener.

Also, the Jungle Tour is interesting.

A friend of mine always stays at the Kristal but evidently their beach is being rebuilt right now, so we decided to stay elsewhere. I seem to remember that Bogart's might be closed too, but we'll have to check that out.

We definitely want to take a cruise. We were thinking of a day trip to Yelapa. Any suggestions for that?

Practice Random Acts of Toasting

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We definitely want to take a cruise. We were thinking of a day trip to Yelapa. Any suggestions for that?

I recall going there on some sort of boat. It was a very nice beach on a pretty cove, but rather crowded and touristy, it seems to me. I went with my daughter who had a grand time. She found some other young people with whom she could parasail and just hang out. There is a very pleasant little town there with several good seafood restaurants, and you can hike a short distance up the river to see some waterfalls, I was told, but I didn't go.

As I said above, the main thing I enjoyed about Big Al's Sunset Dinner Cruise was getting to go back into all the canals and waterways through jungles, and these wealthy neighborhoods that I previously didn't even realize existed. Although Yelapa was nice, I've seen lots of beaches before. Cruising past monkeys and iguanas in the trees, and through those neighborhoods was a real eye-opener to me.

But perhaps that's just me. Looking at flora and fauna and rich people's houses might not interest everyone. I'm not sure that the young "sun and fun" crowd, like my daughter for example would feel the same way. Although she said that she very much enjoyed it, I'm not sure that she got quite the same kick out of it as I.

:smile:

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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  • 2 months later...
It has been awhile, but a place called "el patio" I believe, we really enjoyed it.

Not on the ocean, it was on the rooftop of a 4-6 story building. No roof, just the open air.

I have that one on my list, it sounds so romantic. Did you have dinner there or just drinks? What kind of food is it?

We dined and had drinks, many drinks in fact after the dinner was over as the setting was too perfect.

Continental and Mexican were the cuisines served.

"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"
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  • 1 month later...
We first looked at places recommended in various guidebooks. eg, Cafe Ollas, a very popular place that would be better named Cafe Parrilla, because most things are grilled, came highly recommended. However, both my wife and I found it mediocre and overpriced. The atmosphere was decent, the service was good, but the food was lacking.

Thanks for saying this! I've been to Pto. Vallarta many times and almost every time I try this place and end up being confused by its popularity. It's not horrible but nothing justifies the queues waiting to get in.

This trip I finally ate the fish chunks on a stick, BBQ'd on the beach, smothered in lime and Huichol sauce. 20 pesos and a little bit of heaven.

I also tried Pacifico Grill. What a weird concept. It's "tasteful" along the same lines as Fajita Republic (I think owned by the same) and "all you can eat shrimp". But before you get to the shrimp, you get tons of old fashioned gut-busting comfort food so you're too stuffed to eat much shrimp. The food seems odd in the tropics and when the shrimp finally comes, you get 2 each of coconut, deep fried and boiled shrimp. If you want more, you have to tell them exactly how many. It's all very ungenerous and odd.

Visit beautiful Rancho Gordo!

Twitter @RanchoGordo

"How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray

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Rodolfo's around the corner from the Cine Bahia for pozole. Especially the pozole blanco and the pozole verde. And, if it's still there, Balam's on Basilio Badillo for pescado sarandeado. There was also a place called Los Arboles (I think) that was local Mx, and much beloved by the locals.

Also, if you go out towards the Punta de Mita, there used to be a little place across the road from the beach, almost all the way to the Punta, called Fonda las Amapas. It served traditional foods: jabali, iguana, venison, surillo, and tlacuache. It was absolutely wonderful, if a trifle adventurous.

Theabroma

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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  • 1 year later...

I am about to go to P.V. and would like some up to date suggestions. Anybody been there recently. I would like a couple of high end options, as well as the cheap authentic. I plan to vist as many fish taco stalls as my companion will allow me to.

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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