The ninth annual Vallarta Lifestyles' Restaurant Week will be held May 15-31 and features 35 restaurants located in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit. Each of the participating restaurants offer a special three-course menu (with three choices per course) at a fixed price of $189 or $299 pesos per person, with drinks and tips not included. It is a great way to try some of the best restaurants at reduced prices. This not-to-be missed restaurant event encourages residents and visitors to explore the area's unique culinary diversity. Bistro Organico, located in the courtyard of the Hotel Cielo Rojo in San Pancho, is a new participant in Restaurant Week 2013.
There are lots of things I love about Calypso. One, the food is always good; the portions are generous, often share-able. The wait staff is really friendly. So, the other night, I climbed the stairs and asked one of the waiters if the kitchen could do a little variation on one of my favorite dishes, the panko-crusted friend chicken.
I enjoyed this dish at lunch the other day at Pedrito`s (Hecho Con Amor). It was different from the other coconut shrimp dishes around town. Most of them are very encrusted with shredded coconut; very crunchy and a bit on the tough side. Some need a sharp knife to cut through the crust.
The chef at Don Chow didn't popularize Pad Thai. That honor goes to Luang Phibunsongkhram, the prime minister of Vietnam during the 1930s and 40s as part of a campaign to promote Thai nationalism and save on rice, which was the country's big export item. You see, this column isn't just all food opinion, we want to give you a taste of history, too.
This cozy spot is noted for buffalo wings and nachos, but the menu at Aaleyah's has expanded to include really delicious specialties and this is one of them-beef fajitas. My only beef about this tempting plate is that is a huge amount of food! Approach this menu item with either a very good appetite or a friend who will share this bounty.
I love seafood soup and the one at Leyza's is outstanding. The soup was full of delicious shrimp, mussels, fish and other aqueous bits and pieces and the broth had some nice, spicy snap to it. On top of that, or I should say to the side, a large dish of chopped tomatoes, avocado, and onions, all freshly chopped and fun to add to the already rich bowl.
As you may gather, I love to eat and I love to write and so I have parlayed that combo into being a restaurant critic, and that's been going on for years. Now, happily, it has come to the point where Sayulitans come up to me a talk about this review or that restaurant and it makes me feel good to have readers eagar to share their thought.
A visit to Don Juan, or several, will give you the opportunity to dine in an excellent restaurant that is functioning at the very top of its game. This rib eye steak was savory and tender and well grilled to the exact done-ness I had asked for. The sauce was light and piquant, the vegetables were actually cooked and the mashed potatoes were fluffy and light. On top of the steak were crispy onion slivers as thin as can be.
This marvelous looking dish from Villa Amor's "O" Restaurant, red snapper with a mildly-spiced achiote sauce, would merit a fine review as an architectural study, a sculpture by an avant garde artist or a treat by a very creative chef. It not only was great fun to eat, it was a wonderful dish to deconstruct and a sure conversation starter.
There are a lot of new items on the menu at Don Chow's, but this is my go to favorite. And it's been enhanced this year. Lots of tender chicken in teriyaki sauce with nice bits of cooked pineapple to give one's taste buds a nice surprise. Rice and a crisp salad make for a delicious plate all around.
Here is a hearty dish-I just polished it off and I can attest to the fact that I am full of good food, good company and good vibes. The triple pork chop will be on the menu for a while. Under the canopy of onions in a red wine sauce reduction are three thin, grilled and very savory pork chops.
We love tortilla soup and Ruben's delicious version will bowl you over. Everything is in this new house special--lots of rich broth, tomatoes, tortilla strips, really fresh cilantro, melted cheese and avocado as well as a stirring of chile oil just to let your mouth know it's time to wake up. This tasty soup is enough for a lunch, that is for sure.
Good things do come in small packages-a ring from Tiffany, a fat check from Grandma and excellent food from a postage-stamp size restaurant, Tierra Viva. It's one block from the beach at Marlin and Manuel Navarete. The restaurant is also open air, so you catch gentle breezes (bring a sweater, just in case) and it also is a very romantic spot.
D'luscious Bistro is the new spot in town right off the square and this is good news for steak lovers. Chef Darrell Taylor hails from the Midwest, so he goes to great effort to get really good steaks from Sonora for his bistro. He only picks meat that comes from lowland grazing cattle - more tender, he notes, and with the first bite you can enjoy how tender the steaks are.
Yah Yah is a new place right next to the church on the plaza. We heard good things about this "newie" and so we went to see what was up. And up it is. An excellent coffee house where you can relax, enjoy the food and sip really terrific coffee-based drinks.
The British give honors like, O.B.E, V.C., and the Order of the Garter. Even writers occasionally get honors like the Pulitzer Price or book awards. But, never in a dozen years did I expect El Sayulero's "Bite This" column to receive an award. Oh, sure, I often get beautiful women who stop me on the street and ask for my autograph, and dogs licking my fingers for scent of food, but yesterday was several cuts above, bordering on fleeting fame.
This is the time of year when a lot of wine writers chip in about what wines to have with Thanksgiving dinner. They set you up with the idea that choosing these wines for the groaning board will be the most frightening, intimidating, scary, painful, mind bending, nerve wracking, difficult, cliff hanging task that ever existed in the world of wine and food pairings.
So, the other night, four foodies, Janet, Ellen, Bambi and I, slide into a table at Mary's Restaurant. We look at the menu, turn it over a few times and put it down. Lalo come over to take the order. Without waiting for the ladies to order, I blurt out, "Chile Relleno!" Rude, but effective!
Happy to be back and biting once again for El Sayulero. I am also very happy to be a Giant's fan at this time of the year, which segues nicely to this giant sandwich. The Winnet is our favorite lunch at Rueben's and we lost no time in ordering one.