: Blenders are whirring all over Vallarta, so don’t bother digging out yours when you want a refreshing fruit drink. Instead, head for any of the myriad juice bars, cafes or restaurants serving up cool, luscious “smoothies.”
Cravings: A Jicama
: The crunchy, colorless flesh of this indigenous root vegetable isn’t exactly exciting to the tongue. But it is certainly chameleonic, surprisingly adept at absorbing and relaying surrounding flavors.
Chiles: Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow
: Like Johnny Carson, Hank Muffett and Conrad Kostelecky understand the wisdom of leaving when you’re at the top of your game. After 11 years of growing a local three-table eatery into a wildly popular business, begun more or less as a hobby, the two recently sold Chiles in the hope of having more time to smell the salt air.
Best Time to Try New Restaurants: Restaurant Week
: While any time is a good time to enjoy our thriving and super-varied world-class dining scene (No, folks back home, we are not subsisting on beans and tortillas here!) everyone gets to try some of the best restaurants at low fixed prices during Vallarta Lifestyles’ Restaurant Week, May 15 – 31 every year.
Best Responsive Marketing: Pie in the Sky
: Recognizing an opportunity when they see it, the owners of this 18-year-old bakery are maximizing their landslide win in the most recent virtualvallarta.com Readers’ Choice poll. Proud of winning first place in the Best Bakery, Best Dessert and Best Ice Cream categories, Susan Drexler Price and Philip Price thought, “Why not brag about it!”
Best La Cruz Connection: Philo’s
: On a typical Thursday evening at Philo’s Music Bar on Calle Delfin in the heart of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, the musicians are tuning up while, in one corner of the palapa-covered space, a group of grinning Mexican children are playing “Simon Says” – in English.
Best Place to Beat the Munchies After Midnight: Pizza Metro
: Think of it as a late-night outlet for La Dolce Vita, its successful Malecon sibling. Open until 4 am, Pizza Metro is a tiny, but extremely popular, stop among the downtown nightclub crowd. Nothing beats a slice of pizza after a night of gallivanting around town. And with over half a dozen varieties to choose from, including vegetarian – a comforting spinach and mushroom combo – Pizza Metro hits the late-night spot.
Best Vantage Point: Las Carmelitas
: From every angle, Puerto Vallarta is stunning — but see it from this breezy mountaintop restaurant, and you’ll be flabbergasted. All of PV, the venues people commonly go to for the views included, is at your feet. And untouched nature is all around you.
: From soap to rope and, of course, food and beverages, there are myriad uses for this bowling-ball-sized fruit ubiquitous on tropical beaches around the world — floating on ocean currents, its seeds tend to take root not far from shore.
RESTAURANT WEEK 2006: One of the Hottest New Events in Town!
: Even Vallarta Lifestyles, which introduced Restaurant Week to Puerto Vallarta last year, was caught by surprise at how wildly successful the 16-day event proved to be.
Taco Stand 101
: Are you ready to give Mexico’s mainstay dish a try? Look for these 10 reassuring signs when considering your first close encounter with a taco stand.
: Should someone call you “un mango” in Mexico it’s definitely a compliment, as only the hunkiest guys referred to that way since it conjures up such a sensuous image - the sultry tropical air here perpetually permeated with the pungent sweet smell of this succulent fruit.
Eating Bugs is Both Trendy and Traditional
: In pre-Hispanic Mexico, my mom's admonition to "Eat your vegetables because they're good for you" would have been "Eat your bugs" for exactly the same reason. And while potatoes, peas and carrots were the staples in our house, grasshoppers, ants and worms were the equivalent in this part of the world.
Taste Treats to Try
: Eating and drinking in the street is an entrenched part of Mexican culture, so it's a natural when you're busy having fun to just grab something and keep on going.
A Taco Primer for Visitors
: Visitors to Mexico will find something quite different when ordering a taco here. Probably the biggest surprise will be that the shell is soft, rather than crispy, but the differences don't stop there.
Daiquiri Dick’s Wows New York
: Daiquiri Dick’s received quite an honor when its talented culinary team, headed by executive chef Rafael Nazario, was recently invited to serve a meal at the home of American gastronomy, New York City’s renowned James Beard House.