Tuesday, January 25, 2022

OUR 12 FAVORITE PUERTO VALLARTA RESTAURANTS--So Far! (Part 4)

Yummy Churros with Ice Cream at Merida Grill
     When I started writing this article back in October, Jon and I were going to list our 10 favorite restaurants. But there were two we couldn’t agree on, so I increased the number to 12 to include one of his favorites and one of mine. Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of this series of articles, list numbers 1 through 9 of our favorite restaurants in no particular order.

     We only include a restaurant if we’ve gone there at least twice and everything was consistently excellent. Some restaurants will have great food, service, ambiance, a clean restroom, and good value one time, but fall down in one area the second time, so we are hesitant to return a third time or to recommend it to others. Service is our biggest criterion and only the best staff can maintain excellent service during busy times—that’s the true test.

     These three restaurants are consistently great. High season or low, we always have a great experience at these.

10. Merida Grill (comida yucateca)

     Merida Grill is one of our top choices for Mexican food, but not just typical Mexican. The flavors include a variety that is unique to this area, one they call comida yucateca, or food from the Yucatan. We try something new every time we visit and are always happy with the delicious dishes.

Fresh Salsa Prepared at the Table

     The meal always begins with fresh salsa prepared to order at the table. We order it “picante” but we’ve been eating spicy Mexican food long enough that it seems just right to us, about medium-spicy.

Merida Grill Bar and Tree Growing Through It

     We’re always amazed at how well the kitchen and waitstaff at this restaurant handle the high season in Puerto Vallarta when they are full every night. We’ve learned to make a reservation during this time of year. But our favorite time to dine here is the low season when the city and the locals are less rushed—it feels more like the real México of an earlier era inside this darling place.

Merida Grill's Classic, Subtle Entry

11. Bravos Restaurant Bar

One of Bravos' Dining Rooms 

     Bravos is one of our favorites, but especially Jon’s. When it’s his turn to choose our dinner place, this is often where we go. We’ve learned to make reservations here any time of year, high season or low, especially if we have tickets for a show afterward. Who wants to rush dinner to make it to Act2PV on time? We did that once and learned a lesson. We like to allow two hours to enjoy drinks, salad or appetizer, dinner, and maybe linger over dessert. That’s the Mexican way.

The Calamari Appetizer was Delicious!

My Mahi Mahi was Fresh and Flavorful
Jon's New York Steak and Baked Potato were Perfect

     We used to share meals, but with Jon's Parkinson's disease, his tastebuds have changed so that he doesn't enjoy seafood as much as I do. Now we order separate meals and eat every bite of them. How did we ever share?

     Jon's New York steak is always cooked exactly to the temperature he likes at Bravos. He was too quick to smash his baked potato and slather it with butter and sour cream, so I didn't catch a photo of it before he attacked it. We're always happy to find real sour cream here in México, as it is rarely served. Our meals are always presented beautifully at Bravos.

12. The Blue Shrimp

A Quiet May Evening at the Blue Shrimp

     Seafood is my favorite meal, and when I order it, I want it fresh—that’s part of my attraction to life on the Pacific coast of México. When it’s my turn to choose a restaurant here in Puerto Vallarta and I’m craving seafood, I often select The Blue Shrimp. Jon says it’s too expensive, but it’s worth the extra price for the wonderful setting alone. He does occasionally enjoy their Huachinango and when he orders it, there's enough for two or three meals.

Now That's a Huachinango!

     Overlooking the beautiful blue waters of Banderas Bay, there’s always something interesting to see while enjoying the view and sound of the gentle waves. One evening recently, we watched a sea turtle come ashore searching for her perfect nesting area. She used her back flippers to dig a hole for quite some time before she gave up and moved on down the beach. I wondered if it was because there were so many people standing nearby watching, but the waiter said she left because there are too many rocks in the sand there making it difficult to dig the hole deep enough. As long as we’ve traveled in México, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and even the Galapagos Islands, this was the first time we’ve ever watched a sea turtle come ashore ready to lay her eggs. It was very exciting.

Sea Bass with Shrimp at The Blue Shrimp

     I've ordered the Sea Bass with Shrimp more than once at The Blue Shrimp. While it doesn't look beautiful in my photo, it's always delicious.

      Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Check out Part 1, Part 2, and Part3 of this Puerto Vallarta Restaurant series.

     We love retirement in México. Life is good.


     Have you read my book, Retirement Before the Age of 59: Healthy Living in Mexico #2? I love it when readers leave a brief review on Amazon. 

Check out this 5-Star Review:

Great book for anyone thinking about living in Mexico

     I read this book because, ahem, I'm right about the same age and I wanted to see how they did it. As it turns out, the author is a pharmacist who sees many of her patients plan a great retirement, only to die or become disabled without getting to live the retirements they planned. She and her husband didn't want to become one of these statistics, never getting to live their dreams. I loved finding out how they eased into retirement first with extended vacations and then finally making the leap. I also loved how they actually went to about ten popular retirement destinations in Mexico for an extended period of time to decide if that is their dream location, listing the pros and cons. I recommend this book to anyone who is thinking of moving to Mexico, whether before or after retirement.

     Thank you for reading my blog articles and books. As a self-published author on Amazon, I love it when readers leave a brief review of my books to help others find them. 

     I invite you to SIGN UP for my Healthy Living and Traveling in Mexico Newsletter, published monthly with stories about our latest adventures, my recent blog articles, and news about my books. If you’d like to take a look at my recent newsletter, you can read it HERE.

     Cheers,

     Terry

Jon and I at iK Restaurant, Still Trying New Ones!

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     Terry L Turrell, Author

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