Puerto Vallarta Amigos
500 Yates Street.
1 Dallas Rd.
3400 Saanich Road.
735 Yates Street
2015 Update: Puerto Amigos has since expanded operations to include one operating at Fisherman’s Wharf and Uptown Center.
E: No, James didn’t have sex change operation, but I like to introduce you to guest-writer, Janine Crockett. She’s a fellow classmate at Camosun and is a vegetarian. It’ll make for an interesting dynamic for the times when can get a different point of view when she’s able to join the team for our foodie outings. When there are times that James can’t make it out, I hope Janine can too.
After all the sushi I had in the past few weeks, a yen for soft tacos started to emerge and we went to Puerto Vallarta Amigos, a vending truck operation that’s said to make some delicious meals on the go.
J: Thanks, Ed. I’m glad you cleared up my introduction. I wouldn’t want to confuse any of James loved ones or my own for that matter.
As Ed said I’m a vegetarian, I find Mexican food is generally a good go to for me if I’m looking for a fast meal around town. I never heard of Puerto Vallarta but I was excited to give them a go. I was surprised at their vegetarian selection of tacos. They had three equally different choices and with six coming in an order, I chose to go with two of each.
E: I also went for the assorted mix, and at $9, which includes a can of soda; I received one of each like beef, chicken, pork, and mashed potato. There were even a few veggie options that I wasn’t sure what to make of. I looked like one of Spielberg’s Velociraptors, inquisitive but unsure.
I grabbed the meatiest one, a pulled beef sirloin, and finished it in three bites. That’s how small these soft tacos were. It was good, and I really liked the potato and spinach combo. After trying the other ones, like the chicken and pork, but I wouldn’t say these other bite-size portions were spectacular in terms of kick.
J: I too grabbed the “meatiest” option on my plate, a soy chorizo. Unlike Ed, my decision was due to laziness and the most easily accessible. I can’t compare this to an actual chorizo sausage, but it tasted essentially like soy meat with an entire shaker of salt mixed in. There was a tiny bit of flavour. The price wasn’t the most desirable when considering the size of these mini-tacos. A few dollars less would’ve made this more of a bargain.
E: When we’re both predators looking for budget meals, I’m thinking Hernande’z on Fort is a better choice. And a short walk later, we were there, waiting in line and wondering what to grab. At $5 for 5, that was certainly a better price and I opted not to get a drink this time.
J: Maybe the dapper gentlemen charmed me on my order identification card but Hernande’z won this contest hands down. One less taco was available but the excellent price made up for that problem.
This location’s only downside was a single vegetarian taco option, a black bean in a tomato-based sauce. I’m a big fan of cilantro and there was an abundance served with mine. This meal tasted fresher then the previous establishment.
What is lacking here, as well as Puerto Vallarta, was the spice. I’m a spice girl, so that was a downside to both meals. There were sauces available on the side. I wanted to have an accurate taste of the food without any extra additives.
E: I have to agree with Janine. I can easily see myself grazing here because of the cilantro, but it’s not enough to make me turn vegetarian.
Also, like every other environmentally friendly place, the label of “organic” is made out to sound very important. Personally, I don’t think that label doesn’t say much and nor does it help earn any special marks in my books. The quality of the food is great here, but the quantity could use some work. I was still kind of hungry afterwards.
Also, seating has always been very limited here. Their new rearrangment is better, but not by much. Janine and I were standing around waiting for our meal until a table was cleared. If I was a Tyrannosaurus Rex, everyone better look out! There’s one huge hungry mouth to feed! A single order of anything is not enough… well, maybe their burritos, but one better run away from me after that!
Puerto Vallarta Amigos
3 Blokes out of 5
3½ Blokes out of 5
Aren't the 6 tacos at Peurto Vallarta 6 dollars? Last time I went they were (2 weeks). I hope they haven't raised their prices. I prefer the meats in Peurto's tacos, but the tortilla at Hernandez. PV staff are always much more friendly as well. Hernandez staff make it seem like they don't really want you there…
Also, in addition to the last comment, the sauces at PV are very tasty. Especially the green salsa.
I Love the tacos at PVamigos they taste exactly as in Mexico and the salsas are the best.
I find the soy chorizo very spicy/tasty but I love the refried bean ones the best. You made a mistake eschewing the sauces – sauces are meant to be part of Mexican food and PVA make their own so it's not as if you're pouring on something bought. The green (avocado) sauce is heavenly.As for seating, I usually walk over to Market Square to eat. People don't use that space enough – it's quite pretty.
"…I grabbed the meatiest one, a pulled beef sirloin, and finished it in three bites…" And that is how big tacos are supposed to be, that is why you usually get 5 or 6 of them in an order.
Point taken, but with Laredo's (see Aug 23, 2010) in Seattle, Washington and El Caporal in Bend, Oregon as my benchmark, portions are certainly larger when I was traveling the States. The new hunt will to be see if any places in town can even come close to my State-side experience.
Just a comment on the lack of spice, I am not entirely sure about San Salvador, but any time I had tacos or the like in Peru and Ecuador, they were always soooo bland, as is most of the rest of their food. These people thought I was nuts asking for hot sauce with most of my food, but they are not Mexican and don't necessarily have the same affinity for chilis. I agree they are better spiced up, but I think what they're doing is fairly authentic.
We now have another vegetarian option: tacos de calabacita! And if you want, you can add an extra taco to the 5 for $1 extra. You can also request "spicy", although Direwolf is right about Central American seasoning–it is subtle.
You definitely need to go back to PV and try the tacos with the salsas/sauces available. Without the sauces they are very plain. Thats how traditional mexican food is served. You add the sauces to add some spice and flavour!