On a beautiful sunny day, I had to go out and check out Puerto Vallarta Amigos’ new digs at Fisherman’s Wharf. They are well known for their tacos, and the Espinoza family (who runs this operation) have certainly cemented their status in, an irony of ironies, a floating base of operations. Appropriately enough, by being located in fish territory, their seafood options intrigued me. And with James working yet again, I was on my own to fill two stomachs than one. Fortunately the day included opening ceremonies festivities, like dancing. A few spectators even joined in so they could work off their meals.
Puerto Vallarta does create some very good tacos, but I needed variety. Today was of these days where I felt “tacoed” out. I could not think about having a soft or hard shell taco. I needed to make a sacrifice for the greater good of humanity and fortunately the 2012 date does not mean the end of the world. I do not care what the prophets say—Planet Earth is not going to blow up!
I sampled enough crevettes in my lifetime to know what I like, and many ethnic style variants have often done justice to them. But for that to happen, size matters. At Puerto, I fell in love with the prawn cocktail ceviche. Samples of this dish were offered to the lunchtime crowd.
I helped myself to four sampler-sized servings of the ceviche. I savoured the sweet cocktail that the meaty tilapia and tender prawn cubes were gently swimming in. The cilantro tasted very fresh and it played nicely against the gentleness of the tomato sauce. There was a pleasant lime aftertaste that had me salivating for more. Although this sampler was a mix of the three options, I think Puerto should consider making this mixed ceviche a unique dish of its own!
But I got down to business and wondered if I should go all out for the “Mayan Fish” or just the “Baja” fish-tacos. Although the names are deceptive, the flavours are not. Local fish is used than something imported and that was to be expected.
The Mayan dish is basically a piece of cod steamed in a banana leaf. When I opened it up, I saw that it had a bit of salsa brushed on top. It was also garnished with onions. I only found two salsa options to add to my meal at the takeout window, and went for the “green-looking” one. None of the salsas were all that hot. But without a label, I could not say what levels of spiciness were being injected.
So I did a blind taste-test and I enjoyed the succulent moist fish. The leaf added a mild flavour to the cod and the hot sauce I added to leafy green salad gave it a light kick. I did not get round slices of tomatoes (as the sign teased at) but that was okay.
The rice, however, was odd; there was flavour that I liked but the texture just felt off. Maybe that’s how Mexican rice is prepared. I’m far more used to how short grain white rice is prepared in Asian style cuisine. When considering that this new location just opened this last weekend, I’m sure that this operation has a few minor kinks to work out. I will certainly have to come back to try the other exclusive menu offerings at this location.
On their sign, there are four offerings, and I’ve had two. I look forward to trying out their Baja fish tacos ($12) and Diabla Prawns ($13). When considering this operation does not have to go far to get their product, this spring and summer season will be a busy one for them indeed. I’m going to be a merry flamingo getting ready to attack. ¡Ay, caramba!
4 Blokes out of 5