I’ve said before on this blog that I’m not a gluten for pain. But I sure as hell love a good thing in inordinate amounts even when my stomach is about to give out and my kidneys are at the cusp of causing me to make the ugly face.
I didn’t reach that ugly point last week in Mexico, but I was close. If I counted correctly, I ordered guac 22.5 times in 8 days! Is that possible or disgusting?! If not a single order for an appetizer, I wasn’t bashful to ask for a whopping dallop of the green mush to accompany my main course. It was so bad I even had my dad asking for guac come Thursday morning breakfast.
I love Mexico. It’s one of my favorite Spanish speaking countries to visit. The people are insanely service oriented. The landscape is folkloric yet comfortable and the food is NOTHING like we Yankees try to copy here.
My family goes every 18 months and we always find a new hideaway spot and certainly I’m always on the look out for new food to eat. This time, it was nada nuevo. I don’t know what got into me, but it was all about the aguacate this trip.
Our resort, though being a 5 star enclave, had mediocre food. Like the first night, I ordered sushi grade tuna and the damn steak came back fully cooked! And they had the nerve to charge me for it even tho I sent it back! But it was topped with the green dallop!
Fortunately, we had a full-size kitchen in our suite, so mami and I were able to cook our own lunch and dinner when we stayed in (this required a trip to both the farmer’s market and Walmart–yes walmart–sigh). Going out at night proved to be a challenge b/c of the week-long torrential showers. But that didn’t keep us from exploring new holes in the wall. Well, actually those were left for mid-day. In the event something didn’t sit right around noon time, at least we’d have all day to puke and get it out. Certainly, forgoing dinner was not an option. Have you heard of “hungry girl chemical imbalance” syndrome? I severely suffer from that.
I like to eat at posh places in Atlanta and DC. When I travel though, I like to get my hands dirty and eat like the locals. I like to get “Bourdainish” and try unusual things. Definitely getting off the beaten path. One place that we hadn’t notice in our last two visits to Vallarta was Hector’s Sunset Restaurant. Driving into “El Centro”, we saw this man-made wooden white sign with an arrow pointing to the shore. Sort of.
Quaint and kind of a homey entrance. Not a single guest in the open air patio restaurant. So we sat and ordered. It wasn’t so hole in wall after all, but the food was great. We tore up the smooth and perfectly seasoned guac as the dark clouds were tightening in on us. While I’m hard pressed to keep from being a journalist on this trip, my mom is “stealing” aloe from the shorelines to sooth my sister’s mosquito bites.
After finishing 3 orders of guac and totopos (chips) and our main entrees, we were fully satisfied but wondered why no one else was there. The owner himself made our drinks and the sole female chef grated cheese faster than I could ask to take a pic of the rustic cocina. As we paid our check, a local single woman with two kids came in and had lunch.
(Mom’s shrimp salad, Dad’s grilled shrimp in garlic and Sis’s quesadilla’s)
However, my friends, our visit at “Hector’s”, a 20-year old establishment for the unassuming tourist, doesn’t touch what I did in Sayulita, a real off the cuff village. On a super rainy day, we drove 40 minutes North of Vallarta to this ultra laid back, very Woodstockish, folkloric city.
But, I’ll have to save my adventure as a Mexican for the next installment of my 8 day vacay. In the meantime, enjoy all the guac pics, and some incredible images of the beach at our resort.
Oh, since I didn’t get any of the local guacamole recipes, I link you here to my really good Cuban style one! In the next post I’ll have a recount of the Farmer’s Market and our trip to Sayulita. Part III is yet to be determined, but stay tuned.. may include some goodies I smuggled back into the states!
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.