Vallarta Eats Signature Taco Tour Part I – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Before leaving for Mexico I signed up for a whole bunch of different excursions and tours in Puerto Vallarta and this is the one I was most looking forward to. A food tour!!! I was excited about eating at the local haunts rather than the usual overpriced tourist traps. At USD$55 per person, it is not cheap considering the actual amount paid to the taco stalls BUT the whole experience itself was worth it. I am not going to post the name of the stalls/restaurants/stops since it is a business for Vallarta Eats but this is what we had.

Met up with Eric (the brainchild of the whole operation) at Old Puerto Vallarta and the tour commenced from there. It was a 3 hour walking and eating tour which was so much fun. I loved walking through parts of PV that we would not have gone otherwise and listening to the history and the culture from Star (the other guide).

All the roads in Old PV were cobblestones which I loved! Some random tidbit we learnt bout PV that I thought was interesting. PV was more of a area occupied by miners, fishermen and plantation owners (Mangos, Bananas) and only became popular in the 1960s because of John Huston. who brought movie stars Ava Gardner and Richard Burton there to film the Tennessee Williams tale “Night of the Iguana.”

Burton brought his girlfriend, Elizabeth Taylor with him causing a massive influx of US Media trying to take pictures and putting PV on the map!!! Now there is even a Plaza John Huston and a statue of him in PV.

We did a total of 10 stops throughout the 3 hours and so this post is gonna have to be split into two so I don’t leave out anything. 🙂

Stop 1 – We tried the traditional breakfast taco especially in PV, found everywhere in the early mornings and weekends! Birria; a type braised meat that is served on a tortilla with onions, cilantro and lime. The broth itself is also served on the side for drinking.

The Birria taco was delicious; served with shredded cabbage and lime! Tender, melt in your mouth meat that is so flavourful after being stewed for hours. With only a tad of heat, salty and packful of various spices AND a nice crunch from the cabbage and citrus from the lime. The broth was the best part tho! It was like drinking mouthful umami heaven – definitely the effort of hours of labour in a little cup.

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Stop 2 – Next up were the fabulous Carnitas. Carnitas are traditionally braised or roasted pork traditionally made with fatty parts of the pig. The carnitas featured here were ALL parts of the pig – skin, butt, organs and then all chopped up and served on a corn tortilla.

This was the best taco because it is so simple without any fussy condiments because the main star is the meat!! It was porky with bits of crispy, fatty and meaty bits. We also tried some of the local guava juice made from over ripe guava and sometimes random fruits. It was refreshing and delicious!

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Stop 3 – Our next stop was a local butcher shop that also has a bakery at the back. We had two varieties of Chicarons and both were great! Chicarons are deep fried pork rinds (skin minus the fat) that are a popular snack food in Mexico (and many parts of the world). We tried two varieties here; one was more tough w a bit of meat left on it while the other was purely the skin scraped of any fat and deep fried.

There is also a back kitchen where they have massive cauldrons of meat stewing for hours and then sold.

The bakery is where they baked bread daily and head out to sell door to door.

This gentleman and his wife uses the bakery (courtesy of the generous owner) to bake their Banana & Corns muffisn then she sells them door to door. The oven goes really deep so a stick about 7 feet long is used to pull the trays out.

The Banana muffins were freaking amazing!! So moist, dense and packful of flavour. The muffins were more savoury than what I am used to but I loved them!

Stop 4 – This stop was an eye opener. We visited a local tortilla shop where they were making fresh corn tortillas and selling them in stacks. The gentleman here is just pouring the corn that has been soaking in an alkaline solution into a grinder where it gets all mushed up becomes a dough in the giant mixer and then put into their massive tortilla maker than churns them out all shaped and then baked/cooked.

We had some of the tortilla seconds after they popped out with some salt; making it a Saltaco! It was like nothing we have had in North America.

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Till here for now!!! Read more on the next post: Vallarta Eats Part II.

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Vallarta Eats

Puerto Vallarta,
Mexico

US/CAN – 215 966 1163
Mexico –  322 152 0224

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