Friday, February 17, 2006

Encante en Rio


Well, Encante is not actually on the river, but it is across the street from the Rio Cuale that runs through the center of Puerto Vallarta. The restuarant is a bit off the beaten path and is in a largely residential neighborhood on the south side of the river. The houses that line the river have a dirt road on one side and chickens and dogs run around freely. The little kids are a bit more closely supervised, but they run around quite a bit too. You don't have to roam too far from the center of town and the hotels and restaurants that line the bay and the mountains above to find remnants of the old Mexico. I find that comforting because that means places like the Blue Whale will continue to flourish.

There wasn't a bar in here, but then I am no longer on my quest so I can kick back a bit and just enjoy a dinner with friends on occasion. And it was a very good dinner indeed. Both my friend Donna and the Mysterious Chinese Woman had shrimp and they were very happy with their choices.

My Friend Donna Anticipating Her Meal

The coconut shrimp came piled high on skewers stuck into a thick slice of baked pineaple.

Coconut Shrimp Piled High

The Mysterious Chinese Woman seemed more interested in her drink than her meal. But then I think her drink was bigger than her meal.

Mysterious Chinese Woman and her Big Drink

I had a delicious cut of pork with an orange glaze on a bed of, in my opinion, slightly over-cooked vegetables. But the pork was so good there really was no reason to complain.

Nobody complained about their meal and we all agreed we would return again, although probably not until next year because everyone but me and the Mysterious Chinese Woman are leaving soon. I may return, however, and bring along friends who will be joining us in a week or so. The place was nice and cool and painted in shades of mint green. Nice lamps, mirrors, and a kind of garden scene against the back wall made this small place a refreshing stop.

The Whole Gang, Donna, Bar Man, MCW, Chris and Bruce

The owner of the restaurant was very pleasant and chatted with us a bit. She pointed out a very small, looks like it is in someone's living room, restaurant across the street where she said she sometimes eats. If that wouldn't be authentic Mexican food there is no such thing. Looks like it would be a small step up from the taco stands on the street that I like so much. And boy, are those stands busy at night. We passed a whole block of them all full of Mexican families having dinner out. If I hadn't already eaten I would have happily joined them.