Thursday, February 03, 2011

Happy New Year

The Year Of The Rabbit

The Mysterious Chinese Woman will kill me when she sees this.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


As you probably gathered from my last post, Puerto Vallarta is a continually changing city.  And, yes, with a population of well over a quarter of a million it really is a city now. Certainly not the sleepy little fishing village that John Huston found when he began filming "Night Of The Iquana," and not even the same as it was last year.  Everywhere you look, it seems, things are changing.

The City, It Is A-Changin'

In most cases the changes result in something positive.  At least in my opinion.  Oh, there are those who would like to see Puerto Vallarta remain the same as whenever it was when they first arrivied.  But then they don't live here so they aren't worried about how a growing city has to change to accomodate growth and, yes, lure more tourists. And the permanent residents may not enjoy poor plumbing, electrical outages, clogged streets, and all the other things that short-term tourists might consider quaint.

But every once in awhile something changes that brings a tear to the Bar Man's eyes.  And this change was one of them.

My Dear La Gloria de Infierno

Well, from the outside it looks pretty much the same.  No loud music, though.  And a peek through the window revealed a disturbing sight.

A Sad Sight Indeed

Yes, one of my favorite dive bars, a place that has probably been here since before the arrival of Mr. Huston, is no more.  Rumor has it that it will be replaced by one of the omnipresent little Mexican 7-11 like stores that are popping up all over the place.  I will miss La Gloria de Infierno.

Is This The Future?

Luckily there are still hold-outs, and I am confident that, at least in my lifetime, there will always be these holdouts.

My Favorite Taco Stand

La Ballena Azul

Fresh Shucked Oysters From The Bay

Yes, change is inevitable, most of it good, some of it sad.  But isn't that like life itself.  And Puerto Vallarta is alive, and that is why I come back year after year.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

We Have Arrived

The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I arrived safe and sound here in Puerto Vallarta late Sunday afternoon.  And, although I feel for all of you stuck in the cold and snow, let me tell you, it isn't all warm weather and sunshine here.  Oh, wait, yes it is.  Sorry about that.

Given that we were up early, 4:00 AM for me, we decided to head to our traditional first-night dinner at El Dorado a bit on the early side as well.  It has changed management, like many other places here.  In fact the first three places we have eaten have all changed hands or management.  The change at El Dorado was more, shall we say, glaring than the others, however.

The New El Dorado

Now when you realize that El Dorado was one of the first beach bars here and in fifty years had not really changed a lot, this change was, well, glaring.  It has gone from an old, kind of formal, Mexican place to what now looks like a Southern California beach bar.  I can't say I like it all that much, particularly the techno-beat music they now have blaring.  But, tradition is tradition so that is where we had our first-night's dinner.

Our First Cervezas In Puerto Vallarta

Happily, the food was still very good, although a bit different in its preparation.  The Mysterious Chinese Woman had a whole red snapper and I had a tuna cervice, very good with a nice tang to it.  Others have complained that the prices are somewhat high and I guess $8.50 for a hamburger might attest to that.  I didn't think our meals were too expensive, but I am from New York so what do I know.

Sadly my tranquility here was shattered upon leaving when I saw this sign:

The Big Game

I tried to convice people that the "big" game was the week before when the Jets played the Steelers but, as you can imagine, I got no sympathetic ear.

We were kind of pooped so we called it an early night and then went to one of our favorite places for breakfast the next morning.


The food, as usual, was quite good.

Huevos Divorciado

In English this would be divorced eggs.  Two eggs, one with a green sauce and one with a red sauce.  Very tasty.

The Mysterious Chinese Woman had a vegetarian omelette and it came with two soft tortillas folded over melted cheese.  Also refried beans and a scoop of mashed potatoes.

Hmm, Yummy

Plenty to eat and very good.  Their coffee is good too.  It was only afterward that we learned that this place had also changed hands.  But at least not much else seemed to have changed.  I will have to check it out for dinner one night.

And, in keeping with the theme of change, the old pier that has been here forever is being torn down to be replaced with, well, with another pier.

The Old Pier Will Be No More

Apparently there was a large picture of what the new pier would look like, but it had been taken down.

Only The Frame Remains

A local wag suggested that they have to redo the picture every time the plans for the new pier change.  I suspect that it was kind of an eyesore and blocked a nice view of the bay.

Then, we ended up going to what once was Sweeny's for dinner.  But, again, it was no longer Sweeny's.

Que Pasa

This place, like Lagostinos, really hadn't changed.  Same menu, same specials, same great food and friendly service.  There is kind of a hstory behind the change in ownership.  I know Sweeny was trying to sell the place last year and whoever bought it also bought the rights to the menu as well.  Plus, I believe the new owner was somehow involved with Sweeny when he originally opened the place.  I think some of the staff is the same as well.  One guy who used to work there was in having a beer and he said he still bartends on Wednesday sfternoons.

So, there you have it, three restaurants and three changes of either management or ownership.

Some things don't change, however.  As we were having a beer before dinner a few friends that we hadn't seen since last year, Bella, Tom, Marie and Peter, spotted us from the street and hollered up a hello.  We hollered back and invited them to join us and we all had dinner together.  So the best part of Pueto Vallarta, making new friends, meeting old friends and spontaneous get-togethers, remains the same.

Sadly, except for Bella who is from Puerto Vallarta, the other three were from, arrgh, Wisconsin.  They were surpisingly sympathetic about the Jets loss to the Steelers, but that was just because they had wanted to watch the Super Bowl with me so we could root for our respective teams and hurl insults at each other.

Today is another one of the Mysterious Chinese Woman's birthdays so I am taking her to La Palapa for dinner.  As far as I know that place remains the same.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


The Mysterious Chinese Woman and I are off to warmer weather.  I shall post again in a few days after we have settled into Puerto Vallarta a bit.

Until then, stay warm.