Road Trip!

Updated Spring 2004

If you head down the coast from Puerto Vallarta towards Manzanillo, there are some exquisite places to visit along the way. However, assuming you got here through my updated page on Puerto Vallarta, you already know things ain't what they used to be. In fact, many of these beautiful places are on the verge of being completely trashed by too many tourists and travel writers. (If you missed it, check out http://www.eljefe.net/pvtips.html )

Barra de Navidad and Melaque

These two towns are on opposite ends of a small bay about 120 miles south of Puerto Vallarta. Barra is known for excellent fishing and surfing. Melaque is sheltered by the rocks and used to be about as peaceful an inhabited spot as you were likely to find. The bad news is: both were pretty battered by the October, 1995 earthquake. The good news is they are gradually rebuilding. The other bad news is that:

Let me know when the imagery starts working for you.

Needless to say, I no longer encourage people to go to these places. But on the off chance that you do wind up in the area, here's my restaurant review.

These are my friends Mario and Cuca Hernandez. They used to run an outstanding little place called Restaurante Los Arcos, located at Mazatlan #163 in Barra. However, due to Mario's recent health problems, they were forced to close the restaurant and move elsewhere. The restaurant is for sale, in case you're interested. The good news at this point is that Mario is reported to be doing well. The sad news, of course, is that two of the nicest people on the planet are no longer in Barra. Consequently, for all practical purposes, I don't have a compelling reason to visit that town anymore.

Remember how I teased you on the Greeting page with tales of "World's Greatest Chicken Mole Poblano?" Well, here it is. Cuca made it using at least 35 exotic ingredients. I have no idea where I'm gonna get my mole fix from now on.

From the archives:

Yup, that's my plateful in the foreground. Lalo's working on his soup (he's already had the mole three nights in a row), but Lynnie is just diving into her very first Los Arcos Mole Supremo. Quite a cook in her own right, she'd been hearing me and Lalo and Gigante rave for an entire year about Cuca's mole, and she was skeptical. "It can't be that good," she persisted. Heh. She started out with a guacamole appetizer, and three bites into it she shrieked, "This is the best guacamole I've ever had in my life!" Me an' Lalo, we said nothing. We just gave each other that "wait til she tastes the chicken mole" look.

By the end of the night Miz Lynn was literally on her knees, begging Cuca for cooking lessons. Maybe the Presidente brandy had something to do with it, but here you see a very happy Los Arcos patronista...

...getting a lesson from a certified professional...

Other decent places for chow include:

All things considered, it's pretty hard to go wrong with food in Mexico. My general rule of thumb: If it looks good, eat it.


Jef Jaisun -- El Jefe
E-mail: eljefe (at) eljefe (dot) net
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This Page Is Updated When The Mezcal Runs Out.

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