We were startled to come around the point toward La Cruz and see no less than 60 boats anchored. Ayy! And all we could see of this “sleepy, Real Mexican Town” was a shoreful of fancy condos and private mansions. Ayyyyy!! Always looking on the bright side, we anchored as close as we could to the freshly painted mustard and teal condos figuring they were good for the free wireless. Which they were. Email checked and website updated, we ventured ashore to check out the scene.
Let it be noted that good flour tortillas are a thing of the past at this point. All tortillarias make corn tortillas but not flour. You can still find them in tiendas but they are pre-packaged and of questionable age as well as taste, and none have fewer than ten ingredients. My street food pursuits therefore have shifted dramatically: tortas; no more tacos for me. Happily, La Cruz has a good torta stand located on the corner at the traffic circle (you can’t miss it since La Cruz is like four square blocks). We were about starving after spending a day in Puerto Vallarta and when we found the Torta Lady; she was in the process of filling an order of 30 some tortas and we ordered whatever it was she was making, which was “cubana,” shredded pork (pierna) with a sliced hot dog. Weird, but it was good. We went back the next night for just pierna and it was just as good. We also chatted with an ex-pat from Michigan who lived in PV, had a Mexican girlfriend, an irrational fear of the cold, and said “Ay Chihuahua!” a lot.
There is limited tienda veggie selection in town; however, there is a street mercado with a wider selection of veggies as well as cookwear/tools/underwear/shoes on Wednesdays and possibly Mondays. Also, naturally, Puerto Vallarta is a restocking haven with all the massive mega-chains like Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club. We stopped at the Mega on our way home from PV and were beside ourselves with glee to find actual Swiss cheese from Switzerland and actual Manchego from Spain!! Not Nestle brand which resembles Manchego only in that it is wedge shaped and or Swiss in that it is whitish in color. Makes you hate Nestle on a more personal level. Still we have seen no Parmesan in Mexico (stuff in cans doesn’t count as cheese). There was a big Spanish wine selection too but we were a little suspicious that the majority of the Crianzas were from 1999-2001; I seem to remember the Crianzas normally being 2 years old at most when we bought them in Spain. It would be like having a 2001 Beaujolais Nouveau. Um, bleargh.
In other news, Joshua caught a needlefish (a first!) and as he holding it around the middle, attempting to extricate it from the hook, it bent around and bit him right across the arm! Drew blood even. Luckily, this needlefish was only 18 inches or so long and the mouth was a skinny little thing filled with wee wee teeth. So basically no harm done that a little bactine couldn’t fix. We let him go.