When standing at a bustling taco shack perched on a cobblestone street in an exotic and far away city, any dietary rules one may hold based on compassion or ethics tend to get tossed out the window. I threw such caution to the wind when our food tour guide Ricardo liberally sprinkled a pile of stewed meat with habanero salsa and a squeeze of lime, passing me the plate to try it first. “Go ahead, just a bite,” he urged, “it’s goat!”
Goat? You mean those cute, furry mammals that make endearing noises and resemble something between a dog’s long lost cousin and a wise old man? Oh, god.
You guys, goat is good.
I can’t think of a better way to get to know a city than to walk around and eat the local fare. For four hours last Saturday afternoon, that’s exactly what we did: we wandered the streets of old town Puerto Vallarta with Ricardo from Puerto Vallarta Food Tours, sampling just some of the eats that give adventurous food lovers a thousand reasons to visit this region of Mexico.
As we zigzagged through Vallarta’s narrow streets, we sampled rich and savory birria, drank straight from Cesar’s expertly chopped coconuts, learned about the different styles of mole, slurped a creamy bean soup, chowed down on griddled carne asada tacos, sipped fermented palm water sprinkled with apples and pecans, crunched through crispy tostadas piled with aguachile, nibbled on Mexican artisanal chocolate and visited a bustling tortilla factory.
Needless to say, I ate too much.
A huge thank you to the knowledgeable and enthusiastic Ricardo for making our day a delicious walk through the history of Puerto Vallarta. Same time next week, right?