Last week, Chritiques went on Spring Break to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and stumbled across an incredible tapas restaurant off the tourist strip and at the top of a hill, overlooking the Bay of Banderas and city lights across the bay. We were staying at an all-inclusive resort with average food, so this find was a welcome surprise. We were greeted by a friendly host who sat us on the top floor – a covered patio with an incredible view overlooking the buildings and bay below. Many fellow English-speaking patrons sat around us enjoying the lovely view. We quickly ordered the red sangria and perused the menu, written in both Spanish and English. The restaurant accepts only American Express credit cards and pesos, and luckily we had enough pesos in our pockets to enjoy the highlights of the menu.
Each table is welcomed with a complimentary order of the patatas alioli, a Spanish potato salad that had wonderful flavor, in addition to delicious freshly baked sourdough and focaccia breads, along with extra virgin olive oil.
The sangria was fantastic, with just enough fruit to soak up the remnants of the nicely flavored beverage. This sangria was identical to the best sangria we had in Spain and far better than most sangria found in the States. We quickly ordered a second glass.
Next, came a phenomenal calamar estilo mediterraneo – grilled baby calamari, served in a clay baking dish with olive oil, garlic, and a blend of Spanish spices. We were sopping up the sauce with the wonderful bread. When we did not think that things could get any better, out came the pulpo a la plancha – the most incredibly tender and flavorful grilled octopus, served simply with peppers, cubes of potatoes, and a sprinkling of paprika. This dish will forever ruin any future octopus dish we order.
Finally came the berenjena con 3 quesos – grilled eggplant layered between parmesan, mozzarella, and goat cheeses, and covered in homemade tomato sauce. This healthier version of eggplant parmesan was quite good, but our least favorite out all of the incredible dishes that comprised our meal.
To finish, we received complimentary coffee cocktails – tequila, Kahlua, and coffee liqueur – my new favorite after-dinner drink that I will soon be trying to replicate.
Our experience at Barcelona Tapas was relaxed, pleasant, and fantastic from start to finish. If you plan to visit Puerto Vallarta any time soon, I highly recommend making a special trip to Barcelona Tapas. If you do, have a glass of sangria for me!