¡Vivan las Vacaciones! Parte Uno

After Corona largely reined our intercontinental travel plans over most of the last two years, we had kind of a glut there at the end of the 2021. We spent some time in November with Sarah’s family in KCMO (she longer than I, due to work BS), and then with my parents in Puerto Vallarta and some (kinda) new friends in Mexico City in December. So yeah, two trips to North America inside of two months. Under pandemic conditions. Couple of brain swabs. Plenty of document collection. Lots of umpteen-hour FFP2 mask sessions. It all went smoothly — it was just at the beginning of the Great Omicron Flight Cancellation Crisis of 2021-22.

Our theater of operations (neglecting the overnight stay in Newark on the way down to Puerto Vallarta, because hey, it’s just Newark):

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Continue reading ¡Vivan las Vacaciones! Parte Uno

Escape from Winter 2015

This winter was dragging on and on and on. Fortunately we’d foreseen a need for a break from it far in advance and planned a trip to Mexico to visit mis padres.

Some highlights, in no particular order:

  • pal Rachel did her own escape from Boston’s relentless winter by meeting us down there
  • Sarah and my dad did a duet at the BVG Open Mic session
  • picked up a replacement stone for my ring (onyx had cracked; got a nice blue/green fire opal in there now)
  • tried out Sonora Grill Prime at Plaza Neptuno (it was a great meal!)
  • took in a live music concert downtown
  • saw folk dancing representing regions all over Mexico at a free outdoor exhibition (get downtown early if you want to snag a seat)
  • admired the requisite sunrises and sunsets
  • clocked some pool time, recharging our solar cells

La Esquina del Tomatillo

The Joint

Morelos 601
Downtown Puerto Vallarta

Phone: +52 322 22 29434
Web: http://www.eltomatillo.com.mx
Email: cheftomatillo@gmail.com


We first experienced this restaurant under its previous name, Xitomates, in 2009 or 2010. We tried to visit again this year, and show my parents what a swell restaurant we’d found for somewhat upscale Mexican food, but were surprised to find that its name had changed. We passed on it then, but returned a few days later to give it another shot, after noticing some similarities between what we’d had last time and the current menu offerings. We were not disappointed. If anything, the prices on the items seemed a little lower compared to what we remembered. Same great salsas, same friendly service. Really pleased it’s still going, even if under another name. Check this place out if you’d like to eat a nice meal downtown without the touristy Tex-Mex flavor or Marina sports bar atmosphere.


I was very disappointed when we first passed this place. All I could tell was that 1) this was where Xitomates used to be and that 2) this place wasn’t Xitomates. That said, we gave the place a shot on our last evening there and thank goodness we did. It was the same basic place – so much so that the container that they served the chips in still said Xitomates on the side. And the most important part – the exquisite salsas were the same. We split a mixed quesadilla appetizer (one pumpkin, one cheese and squash blossom and one huitlacoche) which was lovely and full of unusual flavors. My main course was a chile relleno filled with ratatouille. It was light (which goes down really well in the heat), but filling and the flavor was really fresh and intense. For dessert, we split a crème brûlée. We had high hopes for this; as Mexican flan is a thing of beauty, we assumed they would probably do other custards well, too. I love being right.


The Joint


USA/Canada Telephone: +1 831-216-4493
Mexico Telephone: +52 329-291-3347


No address here — not sure why. We sought out Rollie’s on the recommendation of my parents more or less on a whim. We’d heard that Memo’s wasn’t as good as it used to be, and we wanted to take Rachel on a little adventure out of Puerto Vallarta to see other towns in the area, so we walked to the airport, snagged the first bus headed to Sayulita for a taste of the legendary Rollie’s Breakfast.

We wandered a bit, but finally found the place, following a tip from the Sayulita Life website. Mom told us to check out the menu to get the story behind each dish. She was right: each one had a paragraph about the origin, relevance, or significance. I opted for The Worker, named for the employees of the restaurant, since it’s their favorite dish at the end of shift. It’s a butterfly flour tortilla hidden under layers of melted cheese and chunks of tomatoes and cilantro and refried beans (you can choose from several starchy toppings) and chorizo (which I added on). It came with a warning that it’s quite spicy and they would be happy to provide a mellower version for me. I opted for full-strength. Rollie said “the Worker? With chorizo on it? Woo!”

Woo, indeed.

Great place for breakfast, with a nice mixture of diner and local specialities. Motivates you to plan a day trip to Sayulita so you can arrive before they stop serving breakfast.


Rollie’s is pretty delightful. From the moment you walk in and see an assortment of ceiling fans, the childrens’ art on the corkboard and the shelf for borrowing book, it becomes clear that this is a community institution. Rollie himself greeted us and chatted over refills of coffee and we watched as he made the rounds to every seated table.

I had the delicious chilaquiles, corn tortillas in a mild, flavorful chile sauce with a side of Rollie’s famous fried potatoes and scrambled eggs. A starchfest? Yes, yes it was. It was also lip-smacking good. And I offset the starchy explosion with a lovely (and HUGE) pineapple smoothie. So that’s not entirely bad for me.

If you want to head up to Sayulita for surf-watching and beach going, definitely visit Rollie’s. It’s quite a treat.

¡Hasta el mayo!

Estimados lectores,

Tenemos unas aventuras en un país donde hace calor todos los tiempos. Vamos a visitar villas pequeñas donde se ofrecen tacos directamente en la calle. (No es peligroso cuando los padres te ayuden.)

Pero por eso podría hacer unos días mas hasta que escribimos aquí otra vez. Nos alegrimos que Raquel otra vez viene además.

Por cierto va a haber mas contenido aqui — tal vez fotos también — pero no immediatamente.

¡Que tengan una buena Pascua!

the pancake house: la casa de los hotcakes

The Joint

Basilio Badillo 289
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48380


We were here once before. I had the Swiss pancakes the first time around, which were fine, but not very exciting. I recommend you go for something more exotic. Second time around: un Waffle cajeta which was good, but also not very exciting. Rachel had the Black Forest Pancakes again, she liked them so much. The Malge opted for Cheese Blintzes this time. One of the best aspects of this place: the bottomless cup of coffee. You just don’t get that in Germany.


I loved this place both times, even more the second time. I had the chocolate-Kahlua pancakes the first visit – chocolate batter pancakes with a splash of Kahlua. They don’t look terribly impressive, but they tasted wonderful. So much so that I was a little reluctant to share. More importantly, the texture was very fluffy and very light. Because as yummy as it was, who wants to be walking around Puerto Vallarta at 88°/3000% humidity with a belly full of heavy pancakes? On the second visit, I had the Fruity Jane French Toast, which comes smothered with your choice of fresh strawberries or apple compote. I ordered the apple, but they came to the table with some of each topping (nice touch)! It was absolutely outstanding. The berries were nice, but a little tart, so I put some syrup over that half, but the cinnamon/apple compote was plenty sweet. Again, I had a difficult time sharing. The service is also wonderful – everyone is very friendly.

Majahuitas Restaurant & Rincon Bohemio

The Joint

Basilio Badillo #331
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48380


Had the daily special, and it sure was. $150 MXN for a big filet of Mahi-Mahi in a garlic-and-oil sauce with soup or salad and a choice of dessert and coffee afterward. We were the only table there. The best part, other than the food, was our host. Very pleasant and helpful. We’d love to go back to them; maybe even later this week.


This place was pretty outstanding. There was a prix fixe menu for $150 MX. We all had the Aztec chicken soup, which was lovely with crunchy strips of fried tortilla and bits of fresh avocado. I had the other entree option, a chicken parmesan. I didn’t have the highest of hopes for this, but it was the non-fish alternative and I was rewarded for it. The chicken was very lightly breaded, the marinara-flavored sauce was pleasantly salsa-y in texture and instead of the shell of melty cheese I expect with this dish, there were crumbles of fresh Mexican farmers’ cheese. The dessert was the most wonderful creme brulee I’ve ever tasted. As Cliff mentioned, the host was very charming and answered all questions with a smile. $150 MX was a bargain.