You'd think I'd get tired of traveling to Mexico but so far it hasn't happened. I just spent a nice week in Puerto Vallarta strictly as a vacation; no work. It was weird at first but I quickly got into the groove of beach, lunch, beach, drinks, dinner, sleep and then repeat.
Pto. Vallarta has a changed a lot. It used to be cheap and easy and now it's not really either. There are too many people in too small a place but there's still something interesting going on and I can't put my finger on exactly what it is.
Food-wise, it's not much of an oasis from my point of view. The good Mexican food is there but it's not as easy to find as the local Hooters. On the plus side, I noticed more independent and entrepreneurial restaurants and snack shops along with more high end things. We ate in mostly. The highlight was experienced on the way out of town. Across from the airport is a shop called Tacon Marlin and this place is amazing. I had asked as we checked in where the pedestrian bridge went and the nice clerk told me that was where all the employees ate. With reason! A 'tacon" is a kind of burrito but it's loaded with seafood and sauce and pretty great. The photo above is smoked marlin with a cilantro sauce that was a lot like an Indian cilantro chutney. Below you see my favorite 6 year old dubiously starting his octopus (pulpo) tacon, which he finished with relish.
If you rent a place, be sure and visit the tortilleria just over the rickety bridge on the river called La Gloria. These were some of the best machine made tortillas I've ever had, made with pure masa. We were staying south of the Malecon and I'd take the long walk daily just for the tortillas.