Entertainment | Restaurants & Dining | November 2008
|La Hacienda - A Puerto Vallarta Tradition|
Gary R. Beck - PVNN
Many of us remember back in the 1980's, La Hacienda was an old style oasis of fine dining in a family hacienda. Guests had use of portions of the home with tables set in an open-air garden filled with plants and brick walls. The nephew has taken over the locale and did not wish to operate a dinner house, opting for a smart attractive breakfast setting. The revised menu is large and spiced with dishes not often seen.
|La Hacienda is located at Aguacate #274 at the corner of Lazaro Cardenas on the southside of Puerto Vallarta. For more information or reservations, call (322) 222-4931.|
We entered with a reservation as a party of 8. Flowering plants, art and original walls surrounded our covered garden table. An assortment of dishes tested the kitchen's expertise. Beef Liver and Onions came as strips in a rich beef gravy. Pieces were fork tender and full of good flavor. Nice version of a not-often seen meal. Traditional breakfast item Chilaquiles were offered with chicken in a red sauce. The large plateful was quite filling, a pleasure, traditional down home Mexican comfort food.
Crêpes Azteca were thin French pancakes stuffed with chicken, Poblano chile and corn, then bathed in a cilantro sauce. Delicate, they possessed a soothing mixture of ingredients. Recommended to diners who shy from often found spiciness. Even the colors of the plate exuded contentment.
Manchamanteles is cubed pork in a Guajillo sauce. The dish translates roughly to "stained tablecloth." It reminded me of Pork Verde only with a red sauce and both spicier and smokey. Another choice was the Beef Tips Don Miguel. Tender grilled beef tips were sautéed with mushrooms, bacon and tomato. Again the beef was high quality marked by the tenderness, in addition to proper preparation of not overcooking, a problem often in the Puerto Vallarta Bay Area.
One last dish was the Tortilla Española. Eggs were scrambled with bacon, ham, potato and onion. Reminded some of us of a omelet on the flat side. It was mild, maybe needing a bit more "umph" from another ingredient like fresh green mild chile and soft cheese.
After 20 years in the San Francisco restaurant business, Gary R. Beck turned his attentions to cooking, dining out, creating recipes and exploring Puerto Vallarta's rich array of eateries. Famous for his restaurant guide, available online at CafePress.com or Lulu.com, Gary also writes restaurant reviews for Puerto Vallarta newspapers, Bay Area magazines, and now, a feature column for BanderasNews.com. Contact Gary at garyrbeck1(at)yahoo.com.
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