La Terraza de La Abuela
My family and I are always looking for new and interesting places to eat in Puerto Vallarta. In this city one does not need to look very far to find something tasty, but as a local, ambience is very important, as are reasonable prices. When looking for authentic Mexican food it often seems that the only economical choices are taco stands or small restaurants with plastic chairs. While these little places are certainly authentic and may have decent food, the menu options are very limited and the service is minimal. Many restaurants that offer more upscale sit-down Mexican dinners and pleasant décor are swamped by tourists, with inflated menu prices. I believe that in many of these places the food can be mediocre, as these restaurants are not expecting return clients.
La Terraza de La Abuela (Grandmother’s Terrace) presents the best of both worlds. Located next to the Soriana near the main road of PV, it has neither a beach-front location nor a spectacular view. But this restaurant is decorated in a very authentic, tasteful Mexican style, with gorgeous tile work, craftsman-style tables and chairs, rustic chandeliers and clay pottery dishes. The area is covered by a lovely tile roof, with open walls to catch the breeze. The restaurant is also equipped with high-powered fans should it be a very warm evening. Next to the dining area is a walled lawn area with a small climbing structure for children. As the parent of a 3-year old, this provided a very welcome diversion while waiting for our orders to arrive, and eliminated the table-banging, fork- grabbing and water- glass-spilling that we are accustomed to dealing with in restaurants.
On to the food. The menu is simple yet complex enough to offer many choices. After ordering some beers and lime-ades with sparkling water, my husband went with the special, Camarones a la Diabla, made with fresh local-caught shrimp. I went with the Molcajete with beef, which is a special dish of tender beef and grilled vegetables served boiling hot in a lava-rock bowl. We also ordered some guacamole, beans and fresh tortillas for our son.
It was a very pleasant surprise when our server arrived at our table with all of the ingredients to make a fresh salsa. He made the salsa and guacamole with us, according to our preferences, chatting with us about the old way of cooking in Mexico.
Our entrees arrived and were spectacular, fresh and authentic, complex and satisfying. What sets this restaurant apart is its attention to detail. Beers are served with an extra- frozen mug, with salt frozen into the bottom. Tortillas are served fresh, only 3 at a time so that they never get cold. The service is amazing, and parallels even the service in the finest restaurants and resorts in the area.
Dessert was chocolate cake and house-made coffee with rompope (Mexican home-made eggnog) and fresh whipped cream. The check came in a mini-tortilla press and proved that a family ca n order whatever they please here without having to constantly be checking the menu for the prices. The total was just under $500 pesos, or about $38.00 US.
La Terraza de la Abuela is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I highly recommend it for anyone who would like to experience a wonderful restaurant with great food, service and very reasonable prices.