Friday, January 21, 2011
Vegetarian in Mexico
At our first meal Puerto Vallarta, my husband asked a waitress if a dish he saw go by had meat or tofu in it. She laughed, “there is no tofu in Puerto Vallarta!” Yet we found tofu, and much more for vegetarians, at Coco’s Kitchen.
In fact, one of the dinner entrees, Coco’s Tofu Steak, had grilled tofu over Chinese noodles, with lots of vegetables. It was delicious. If you eat fish, you could have the Chiles Rellenos, with shrimp, mushrooms and cheese, or the excellent Mahi Mahi, served with jicama and a mango sauce.
There are a number of appetizers for vegetarians, including an avocado egg roll, with sun dried tomato and tamarind, and a simple grilled polenta with red bell pepper. Most interesting and flavorful were the tortilla tacos, with the taco skin made form sheets of thinly sliced jicama. These added crunch to the seared tuna or shrimp with ginger inside. Potato skins with tomatillo salsa or grilled eggplant are other vegetarian options.
Inventive salads included mixed greens with mango, goat cheese and alamonds, and a spinach & strawberry salad. I thought the latter would be too sweet, but the gorgonzola cut the sweetness, and the caramelized pecans had only a touch of sugar.
The simple beet carpaccio, with mandoline thin slice of beet and parmesan cheese, and basil, was perfectly prepared. Meals starts with pita crisps, and a yogurt/garlic dip, gratis.
The corn and bell pepper soup, creamy and not too rich, was perfect on a night where the ocean breezes cooled us. Coco’s only has outdoor seating, open to the street or in a rear patio, under fig trees. With candles and fresh flowers, the restaurant offers casual romance, at reasonable prices.
122 Olas Altas, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico