Puerto Vallarta offers new Mexican food on Duff

My very first experience with Mexican food was… rather unpleasant. The free chips and salsa were the best part of my meal, my entrée consisted of a few poor enchiladas drowning in a pond of cheesy goop, and I didn’t eat Mexican food again for a long time after that. As I walked through the doors of Puerto Vallarta, Mexican Restaurant and Bar, my empty stomach growled hopefully at the sounds of sizzling hot dishes and people enjoying their food. "Welcome to Puerto Vallarta!" said the beaming waiter at the door. The waiter was dressed in a bright, turquoise colored polo, and a sense of general cheeriness began to spread over me as I was led to my table. A bowl of warm chips and salsa was immediately placed in front of me, and I found all the servers to be equally friendly and efficient. I spent 10 minutes poring over Puerto Vallarta’s menu, just because there were so many options to choose from. Besides traditional Mexican dishes, Puerto Vallarta also offers an extensive selection of seafood and American food. For customers that might be intimidated by dish titles made up of words such as "sopaipillas" and "tostada", Puerto Vallarta’s menu has a small word bank that gives extremely helpful translations. After taking full advantage of this word bank, I finally decided upon a combination platter that included a chicken tamale, a beef enchilada, and a chile relleno accompanied by rice and refried beans. My meal arrived quickly and the steaming platter looked great, but unfortunately, my stomach was to be disappointed once more. My beef enchilada had somehow been transformed into a chicken enchilada that tasted pretty much the same as my chicken tamale, and the chile relleno lacked any sort of distinct flavor. One bite of the refried beans was enough for me to permanently lay down my fork. I’ll give Puerto Vallarta the benefit of the doubt, however, and attribute my less than scrumptious meal to the instability often associated with recently opened restaurants. If the quality of Puerto Vallarta’s food can match up to its warm and friendly atmosphere, then Puerto Vallarta has the potential to be a great competitor with the other Mexican restaurants in Ames. If not, the chips and salsa were still pretty good.