When we lived in San Antonio, Texas, we had Mexican food often. We seldom changed for variety. If you visit San Antonio, visit the River Walk and the Alamo, because that is what you do there. But please don’t rate the food by eating Mexican at the River Walk restaurants. I have tried them all and they all pass. While some are better than others (in my Tex-Mex opinion), there are much better places. Wherever you chose to dine, in South Texas you should eat all the Mexican food you can find.
What you might find in other states may also be good Mexican food. But it is not necessarily Tex-Mex. A lot of what is called Tex-Mex, simply isn’t. It may be good, but it ain’t Tex-Mex. Fish tacos are good, but they aren’t Tex-Mex. Ask locals, if you can.
On the northeast side of town, my personal favorite is La Pasadita Restaurante Mexicano, in Schertz. My family and friends agree. This guy makes his own tortilla chips (he tried the bagged ones and his customers rebelled) and salsa. Honestly, if no pizza is available, this place would do for my last meal. As with most of these places, Negra Modelo is the darkest beer they have (it’s a lager), but it works. So, what happens if you’re in Lincoln City, Oregon and you want Mexican food?
There are a few. The answer is that you pick one, which is what we did. Puerto Vallarta Mexican Restaurant is at 3001 NW U.S. 101, Lincoln City, OR 97367. Right up front, this place has two drawbacks. The parking is insufficient on a dirt lot. The building is too small for its popularity. But if you get past those minor items (as I did), you’re in for a treat.
The food is good. But for me, all Mexican food is good, as indeed all pizza is good, and all beer is good. It is only a question of how good it was. These folks had laid a claim to some interesting things I liked. The atmosphere is great – you know immediately what kind of place you’re in (the atmosphere of the place in Schertz can use help like this). The staff is friendly and laughed at this gringo’s humor. When we walked in, we were told it would be a ten-minute wait. It was more like two. We were seated at a table with a Mexican mural on the table top and a matching one behind me.
When the waiter came to take our drink orders, he and my wife struck-up an in-depth conversation about Tex-Mex food. It turned out he has a daughter living in Houston. But he agreed, the food in this place was not like that. Now, most menus in Mexican restaurants tend to be long. This is because (in most cases) it is a matter of packaging and presentation, as opposed to the details of varied ingredients. If you eat vegetarian, you should ask questions. A lot of animal products are used in Mexican cuisine.
I had a pork dish and my wife had enchiladas. No complaints. The portion sizes are large, but that is the norm these days. Prices are very reasonable and the total cost was less than half of the previous night’s dinner in the same city. One lady on Yelp commented that the food was not salty (as she believed most Mexican food is) and I agree. Yelp gives them 4.5 out of 5.
Two special touches included good chips that were not from a bag. I didn’t ask if Mamacita made them. The other was the inclusion of a small plate of refried beans in addition to the dipping salsa with the tortilla chips. That is a nice touch.
If you are on trek up (or down) the Oregon Pacific Coast, and you want a good place to eat in Lincoln City, give Puerto Vallarta Mexican Restaurant a try. I bet you enjoy it.