Americans may think they know all about Mexican food, but the food they will receive while staying in Puerto Vallarta vacation rentals is nothing like the typical tacos and tostadas that pass for Mexican food north of the border.
One of the most famous dishes in the city is a simple preparation of grilled marlin; often the fish has been freshly caught in the waters just off the coast. Tourists can find this dish for sale right on the beach and also at food stands further inland. The most common preparation involves cooking skewers of fresh marlin over hot coals and serving them with fresh lime juice and salsa.
Another local specialty is Huachinango Sarandeado, which involved marinating a red snapper in a thick paste made of garlic, roasted peppers, and spices. The marinated meat is grilled and served piping hot. A fish preparation that does not involve grilling is ceviche, which consists of raw fish or shellfish, most commonly shrimp or scallops. Ceviche means, "cooked in citrus" and is an apt description of the dish, which involves marinating the fish in lime juice, which transforms the flesh so that it appears opaque.
Ceviche preparations usually include serrano or jalapeo chilies along with onion. These marinate in the lime juice as well, and then everything is served with chips and guacamole, a fresh sauce made from ripe avocados and chilies. Restaurants across the city also offer fine food made with beef and chicken for tourists who do not care for fish.