What does Sayulita say about the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico that continues to pull us back? Located north of Puerto Vallarta, it is a world removed from the "typical" tourist destination.
Is it because it is a small sleepy fishing village with a relaxed and surfer atmosphere that caters to our inner child to be only free to explore the ocean, beach and Mexican culture of years gone by?
Is it that it is a village that defies the temptation to become too commercialized which in turn would destroy the warmth and charm of a hidden gem?
Is it the sandy beach with a long, gentle surf break with warm, clear water?
We believe it is all of the above and the "Sayulita Good Vibes" is truly a state of mind that all visitors experience … and we are continually pulled back.
Set up a base camp
This article focuses on eating … simple and clear … since almost everything you eat here is fresh, locally sourced and reasonably priced.
Sayulita is an epicurean delight with exceptional dining options from "street food" to full gourmet restaurants.
Usually we select the roads less traveled and we find holiday homes that boast a well-equipped kitchen for chefs.
Once again Sayulita Life (sayulitalife.com) becomes the reference site. They represent over 400 vacation rental options and we usually find the "perfect" place.
We love to cook and on this trip we attracted two other couples with similar minds to join us. Looking for a place for three couples to share brings the price for more expensive properties in a much more reasonable price range.
A cornucopia of fresh ingredients
Sayulita and other surrounding villages have organized and planned many fresh air farmers markets that emphasize organic options, offering local fruits and vegetables.
One of our favorite markets was a short drive south of Sayulita to the La Cruz Marina fish market on Banderas bay, where you can buy freshly caught fish, shrimp, lobster, oysters and other assorted seafood all at excellent prices.
The fish markets have been a staple in the Bay of Banderas for generations, in fact many of the restaurants, personal chefs and restaurateurs in the area shop here every day for their seafood.
In addition, the Sunday market presents handmade items from the locals and indigenous tribes of the area … each seller can only sell what he has personally done … now that is local pride.
Eat IN … The personal Chef option
For a special surprise we hired three professional chefs on three different evenings to share their talent and offer us their regional cuisine from their respective estates.
Justifying the decision to hire a personal cook for three couples who love to cook alone was not difficult considering the alternatives.
Imagine if you will dine in the comfort of your holiday home and the only thing you need to do is enjoy the culinary demonstration (if you want), savor a refreshing drink and anticipate the fabulous cuisine prepared expressly for you and your taste preferences.
There is no expense for the ingredients, no preparation, no plating, and most importantly … no cleaning. Everything happens as if by magic … and for less than the cost of a similar meal in an outside restaurant.
You owe it to yourself to try it at least once for a date or a special event and you are all on vacation … so create a memory!
The following are three unique chefs with their style and specialties … all waiting for your call.
We were introduced to Laura as our housekeeper at "Villa Sol Blau" and they said that she is an excellent cook who has prepared meals for numerous guests.
What we found out is that Laura uses family recipes combined with fresh local ingredients and treats her customers as "family" while giving the warmth and grace of her heritage … we enjoyed a traditional meal and Laura's charming personality . .. "Mom was in the kitchen!
Laura prepared an authentic regional meal based on Chile's green enchiladas and traditional slow-cooked black beans followed with Chile Relleno with poblano sauce and Mexican rice all based on a family recipe. His Flan dessert was obviously homemade and was delicate and creamy.
Chef Sofia Silva Sanchez
We "found" the cook Sofia on the Sayulita Life website and she also has her own web page (sayulitachef.com). After reading the brilliant reviews and its extensive menu options, we made an appointment for dinner.
Sofia is a lively, effervescent and very nice person and as a chef her wide range of culinary skills extends from traditional Mexican cuisine to menus that offer Italian, Indian, Moroccan, vegetarian and vegan options.
Its excellent dessert reputation is decidedly discreet!
The meal started with cups of cucumber stuffed with Ceviche prawns, followed by a
organic vegetable salad topped with chipotle dressing. The main appetizer consisted of tender pieces of chicken baked in poblano sauce with Mexican rice and his dessert was the homemade key lime pie topped with strawberries and mint.
Chef Daniel Murillo
Chef Daniel is the expert professional and performs in the kitchen with a touch … literally illuminates the room! You can say … Flambe!
Daniel owns the "Mexotix" restaurant in the nearby town of San Pancho, a short drive north of Sayulita. It offers its catering and cooking services in Sayulita and we have enjoyed its exceptional "Mexican Fusion with an Asian twist" style on numerous occasions. (Sayulitalife.com/mexotik)
Chef Daniel works with his chef Sous Juan to create extraordinary food. It started with seared tuna with sesame crust served on toasts with cucumber spaghetti and alfalfa sprouts seasoned with balsamic reduction.
Followed with handmade empanadas from scratch stuffed with sautéed prawns in Mexican citrus sauce and melted panela.
With a little glow and fire Daniel skipped an octopus in orange reduction with hibiscus and chipotle served with grilled vegetables and coconut rice … tender and delicious.
Eat IN … Prepare yourself a culinary experience
The three couples organized a friendly competition and over the course of three nights it was a game! But our first stop was a trip to the La Cruz fish market, followed by a variety of markets in the city and another stop at the excellent fish market right on the bridge in the city.
We started with the Team Challenge: Jumbo Blue Shrimp cooked in three ways.
A team prepared Seared Mahi-Mahi with organic vegetables and avocados.
A team grilled two very large spiny lobsters with a lot of melted butter on the side.
One team grilled two yellow-grade sushi tuna steaks about two pounds each.
We all showed off our culinary skills, tasted exceptional wines from Chile and Mexico, and above all we enjoyed the experience.
Create a kitchen in a village with a team of personal chefs, fresh fish, markets of organic farmers and local vendors who offer all the ingredients you need to make unforgettable gastronomic experiences … all set in a semi-tropical venue .. it is simply very special.
"Sayulita Good Vibes" is truly a state of mind that all visitors experience … and we are constantly pulled back!
Viva Mexico … Viva Sayulita!
After all, what is the hurry … get inspired …
© 2017 Inspired travel itineraries with Bob and Janice Kollar