El Arrayan Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

El Arrayan Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta Mexico An interview with Carmen Porras, Co Owner. We Talk Her concept, menu, and Cooking Classes

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Hello fellow travelers, welcome this episode of the Puerto Vallarta Travel show. I am your host Barry Kessler and I am just so happy to be to introducing you to my favorite vacation destination, and maybe even yours, Puerto Vallarta Mexico.

That music you were just listing to is performed by Alberto Perez, the owner of the La Palapa Group of Restaurants,  La Palapa and The Eldorado Restaurant on

La Palapa, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

the Southside of town, right down on the beach in Puerto Vallarta La Palapa is one of Vallarta’s oldest and most loved restaurants with that toes in the sand experience right at the water’s edge. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, a great location and a great time awaits you. It’s so romantic, so Puerto Vallarta. If you haven’t been here yet, take my advice and get your selves down here. The people of Vallarta await you with open arms. Take my word for it.

Semana Santa in Mexico

This week I have a real treat for you guys but before I get to the show, let’s see what’s happening in Puerto Vallarta this week, the 16th of April, 2017. Today is Easter and  Easter in Mexico is a two-week holiday consisting of Semana Santa (The Holy Week, beginning on Palm Sunday and ending Easter Saturday) and Pascua (Starting with Easter Sunday and ending the following Saturday).

Now believe it or not, because the holiday calendar is really long and frequent here in Mexico, Semana Santa is without a doubt, the most important holiday in

Semana Santa

Mexican culture. Many Mexican families go on holiday during Semana Santa and Pascua so if you plan on just popping in during this time of the year, you may have trouble squeezing into a room so be aware of that.

Anyway, all around Mexico, Mexicans celebrate the last days of Christ during Holy Week with elaborate processions, ceremonies, and rituals. Most of the larger Semana Santa celebrations include a dramatic reenactment of the capture, the trial, and the crucifixion of Jesus. Mexicans are known for practicing unique traditions during Semana Santa such as acts of physical torture, public displays of political/social ridicule, and displays of resolutions and commitment.

Semana Santa

In some of the more devout regions of Mexico like Taxco, the reenactments include penitentes – men and women who show their penitence and prove their faith by inflicting physical pain. Many of us have seen these reenactments. Very interesting. Lots of parades and processions. Very cool. Just be ready for the crowds. In fact, the reports I’m getting and the pictures I’m seeing of the crowds at the beach are all pointing towards a record number of visitors. Traffic was backed up for miles on the road coming into Vallarta on Friday.

The Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta Highway to Open Soon

Also, this week, the new highway connection between Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta was supposed to have it’s grand opening. This highway will shorten the time it takes to travel by road from Puerto Vallarta to  Guadalajara from 5 hours to 2 1/2 hours. That is a big deal for travelers who want to see Guadalajara while in Puerto Vallarta. You can actually make it a day trip. Really cool.

Puerto Vallarta Airport Updates

And they are still slaving away at the airport. One day it will be complete and I will update my photos if they become unusable so let’s see. For information on what

What to Expect When You Arrive at the Puerto Vallarta Airport

to expect when you arrive at the Puerto Vallarta Airport, Packing tips, cell phone plan tips and more, listen to episodes 2 and 3 of the Puerto Vallarta Travel Show where we talk about all of those important items and more so listen to the podcasts or read my shownotes to those shows.

Meet-Up in May?

I’m also thinking of doing a meetup for the Middle of May in Puerto Vallarta. I’ll bring my microphones and we can hear from you listeners about what you are up to in paradise. If you are interested, send me an email by clicking on the Contact Us tab at the top of the page and let’s see is we get some interest. I will be there from the 7th through the 16th of May so let’s see what we can do.

Let’s get to the show….

El Array’an Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Photo by Eduardo Solorzano

We are coming upon the month of May and here in Puerto Vallarta, that means Restaurant Week in Puerto Vallarta! So the next couple of shows are going to

El Arrayan, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

concentrate on food in Puerto Vallarta and today I will be talking with Carmen Porras, the co-owner of El Arrayan Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. She will tell us about their menu, and her great cooking classes she gives. So we will be talking with Carmen in a few minutes.

But it’s been a little while since we’ve heard from JR so let’s bring him on to talk a little about some tours that you can do by yourself, without the help of a tour guide or a tour company so Let’s zip on over to Puerto Vallarta and JR.

Conversation With JR in PV

This week saw the end of an era here in Puerto Vallarta with the Passing of longtime resident Howard McGill. Howard was the husband of Jenny McGill who was

US Embassy Mexico

an employee for the US consular office , in Puerto Vallarta from 1982-1996.

Drama & Diplomacy in Sultry Puerto Vallarta

The consular office is under the auspases of the State department and the US embassy. And she wrote a book titled Drama & Diplomacy: In Sultry Puerto Vallarta is a really fun read. You can get the book through Amazon for $18 US. You knew Jenny didn’t you JR?

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Her job was in part, to get hold of persons related to US  citizens in trouble, dead, dying, roaming the streets naked, you name it. She tells stories of repatriation of live and dead US citizens.


At any rate, if you happen to be a Puerto Vallarta freak like me, you need to get this book, then share with other freaks.

New DIY Page at Vallarta Info.com

You have a new page on your website at vallartainfo.com. I was hoping we could go over that today with our listeners and me. It’s a DIY page right?

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Vallarta Info.com DIY Page


All right then, just go as I said to vallartainfo.com and check out JR’s new DIY Tours Page.

El Arrayan Restaurant, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Now El Arrayan Restaurant. It was the last day of my Puerto Vallarta stay, I had made arrangements to meet Carmen at the restaurant about 30 minutes before her class that she was teaching for the day would begin to arrive. My plan was to get the interview and then stay to tape portions of her cooking class.

JR’s Map

El Arrayan is located in a real Mexican neighborhood, five blocks up from the Malecon. Using the Malecon as reference, where Calle Allende ends at the Malecon is the restaurant La Bodeguita de Medio and The Jazz Foundation. That is the place you start your walk up to El Arrayan, that is if you are walking.

This morning I was hungry. I was coming from my apartment in El Cerro so I walked down Matamoros to Allende. On the corner of Matamoros and Allende, on Matamoros is the most amazing taco stand. Tacos de Birrea Alex. This place is always busy, day and night. A great tip from my buddy David Ostlund from Chef’s Pass Food Tours. Try it for sure. Buy a couple of tacos and sit on the curb and munch away like the locals do.


I was looking for a quick bite and stopped into a little restaurant called PV. El Gran Olivo Mex. I was the only customer so I quickly scanned the menu and found what I was looking for, Chicken Chilaquiles. I ordered it along with a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. But there was a problem, they had no chicken. Before I could change my order, the waitress was out the door, off to buy some chicken. I was a little worried because well, I had an interview scheduled and didn’t want to be late.

She reappeared minutes later with chicken breast for the cook so my anxiety level dropped down to almost normal.

El Gran Olivo

The food was absolutely delicious. I have a picture of the plate of Chilaquiles in the post and shownotes for this episode of the Puerto Vallarta Travel Show, episode 15. The bill came and I was floored! 60 pesos. $3 US. So good!

Tummy full, I walk back up Allende to El Arrayan. The front of the restaurant looks like a pink Hacienda. It is a stark contrast from the other buildings that surround it in this traditional Mexican neighborhood. As you open the large, heavy front door, you walk right in to a courtyard setting, open air with tree growing in the center.

El Array’an Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Photo by Eduardo Solorzano

It is wonderfully described by my friend Constance, from Canada who was kind enough to let me borrow and read from her Trip Advisor review of El Arrayan. Here goes…

For our last dinner in PV, I wanted to have cocina auténtica Mexicana. I was not worried about having a panoramic ocean view as both the condos that we stayed in had very

El Array’an Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Photo by Eduardo Solorzano

special bay views. I decided El Arrayán had the credits & reviews that promised a wonderful evening. I made reservations & asked to be seated in the garden. When, we arrived at the restaurant, we were seated at sweet little table for two under the Arrayán tree in the center of the courtyard. It really felt like a special date night. 

 I ordered a liquid appetizer: a Tangerine Mezcalita made with 100% Agave Mezcal from Oaxaca. Lovely & tart. For dinner, I ordered the DUCK ‘CARNITAS’ (200 GRS) The specialty of the House. 1/3 of a duck in one piece, Slowly cooked, Guajillo-orange-arrayán sauce with sautéed potatoes, zucchini, & carrots. My meal was perfectly cooked. The flavors were delightful. Only one fault, the potatoes were seriously over-salted.

 My husband ordered the BEEF ‘BARBACOA’ (180 GRS)Steamed beef. Cooked in avocado leaf, plantain leaf & thyme. Served with Nopal cactus salad, and ‘borracha’ salsa.

El Arrayan, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Although, he enjoyed his meal. He said that next time we go to El Arrayán, he would order the duck carnitas as it was more exotic in flavor.

The service was impeccable at this lovely restaurant. We both agreed that El Arrayán was the perfect place to enjoy our last evening in beautiful Puerto Vallarta.

Last time I was in town, I had dinner with Constance and her husband  at Layla’s, another great place to eat, near the ocean on Calle Venezuela in the 5th of December neighborhood. So Constance knows good food, that’s for sure.   So thank you Constance for letting me share your review with my listeners.

So without any further ado, lets get to the interview with Carmen Porras of El Arrayan Restaurant, in Puerto Vallarta Mexico…


El Array’an Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Photo by Eduardo Solorzano

After the interview I filmed and recorded portions of the cooking class…..


Carmen was an amazing person and she and her partner Claudia do such a wonderful job, putting out the finest cooking in Puerto Vallarta Mexico. My sombreros off to you Carmen and Claudia. Visit El Arrayan and see for yourself. I have all the links to El Arrayan in my shownotes for this episode of the PVTS. Just go to puetovallartatravelshow.com or pvtravelshow.com to get the shownotes, and all the other great podcasts. There’s a new episode every week. So stay tuned.

Carmen Porras, Cooking Class at El Arrayan, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

That should do it for the show this week. Remember, I depend on your questions and suggestions about all things Puerto Vallarta. If you think of something I should be talking about, please reach out to me by clicking on the Contact us tab and sending us your message.

And remember, if you are considering booking any type of tour while you are in Puerto Vallarta, you must go to Vallartainfo.com, JR’s website and reserve your tour through him, right from his website. Remember the value for value proposition. His experience and on the ground knowledge of everything Puerto Vallarta in exchange for your making a purchase of a tour that you would do anyway, you’re just doing it through him as a way of saying thank you. It costs no more than if you were to use someone else so do it. Really. And when you do take one of these tours, email me about your experiences. Maybe you can come on-board and share with others what you liked or didn’t like about the tour. Again contact me by clicking on the Contact us tab and sending off a message.

El Array’an Puerto Vallarta, Mexico Photo by Eduardo Solorzano
Carmen Porras, Cooking Class at El Arrayan, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

And once again, if you like this podcast, subscribe and give me a good review on iTunes if you would. That way we can get the word out to more and more people about the magic of this place.

Thank you Constance for letting me share your review with my listeners. Thank you JR for helping out this week and thank you especially, Carmen Porras for talking with us about your beautiful restaurant and your cool cooking classes. Check out her classes at www.elarrayan.com,mx.  And thanks to all of you for listening all the way through this episode of the Puerto Vallarta Travel Show. This is Barry Kessler signing off with a wish for you all to slow down, be kind and live the Vallarta lifestyle. Nos Vemos amigos!

Take a Cooking Class at El Arrayan Restaurant, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


Contact El Arrayan


Make a Reservation at El Arrayan


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