Uncommon Grounds

Bienvenido, loyal reader. Please come along as Bruce and Mary explore, once again, the vast Puerto Vallarta hospitality scene. Provecho!

UncommonGrounds 001Mary is at the entrance to Uncommon Grounds on Calle Cardenas, just before the bridge, in Old Town. The restaurant’s trippy facade had caught our eyes on more than one bus ride to the river but we’d never had occasion to stop in until we spotted their happy hour special on the new Happy Hour Board, that buddy Craig has built, and all I can say is… 15P cervezas will get us in the door every time.

uncommongrounds sweets and Brad and Candi 003This poster catches Mary’s eye as we head to our table.

OldTownWalkabout 015Not only do they have 15P happy hour beers, but botanas as well! This day it is popcorn.

OldTownWalkabout 017Co-owner Lydia tries to entice us with their awesome desserts. We are tempted, but not this day.

OldTownWalkabout 010Having been greeted by name by owners Anne and Lydia, we’re back again, at our usual table, for happy hour.

Dessert 001This day we decide to think outside our usual happy hour box which is cervezas, salchicha y cahuates, beers, cold sliced up hotdogs and peanuts. Inspired by Lydia’s dessert presentation our last visit, we decide that there is nothing unnatural about beer and cake, right? This is the “Interlude”, a dreamy fusion of chocolate and cheesecake.

Dessert 002Behold the treasure below the whipped cream – take it away, Mary: This is a very rich, dense and intense chocolate cake with a whiff of almond flavoring and it is topped with a ganache of the deepest chocolate, followed by (oh, be still my heart) a luxurious layer of cheesecake. Plus it’s topped with whipped cream that is so delicious it has to be healthy. In their menu, Anne and Lydia remind us that “stressed” is “desserts” spelled backwards. Therefore, I have concluded that this cake is therapy.

UncommonGrounds 011We’re back once more and because we have just had a righteous workout at nearby Power Fitness gym we are going to treat ourselves to a meal, each! Time to scour this most interesting menu, which Chef Anne characterizes as “Truly international and organic”:

OldTownWalkabout 032

OldTownWalkabout 033

OldTownWalkabout 034Mary has decided on the Portobello Supreme and I have selected the Chicken Aphrodite. Anne is pleased with my choice as that is her favorite dish to prepare.

OldTownWalkabout 008As we wait for our food we relax, at our usual table, in this exotically decorated indoor patio.

uncommongrounds sweets and Brad and Candi 002For more intimacy this dining room is available. It starts to fill shortly after this pic.

UncommonGrounds 057I’m in the cozy bar area just to the left of the foyer.

UncommonGrounds 019Our food has come. My Chicken Aphrodite is pretty amazing. I cut small portions of the super moist chicken breast and layer it with sundried tomato, artichokes, mushrooms and Feta cheese and savor the melding of the notes. It is awesome. And it’s ironic that I wavered on selecting this dish as I don’t normally like Feta, but in this case it serves wonderfully in tying all the flavors together, better than any other cheese that I can think of.

UncommonGrounds 020And here’s Mary’s Portobello Supreme, take it away, babe: Portobellos are celebrated in this sandwich. It is obvious Anne loves portobellos, as she treats them with such respect. Deeply flavored by the balsamic marinade they harmonize beautifully with the sundried tomatoes and the Feta. Accompanying this delight is an organic greens salad with olives, mandarin orange segments and strawberries. We are NOT in Kansas anymore, Dorothy!

UncommonGrounds 049I thought licking the plate would be a little tacky, so this bread comes in pretty handy.

OldTownWalkabout 011See that chandelier? Not only is it remarkably clean and dust free, it is intact. Anne and Lydia tell us the story of this restaurant. Anne founded it 16 years ago in New Jersey. When Lydia came on the scene they’d vacation in PV regularly but then, 10 years ago, vacationing wasn’t enough. So they bought this property, started renovations and filled a 40′ container with the restaurant, two households and trans-shipped all those goods here. Of course anyone who has heard trans-shipping horror stories, which is most of us expats, right away asks, how much damage? Two plates.

UncommonGrounds 053And for an added bonus, we have live entertainment this evening. We are enjoying the music of the very talented jazz musician, Amanda Kay.

UncommonGrounds 051It is time to bid adieu to our most gracious hosts, Anne and Lydia. Not only is their food special, they make you feel special. We’ll be back soon.

Dessert 008In a semi-regular feature, meet blog followers Candi and Brad from Manitoba, near the International Peace Garden. We’re on the deck of Traviesos exchanging fun PV facts like Bar Ridiculo is serving botanas again. Thanks, Candi and Brad, for that tip and others, for the beers, and above all, thanks for hailing us.

Thanks for visiting, gentle reader. As always Bruce and Mary love comentarios regarding PV hospitality or any other subject for that matter. Hasta proximo Domingo!

January 25, 2015 · Bruce · 10 Comments
Posted in: Life in Puerto Vallarta