Today we went to a place my dad has been going for decades to get some arrieros.
Hello, again. My dad and I, and sometimes my mom comes along too, have been going out on the town to find some of the best not so popular cheap eats, mostly family-owned, restaurants that we can find. We go out almost every day, finding some new little place, or big place, to tell you about and review the food and prices.
Today my dad had to run some errands by the Marina and then we had to go into Galerias mall. And, as usual, we had to get something to eat. So, my dad finished what he was doing and said we should go to the best arriero place in PV, the place that he’s been going to since the 90’s, and a place that I’ve been eating at since a little after my first birthday, or at least that’s what I’ve been told. People don’t remember stuff from when they were 1 year old, especially me, who can’t even remember what I did yesterday. Ok, that’s a lie; I sat watching TV all day yesterday. But, anyways, the place is called Arrieros Las Marineras, and is located on Universo #2002C in La Aurora, and the longitude latitude location is 20.655545601301256, -105.23553830062944. They’ve been open since 1989 and the same woman has owned and worked there for all of its 32 years of existence. They're open everyday from 1:00 PM to 1:00 AM, except for Tuesdays, so it's a perfect place for a late night snack.
Las Marineras serves arrieros, tacos, quesadillas, volcanes, and stuffed baked potatoes. If you don’t know what arrieros are, they are la big tortilla with melted cheese and multiple meats, beans, and some veggies. Basically, an overly stuffed quesadilla. The ones here have three meats; asada, adobada, and chorizo, as well as beans, onion, col, and cilantro. Arrieros originated when Mexican working men, especially muleskinners, would take leftover meat and put it in a big tortilla with some cheese, and over the course of the day if it was hot, the cheese would melt, and they would have a quesadilla-type meal for lunch.
I got myself a small arriero with a corn tortilla, because the big was wayyy too big. The corn flavor from the warm, homemade tortilla was very vibrant, and it was very soft, though it wasn’t doughy or chewy. The Gouda cheese was very gooey, melty, and stretchy, and it had a mild salty flavor that just made it a whole lot better. The different meats were all very well salted and appropriately seasoned, and also some of the asada, or steak pieces, were full of, if not pure, fat; and fat equals flavor. It was a delicious arriero and it was so large that I had to eat more than half of the filling just to fold it and have it be a biteable size, but by the time that happened I was full! That’s fine, though, because arrieros are pretty easy to heat back up and are delicious even if they aren’t freshly made and have been in the fridge for a while.
My dad got a large arriero with a flour tortilla and a liter of the water of the day, which was orange. He says that the food has always been consistently good, and the flavors are always the same for both food and salsas, which is a good thing. His favorite salsa is the habanero one, and even to him who has a pretty high spice tolerance it’s spicy, and he put two full spoonfulls of it on his arriero! Which, by the way, the spoon is a serving spoon/ladle size, not a personal spoon size, so his arriero must have been crazy spicy.
La Marineras is a small stand, so there isn’t going to be very many seats, and sometims that can be a little problem. It’s good for them, just that you might have to wait a couple minutes for one. Sometimes I’ll see people talking with the cook or her son, but once someone comes to eat they will politely get up since they’re all done. In fact that is what happened when my dad and me walked up, though the other seats were pretty empty too. We actually talked to the son a bit ourselves, and he’s been working there since he was a small boy, and at 14 he stared working full time with his mom! Also, the cook tipped her sailer hat towards us to acknowledge our coming, especially to my dad who is friends with her. But, she looked kinda sad, most likely because business wasn’t the best that day. My dad said he was sad too, because normally these places are packed full, and he doesn’t want them to shut down or even just loose money. In his words, “It’s the effect of Covid on these businesses.”
If you enjoyed this article, and would like to recommend a place that you know about, then please let me know. Or, if you are an owner yourself of a place that you would like to see written about, contact me.
And to see the rest of my food reviews go to the Dining Out section here in Vallarta Bay Times.