Even though I got a fair amount of sleep during the big game, afterparties are almost as much a tradition as the event itself. As a result, I found a long Sunday night turning into an early Monday morning and including a hike back to town from Amapas along the way.
Naturally I was in dire need of actual foodstuffs to salvage any kind of productivity after enjoying half my body weight in alcohol and buffalo chicken dip the evening prior, and where better to manufacture the will to work than the Vallarta (Cigar and/or Chocolate) Factory?
The Vibes: I first discovered this deceptively inviting little eatery on a sharp corner of Calle Libertad during my first year in town, when I lived directly on the bustling thoroughfare. After completely ignoring it countless times on walks here and there, the unmistakable scent of frying bacon and fresh brewed coffee called out to me like a siren song after a full shift on Centro’s active nightlife scene.
Today was much like that first day, the thought of a hearty breakfast the only force dragging my thoroughly abused body out of bed toward the same reward that greeted me then: the Breakfast of Champions. Of course, this time I crossed town for the privilege, which should tell you something about the way this review is going to go.
Pausing to drink deeply of the scent of sustenance, I elected to bypass the scenic sidewalk seating in favor of hiding my shame in the indoor dining room.
The Vices: After being quickly addressed by an employee who could apparently sense my need for nutrition, I had a steaming Americano on the table in a matter of moments. Freshly brewed and properly potent, the cup of coffee was exactly the jump-start I needed to get my full faculties rolling.
Although the Factory has a fairly diverse menu covering Mexican breakfast favorites along with burgers, fajitas, and even pizza for lunch, today there could be only one choice: the steak-bearing, cream-drizzled, egg-laden evolution of chilaquiles known in the establishment as the Breakfast of Champions.
The meal appeared on the table and I took a fork in each hand to do the job the way it needed to be done. Okay, not really, but enjoy that mental image.
I often take time to consider the fact that the average person in a modernized country eats better food each day than kings of antiquity, and this breakfast in particular brought the thought to mind. The sumptuous feast was not only bedecked with just about every animal on the barnyard, but accompanied by fruits and jams which would have taken an explorer of old a lifetime to assemble in one place. Look how much credit Marco Polo gets for pasta and he never even lived to see chicken parmesan.
The meal finished and my strength restored, I gathered my things and ventured into the streets of Vallarta once more. It is said that a good breakfast is the foundation of a great day, and after a morning meal at the Factory, I was well-equipped to prove that theory.
The Verdict: The Vallarta Factory may not be an actual large-scale production plant, but makes for a worthy field trip nonetheless. I even visit when I’m not fighting off the party flu…maybe I’ll catch you there.
Libertad #100, Col. Centro