If your group is heading to Mexico’s Pacific Coast, it’s likely to try many traditional dishes, regardless of the destination.
They include ceviche, lime-marinated fresh seafood mixed with chopped white onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, green chile peppers and cilantro; aguachile, a seafood cocktail similar to ceviche but very spicy, typically made with shrimp; pozole, a savory stew made from hominy and pork or chicken; pate de camaron, a chopped shrimp spread made with cream cheese, herbs and hot sauce; and birria, a meat stew, made with beef, goat or lamb. These may vary somewhat from city to city and chef to chef, but the basic foundation of the dishes remains the same.
Enjoy them with a local beverage. Try Mexican beer in Los Cabos (perhaps the ubiquitous Corona or Tecate, but there’s now a nascent craft beer movement there). Before or after your meal in Riviera Nayarit or Puerto Vallarta, have a shot of tequila (which originated in Jalisco, home state of Puerto Vallarta) or raicilla, the lesser-known, locally produced agave spirit.
In Mazatlan, only brown-bottle Pacifico will do (its parent company has a brewery there that you can tour). Increasingly, your wine list may include a bottle of, say, Casa de Piedra Tones, a blend of tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon, or Chateau Camou’s Bordeaux-style blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot, from Valle de Guadalupe in Baja, Mexico’s explosively expanding wine capital.
Oh, and did we mention margaritas? They go with everything—drink them everywhere.
Read more about F&B on Mexico’s Pacific Coast in Carolyn Koenig’s story, “Mexico’s Tantalizing Pacific Coast: Here’s a Taste of What’s New and on the Horizon,” in the June issue of Smart Meetings.