Let's talk about what you've found to be really good, better than average, quite tasty at Puerto Vallarta! I know of many other restaurants that serve Mexican and/or Tex-Mex. Here I'd like to focus on what works at PV. It's not my intention to start a discussion about authenticity, just what tastes good.
I've not been to all their locations (never been to Southington or Avon, but used to go to their Newington location on the pike with some regularity for a bite and a drink after work on Fridays). My local one is in downtown Middletown in the same plaza where Destinta (the movie theater) is.
Today, being a rainy day, I had planned to get tortilla soup for lunch, but instead noticed with interest "Albondigas Soup – A delicious Mexican soup made with fresh minted pork meatballs and seasonal vegetables in clear broth" (this according to their menu). I read right over the clear broth part and didn't care that, in fact, what arrived at the table was a thick tomato-based broth loaded with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, yellow squash and zucchini. It was a very hearty portion of soup with three good-sized meatballs, and minced cilantro and onions on the side. I had asked if they could please include avocado in my soup, which they did. WOW, what a delicious meal--ALL IN ONE BIG BOWL. The meatballs were EXCELLENT! I couldn't taste the mint (nor did I see mint in them); however, they did include some rice and were moist and flavorful. It was very filling!
From the lunch specials menu, my partner had Carnitas de Res--steak with peppers and onions served with rice and beans, guac and tortillas. I had a bite and found it to be a very nice blend of flavors, though the meat was not terribly tender. We both thought it was good and he was pleased with his meal. But my takeaway from today's meal was THAT ALBONDIGAS SOUP. It makes me want to experiment in my home kitchen and try to make something just as tasty. I even have mint!
Oh, I had a Puerto Vallarta Cosmolita with Gran Centenario Plata, Grand Marnier, fresh lime juice and cranberry juice. Defintely packed a punch and was generous with the alcohol.
They are happy to share their special mushroom habanero salsa by special request. I took a break from the firing squad, having eaten a large chunk of chipotle pepper yesterday (against my better judgment); however, if you're a heat seeker, ask for their mushroom salsa. It ain't for sissies! ;) I like their regular salsa with cilantro and fresh onion just fine, but it's fun to play with fire sometimes.
Also, one of my tried and true favorites here is their "Popeye approved" (their words, not mine!) Enchiladas Rio Bravo, filled with spinach and shrooms, so delicious. I could deal with less sour cream on the top, but usually just scrape it off and put it to the side. Come to think of it, I'm sure they'd use less if only I asked.
Service here is friendly and efficient--always has been, in my experience, regardless of when or where. And, as their menu is quite substantial, I'm sure there are other tasty treasures to be found and discussed. So, now it's your turn...tell us what you've liked at PV!