Look no further for some of the best chicken mole enchiladas you’ll find in Puerto Vallarta!
Not too long ago, chef Graciela from Orégano recommended Cha’, a new breakfast/lunch restaurant on Hamburgo St. in Versalles. Needless to say, we were quite intrigued to check it out, particularly because founder/chef Mario Borja is one of the restaurant owners that is working on creating a restaurant association to promote the increasing number of wonderful eateries in Versalles.
Click to enjoy a 360º panoramic view of Cha’
I have begun wandering into the so-called ‘new normal’ by re-visiting local restaurants that I know and trust, and decided to give Cha’ a go a couple days ago with my friends Sandi and Katharine. To cut to the chase: I can’t wait to go back!
Having opened in October, 2019, chef Mario barely had time to test the waters before the Covid-19 pandemic came to put our lives in pause. The 29-year-old is originally from Guadalajara, where he worked at several restaurants prior to relocating to Puerto Vallarta some five and a half years ago.
Once here, he worked at several hotels, subsequently becoming the private chef at a residential villa development. But like many other culinary creatives, Mario dreamed of having his own space, where he could share his own culinary vision with freedom.
And that is an intended pun: the word Cha’ comes from the Maya and it means libertad, or ‘freedom.’ “At Cha’ we do not want to tie ourselves to a specific cuisine,” he explained. Our breakfast and lunch menus will vary according to whatever seasonal ingredients we can procure.”
The restaurant is small, sparsely decorated, with enough room for four safely-distant tables, but with plenty of ventilation. A mini-split above the entrance would indicate that Cha’ can close its doors during humid Summer days. Fortunately, it was a mild day and we chose to sit outside, bringing together two individual tables.
The multi-page breakfast/lunch menu is in Spanish, but the bilingual staff makes it easy for you to order. Sandi and I were seduced by what I can easily say were the most gratifying chicken mole enchiladas I’ve tried in town. Whereas they are usually served with red rice and beans on the side, chef Mario opted for a healthy portion of fresh greens. “The mole comes from Puebla,” said the waiter.
Katharine went for the Huarache de Asada. Meaning ‘sandal’ in Spanish, a huarache is a sole-shaped tortilla garnished with schtuff—in this case, grilled beef. Her dish also featured a nice portion of fresh greens.
We did not see any liquor in their menu and failed to ask if we could bring our own bottle of wine. That said, there is a commercial espresso machine on the premises and the menu includes a nice selection of lattes, smoothies, and freshly-squeezed juices.
Cha’ is located at Hamburgo 148A in Colonia Versalles. They are open for breakfast and lunch until 4 pm on Mondays-Saturdays. Sunday is brunch day. For more information, please visit their Facebook page.
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