COOS BAY — Sports editor John Gunther and I were glad to get back to our lunchtime series and Puerto Vallarta seemed like the perfect place to start.

For those of you who don't know, John is a runner. And currently he is in training to run the entire Circle The Bay by himself. For those of you trying to count the miles .... it is 18.6.

That's just under eight miles shorter than a marathon.

Sometimes I wonder if I am sabotaging his training by taking him to lunch every Monday.

Then again, he has run some pretty good races on mornings following us going out to dinner. Hmmmm?

OK, now I don't feel so bad.

Puerto Vallarta is close enough for us to walk to (it is located at 230 S. 2nd. St. in Coos Bay), but I had another appointment, so I drove and parked in the big lot adjacent to 7 Devils Brewing.

While we perused the lunch menu, John was trying to decide between the machaca and the chili Colorado special as well as if he was going to make Monday afternoon's run 6 miles, or if he was going to go 8 or 10.

My decision was easy — machaca. 

So John got the chili Colorado, but still couldn't make up his mind on the run.

Usually, I order my machaca in burrito form. Machaca is shredded beef, scrambled egg, spices, onions and peppers. As you can see, it makes just as good a lunch dish as it is for breakfast.

Finding a place that does a good machaca is so worth it. At some places I have visited their recipe calls for more egg and less shredded beef. I'm not sure if that is a cost-cutting move, or not, but that was definitely not the case at Puerto Vallarta. It had just enough egg to hold everything together.

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Puerto Vallarta serves their machaca lunch with rice, beans, a small salad and corn or flour tortillas. I ordered the flour tortillas and instantly went about making myself three good-sized soft tacos using the machaca, a little rice and some beans.

John did the same with his chili Colorado. The diced beef made it the perfect size to make tacos out of it.

Our waitress came by a few minutes after delivering our meal and asked how we were enjoying our meal, but if she would have looked at the nearly cleared plates, she would have known we were enjoying our meal tremendously.

It's difficult to answer any question when your mouth is full of machaca.

I often forget that Puerto Vallarta is tucked into the corner of that big parking lot there off of Curtis Avenue. I remember every time I see it when I drop by 7 Devils. Autumn's family was here last week and we stopped into 7 Devils, and again I commented that I would have to remember to go to Puerto Vallarta.

And I did.

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