Friday, December 21, 2007

Mas Notas de la Comida

Starting the list of the neat, tasty or interesting food ideas definitely worth trying to re-create back in the states. The interesting thing is that there's not a huge assortment of Costa Rican dishes.

- Gallo de pinto is pretty good too (a standard local breakfast of black beans and rice)
- Casado (the local dinner of seasoned rice with veggies and meat, my fav so far is shrimp)

These first two, gallo de pinto and casado, are pretty standard local fares, definitely tasty and will fill you up after a long day of work in the surf--but very mellow compared to the wide variety of colorful tasty things found in Mexico or other regions. Actually, most menues dedicate a section to Mexican foods so you can get cheesy/bean/rice/spicy goodness -- just haven't found mole yet....and no tamales...yet.

Another funny thing - pizza is huge! The town of Liberia seemed to offer pizza on every corner. Pizza is probably comes in second place to chicken. Pollo frito is king.

Here are the other taste hits of this trip:
- Banana con leche (y azucar)!! Best served with bits of blended ice, to add crunch and keep cool on a warm afternoon.
- Mango con leche!!
- Banana pancakes at Las Olas Restaurant (perfectly golden with bits of banana, topped with banada and granola, with syrup--it's amazing you can call this breakfast!)
- the multi-faceted breakfast burrito
- Pescado con coco (and just the whole concept of a build-your-own-taco-bar--me encanta!)
- Olive tapenade con pescado
- Garlic salt on the fries (sal de ojo encima de las papas fritas)...because your fries should be as salty as the water in the sea!

- Costa Rican Cafe. The coffee here is really great. Back home, I can drink coffee straight up, with a grimace and a head shake on the way down. Here--it's like heaven. Everywhere you go--great drip coffee. No need for sugar or cream. It's so smooth, no bitter aftertaste. I guess we're just close to the source? Less acidic soil? Whatever it is, it's fabulous.

Not really Costa Rican, but we finally caught the tiny "Costanera" restaurant open today (after two weeks of trying to catch them, abierto). They offer Italian fare with a Costa Rican twist. This morning desayuno Italiano included perfectly scrambled eggs, two slices of tomato with a shake of salt and oregano, two slices of a fresh (but low moisture) motzarella sprinked with pepper. A little quality olive oil over it all. Jugo de Naranja, tostado con mantequilla y fresas. Pineapple and papaya. It was an understated and fresh smorgasboard of great tastes, European style.

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