The final true meal in Costa Rica (without counting the continental breakfast where a scorpion fell from the ceiling onto my girlfriend) was at another restaurant in Monteverde called La Bohemia. This restaurant was another pretty fancy one and felt good after a long day of walking on bridges in the rain forest.
To start off the meal, we ordered some nachos. When they came, they were like no nachos I had ever seen before. They were large, round chips, with beans, cheese meat, tomatoes, jalapenos and sour cream stacked on top. I suppose they would’ve been a lot cleaner than regular nachos if I didn’t have to wipe the tomatoes off of them before eating. After the wiping, though, the chips were really good.
For lunch in Monteverde one day we stumbled into a restaurant called Maravilla. The menu was probably the cheapest we had seen so far, but the offerings were pretty similar to what I had grown used to. I decided to mix things up a bit and order the beef with sauce and rice.
When it arrived, it looked just as pretty as anywhere else, despite being cheap. It even had some vegetable garnishings that I brushed away. Unfortunately, the beef wasn’t very good. It wasn’t really tender and the chunks it was cut into made it tough to eat. The sauce was decent, but I also used some of that thick brown sauce I had been finding everywhere to make it taste better.
The little town of Monteverde is a haven for international tourism. Built right into the mountainous rain forest, hotels, hostels and adventurous activities abound. Although a lot of restaurants offer Mexican fare (catering to the American perception that all food south of our border involves tacos and burritos), the town also has some good variety. One of these places is a nice Italian restaurant called Tramonti. After a long day of zip-lining through the rain forest, this is a great place to relax with a good meal.
The decor of Tramonti instantly made me feel uncomfortable. I was wearing cargo shorts, a t-shirt and a zipper fleece, which made perfect sense for the rest of the day. Apparently I missed a memo, though, because everyone else in the restaurant had a shirt with some sort of collar on. I got over my discomfort quickly as they found us a table far from the front door and windows. Also, the Imperial Beer I ordered helped me feel better.
Another restaurant we found in La Fortuna was called Lava Rocks. This place a had a much simpler atmosphere than La Choza de Laurel, but that was fine by. I searched for my new favorite food, the “Tipical” dish and found that it was called Casado here. Further research has taught me that “casado” means married, because this is the type of meal that married men get at home. Thanks for the info, Wikipedia!
Although not married, I was happy to eat like a casado. I ordered my casado with chicken again. The nice thing about the dish is that no two restaurants seem to serve it the same way.
Today is day one of Costa Rican food week, featuring highlights of my recent trip to Costa Rica. While traveling, I don’t really order my food without vegetables and just cross my fingers that my meal won’t require too much picking out. For this reason, I only rate the overall experience. Enjoy!
My first stop in Costa Rica was the tiny little town of La Fortuna, the closest town to the Arenal Volcano. Despite its small size, it still had plenty of restaurants to choose from and they all had English menus for the tourists. For our first dinner, we went to a fun-looking restaurant called La Choza de Laurel.