Tasty Travels: Costa Rica

Hola amigos! Have you been wondering where I've been? Well I didn't want to rub it in your face before I left, but I can't keep it a secret for any longer: I went to Costa Rica for the first time!! And, I kid you not, it is one of the most fun, exotic, beautiful places that I've ever been. I'm already planning trip nĂºmero de dos to visit all of the places that I didn't get a chance to see.

While I don't want to stray too far from the point of this blog, I have a strong urge to share my trip with you. So, why don't want talk about Costa Rican cuisine? That way we stay on topic and I can brag about my wonderful trip!

Since I had never been to Costa Rica before this trip, I was not sure what to expect about the food. I knew rice and beans (or Gallo Pinto) is a very popular dish down there. Costa Ricans primarily eat this dish for breakfast, which I found a bit odd. I also assumed that seafood would be a big part of their cuisine, but I had no clue beyond that. Once I got down there and had the pleasure of visiting some amazing restaurants and trying traditional Costa Rican food prepared by a native, I was both blown away and pleasantly surprised at how much I loved the food.


First, let's start off with the La Mariposa Hotel in Manuel Antonio. Not only does this hotel have three infinity pools, two of which have pool bars, with picturesque views, but the breakfast served at this magnificent hotel is beyond delicious. They have the best Gallo Pinto with Lizano Salsa. The Lizano Salsa is what made the rice and beans. I am now on the hunt to find a recipe for this sauce or find a bottle at a local grocery store. I am determined to get my hands on it because it was life changing. And, to my surprise, I loved eating rice and beans for breakfast. Just ask my friends: I had it every morning. I might as well move to Costa Rica and call it a life; I'd fit in so well. ;-)

Moving along....

A fine restaurant that we ate at the first night I was in Costa Rica is this unique and colorful restaurant called Graffiti in Jaco. The atmosphere of the restaurant is unlike any other restaurant that I've visited, and the food is out.of.this.world. They have a set menu that is always available, but they also offer multiple specials that change every night. In other words, you could go to this restaurant many, many times and never try the same scrumptious dish. I think this is both very brilliant and very intriguing-it would certainly make me want to keep going back! While we were there, we ordered tuna tartar and shrimp and mushroom arranchinis to share. For my entree, I ordered one of the specials: herb crusted mahi over a truffled mushroom risotto. All of the dishes were amazing: 4-star quality without the 4-star price. And even though we were all stuffed to the brim, we decided to order the Elvis French Toast, which consisted of thick layers of french toast that sandwiched homemade peanut butter and sauteed bananas, with a generous slather of syrup all over top. Do I need to say it again? Ok, I will: it was AMAZING. If you visit Costa Rica and do not stop by Graffiti, you are surely missing out.


Last, and certainly not least, one of the excursions we did included two homemade meals. The traditional breakfast prepared for us included fresh bananas, pineapple, and papaya, along with a pancake-like food that was made of cornmeal and cheese and some type of cornbread sweet bread. It was all delicious, minus the papaya-can't say I'm the biggest fan. After the excursion was over, we were served a traditional Costa Rican lunch. This lunch consisted of rice, beans, homemade flour tortillas, broiled chicken breasts and legs with an amazing glaze (I wish I would have asked what the glaze consisted of), potatoes with a cheese-like sauce, and a fresh salad. The chicken was by far the star of the lunch. While I can't imagine eating rice and beans at nearly every meal, I can say that I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious the traditional cuisine is.

Long story, short: You all need to visit Costa Rica! If not for the food, go to see wonderful beaches, explore all of the interesting cities, stay at beautiful hotels, hike through rain forests and see a ton of wildlife (monkeys and toucans are everywhere), visit waterfalls, volcanoes, and other natural wonders, meet some of the friendliest people in the world, and work on your golden tan. And if you do decide to plan a trip, please allow me to squeeze in your suitcase.

Elaine

11 comments:

  1. hahah you did such a nice job summing up your trip! i feel like you should be running my blog!!! miss you already boo but so glad you came!!

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    1. Hehe, feel free to link to my page if you ever want to talk about Costa Rican food! I miss you guys too! Soak up some sun for me this weekend, wherever yall decide to go. :)

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  2. So jealous! I really need a vacation from the US.

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    1. It was just what I needed, Shiloh. If you need a suggestion of a place to visit, I highly recommend Costa Rica!

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  3. SO jelly you went to Costa Rica! How amazing is that?! But eeek, monkeys on the beach? Is it weird I'm irrationally freaked out by monkeys, haha. But I love toucans!

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    1. Haha it's ok, I feel the same way about sloths. Is that weird?! They hardly even move! Other than the slightly freaky animals, Costa Rica was awesome. You'd love it!

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  4. I was in Costa Rica in 2001 for a month. Feels like a lifetime ago and I'm sure so much has changed yet stayed the same. I wasn't in Jaco, but Nosara, about an hour away. Thanks for the great post!

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  5. Jealous. Boyfriend n I have been eyeing up Costa Rica for 2 years now.... haven't had a chance to make it over there yet. Sounds amazing! You should post more pics!

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    1. You should definitely make a trip soon!! It was absolutely amazing.

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  6. Hi Elaine!! Glad to hear you had a great trip to Costa Rica. They really do have some good food even though they are sadly underestimated as having good cuisine! Next time you are there, make sure to try a Spoon cake or Pops ice cream. It is the best! And for traditional food you can't miss a Casado - it's as Costa Rican as it can be and pretty tasty and filling. My friends are always surprised that I eat so well here haha.
    If you ever visit again come to Playas del Coco! It has some of the most beautiful beaches in the country! You can check out my blog if you want to know more.
    Your blog is super cute and I'm definitely going to be a follower - keep up the good work :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Samantha! I have been dying to go back to Costa Rica the second I returned to DC. I'll definitely be making a trip there again in the future. I'll be sure to check out Playas del Coco! :)

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