Pura Vida 2017 (7/8) – Food

Pura Vida 2017 (7/8) – Food

  1. Introduction
  2. Costa Rica Logistics
  3. The Other San Jose
  4. Arenal & La Fortuna
  5. Horses & Waterfalls
  6. Hanging Bridges & Toucans
  7. Food
  8. The Big Day


I’m not a big fan of beans, and I dislike plantains with passion.  As such, Central American food was not high on my list of cuisine preferences, and we didn’t land in Costa Rica with a whole lot of anticipation.

I was happily surprised.

These grilled octopus legs from a modern restaurant were quite nice.  The black pepper sauce was addicting.

Fried plantains topped with beef, refried beans, and cheese.  Needless to say the bottom layer wasn’t my favorite, but oh my the salsa!

Casado, translated to “typical food” plate, was a satisfying local staple.
The things in the foreground looking like juicy bacon were actually sections of plantain… but the rest of the plate was awesome.

Plantain (Hong’s dish of course), pupusa, and this tomato dish named “volcano”.
Looked plain but the flavors were complex.  The savory tomato was also surprisingly tasty.

Rotisserie chicken, barbecue pork slabs, and ceviche-styled plantain.
One of our best meals in La Fortuna, at an open-air restaurant that reminded me a lot of Taiwanese night markets.
Their chicken quarters were 80% larger than the chicken quarters in San Francisco, so we accidentally ordered enough food to feed a village.

Lomito saltado, my favorite Peruvian dish


Among the wonderful things the tropics bring us, fruits got to be among the top of the list.  Fresh fruits were so abundant and cheap in Costa Rica that I was immediately in heaven.

At Arenal Paraiso, I ate nothing but these three fruits for breakfast.
It was a little hard to balance between the unrestrained vacation indulgence and the stomachache from over-stuffing.

Same deal at Aloft San Jose, but with celery juice and a weird fruit on the side.

Anyone know what this was?  The buffet labeled it “apple” which I’m quite certain it wasn’t.

With awesome fruits came awesome juices.  Holy moly.  You can get good juices in the U.S. but they are usually priced like liquid gold.  In La Fortuna the freshly blended stuff cost as much as water.  Many of the restaurants sold them and there were even specialty juice stands.

Watermelon and papaya.  His and hers.

Pineapple juice was another favorite.

The hotel spa provided this complimentary drink after service.

The good life with strawberry and blackberry drinks.

A “natural drink” stand in downtown La Fortuna.

Complete with the boba cup, these fancy fruit drinks were destined to be among our favorite memories of Costa Rica.


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