February 20, 2013 § Leave a comment
in no particular order:
1. casado con carne en salsa from soda la casita at the turrialba centro bus terminal with maitreya
an almost overwhelming serving of arroz, frijoles negros, ensalada, platano maduro, and trocitos de carne en salsa + awesome awesome low price of 1800 colones + maitreya’s amazement that we’ve eaten so much = happy allen. they do it big, and they do it right.
2. gallo pinto, 2 huevos fritos y salchichon from soda el banco in puriscal with mason
whenever mason comes into puriscal, we usually meet up for lunch at puris’ best. there’s usually a healthy supply of homemade chilero at hand.
3. enchilada con carne from panaderia barrantes in cerbatana
there is simply no equal to the weekly available enchilada con carne at my local bakery. well seasoned ground beef? check. some spice? double check. and affordable too at 450 colones. tome.
4. agua de pipa bien fria
nothing quenches thirst or staves of dehydration quite like agua de pipa straight from the coconut.
5. jugo de cas
it only ever seems to be available at sodas, and i’m not talking about that powdery replacement. get some.
6. chifrijo from alberto’s bar in puriscal
when you live in the city that produces the best chicharron in all of costa rica, i suppose it follows that you’ll also have access to the best chifrijo, and alberto’s bar in puriscal is where to get it. cuvasos (large type of bean), chimichurri (pico de gallo to you and me), and chicharron on a bed of rice. sounds like a bite of heaven, no? throw in some slices of aguacate. you won’t regret it.
i once ate 24 pati in a 2-3 week stretch. no, i do not regret it. for the longest time, i was convinced that the street vendors in siquirres had the best pati, until i met the infamous pati lady in cahuita. it’s a caribbean style pastry in the form of an empanada, filled with ground beef, chile peppers and seasonings. simple yet addicting. can i get a bump? (breaking bad reference. sorry if you don’t understand.)
8. trenza de canela from pasteleria merayo in turrialba
pasteleria merayo is a chain bakery located in san jose, cartago and turrialba (as far as i know). but not all chains are created equal. head and shoulders above the fray is the turrialba branch, or the real pasteleria merayo as i call it. there you will find the best trenza de canela ever. hyperbole well deserved.
9. rice and beans
still haven’t had enough caribbean food? then get some rice and beans, and ask for it in english. what separates rice and beans from arroz y frijoles is coconut milk, that simple delicacy permeating the rice and the sauce in which the chicken (oh yeah, rice and beans comes with chicken) is cooked. if victory had a flavor, it would rice and beans.
10. sopa de verduras y salchicha de chorizo
get salchicha de chorizo from a carniceria in turrialba, cook it separately from the verduras which could include any combination of malanga, platano verde, papas, chile dulce, and yuca, before adding it all together in the end to make a soup that just feels like being loved by your parents when you’re sick.
11. frijoles from dona isabel’s kitchen in cerbatana
the softest and tastiest frijoles i’ve ever eaten come from a home in cerbatana. why are they so transcedent? well, dona isa cooks with firewood, and with beans that come from don alvaro’s little farm which means they’re fresh, unlike that sabemas (read: sabefeo) stuff you get in pali. she also cooks the beans with something, whether it’s banano verde, chayote, or oreja de cerdo. que rico!