Greg and I had never been out of the country on our own until Costa Rica. I mean really, fully, on our own. I had not really thought too much about what it would be like to be loose in a different country. I really had no idea what to expect in terms of geography, food, or lodging.
During our short time there, we had the absolute best food we have ever eaten. I mean, this stuff was life changing. I hope to visit again only to be reminded of the greatness that is their every day cuisine. Costa Rican “restaurants” are extremely different from the typical place in the states. They are all outdoors, for one. Called “sodas”, they are literally hole-in-the-wall places. They are small, dirty, hot, and absolutely amazing.
I do not speak much Spanish, but I sure know what frijoles and arroz both mean 😉 Lunch was fried rice with either chicken, seafood, or vegetables (yes-I’m that person that ordered vegetables), and fried plantains. The mound of food was exactly that-a mound. I’m talking big fire ant bed sized plate of grub. I barely put a dent in each meal. Even Greg, the bottomless pit, couldn’t finish it. One of the best parts-the entire lunch costs about $4-5.
For me, breakfast was one of the best parts of the trip. Sure, there were waterfalls and monkeys and crystal clear beaches, but the breakfast there was heavenly. Fried rice with beans, fried eggs, plantains, and some thing similar to a quesadilla (which I hate to call that because it simply does not do the thing justice). Three dollars. Pure bliss.
The atmosphere in these places was so different. The heat, the dirty floors, and the unappealing decor made it all so neat to experience the culture in Costa Rica. All of the restaurants were locally owned and in most of them, everyone eating there knew everyone else. From babies running around barefoot to the old grandpa behind the counter, it was so cool to see how each little hole-in-the-wall was literally a family run business.
It was something special to experience a completely different way of dining in a place we know so very little about. The food was rich, but the culture was even more so. We cannot wait to visit again!
Keep it Kinetic,