(and gulping sea water)
01.03.2013 - 18.03.2013
Since studying for final exams have kept me from pursuing activities these past few weeks I thought I would throw my foodie friends a bone and write about some of my dining experiences here. Please keep your expectations about my reviews low. I am not a foodie myself, and I don't have the writing skills to describe my dining experiences using expressions found on the back of a wine bottle.
It turns out the town is named after the Tamarindo fruit tree. I had an opportunity to taste Tamarindo juice at an artisan sandwich shop named La Bodega. I enjoyed it, and I thought it tasted like a dark apple juice. The fruit is not in season right now so I chose to use a picture of it from the internet.
My favorite breakfast place in Tamarindo is Kahiki. They have a friendly staff, big portions, and bottlomless cups of coffee. The staff convinced me to try a typical Costa Rican breakfast fare dubbed "Tico Tipico." It usually consists of rice and beans, fried eggs, tortilla, cheese, and sour cream. I liked it and would recommend others try it.
The staff at Kahiki surprised me on my birthday. The birthday custom here is to break a few eggs over the head of the birthday boy/girl. Fortunately the staff gave me my birthday eggs on a plate.
Costa Rican Coffee
I didn't start drinking coffee until half-way into my time with the Marine Corps. On my first assignment a Staff Sergeant with many years of experience chuckled when I told him I did't drink coffee. He predicted I would become addicted to it in a short time. He was absolutely right. By the end of my service I could relate to the scene depicted below.
I found an amazing coffee shop known as Cafe Tico. The owner has gone out of her way to find small coffee farmers who grow superior coffee beans using natural methods. She gave me a sample of several different coffee types and they were absolutely delicious. She explained how these coffees are simply not available in the United States because the economics of exporting them are upside down. Fellow coffee lovers will be interested in reading this blog post on the coffees of Cafe Tico:
I lucked out having an artisan food store right around the corner from my casita. I frequently went there for lunch and they offered many creative and delicious sandwiches using wholesome foods and fresh, local ingredients. The swordfish steak sandwich was my favorite. They also make unique fruit juices such as hibiscus lemonade and passion fruit. This is where I tried the tamarindo juice. The owners are a married couple who met in Colorado while she was attending a culinary school in Denver.
Trip Advisor Review:
One of my favorite meals in Tamarindo is a Mediterranean-style sea bass filet at La Pachanga. I wanted to ask if the sea bass was tempermental, but I didn't think the server would get the reference to the Dr. Evil quote in the movie Austin Powers. (My college friends will laugh at this but all my other readers will probably just roll their eyes or scratch their heads in confusion.)
TripAdvisor Review: [http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g309253-d2632455-Reviews-LA_PACHANGA-Tamarindo_Province_of_Guanacaste.html]
The best pizza in town is La Baula. The owners are Italian and offer some creative pizza options without losing the traditional roots of fine Italian pizza.
I had a chance to squeeze in a few surf lessons. I gulped enough sea water to make my contribution towards offsetting rising sea levels. It was worth it though as I was able to "pop-up" a few times and have a few good runs. I think I am at the point now where I know the fundamentals, I just need to keep practicing to develop muscle memory and consistency.
Thanks to my instructor, Nick Holt, for teaching me well and taking pictures only in those few moments where I looked good.
Nick also instructs TRX classes at the gym. I had a great time in his class, and started seeing some good results after one month. His classes were also a great venue for meeting locals. For my birthday Nick gave me a few push-ups.
Amy and Stephanie helped out with the push-ups. They are from New Mexico, and they are studying spanish in Costa Rica. They have a travel blog going as well:
Nick's TravelAdvisor Review:
As for now, the sun has set on my time in Tamarindo. I am done with final exams for the first quarter. I think I will do ok in my courses, but it will not be pretty. I have two weeks off before I start the next quarter. I just met up with my good friend Chris from Atlanta. We are going to spend the next two weeks traveling through Costa Rica. We will spend a few days near an active volcano, and then head to a beautiful beach in southern Costa Rica during the Santa Semana, or holy week. Lots of Costa Ricans head to the beach during this time, and I hope to publish some interesting stories in my next post.