Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Soda Jaco Rustico


It was the best kind of discovery, the instinctual whim. Wandering down a side street less than a block from the beach we stopped at Jaco Rustico, a traditional soda that radiates with authenticity. It was well presented and clean but it felt worn in and deeply rooted (like the equivalent of a diner in America). It felt real.

They serve the epitome of home cooked Costa Rican food, choose what you want cafeteria style from options that change daily. Gallo Pinto, or sometimes it's the rice and beans prepared separately, and fried plantains, sweet and hot, almost caramelized, are a must. One day we get an expertly fried sea bass, crispy skin encasing mild, flaky flesh. Another afternoon provides tender roasted pork marinated in local flavors. Sometimes there is fresh vegetables and a vibrant beet and potato salad, another day, glorious tiny shelled mac-n-cheese!
If the Taco Bar was inexpensive, this place was literally a steal. It cost $4 for a casado (translates loosely to a heaping plate of food) and $1 for a fresh Guabanana juice. Sometimes forgoing the research and discovering hidden gems like this laid back fresh-off-a-morning surf-session locals spot, is what it's all about. Jaco Rustico easily provided some of my favorite meals of the trip. 

9 comments:

  1. What a deal! Your posts are really making me want to go on vacation :)

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  2. $4?! That is incredible for that amount of food and even better since it was delicious!

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  3. Beet and potato salad sounds good! Your posts are making me want to hurry up the days so I can go on a tropical vacation too :)

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  4. Even if the food is equally good, sometimes discovering a place like this on your own just makes it taste better :)

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  5. The sea bass looks amazing. And wow... that is quite a steal!!

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  6. Such a bargain! I love hidden gems like this, especially when I'm on vacation.

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  7. I might need to get myself to Costa Rica to try this food...

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  8. This looks spectacular. I can't get over the prices and the huge plates of fresh food!

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  9. Nothing like gorgeous, fresh, local food. Everything looks so amazing!

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