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Tasting the Local Flavor

I’ve told you before about how I’ve been craving certain foods from back home, right?

Well it seems I have a problem.

I realized today that when I go home, it’s almost certain that I’m going to crave certain foods from Costa Rica.

You see, every now-and-then Erin and I splurge on a meal at a restaurant.  And after watching some bull riding yesterday (more on that to come), we craved nothing more than a couple of beers and some patacones at one of our favorite restaurants in Bagaces.


Patacones.  (Pat-a-cone-ays.)

Basically, they’re fried plantains.  Plantains are very similar to bananas.

Costa Rica Patacones

No, they’re not served with chocolate.  That black stuff you see is actually frijoles molidos – a type of refried black bean.

Hey – don’t knock ’em ’till you try ’em.

You spread the frijoles molidos over the patacones, and then you top it all with this slightly salty white shredded cheese.

Patacones con frijoles molidos y queso



Oh, and let me take a moment to point this out:

Salsa Lizano is a Costa Rican condiment that is commonly found on restaurant tables and in refrigerators all over the country.  We have a bottle (or two) in ours, and we will likely have several bottles in our backpacks upon our departure.

Anyone know the export rules for Lizano?  Anyone?

And speaking of mmmmm….

Erin and I each ordered fish tacos at the beach on Saturday.

Much to our surprise, they were fried!

Fried Fish Taco

I can’t say this surprise was unpleasant.  Although my arteries would probably disagree.  Especially because they drizzled Costa Rica’s infamous mixture of mayo and ketchup all over the top.  And of course, you can’t forget the cabbage.


Karla just ordered a boring old burger.

Costa Rica Beach Lunch

But even that, paired with an ice-cold local brew, can’t be beat on a hot day at the beach.

Costa Rica Bavaria Dark

Ironically, the one type of food I will probably miss the most is not even technically from Costa Rica.  It’s the ingenious invention of Aaron and Becs, and let me just say…. holy craptastic, batman!

They call them torti burguesas, which basically translates to grilled burgers wrapped in tortillas.

Oh, but that’s not all.

Add to them some cream cheese, crispy bacon, caramelized onions and a slice of cheddar on top, then bake them in the oven, and you have a tailgater’s wet dream.

I really, really wish I had a finished picture of these.  I do.  But I only thought to bring my camera on the day we made torti salchichas, one of my all-time favorite foods (hot dogs) done up torti burguesa-style.

*Warning:  If you’re not a big fan of meat – especially of the hot dog variety – you may want to skip the next couple of photos.

First the boys grilled up a bunch of hot dogs.

Bowl of hot dogs

Then they put the tortis together assembly-line style.  A dab of cream cheese, hot dog pieces, caramelized onion, and a bit of crumbled bacon.  They may have sprinkled a few crunchy Cheetos in there for fun, but we can’t be sure.

crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese, cheetos

Finally, they wrapped ’em up and stuck ’em on a baking sheet with a slice of cheddar cheese on top and popped them in the oven.

And when they came out… wow.

Worth every single one of the 52,876 calories.

Okay, okay – 52,877 calories when dipped in Aaron’s homemade ranch.

But who’s counting?


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The Mayor of Chile Town

We will be making real deal original tortiburguesas this coming Sunday for your very last Chile Town Sunday BBQ so bring your camera and your appetite, and a few cold Nica beers since you don’t drink Tico beers! You’re welcome!

Dennis Hong

Wait, what?

After watching bull fighting (riding… fighting… minor technicalities… you know, like chameleon/iguana), what you should be craving is criadillas, not plantains…. ;-)


Oh wow, I just noticed these comments!

Hahaha, believe me, the last thing I was craving was criadillas. Unless you think they’d help with my massive post-birthday hangover…

Dennis Hong

I always say that criadillas in the mouth are a cure for anything.

But, I also get slapped a lot… for some strange reason.


All though I am taking you word that the combination of plantains – refried beans – cheese – is “good”, there is absolutely no question the way you described torti salchichas would be a great indulgence.

Wishing you success and the best days.


Haha, it actually really is good!

But yes, torti salchichas have no comparison. It’s the ultimate football food.


Katie, you make me want to sneak into your kitchen:)


Why thank you! Unfortunately that’s not my kitchen – that’s our friend in Costa Rica.

Do you want to sneak in there for the food, or for the boys?? :) (Just kidding!)

Mi Taco Es Su Taco | Domestiphobia

[…] up thoughts of some crazy old guy in the back butchering up human flesh to serve with tortillas and Lizano al a Sweeny Todd.  (My first “real” date took me to see that play, by the way.  Remind […]

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