Mi Taco Es Su Taco
*Please forgive the unforgivably dark/blurry photos in this post and any of my posts hereafter. By this point in the trip I had busted my favorite low-light camera lens (something I’m not yet ready to talk about) and I was making do with what I had.
On one of our last days in Costa Rica, our friend Becs showed us one hell of a time. There was a crazy monkey chase (more to come, I promise), pool-crashing at the beach (more to come, I promise), and the most wonderfully orgasmic tacos I’ve ever had the pleasure of devouring.
That’s what I’m going to tell you about now (in case the title of this post led you to think otherwise – again, get your minds out of the gutter).
I can tell you from experience that after a long morning of horsing around with monkeys and a long afternoon of frolicking in both the Pacific ocean and a guest-only hotel pool (a hotel of which we were definitely not guests), there is nothing – I repeat nothing – more satisfying than a tall glass of Costa Rican beer and the best tacos I’ve ever had in my life.
At first I thought Becs was mistaken when she pulled off the main road onto a rocky dirt driveway overgrown with weeds and shrubbery. Surely the nondescript, unlit home in front of us was not a restaurant. Was it?
But as we approached, I saw the understated sign next to the front door:
‘Nuff said, apparently.
I’d be lying if the place didn’t make me conjure 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 me to tell you about that gem some other time.)
Hey, I have an active imagination.
But the inside was cozy, and I settled down when the owner brought me my cerveza and I saw that at least, if he was going to butcher us and serve us to the other customers (of which there were exactly none), he was at least willing to let us have a drink first.
Yes, that’s a chunk of ice in the glass. It took us 2 months to get used to it, but non-touristy bars/restaurants in Costa Rica serve their beers with a glass of ice. It’s actually pretty nice when it’s hot and humid out and the beer bottle isn’t exactly cold.
In a corner of the room there was a large chalk board with the menu (and surprisingly steep prices), along with a gas, flat-topped griddle and a wire shelf hanging from the ceiling.
The first thing we ordered was queso con chorizo, which is exactly what it sounds like – a bowl of delicious melted cheese with bits of chopped up chorizo. The restaurant’s owner (sorry, forgot his name!), who is originally from Mexico, took several chunks of wonderful white cheese and melted it in an iron bowl over a charcoal grill.
We waited as patiently as 3 hungry women who’d been at the beach all afternoon could possibly wait.
Then he threw in the chorizo that he’d cooked on the flat-top, and the result was a greasy, gooey, stringy bowl of deliciousness that really can’t be properly described with words. We spooned it over grill-warmed tortillas and then we died.
Ask me if I care that this likely turned my arteries into sluggish, gummed-up muck. ‘Cause I don’t.
Meanwhile, the Taco Guru was working his magic back on the flat-top. While he’d been making our queso appetizer, he’d put all of the ingredients for our tacos on the hanging wire shelf. We’d ordered one plate with beef, onions and cheese, and another plate with chorizo, cheese and grilled pineapple. (Turns out we really didn’t need 2 plates – each plate comes a huge stack of tortillas, and one plate would’ve been more than enough for the 3 of us.)
After the meat was cooked, he piled everything on the plates and brought them to the table.
Beef, onions and cheese.
Chorizo, cheese and pineapple.
All I can say is these tacos were ah-maz-ing.
He served them with shredded cabbage, homemade guacamole and a spicy salsa.
We ate them and died again.
Thanks for the laughs, the cries and the jiggly thighs, Taco Guy. We’ll remember you fondly.