Christa and I have returned from our annual pilgrimage to Costa Rica. This year I spent a good portion of the trip talking about food with old and new friends in Costa Rica. We, of course, spent a great deal of time with Bill and Angie from Marlin Bill's, but this year I also had the opportunity to talk food with Henry and Tony from El Local and several true foodies.
The food scene in Costa Rica is forever evolving. The influence of the incredible amount of international travelers has enhanced the local cuisine with different flavors and ingredients. It isn't uncommon to see national favorites like Gallo Pinto (a rice and beans staple) and the traditional Casado (complete traditional meal) sharing menu space with wood fired pizzas, Caribbean Jerk Chicken, beautifully prepared tuna and good old American Barbecue. The restaurants of Costa Rica are so diverse that you could eat a different cuisine every night of a vacation.
The two restaurants I mentioned, Marlin Bill's and El Local are great examples of this diversity.
I actually learned how to properly prepare a nice piece of tuna from Bill. Marlin Bill's serves a variety of U.S. dishes as well as a great selection of local seafood. It's been a favorite in Nosara of locals, expats and tourists for years.
El Local's eclectic locally sourced menu inspired the Plantain Croquettes that I created for this very website. Talking with Henry, he went in depth about the varied influences on the menu. WIth his talent, passion for food and his great team members like Tony, the restaurant will continue to be a rising star. The team at El Local has mastered the art of taking classic dishes and adding their own unique touch.
So don't just think of Costa Rica as a beach destination for surfing, fishing and sun, it is also a foodie destination.