The farm-to-table experience in San Jose is nothing short of a MUST DO when visiting Costa Rica.
A globetrotter, I appreciate the gastronomic diversity and as a foodie, I love it! If you are considering a night or two in San Jose, make sure to add this experience to your itinerary!
This journey began at 4:00 PM when we met the organizer and our guide for the evening, Adri who took us to our first spot – Cabra Negra. Here, we met the Coffee Brew-master who walked us through the process that a coffee bean endures, the types of filters & coffee apparatuses one could use, and that of extracting the most flavor from your ground coffee. OMG to say the least!
DID YOU KNOW? Coffee drinking in Costa Rica is more of a social 4 PM event, unlike here where it is a ‘wake me up’, the daily morning requirement of the sleep-deprived desperate worker bee.
The varying texture of the filter and the number of drip holes makes the world of a difference to the taste, something I got to learn that day. 3 different types of coffees were paired with delicious appetizers. Just as we were getting ready to head, we were surprised with a cold brew containing a hint of rum and mint. Exactly what the taste buds needed to help us through till the next stop – Arbol de Seda.
Offering vegetarian food, the Chef aims to show the world that ‘meatless’ food could be tasty too. True that! The vegetarian ceviche was a scrumptious blend of flavors where the softness of avocado mixed with the crunchy coconut crisps blended in the coconut milk made tangy by pineapple chunks; all of which came through in every bite. This unexpected goodness left me craving for just a little more.
To wrap up our stop, we were served baby corn in tempura(ish) batter and corn tortilla topped with mushrooms, onion, and avocado. Our hearts gleamed, once again, just as we were setting foot to leave, a door opened to reveal a secret room and the tastiest drink of my life. The Astral Speak Easy Bar is a great spot for individuals that savor a good mix based on astrological signs. I sure did end up spending a lot more time chatting with the bartender here! (follow her on Insta)
“Vamos vamos” I was told, “the hosts at Isolina are on hold”.
A home turned restaurant, they have maintained the original elements which gives this quaint restaurant a homely feel. Focusing on farm-to-table, they use local ingredients. To my surprise, the local potato-like starchy appetizer was the perfect tastebud refresher to the main course which was sweet potato, baked & served with cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. Despite a full stomach, I managed to make a little more space for desert.
What a night! And we were not done yet. To shake things around, our last stop (finally!) was Zuntra where we learned the art of being a bartender mixing our own drink. Unfortunately, we were under supervision. No drink is complete without the Cacique in Costa Rica and a small pour is all a fable drinker needs.
Thinking back and to this day, I salivate as the tastes still linger in my mouth. An experience that still warms my heart. And the stomach, which still craves for a little more.
In gratitude to the tour host, the chefs, and the servers, all of whom came together making my journey through San Jose a memorable one!