Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jaco Restaurants: Soda Rustico

Today the Jaco Hotel blog is going out to take some photos of Jaco's "typical restaurant" or "soda" as we say in Costa Rican spanish.

Maybe we can even find out why they are called sodas.

What is a soda like? Well, cheap. That's what is most salient if you are from north america. Soda restaurants in Jaco charge $3-$4 for a meal called a casado. A casado - literally "married" plate includes your choice of chicken, beef, pork, or fish, in a 3 or 4 oz portion usally along with beans and rice, plantains, some veg and a tiny salad. Usually modern soda menus are tarted up a little with essentially larger portions of the casdao and a speciality plate or two and maybe ceviche. If they have ceviche, its probably pretty good if you are at the beach. Bar la Guaria (you will pass it on the way to Jaco - its in San Ramon) is not a soda, but it has traditional bocas, and their ceviche is great despite their distance from the ocean.

The food itself is fresh and fairly heathly. And delicious? Well, maybe. If you think bland and just a little overcooked is delicious then you will be in heaven. If not, try the national sauce - lizano - aka english brown sauce. This is a medley of vegetable and mild spices reduced to a slightly thinner than catchup mildly flavored sauce. They usually also have some wierd tabasco sauce - wierd because of some thickener and coloring that makes it look like its from outerspace, and community hot pickle jars of cabbage and peppers on every table.

So no, I am not giving a ringing endorsment to soda food overall, but its filling and healthy and cheap and i would take it over american fast food any day for sure!

And here's the thing: soda food does have two excellent elements. One is native to Costa Rica: Gallo Pinto.

In my next post I will give you a compelling reason to visit a soda when you come to stay at our four star hotel in Jaco. The money you save paying three star prices for a four star will save you a lot of soda food !!

til next time
the Jaco Hotel Blogger

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