Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Soda Tiquicia - Short and sweet intro to the Tico Soda concept

Soda Tiquicia
200 meters north of bar Lora Amarilla, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
As I've mentioned, no place in Costa Rica really has a street address unless you're in the big city. This is especially true on the coast of the Guanacaste Peninsula.
There is one dirt road that connects Mal Pais and Santa Teresa. It is full of pot holes, ruts, and one-lane bridges that have no good point of egress because of the ruts on either side. Kind of scary actually, considering the helmet-less motorcycle riders and entire families riding on ATVs. Anyhow, I digress. Let's get to the restaurant, Soda Tiquicia. It was the first restaurant we came to when we walked up our driveway and turned right. Physically-speaking, it wasn't much to write home about. Six picnic tables in a space that had tarps for walls. There was a kitchen in the back and a cooler full of Imperials and sodas. 
 I may be wrong, but from what I gathered Imperial is the chosen beer of Costa Rica. It's heavier than Corona, but very easy to drink on a hot day. After this little dinner, it became the beer-of-choice for the rest of the vacation.
 This was my appetizer, a plate of snapper ceviche. Not great, but not horrible. It was fresh, but there were some pieces of cartilage or bone that took away from the enjoyment.
This, however, was awesome. It was the fish taco. It was fried wrapped in a tortilla. Beautifully crisp and crunchy filled with tender fresh fish. That hit the spot! I was worried after the ceviche, but this was actually awesome. The rest of the crew was weary from a day on a fairly treacherous journey so they headed towards burgers...not quite blog-worthy there.
Bottom line, if you're staying at The Beach Estates stop in and get a fish taco with an Imperial to wash it down. You won't be disappointed.
Stay tuned for more Costa Rican adventures. We came here for breakfast too!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How to Win a Dinner Party

Last names have been removed from this post to protect the innocent. Not that anyone there was innocent.
It all started with an event called Shooting with Chefs. It was a fund-raiser for Make-a-wish. Some friends of mine bid on one of the silent auction items and lost, but then the chefs who donated the prize offered another one...dinner for 10 at the winner's house. Luckily, I'm friends with a couple of them and they invited me and my wife to join them. Here's how we rolled:
 Crispy things filled with mushrooms and chicken gravy. Light and tasty. 
 Followed by fois gras with raspberry...my fav!
 Lamb heart panzanella, which were like little gyros. There was a touch of harissa to bring some heat.
Was that the third bottle of champagne? Christina, Scott, Cheryl and me.
 Hey, it's Mike Isabella cookin' up a storm in the kitchen!
 Bryan Voltaggio was there as well, explaining one of his dishes. The other half of our hosts for the evening, Mike, is on the right.
 Smoked beets with yellowfin tuna, cured egg yolks, and tonnato. This was good. The smoked beets were accented beautifully by the tonnato.
 We were still civilized at this point, but permagrins were beginning to appear. Chrissy and Marc pictured.
 From there, the conversation went straight into the gutter.  From left to right Marc, Mandy and Scott. I think we were talking about vasectomies at that point.
 Our hostess for the evening, Meredith with our guest chefs.
 Bryan, me and Mike.
 James!
 Bucatini with maitake ash, uni, tomato and purslane.
 This was the winner of the entrees. Lamb neck with charred yogurt, meyer lemon and fava bean. Perfectly cooked to roasty perfection.
Cheryl and Mike finishing off the Chateau d'Yquem.
If you're interested in bidding on an event like this for you and your friends, keep your eyes peeled for the next Shooting with Chefs event. It's a great fund-raiser and the auction items are off the charts!
Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for more adventures.