Mixed Bag at The Market

The MarketThe Market is the Hotel Intercontinental’s newest restaurant. A casual and lively spot, they boast a range of “create-your-own” options, particularly in the realm of sandwiches, pizzas, burgers and pasta dishes.

Let me start off with the good. The burgers here are the best I’ve had in Costa Rica. I ordered the lamb burger, a generally risky choice. It came out moist and tender, with fabulous flavor. A companion had the traditional beef burger and was equally impressed.  Other options included fresh tuna, chicken breast and Portobello mushroom burgers.

The BurgerThe buns were wonderful, fresh-baked affairs of perfect size and up to the task at hand, a rare case in this country, where meager, mealy buns often wilt and fall apart before you’re half-way through your burger.  In contrast, at The Market you can choose between classic, whole grain, olive, bell pepper and sesame buns.

Toppings, cheeses and sauces were widely varied and of high quality. I’ll definitely be going back here fo a burger (c7,500).

TunaCarpaccioThe Tuna Carpaccio (c6,000) appetizer was also excellent, as was the homemade ice cream that topped our dessert choice…

However, the Chocolate Opera (c4,250) was inedible. A dry and tasteless layered creation of cake, chocolate and cream it had clearly been sitting in their display case for several days, if not more. Moreover, throughout the meal, service was horrendous.  Unknowledgeable waiters, long waits, and mixed up orders were the norm.  On the plus side here, our complaints to management were met with a healthy correction to the final bill.

The Market Open Kitchen


Corcovado Foundation Wine Dinner @ Tin Jo

The Corcovado Foundation will host its annual wine dinner and auction on Saturday, September 22 at Tin Jo restaurant, in downtown San Jose. The event features a selection of foods and wines accompanied by live music, and featuring both a silent and live auction.

This is a good chance to enjoy good food and wine, while supporting a worthy cause, and getting a chance to snag a good deal at the auction. Auction items typically include a range of hotel and tourism packages to some of the finer Osa peninsula lodges, often going at a deep discount.



Costa Rica Goes Locavore – NYTimes.com

Product CCosta Rica Goes Locavore – NYTimes.com.

Costa Rica’s dining scene makes the New York Times and is even presented in a positive light, although I’m obliquely quoted (“Frommer’s described…”) as strongly disparaging said scene.

Oh, well. As one of my hero’s famously wrote: “Do I contradict myself, very well, I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.” (That’d be Walt Whitman, folks).

That said, the article wisely highlights two of my favorites, Product C and La Pecora Nera (see Rave #1), and points to what hopefully will be a very bright future for the country’s culinary culture.

Wine Deals: Jaizkibel Open House

JaizkibelWine distributor Jaizkibel is hosting an open house this Friday and Saturday, September 7 and 8, at their showroom in Escazu. The event is open to the general public and will feature a range of special deals, offering as much as 30% off. Jaizkibel specializes in Spanish wines, and they also import and sell other specialty products, like extra virgin organic Spanish olive oil.

Jaizkibel is located in San Rafael de Escazu, in the small shopping center that houses Sal e Pepe, behind Pop’s, right near El Cruce.

The event runs from 10am until 8pm on Friday, and from 10am until 5pm on Saturday.

For more information, call 2288-1978.