This weekend we checked out a Mexican restaurant in town called Habanero. The restaurant is right on the water where you can watch the waves while you enjoy your meal. The food was actually pretty good with a well thought out menu. They had a selction of appetizers and a few main courses to choose from. We had a Mexican style sashimi for an appetizer and shared sauteed shrimp in chipotle sauce for and entree.
All of the little things that make a Mexican restaurant good were there. For example the re-fried beans and rice both had a good unique flavor, same can be said about the guacamole and salsa fresca.
We actually do not go out to eat that often and cook many of our meals at home for a few reasons. One, we are both pretty decent cooks so often we can prepare rather tasty meals. The other reason is because we have two kiddos and it is often difficult to rally the troops to go to dinner, especially when you consider that most of the places down here don’t even start serving dinner until 6 at night, that is when we are normally wrapping up our day. The final reason that we do not go out that often is our budget. Many of the restaurants in the community are catered toward tourism, that means that they are a little pricey for just a family meal out. It is rare to find plates for under $15 dollars with most of them in the $20 -$30 range. That is not to say that there are not more reasonable places out their for the locals, but rice and beans can get a little old.
We have a local fish market in town at the end of the road in Mal Pais. Two times a day the fisherman come in from the sea with their Pangas filled with fish. We try to swing by once a week and stock up on fresh fish. We usually pick up a Tuna and turn it into sachimi and Tuna steaks. This week we also picked up a Red Snapper and turned into some of the best ceviche I have made yet. I used my Tilapia Ceviche recipe but added garlic, to give it a little bit a Peruvian Ceviche taiste.
There is one grocery store in town that is called Super Ronny 1, not to be mistaken for as Super Ronny 2, that has a fresh meat deli. We pick up most of our proteins at Super Ronny 1 with the exception of the fish. We will often pick up a couple of chicken breasts and some carne (beef). They also have a wonderful beef tenderloin that friends have purchased a couple of times when we have guests.
We get our vegetables at Super Fresca, a few meters up the road from Super Ronny 1, because they have the most reasonable rates on fruits and vegetables as well as the freshest selection. There is a farmers market on Saturday afternoons in town where you can get organic veggies if you like. We tried getting our veggies from there but they are not that fresh. The person who supplies the market actually picks up all of their goods in San Jose on Wed. By Saturday they almost on their last leg giving you one or two days to consume them before they all wilt and go bad.
We are slowly getting use to the town and the way of life. The exciting thing is that we find out new stuff to do almost each week. Either a new restaurant to check out, a new private beach to check out, or a class or event for the entire family to enjoy.