The Airplane

It was our first night at Manuel Antonio on the trip we made with my parents. After a day at the beach, I was, as usual, hungry. The immediate suggestion was a place I had fallen in love with the first time we went to the park.  Located on the high side of a cliff, with a lovely view of the beach and the jungle, is El Avión (airplane).

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The name of the restaurant is to be taken literally. The place is a wooden palapa built around a plane that was once used in what  was known as an obscure history including an illegal operation by CIA… you can read all about this here. Today, the plane hosts a bar inside and gives the core for a lovely restaurant. If you get the chance to seat in one of the tables at the end of the palapa, you have a wonderful view.  This is specially good around 6 when views of the sunset will leave you without words.


Without words you’ll be also after trying their food! We got there at a busy time, but didn’t care much. We got sited and immediately ordered our drinks. Mom and dad asked for a bottle of red wine and Hubby and I just asked for a Coke. We then moved to our food. Dad and I asked for rice with seafood, Mom had a seafood platter and Hubby asked for a tuna sandwich. Now, rice main courses are really common in Costa Rica. It is something you should definitely try if you are here.  Of course the main thing is the rice, but they are prepared on a paella-like form that makes them really tasty.

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After a while, we received our food. The tuna sandwich was really good, I shall know for a stole a bite. Hubby also said he enjoyed the flavors. Mom was enchanted by her seafood platter. It was served with a lovely sauce and some white rice. As for the rice and seafood, it was sublime! The rice was cooked really well and was full with all kinds of seafood, except octopus which I hate. The taste was really good with just the right amount of spices and it was so steamy that on was completely sure it was freshly made. All and all we were really happy with our results =)…

A few days later, Hubby and I returned for a second round of Plane Food, definitely not plain though. In this second visit, we had as an appetizer some fish fingers. I cannot finish to explain to you their taste. It is definitely the best fried fish I’ve ever had. They were served with an equally good bluecheese dressing. As a main course, I had the fettuccine with seafood while my husband ordered the rice. They were both super delicious. The fettuccine had a light white sauce that enhanced flavor. The rice was as good as the one ordered before.

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This airplane is really something!

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PS. If you go to have lunch/dinner around 5-ish, you have a high probability of encountering with some lovely visitors… cappuccino monkeys! It is quite a spectacle!! Just don’t feed them… it is illegal and really dangerous for the animals.

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Eating near the jungle and beach

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Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica’s National Parks. It is small, compared to other immense areas. The best of these parks is they are all covered by virgin or second generation vegetation and full with all kind of beautiful animals. Manuel Antonio is definitely my favorite. Being so small, the animals are used to human invaders. Monkeys are known to be thieves that come to steal your food from your bags. Thus, everyone has to be very careful with their belongings. Not that loosing an orange is terrible thing, but sometimes the animals are not used to some of the food they take (or worse, given by irresponsible people) and they get sick or even worse, die… So keeping our food away from animals, the experience of looking at them getting so close to us is wonderful!

Equally wonderful… eating near the park! A few steps away from the entrance and across the beach Hubby and I found something that caught our eye. It was one of those “beachy” restaurants, named after a really good fish, Marlin’s Restaurant. The place was packed, so we figured it might be a good idea to try it.

As soon as we were sitting, one of the waiters came to take our order. We asked for some water since the intense heat had us really thirsty. We then took a look at the menu. As an appetizer we ordered some nachos. As a main course, we both asked for the same thing fish filet with butter and garlic sauce and steamed vegetables.

The nachos didn’t take too long before they were on the table. When they set both plates, we were kind of surprised. We had never

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been served the chips on one plate and the other ingredients on another. It turns out, it is really a good idea because in this way the chips are crunchy in every bite. The toppings included grounded black beans, lettuce, tomato and sour cream. The plate looked so beautiful that it was almost saddening to eat through. Needless to say, the nachos were awesome!

With excellent timing, and once we were done, the fish arrived. It was served with the vegetables on the side and two small potatoes with fried plantain as decor. It looked lovely, tasted even better. The sauce was light and tasty, the vegetables were just cooked, and the potatoes, being one of my favorite ingredients, were soft and just moistened with a bit butter.

After eating all these food, we had no space for dessert! I hope you can all visit Manuel Antonio when you visit Costa Rica, and have lunch at Marlin’s!

© mylunchanddinner 2012