A tiny taste of Mexico

©mylunchanddinner

Being Mexican, I am always reluctant to eat Mexican food in any place which is not my beloved country. I’ve been always like this, specially after getting sick, by the look and flavor of the food and physically in some cases. However, about two weeks ago I was craving for something that tasted or at least looked like something made back home.  Hubby was googling places to eat because we had ran out of ideas when he came across a very interesting webpage.

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He turned the laptop to me and said “Look! What do you think?”. I was completely excited by the photos, and asked where the place was. He said it was downtown San José, and we could go there if I wanted to give it a chance.  I wasn’t even hungry, but I suddenly felt a huge whole in my stomach, so I said: Let’s go I’m starving!

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We got to the place really fast. Los Huaraches is decorated with photos and paintings with Mexican motif. The tables are funny to watch given they have recipients where you can see some of the most common ingredients used in our cuisine: chiles, nixtamalized blue and white corn, among other things.

Now, before I move any further I have to tell you the term Mexican food is too general. Given our country is so big and every region has it’s own climate, every state has it’s own dishes. Some are similar, but have different names, and the food is extremely different if you are at the North, South, West or East. However, there are some classic things everyone nows.

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The waitress came to say hello, and asked what we wanted to drink. My husband asked for the watermelon “agua fresca” (natural made drink), it was fresh and sweet. I ordered my favorite, tamarind. It was really good, with the sour touch of tamarind as base, but with the sweetness of sugar that is added to make it drinkable.

We then proceeded to study the menu. It had photos of some foods, which looked really homy. Hubby decided on Enchiladas Suizas, which are chicken breast tacos covered with tomatillo-cream sauce and cheese, a gringa, flour tortilla with cheese and Trompo meat (at the capital is called Pastor). Trompo meat is pork with different spices and colour that makes it look red-orange and when made correctly is super delicious. I wanted to ask for something we call Campechanas which is the term used for a taco that combines any two types of meat, but the waitress looked clueless so I decided for the big taco with Trompo and beef.

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The order didn’t take long before it was on our table. The enchiladas were really tasty, with the tomatillo sauce having a slight lemon flavor.  It didn’t however have any cream, which made the sauce very green. We are used to slight differences, so we didn’t mind… wait Hubby didn’t mind. I tried them and they were extremely good! His gringa was really tasty, though it was also really oily. I was too happy to care, he was kind of upset. For some reason, he is not calorie conscious latelty.

As for my big taco… it looked like a burrito, which opposite to what most of you think is not a Mexican dish. Inside it contained my choice of two meats, fresh cheese, black beans, lettuce and sour cream. It was kind of weird, but the meats tasted so good that I was happy with the result.

Overall, of what we ordered the gringa was the most similar to our food. We do have to go back again to try other stuff that looked really interesting. We were very happy with the look and taste of everything, and that we found the place. The most mexican-like food I’ve ever tried.

Hope you enjoyed reading this!

© mylunchanddinner 2012

Let’s tango!

© mylunchanddinner 2012

Being from a place where chargrilled meat is the typical dish, getting invited for lunch to a place where you will be able to eat a big steak is a dream! Thus, when hubby asked me on a date to Terruño’s I happily accepted.  Getting to the place which is in Plaza Itzkazu was easy, but getting a parking spot was something different.  The place was completely full! Of course the plaza is full of Spanish, American (Hooters and Outback), an Italian Gelato shop (which I’ll review later) and some “Mexican” places (I hope I never try) it was no wonder.

Terruño’s is nicely decorated with Argentinian-style photos, some featuring tango dancers.  They have a bar that in addition to drinks serves the regular menu and a terrace where we so excitedly seated.  The servers were at all times really polite and attentive.  We ordered our drinks, and then put our eye on the menu.  We ordered some beef empanadas, a classic Argentinan appetizer, which was served with chimichurri (olive oil with herbs). Simply magical!

Once done devouring the empanaditas, I was shocked to see our food. (Hubby had been there, so no shock for him). I actually believe this is the restaurant that has the meat that resembles the most the juicy savory cuts served in Argentina (which I had the opportunity to taste on a trip to Buenos Aires with my parents a few years ago). My meat was so big that I think my eyes sparkled! Needless to say, it was even better than the appetizers! I had no space left on my stomach for dessert though.  Anyway, the fries were really crispy and the salad super fresh.

So if you are ever in Costa Rica, but crave for Argentina… Terruño’s is your choice!

PS. When I was done with my drink, I wanted a coca-cola type of thing. The waiter suggested a Fanta-kolita… If you ever come to CR or any place that serves it, don’t ask for it! Tastes like cold & cough medicine!

© mylunchanddinner 2012