The Best Tacos I've Eaten Were Not Made In Mexico.
Not far west of the Pan American Highway, just off of Hwy 21, if memory serves, in the city of Liberia, Costa Rica, sits a nondescript abode. It doesn't stand out much from the surrounding homes with its white walls, tin roof, and leaning wooden wagon wheels. The only indication that it's anything more than another family home is the hand painted sign that reads, "Tacos" -- almost as though it's ashamed.
It looks lost, this house, trying to pose as a restaurant.
You see, Tacos aren't typical Costa Rican cuisine. But after nearly 2 months in this country, we were ready to pay anything for something other than rice, beans, or fried plantains -- including the surprisingly steep prices we saw scrawled across the chalkboard menu.
The place was empty.
With a couple of wire racks, a flat-top gas griddle, and a charcoal grill as its only accoutrements, the kitchen was questionably equipped. But when the owner, a Mexican transplant, brought out a selection of the freshest white cheese, yellow pineapple, onions, red beef and chorizo we'd seen in months, all questions ceased and we sat back to enjoy the smell of our sizzling Mexican tacos mingling with the flavor of our cold, Costa Rican beer.
Sometimes, it seems, we need a taste of the exotic *within* a foreign land to rejuvenate the thrill of an extended stay.
And it turns out that little lost restaurants are just the places to do it.
Word to the wise: One menu item is enough to serve 3 people here. We were not so wise.