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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hungry Yuppies Hit The Road

Hola amigos! We just returned from an amazing trip to Costa Rica. They're are so many things I love about travelling, one of them being the food. We stayed in Montezuma, a small backpacker town, in a beautiful resort lofted on top of a hill with spectacular views. Hats off to the chef there, Johann, who fed us delicious and organic meals all week long. It was hard to believe the dishes he created were healthy too, using the freshest ingredients available. Post-yoga every morning, we enjoyed breakfast which included fruit salad, fresh juices, and Costa Rican coffee. At lunch we dug into a huge salad with the best tahini dressing and lots of veggies. And dinner definitely did not disappoint, with a great variety of dishes from pad Thai with fish cakes, to veggie sandwiches with homemade rolls. After each dinner, we bombarded Johann with questions about how he created each dish. He gave up a few of his secrets, so I'm very anxious to recreate some of them including the coconut-crusted red snapper and the avocado-chocolate smoothie!

We couldn't eat at the hotel every night, just because we wanted to experience some local flavor in town. And what would a vacation be without fun tropical drinks? We wasted no time to enjoy pina coladas at one of the bars on the beach.

Cocolores was recommended by many locals (including Johann). Their Mediterranean-style ceviche with homemade bread, was muy delicioso, as were my chicken fajitas with fresh salsa and cotija cheese. And on Isla Tortuga, our guides cut up fresh coconuts to enjoy after a yummy lunch of stewed fish and rice.

Our last night we dined at Playa de los Artistas, which was probably one of the most unique restaurants I have been to. The beach front area was dimly lit by candles and gas lamps, complete with drift wood tables and funky chairs (and a fat, hungry cat). We had Peruvian ceviche spiced with ginger and chilies, peppers stuffed with shrimp and avocado, and hummus with toasted bread, and that's just for the starters! I had almond crusted mahi-mahi with yucca mash and grilled veggies, Rich had river prawns in an orange-rum sauce. The food was excellent, but the ambiance there made it a great end to a great week of food.

Luckily, we were able to get up early enough our last morning to enjoy breakfast at El Sano Banano in town where we shared banana pancakes and an omelet as we watched the monkeys in the trees. The perfect end to an adventurous journey.

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.