It may be wise to see the Original Post before you continue to reading this blog, as I will be making references to items in the original post.
Now for the bad news. Uncle Earls is no more! It closed down many years ago. Where there is bad news sometimes there is good news as well. I have found a new place recently and it has some very tasty meats! I will go into more detail later in this blog post.
This chart may help you as you shop for meat in Costa Rica. You still have to keep in mind that they still only raise Brahma cows here for the most part. Brahma cows are used here because of their ability to adapt to the warmer and more humid climates.
In the United States they are mainly used for breading and not eating. They are very lean animals and have very little fat in comparison to other cows. It has been used to develop numerous other U.S. beef breeds including Brangus, Beefmaster, Simbrah and Santa Gertrudis.
While it isn’t the best beef for eating, you can with proper prep make it a fairly good choice. The best cut of course is the lomito. You will need to ask the butcher to cut the piece for you. The lomito is usually a very thin and long piece of meat, as seen in the image above. They still do not butcher like they do in other countries like the U.S. Make friends with your local butcher and ask him to cut your lomito 2 fingers thick and you will have a steak you can cook medium rare to rare with no problem. You can get a piece that looks like this.
Again with all this said as you can see the lomito from a Brahma cow is not as nice as one from an Angus cow, but it can be a very good piece.
So the big question is where can you get good beef?????? That answer is simple and complex at the same time. Like many things in Costa Rica there is no one good answer to this question. This week you could find it in your local grocery, next week you may not. You may have to drive an hour or two to get good beef. You could have a special restaurant who is willing to sell you the good beef they sell if you want some at home as well. I have done this. I had a party once and asked our local restaurant if they could get me their steaks for a party. They did. Sure I paid more for them, but they were tender, they were juicy and I cooked them the way I wanted them. Well worth it. Here is the one and only way you can keep getting good meet. When you find a place to get it tell your friends and family. Spread the word like wild fire. Keep that place in business! It can disappear as quickly as you found it!
Here are my top 3 groceries where you can find good meat.
- Walmart (Yes I said walmart) no I will not get into a debate over whatever issues you have with the company. Walmart Costa Rica is not Walmart U.S.A. get over it. They have good products for a good price. You can even find USDA steaks and other products if that is what you are looking for.
- Auto mercado is a chain that has a lot of specialties from around the world. You can find items from Asia, Europe, and U.S.A. You will pay a hefty price for these items.
- Pricesmart is hit and miss. Which is why it is 3rd on my list. They sometimes have good meat and sometimes they don’t. Where as the other two above are more consistent in the quality.
Restaurants are a different story. I have found a few in my 4+ years here, who have good steaks and do them well. Some have since gone away, but some have endured. You will pay more for eating those steak out rather than in, so if you are on a budget going to a restaurant to get good steak may not be in the cards for you. Here are my top restaurants where I have found good steaks. There may be others and if you know of some please post their information in the comments section. I would love to know where else to go!
- Here in our little town of Atenas the only place I will eat steak is La Trocha. It is a family owned and operated restaurant. Not many know about it, but it is nice and the people are friendly and it is very tico. He has many items on his menu that are delicious. We do mainly go there for steak since it is the only place we feel in all of Atenas that has steak worth eating. Now it is a very tico place. Only the daughter if she is there speaks English so be prepared for that. It is a nice place to go no doubt. If you have not tried it you really should. I love the filet minion medium rare with the La Trocha sauce made spicy! Frank makes it hot, hot, hot for me! I love it!
- 8octavo roof top in Escazu has a really nice steak. This steak is going to cost you. Make sure you go with money in your pocket or a good balance on your credit card. You are getting a good steak, but for the value go with our #1 choice above. This is a great anniversary/special event type place. Not your once a week when you want a steak place.
- Adacus Restaurant in Crocks casino is another good place. Now the steak on the menu is a platter they call it Waygu. I personally do not think it is. It could be low end waygu. None the less it was a delicious and tender $24 steak meal. I would get it again no doubt. I did not care of the sauces, but the veggies in the banana leaf were very tasty as well. Honestly almost any restaurant that serves steak in Jaco is worth eating. There are a number of restaurants that have delicious steaks. There is Graffiti , and Lemon Zest . Give any of them a try and you won’t be disappointed.
There is one place in Jaco I just found, that I mentioned above if you want to get good steaks, reasonable price for the house. There is a butcher shop called Jaco Fine Meats. It is a butcher shop that has some amazing meats, not just steak. If you are in the area take a cooler, get some ice and bring back some meat for your freezer. I just picked up 26 prime rib steaks for 12,950 colones per kilo. Which is about $10 per lb. You will not be disappointed if you go there!
This now ends my tale of meat in Costa Rica. I am once again a happy meat eater. It takes time, but you can find what you want in Costa rica. Sometimes you have to pay a little more, but sometimes you don’t. It all depends on how badly do you want what it is you want. This sometimes is the price you pay for living in paradise.