Posts Tagged ‘review’

Olga’s Coffee Shop

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Olga’s coffee Shop is situated just meters away from Plaza Conchal, in the same place as Voodoo lounge is. Olga’s, as many other cafes in Tamarindo, offers rather indifferent food, including bagels, omelets and quesadillas. What is interesting about Olgas’s Coffee Shop is that it also has a gluten free breakfast which comes in handy for some people. They also open quite early – around 7am so if you are like us, still on the European time zone, you may have no choice but to pop in as everything opens later in Tamarindo.

In our first morning in Tamarindo we woke up early and had no choice but go to Olga’s to get something for breakfast. The food was just ok, so we have never felt like going back. Although, it might be an interesting place for Russians as the owner is a woman from Moscow, Russia who has lived in Costa Rica for eight years now. So, you may want to come round and have a chat with a Russian lady.

To go to the official Olga’s Coffee Shop web-site

Le Petit Café, Tamarindo

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Le Petit Café is situated in Plaza Tamarindo and owned by a  Jamaican / Canadian lady. It serves paninis, salads and desserts. We live right next to Le Petit café, that’s why we gave Le Petit Café a try a couple of times, going for breakfast and for snacks but were rather disappointed starting with the level of service and finishing with the food.

Talking about service, once I asked for a bagel with bacon and tomato (they didn’t have it in the menu) and guess what we received? A bagel with a slice of tomato in it :). The waitress spoke no English, so it was not easy to explain what we wanted …

There was though one good deal in Le Petit Café: they offered a breakfast burrito (which was quite tasty) with a free cup of coffee all for 2000 colones, or $4.

To visit Le Petit Cafe web-site>>

Nougi’s restaurant, Tamarindo

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Nougi’s is located on the beach right by the Tamarindo circle. It was supposedly first opened in 1974, at least the sign says that.  Nougi’s is also one of the few places which operates in the mornings (though we noticed sometimes on different days a week they were closed for no reason)  and serves breakfast so once we decided to give it a try.

Both the service and the food were ok, indifferent. The prices were rather steep, adapted to US customers. You also have to keep in mind that their menu does not include the 13% food tax which together with a mandatory 10% service charge comes up to a quite different amount than expected.

The only reason I can see to ever go to Nougi’s is to enjoy the scenic view of the beach and/or of the sunset if you are at the right time of the day.

Seasons by Shlomy review, Tamarindo

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Seasons is rated as one of the best restaurants in Tamarindo. On closer inspection it does appear to be one of the better restaurants.

We went there quite early in the evening and having no reservation took the last unreserved  table near the nice pool area. I think it is best to arrange your table in Seasons in advance as they were packed later.

We bought a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and went for the specials of the day including a shared appetizer. The portions were rather small (but I don’t mind it in good restaurants) and what struck my boyfriend is that both entrees (I had grilled salmon and he had spicy shrimps) were served with exactly the same veggies which were decorated the same way. This is also a difference between a good chef and an average one. I think Mr Shlomy belongs to the category of the decent chefs rather to the extraordinary, especially as deserts were again on an average level.

I think people expect too much from Seasons by Shlomy, where the food is rather indifferent, although the service and atmosphere is good. If you are after exquisite food, I would recommend Dragonfly restaurant, it was my best experience in Tamarindo. The prices in most restaurants are similar, so you might as well go to the better restaurants like Dragonfly. My review of Dragonfly is here.

To go to the Seasons by Shlomy website click here

la via del gusto, tamarindo

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

La Via Del Gusto was previously an Italian restaurant which was located in the Luna Lena hotel in Tamarindo. Right now it is a small kiosk with a few seatsIn front of the entrance to the Super Compro supermarket.  La Via Del Gusto  is still operated by the same Italian couple. We went there  many times for the delicious coffee (my boyfriend loves it!), but they also sell Italian breads, sandwiches and smoothies.

I would definitely recommend it for those who like coffee, whether to sit in or to go. We tried to find a good cup of coffee in many places in Tamarindo but most of the time is was rather a bearable cup than an enjoyable one…

Movie Time

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

There is a huge number of movies I have watched recently. Here is a long list of films and how much I liked them:

The King’s Speech (2010)  

The Fighter (2010) 

Toy Story 3 (2010) 

Winter’s bone (2010) 

Black Swan (2010)  

Salt (2010)  

Broken embraces (2009) 

Killers (2010) 

The Young Victoria (2009)  

The legend of guardians (2010)  

35 rums (2009)  

Everything is Illuminated (2005)  

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)  

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010) 

Erin Brockovich (2000) 

Eat, Pray, Love (2010)  

The Langosta Beach Club, Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

The Langosta Beach Club is situated on the road between Tamarindo and Langosta right on the beach. It positions itself as an upmarket restaurant which leans to French cuisine. We only went there in the late evening to get a desert and we were a little bit overwhelmed by the attention of the staff (maybe because not many people were in the restaurant?). We were not surprised though to feel all those mosquitoes around us :).

The average cost of a main course is around $20 which is a little bit more than dining in a casual restaurant in Tamarindo. It is also comforting that the Langosta Beach Club includes the 13% food tax, so you will only have the 10% obligatory service charge on top of your bill. As for deserts nothing can beat French crepes, they were amazing. I also liked the area with a pool and the ocean and stars view.

P.S. Do not forget to bring a torch with you; maybe it will help you to read the Langosta Beach Club menu. The waiter left us his one so we could choose what we wanted :).

You can find the Langosta Beach Club dinner menu here

Kahiki Restaurant, Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Kahiki is a popular bar in the evening and a popular spot for breakfast, or brunch. It is situated on the road to Langosta beach 50 meters down from “Super 2001” supermarket.

My experience proved Kahiki to be number one in Tamarindo for its amazing breakfast. It took me two months to finally make it to Kahiki and I only regret that I didn’t find it earlier as getting a decent breakfast in Tamarindo is a problem.  Whether you want something simple like a salmon bagel (me) or a big “Tucker” breakfast for big eaters (my boyfriend) you will be satisfied.

What I also liked was the free water (a simple American rule which I respect being from Europe) and quite good (for Costa Rica) service. Kahiki’s prices also include the 13% food tax, so you will only have the 10% obligatory service charge on top of your bill.

By the way, I notice that most of popular and better cafes and restaurants in Tamarindo include the 13% food tax in their price while the least successful places do charge it on top of your bill. Something to think about when you go out for a meal…

Gran Hotel Costa Rica, San Jose

Friday, March 11th, 2011

This hotel was chosen for its location and for its long history. There wasn’t a single hotel in San Jose in 1929 which would be able to accommodate some important politic figures. Therefore, the government of Costa Rica closed a deal for the Gran Hotel Costa Rica to be built and agreed not to tax the hotel for many years ahead in order to have a possibility of always having two rooms reserved for important guests to Costa Rica. I believe that this agreement existed for over 30 years.

That was how the history of the Gran Hotel Costa Rica began… I don’t know exactly when the hotel lost its status of prestige and glamour but when we stayed there in 2011 for a couple of days it was rather a sad place. Tiny hotel rooms with tiny bathrooms which have not been renovated in years, bad noise insulation, no air condition and the world’s worst breakfast… Yes, the Gran Hotel San Jose from the outside is still looks impressive, but inside – it needs a hell of lot of work to be done!

I must mention the hotel room key policy. The hotel is still using an old-fashioned key with the hotel room number attached to it. So, if you somehow lose a key  there is a fine of $80 regardless. If you lock it in your room or when checking out do not hand it in to reception there is a fine of $20!!! How sweet :)

Dragonfly Restaurant, Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Also called Dragon Fly Bar and Grill. 

One of the more up market restaurants in Tamarindo and it was also the first place where we were asked if we had a reservation. The absence of a reservation did not hinder us in getting a table but the place soon became very busy. What I liked in Dragon Fly was the presence of a wine list and real flowers on the table. The price for a main course was around $15 to $18 and the cocktails were $6 as in any other restaurant in Tamarindo. The food, both mine and my boyfriend’s, was exquisite and very tasty, even though the portions were not big.

I have to say again that in Costa Rica some restaurants like Dragon Fly Bar and Grill do not include the 13 percent tax on food. There is also an obligatory 10 percent service charge. So the bill ends up a quarter more expensive that you would have expected. What I didn’t like is that in Dragonfly Restaurant I also saw on my bill a note “gratuity is appreciated”. It sounded like that the 10 percent service charge didn’t exist on the bill in the first place!!!

Overall, the dining experience was very pleasant.