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Content
Home / Preface
5 - Costa Rica in Brief
6 - Map of Costa Rica
8 - Symbols of Costa Rica
9 - Introduction
12 - Getting a Bird's Eye View
14 - Why Choose Costa Rica?
18 - Costa Rica Has Many Firsts to its Name
22 - A Place That Accepts All Races
30 - The Friendliness of the Costa Ricans
33 - Ticos are Individualistic
35 - Ticos Are Different and Procrastinators
38 - Why Others Have Gone Abroad
42 - Specific Reasons for Leaving Home
45 - Culture Shock
48 - Enjoy Your Retirement by Adjusting
49 - Ways to Adjust to Your New Life
56 - Making Your Stay More Satifying
58 - Cost of Living
67 - Addresses and Directions
69 - Your Car and Driving
71 - How Not to Be Obnoxious to Locals
74 - Adjusting to the Weather and Climate
76 - Choosing the Right Climate for You
77 - City Living versus Country Living
79 - Where to Live in Costa Rica
82 - Living in Your American Style
84 - Top Quality Health Services
87 - Medical Centers in San José
89 - Dying in Costa Rica
91 - Security and Safety in Costa Rica
94 - Personal Experiences of Petty Thievery
98 - Sex and Romance
101 - Going into Business Yourself
105 - Expatriates Production Enterprises
110 - Expatriates Service Businesses
114 - The Business Environment
120 - Helpful Tips for the Newcomer
125 - National Holidays and Festivities
128 - Religion, Churches & Support Groups
131 - The Optimism and Health Link
133 - The 8 Point Formula for Anti-Aging
134 - Obtaining Insurance
136 - Early Colonial History in Brief
139 - English Language & Tico Expressions
144 - Misdemeanors That Are Now Felonies
146 - Closing Words
148 - Bibliography
149 - For More Information and Contacts
151 - Appendix
155 - Index

Eating Out

My wife and I like to eat out on Saturdays and Sundays, especially our mid-day meal. That's mainly because our maid has those two days off. We try to find new places to eat for greater variety and over the years have found that for an occasional low cost meal the larger supermarkets are a good place to go.

The plato del día (plate of the day), which is available in most small eating places, consists of rice, black beans, a choice of meat, fish or chicken, mashed potatoes, salad, and a cold fresh fruit drink all for less than $4. We had a really tasty one at the little town of Tabarcia a couple of miles just off the highway to Puriscal. Once, while in a hurry and out of town, I also had a good plato del día for lunch for only $2.75 at a house in El Coyol, Alajuela, where two housewives converted part of one's living room into a small public eating place. Of course, I wouldn't recommend restricting yourself to the standard menu because of its lack of variety, but it does come in handy when you're low on funds and in a hurry. Vegetarians will find a large menu in the Vishnu chain in San José.

Another good place to eat in San José at low cost is the Hamburger Factory (several locations) which offers an excellent variety of red meat and chicken dishes cafeteria style. On occasions, if you go there after 2 p.m., two persons can buy for the price of one. A friend of mine, who visited me from Maryland, found the hamburgers there much better than the ones served by the known American franchises established in Costa Rica. Also worthy of consideration are the Mega Supers where you can have a good lunch at their food grills for less than $4, including a natural fruit drink and dessert.

For more expensive, though still reasonably priced places to eat there are La Cascada, Los Anonos and Tony Roma's (for ribs) in San Rafael de Escazú, and the Outback Steakhouse which lies along the highway to Guachipelin. Good eating places abound and sometimes you can be surprised at a good discovery. However, you could be dismayed at finding that a well-publicized place turned out to offer poor food, bad service and high prices - a complete disappointment.

For fish food, the La Princesa Marina (three locations) has very reasonable prices. Another excellent marine food eating place is El Banco del Marisco a few miles west of the town of Santa Barbara in Heredia Province. Such is its popularity that on Sundays you have to stand in line and wait for a table to be available. They usually have a full house from 12 noon to 3 p.m. They offer a good ceviche cocktail appetizer which is raw fresh fish seeped in lemon juice. The fried fish, whole and available in several sizes, as well as the octopus in garlic sauce, are excellent. At the Central Market in San José you can have a good ceviche for $2 with a free side-dish of tasty small slices of boiled green banana.


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