Wednesday, January 20, 2016

La Bodeguita Del Medio: A Very Cuban Last Supper

 La Bodeguita Del Medio: A Very Cuban Last Supper
By: Isaac Gritz

            San Jose – Day 8 of the Costa Rica journey and we were back where we started, San Jose. After a long morning presentation to Intrepid marked with anxiety, last minute touches, technical glitches, and an otherwise excellent presentation, the culmination of our 8-day adventure concluded with one final surprise. A short cab ride away brought us to a part of San Jose we had not seen before, the bustling college scene, just outside the University of Costa Rica. Unlike the rather quaint, historic, commercialized downtown, this part of town was more lively.

            We arrived at a restaurant called La Bodeguita Del Modio, a well known Cuban restaurant based off a famous typical restaurant bar in Havana of the same name. It was my first time at a Cuban restaurant and I was intrigued by the atmosphere of the restaurant complete with wall to wall graffiti art, dimly light with accent lights, and a live band. The beat of the bongo’s combined with the smell of Cuban spices and freshly grilled meat welcomed us into a rich cultural experience. The server approached us with a warm greeting and explained the restaurant and some of the offerings. We were presented with menus that had an entire middle section dedicated to Mojitos, a specialty at La Bodeguita Del Medio. There were six different types of mojito: original mojito, moxito (a tequila based mojito mix), mojito Jack Daniel’s (with a whiskey base), strawberry mojito, a virgin mojito, and a traditional Cuban mixed mojito called Mojito Havana. Each one was delicious and carefully mixed to create an authentic and high quality drink. The strawberry seemed to be the most popular at our table.

            Our appetizers came out and involved a combination of chips, cheese and sauces, and later more cheese. All of which were unique from what we’d expect and were all tasty. Within a short time later, all of our dishes came out with a mix of meats, beans, cheese, plantains, and some more traditional Cuban dishes. While it was not too far from what we’ve become accustomed to in Costa Rica, there was certainly an interesting twist and specialties including a all-you-can-eat chicken dish.

            La Bodeguita Del Modio offered a perfect environment to celebrate the end of a superb presentation and the end of an incredible voyage. It brought with it another rich cultural experience, an enjoyable and engaging customer experience, and a restaurant atmosphere that made this restaurant more than live up to the high marks it received on TripAdvisor. Pura Vida!

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