El Patio Del Balmoral (San Jose, Costa Rica)
Staying in the capital, San Jose, unlike all other smart tourists who escaped the unpleasant reality, we wanted to find a place to enjoy the local fare in an ambient space.
A non-descript entrance lead us to a rather large interior court with live plants and soaring ceilings.
A lot of natural light during the day was pouring through the glass skylights was ideal to enjoy the rainy weather from the inside.
With it’s simple design, the restaurant is appearing - presenting itself as a street-side cafe. Initially we thought it might be a tourist trap, but it was a decently looking place and our options were limited, so we took the risk.
Prices are on a higher end, but at least there are some Costa Rican options on the menu.
Muffled easy rock music playing in the background reminded us we are not in a place for the locals.
We ordered their basic draft beer and chilli guardo. We also asked for Arroz Chaufa “estillo peruano” and Casado Típico del Patio.
Surprisingly cheap paper placemats with ads for the restaurant left an underwhelming initial impression.
A large portion of fresh guacamole with some ornate onion, cucumber and tomato slices promptly lifted our moods. Chips were also fresh and crispy. The only thing missing was a bit of extra spice on the guac.
When it came to the mains, we were not impressed by either of the dishes which came accompanied with salad and a thousand island dressing. The Peruvian Plate one reminded us of a Chinese rice and meat dish of generally lackluster character while their Casado Tipico brandished a surprisingly salty smoked dry meat bland accompaniment of white rice with beans.
We would recommend this place for drinks and snacks rather than for the full meals.