The Costa Rica Restaurant Review

Los Antojitos - Restaurant Review

mnsrconnoisseur | 27 October, 2008 14:23

Los Antojitos is a chain of Mexcian-style restaurants that can be found in many locations throughout Costa Rica.

I am a big fan of Mexican food -- it is something I could eat pretty much every day.  As such, I have been to Los Antojitos numerous times, and have sampled various of their dishes.  Generally I go to their simply but tastefully decorated location in San Rafael de Escazú, but I have also eaten at Los Antojitos in Multiplaza, where they have a booth in the food court.

Though I have eaten at Los Antojitos on several occasions, it had been quite some time between visits for me.  The last time I went I had a hankering for chimichangas, having eaten them before at Los Antojitos, and having enjoyed them.  So I ran over to the restaurant to pick up an order of chimichangas to go.  They took a very long time to prepare them, and when I got home to eat them I was rather disappointed.  This negative experience prevented me from returning for quite a while.  In the meantime I had to learn to make chimichangas at home (which was good, because my chimichangas are better than theirs are anyway).

But it was late and we were hungry, and didn't want to spend a lot of money, or a lot of time preparing food and cleaning up afterwards.

This most recent visit was to the restaurant in San Rafael, we were a party of three.  We arrived during dinner hours, but in looking at the place settings I noticed that they had some executive lunch specials that looked reasonably priced.  I will consider returning for lunch in the future to try them out.

As I said, I was hungry, and so was quick to jump into the tortilla chips and salsa that are placed at the table immediately to welcome those that choose to eat here.

When I pulled myself away from the chips and salsa long enough to look at the menu, I saw that Barvaria Dark was something like 1650 colones per bottle, so decided against having a beer with my meal.  A thousand colones is a good price and allows the restaurant to make a reasonable profit of about 100% (and that's assuming that they buy beer at the supermarket and don't get a special price from the national brewery in Costa Rica).  I can even see paying 1200 colones.  But 1650 colones was a bit more than I could stomach.  I opted for an horchata instead, which is a refreshing drink, the Mexican variety of which is usually made with milk, rice, and cinnamon, among other ingredients.

In looking at the menu, I was tempted by the enchiladas -- one of my favorite Mexican dishes, but I wasn't in the mood for chicken, and that seemed to be the only variety of enchilada available.  So I opted for "Los Burritos" which is a (or a pair of, I don't remember) fried burrito(s) with your choice of chicken, beef, or sausage.  I chose sausage, and it turned out to be a good choice.  The burrito came with a side order of french fries (don't ask me why french fries are served as a side order at a Mexican restaurant) and a small salad.  One of my dining companions ordered the "pieces of pork" (rather roughly translated) which were served over a couple of tortillas.  She must have liked what she ordered because she ate the whole thing, and being a somewhat fussy eater at only 12 years of age, this was not exactly a small feat.  My other fellow diner (her older sister) ordered one of the varieties of tacos on the menu, I think "Tacos Tostados", which she also apparently enjoyed.

I have to comment here that Los Antojitos is probably only slightly higher quality than fast food.  It is not an AUTHENTIC Mexican restaurant, at least not as I would normally define such.  In truth, I probably wouldn't consider any restaurant that serves french fries to be authentic Mexican food, and the french fries also push the restaurant in the direction of "fast food" as well.  The service is ok, but there is generally quite a wait between placing your order and getting your food.  Maybe that's one of the reasons they give you the chips and salsa when you sit down.  In fairness, at least on this past occasion, the restaurant was fairly busy.  But as noted above, I had to wait an awfully long time for my chimichangas on my previous visit as well.
The food at Los Antojitos is more or less reasonably priced, but the serving sizes are not exceptionally large.  Overall, the three of us ate for a total of about $22.  I didn't leave as full as I usually like to be when I leave a restaurant, and I hadn't had any beer either.  But my hunger was certainly abeyed enough for me to go the rest of the evening without eating anything further, and my wallet wasn't unduly lighter than when I had arrived.  All in all, I would summarize Los Antojitos as "good in a pinch."

M.C.

Note:  As noted above, Los Antojitos is a restaurant chain. Their restaurants can be found in many places throughout the metropolitan area of Costa Rica including Heredia, multiple locations in Escazú, Rohrmoser, multiple locations in Tibás, and Desamparados.
 
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