The Costa Rica Restaurant Review

Restaurante Del Mar - Restaurant Review

mnsrconnoisseur | 17 September, 2009 11:01

The Del Mar Restaurant is located in the Hotel Del Rey (and Casino) in downtown San Jose, in the same area as the Horeshoe Casino, Club ColoniaI Casino, etc.  The menu sports primarily American Cuisine.

The restaurant adjoins the casino area of the hotel, but in addition, the Hotel Del Rey is a very well known congregating point for hookers in the San Jose area.  The girls parade up and down especially in the bar areas, advertising their "wares".  If you are offended by that type of thing, then this restaurant is best avoided.  In any case, it is certainly not a family style restaurant, nor a place that one would enjoy a romantic evening with one's partner.

The service at the restaurant varies based on when you go and whom the attending staff are.    Overall they take fairly good care of you, but they are not overly attentive.  If you need something you will likely have to call someone over as they do not visit your table to check if everything is ok.  Even on the businest of nights you should have no trouble finding a seat.  Most of the activity is at the bars and in the casino.  As a result, the place is also fairly loud.  There are usually televisons on, usually airing sporting events.

During my most recent excursion to this restaurant (for lunch), I orded a cheeseburger.  As is my custom, I asked for it to be as rare as possible.  As I frequently am when I order a burger, I was disappointed.  It was not overly well done, but it was not nearly as rare as I prefer.  I guess people just don't get it when I tell them that I want the meat all but still breathing.  Other than that, it was decent.  It came with the works and had french fries on the side.  At about 5000 colones after tax, it is probably on the expensive side, considering the quality.  For a burger you will do better at California Western, reviewed elsewhere in this blog.  Fortunately the meal was comped, as I was there playing poker.

While my review of this particular meal may seem negative, I don't want to convey that one can't eat well here.  Years ago a friend of mine treated me to a Marlin dinner at this restaurant and it was spectacular.  I don't know if it is still on the menu, nor what the preparation would be like these days, but it would be worth another try if they still serve it.  Also they make a mean philly chease steak sandwich, made even better if you ask for extra onions.  It is also served with fries on the side and costs about 5000 colones after tax.  I would consider it a much better bet than their hamburger.

I will wrap up this review with one small tip.  If you are passing through and decide to try out this restaurant, first cross the street over to the Key Largo and check the menu of the restaurant there.  The Key Largo has the same owners and management as the Del Mar Restaurant, but the restaurant there is a little more classy and is certainly quieter.  Last time I ate there they had exactly the same menu as the Del Mar Restaurant, the food had identical preparation, but the price was significantly less.  It is worth checking this, and certainly worth crossing the street to save a little bit of money, especially given the more comfortable and quieter dining area.


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