The Costa Rica Restaurant Review

Comments Disabled

mnsrconnoisseur | 13 July, 2010 22:56

I apologize to readers of this blog, but I have had to disable comments. 

This decision has been so long in coming, mainly because I appreciate and very much welcome reader comments.  However, the amount of spam that is posted on this blog in the form of comments is absolutely staggering.  Unfortunately Lifetype's spam filter mechanism, or at least that which comes with the version that is active on this site, leaves much to be desired.  

Those that are following my reviews on this site will notice that, prior to my most recent post, it had been quite some time since I have posted a review.  That is not because I have had nothing to say.  In part it is because the majority of the restaurants that I have been to recently have failed to impress (and I tire of writing a bunch of negative reviews in a row), and also because every time I am in the mood to log on and write something I am innundated with spam comments on every subject from fake watches, to viagra, to pornography and 1000 other subjects that have absolutely nothing to do with food, nor with restaurants, nor with Costa Rica (in fact much more often than not they originate from IPs that are not even located in Costa Rica).  If I let the computer run by itself it takes literally hours to purge all of the spam posts, and by the time it is finished, my inclination to write has long been used up by many other tasks.

I expect that this decision will result in me making more regular review posts regarding Costa Rica restaurants on this blog.  And with any luck the spam bots will eventually "forget" about this site and I will be able to reactivate comments.  But I'm not holding my breath.

Thanks for reading.

M.C.

Cafe de Artistas - Restaurant Review

mnsrconnoisseur | 13 July, 2010 22:38

Café de Artistas is a nice little café style, artsy restaurant located in San Rafael de Escazú.
 
I have been to Café de Artistas many times over the years since I have lived in Costa Rica.  However, prior to going today it had been about 3 or 4 years since my last visit.  Since that time, the previous owner had sold the business to someone else, so it now has "new" management, though I did recognize the waiter that attended me as having worked there for the prior owner.
 
As more of a café than a restaurant, they do most of their business in the morning, with the majority of the items on their menu being breakfast dishes.  Their lunch menu is much smaller -- consisting mainly of sandwiches (they have a selection of 8 or so different possibilities to choose from).  They do not serve dinner. 
 
Under the previous owner they used to have a daily special, usually a meat or a fish of some sort, with a vegetable on the side.  That seems to have been discontinued, or perhaps they offer a special on weekends.  I neglected to ask.
 
This particular foray was for purposes of a business lunch meeting with a long-time associate that I bumped into several days ago after not having seen him for a few years.  Evidently he is a regular customer.  Per the suggestion of the waiter, he ordered the barbecued beef sandwich, which, when it arrived, looked delightful.  I ordered the French dip Roast Beef sandwich, which was also impressive, nicely presented, and tasted fabulous.  I believe the sauce was rosemary.  Very well prepared, and fresh.  All of the sandwiches that they serve come with a side dish of french fries, pasta salad, potato salad, or fruit salad.  I had the potato salad, which was not great, but respectable.  We finished off our meal with a cup of coffee. All in all, a success...  The downside?  They do not have a liquor license, so no beer with your lunch.  The previous owner would slip you a beer under the table if it was obvious that you weren't an investigator or someone who would likely turn him in to the local authorities.  Evidently the new guy wants to do things a little more by the book.  Fair enough.
 
The ambience in Café de Artistas is very agreeable.  Not luxurious, but nice.  Service is good, albeit fairly slow.  I think there was one other person there at the same time as us, but it seemed like it took them quite some time to bring our food after we ordered.  That's not necessarily a bad thing, because it is a nice atmosphere in which to relax, and moreso if you have someone with you with whom to share a good conversation.  And perhaps it takes time for the food to be prepared carefully, up to the standards that they wish to provide.  Nevertheless, if the place was unduly crowded, I think the wait to receive one's order might become a bit of a bottleneck.
 
The price was reasonable for the amount, and certainly the quality, of food received.  Figure on a price of about $8 to $10 for a well-prepared sandwich, side order, and a cup of coffee.
 
At minimum, worth a visit and possibly worthy of being a semi-regular place to do lunch. 
 
M.C.

Note:  Café de Artistas is located in San Rafael de Escazú, about 100 meters south of Plaza Rolex (the shopping center where Citibank is located). Call them for reservations at 2288-5082, or visit them online at www.cafe-de-artistas.com

 
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