Restaurant Review: Cafe Costa Rica

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Yesterday was World Vegan Day, and instead of cooking a super delicious vegan meal, I carted my lazy ass to a restaurant! Okay, so I’d actually been wanting to try this place for a while, and heard they had some pretty awesome stuff, and wanted to support a local restaurant that catered to the vegan crowd. So, the man and myself travelled downtown to visit a restaurant so cute and tiny that if you blink, you just may miss…so keep your eyes peeled for this one!

It’s called the Café Costa Rica, and it’s literally in the basement of an old house with two tables outside, and three tables inside. You walk inside, and the smells are deliciously overpowering. You’re greeted by a friendly hello, and asked if you want to sit inside or outside (outside?? It’s like, 35 degrees outside! Do you real Wisconsin folk really still sit outside when it’s that cold?! Sheesh!) We took the small corner table and were handed menus that were nothing more than a piece of paper that looked like it had been laminated like, 20 years ago. The menu was entirely meat…steak, chicken, pork, veal, fish. Oh boy…maybe we went to the wrong place. Wait! At the very bottom of the menu in small print it said, “Can make any meal vegetarian/vegan. Please ask your server.” My first thought was, how the hell do you make veal vegan?! But, when our server arrived at the table, I obviously asked, how can you make these meals vegan? Our server then began to describe how they can “veganize” any option you would like. For example, they can marinate tofu steaks in the sauce the veal is made with, or use patacones in substitution for any meat on the plate (patacones are fried green plantains). As soon as our server mentioned the patacones substitution, I immediately began to salivate. I ordered the Burrito but stuffed with patacones instead of beef and no cheese. The man ordered a jerk marinated tofu steak. And we sat, anxiously awaiting our food.

Look at the SIZE of that thing!!!

His looked equally as delicious!

Hell Yes I'm in Heaven!!

To say we were please with the outcome would be an understatement. For one, my burrito was bigger than my thigh (and this chubby latina vegan has some serious thighs!) and the aromas were enough to make me sing out loud. Then, we got down to the real test…the taste. All my wildest fantasies seemed to come true in that very moment. It was honestly the best meal I have had in AGES. The man cleaned his plate. I have lunch for two days now.

Overall, I’d give this place a 9/10 (no parking makes it lose a point, which is going to be difficult for when it gets snowy!). We will definitely be back, and if you are a Dairyland Vegan like myself, I HIGHLY recommend Café Costa Rica!

Also, don't forget to check out Vegan MoFo!!


Andy Dufresne said...

Looks like you struck gold! Yum!

Kelly said...

I just found your blog via the MoFo blogroll (woohoo!) - yay for Madison vegans! I'm also a WI transplant, although I came from the opposite coast - I'm from Rhode Island originally. Anyway, I'm excited to find your blog. :)

I've never even heard of Cafe Costa Rica, so thanks for the tip! The food looks ridiculously delicious.

Danielle said...

@Andy, it was incredible!!
@Kelly, welcome, transplant! Today actually marks my 1-year anniversary as a Wisconsin-ite?? Scraping the ice off my car this morning wasn't exactly how I planned on starting my year-anniversary here, but I suppose I should start getting used to it!

Kelly said...

I'm at my 11-month anniversary... almost to the day, too. Happy 1-year! :P

I did go to college in MN, though, so I suppose I've been a semi-Midwesterner for a while now.

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