Excerpt of an article about the "casado"
by Jay Brodell
This column is in praise of the casado, the Tico midday blue plate special as A.M. Costa Rica food writer Dr. Lenny Karpman calls it.

The typical casado has rice, beans, the meat of your choice, usually beef, fish, a pork chop or chicken and a

All that for ¢1,000 bit of salad. A medium fruit juice and sometimes a dessert round out the menu.

This is the staple that keeps downtown office workers going. And the price usually ranges from 900 to 1,200 colons, about $1.84 to $2.45. Some places charge a little more. Others give a choice of fries and a soft drink.

A little delight that comes
with most casados is a sampling of fried plantain or banana. Although they may be an acquired taste for some, the banana fried in olive oil brings out the sugars. Sometimes a few corn tortillas round off the meal.

Casado, of course, means married in Spanish, and the midday casado is just that, a marriage of the food groups, except the beer food group which is available separately.
As appeared in A.M. Costa Rica, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005, Vol. 5, No. 214 San José, Costa Rica
One has to wander a bit from the usual tourist restaurants to find a casado, although some upscale restaurants have it on the lunch menu because Costa Ricans demand it. They call a small restaurant here a soda, and every soda has its own version of the casado, frequently extolled on a small sign or chalkboard at the entry to the establishment.

There are some low-cost suggestions. Although one does not think supermarket when considering dining options, both Hypermas and Mas x Menos have cafeterias in some of their stores. Mas x Menos on Avenida Principal between calles 11 and 13 redid the entire cafeteria about a year ago and moved it from the back of the store to a sun--filled location near the entry.

The focus on the casado is prompted by Dr. Lenny Karpman's column last week about cheap places to eat. He will be back next week. But the newspaper did get some responses to suggestions of where expats could eat cheaply.
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