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
As appeared in A.M. Costa Rica, Friday,
Oct. 28, 2005, Vol. 5, No. 214 San José,
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
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.