San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Restaurants Serve Up Turkey and Trimmings

No need to slave all day in the kitchen for that perfect Thanksgiving meal:

Several restaurants in the San José area are willing to do all the work this holiday season by whipping up their own Thanksgiving buffets for you and your loved ones.

A panoramic view will accompany turkey dinner at the Capitol Grill restaurant at White House Hotel in the western suburb of San Antonio de Escazú. According to General Manager Brian Frazee, the menu will include oven-roasted turkey with brown giblet gravy, walnut and mushroom stuffing, mashed potatoes sprinkled with Parmesan, green bean casserole, fresh cranberry sauce, homemade pumpkin pie with whipped cream and coffee or tea, all for $29.95 per person, plus 10 percent service charge and 13 percent tax.

“Families will feel like they’re right at home,” Frazee says.

Kids eat for half price. Frazee adds that for parties of six or more people, a turkey will be brought to the table and carved personally by Capitol Grill Chef Jeff Holley.

Dinner will be served from 1 to 10 p.m. For reservations, call 2288-6362. White House Hotel is 600 meters south of the San Antonio cemetery.

Café de Artistas in San Rafael de Escazú will be celebrating Thanksgiving for its seventh year this Thursday.

“It’s not a dinner. It’s not a supper. It’s a feast,” says owner William Hill. “It’s down home and people love it. It’s my favorite day.”

Turkey with dressing, candied sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and giblet gravy, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, homemade corn bread, Waldorf salad or soup, a glass of wine or other beverage and freshly baked pumpkin pie will be served for $24 per person, including tax but not the 10 percent service charge.

Dinner will be served from noon to 9 p.m. For reservations, call 2288-5082. Café de Artistas is 100 meters south of Plaza Rolex in San Rafael de Escazú.

At Big Mike’s, also in Escazú, diners can get a full meal to go or enjoy the down home Thanksgiving buffet at the restaurant. Whole roasted turkey with gravy, sage, celery and apple stuffing, potatoes, glazed carrots, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and whole pumpkin pie will be served in an all-you-caneat buffet style (no doggie bags allowed).

“I am a Midwestern chef with traditions deep in the heart of Detroit,” chef Michael Forbes said. “Food reaches that comfort level with me cooking.”

The cost is $23 per person, not including tax and service charge. Big Mike’s is in Urbanización Los Anonos in Escazú. For directions, dinner times and reservations, call 2289-6087.

Tico Times cooking columnist Marco González (see column on Page S6) and former business partner Mario Bello will be teaming up to offer some Thanksgiving innovations and vegetarian options at Bello’s new restaurant, Oasis Café, in Escazú. The menu will include spinach salad, curried cream of calabaza squash, roasted garlic and rosemary mashed tubers, green bean casserole with mushroom gravy and, for the main course, turkey with macadamia-sage sauce, pan-grilled tilapia or vegetable pie. For dessert? Coconut pumpkin pie à la mode.

The cost will be $25 per person, $15 for kids 12 and under, including taxes. Dinner will be served from 3 to 9 p.m. Reservations are suggested; call 8835-8992 (English) or 8816-9387 (Spanish). Oasis Café is 100 meters north and 225 meters west of Vivero Exótica in San Rafael de Escazú.

The Costa Rica Marriott Hotel in San Antonio de Belén, northwest of the capital, will be offering a $45 buffet consisting of several stations and more than 30 dishes, including turkey, ham, prime rib, salmon and a dizzying array of soups, salads, sides and desserts. The $45 includes tax; kids 6 to 12 eat for $21.50, and tots under 6 eat for free. The buffet will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. For reservations, call 2298-0207.

Diners can climb to the top of one of San José’s tallest hotels to enjoy the view and a Thanksgiving lunch or dinner at the Aurola Holiday Inn’s El Mirador restaurant. The menu will include turkey, mashed potatoes and other traditional Thanksgiving sides, pumpkin pie and a glass of wine, all for about $30 per person. The restaurant will be serving from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to midnight. To reserve, call 2523-1000, extension 451. The hotel is at Avenida 5, Calle 5.

Also in downtown San José, Magnolia restaurant at Casino Club Colonial will be offering a buffet including a selection of salads, mashed potatoes, vegetables, turkey with cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and sangria for $25 per person. Call 2258-2807 to reserve your spot. Club Colonial is at Avenida 1, between Calles 9 and 11.

Elsewhere in the country, Global Creek at Jo Jo’s Jungle Retreat in the southern Caribbean beach town of Puerto Viejo is offering an eco-friendly Thanksgiving retreat featuring a healthy tofu turkey dinner with all the trimmings and four days of yoga-filled relaxation, massages and tours. The cost to stay from Wednesday to Sunday is $195 to $275 per person (single to triple rooms), including one large meal a day, the most elaborate of which will be Thanksgiving dinner. Global Creek director Ahki Bamendan says guests will experience “a zero-footprint holiday” in the comfort of the luxurious hotel. For more information or to reserve, call 2750-2023.


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