San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Arenal Report

Arenal Report

After many months of titillating construction next to El Colono hardware store in Tilarán, the restaurant La Troja opened late last month to the general delight of lake-area taste buds. A troja is a rustic little building used on fincas for storing hay, bananas, corn, etc., and the restaurant’s impressively large sign with interior lighting is decorated with such a little rustic structure. The restaurant itself is constructed almost entirely of rough-cut heavy wood, but it’s a very large building with veranda as well as inside seating. The food is advertised as “comida típica,” but the restaurant’s meat and fish dishes are receiving much praise for their tastiness and tenderness.

The genial waiters present one with a menu that includes four pages to choose from, starting off with nine choices for breakfast, the first six being gallo pinto with various embellishments. Waffle House fans will have to settle for simple pancakes, choice No. 8. The prices are not too bad.

Casados are about ¢2,500 ($5), seafood dishes are in the ¢4,000 ($8) range, and the highly praised beef and pork meals are about ¢6,000 ($12). There’s a variety of other choices, including hamburgers.

The rustic traditional troja’s namesake belies its origin, offering a view of busy urban life instead of a finca’s pastoral beauty. While there is a good view of La Cruz, the cross-topped hill to the immediate west of Tilarán, the eye is mainly attracted to the traffic spreading into the streets of breezy Tilarán from the highway to Cañas. There may be no volcano or lake view, but La Troja is already proving a popular place to eat.

The last of G-PAW’s spay-neuter clinics for the year will be held tomorrow at the Barrio El Carmen salón comunal in Tilarán, and Judy Reisman ( is asking for half- and full-day volunteers to help with the animals.

–Alex Murray

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