Remember that fabulous place we ate at in Alajuela, Jalapeños Central? Soda Tio Mano was on the opposite spectrum, one of the places we talked about that was inedible and unappetizing – but read on, because this is story is hilarious.
► Ranking: #stinkydiaper
Soda Tio Mano
Avenida Central Abel Rodríguez Vargas, Provincia de Alajuela, Atenas, Costa Rica
+506 2446 5605
Hours: 8am – 9pm
We ate at this establishment upon recommendation from our Summer Treehouse airbnb host. Everything else Philip said and recommended was spot on, so we’d like to believe this restaurant was just having an off night.
The restaurant offered typical Mexican fare, plus french fries and hamburgers. We should have known straight away that was a bad omen, but we stayed anyway. Hunger can do that to a person. We’ve made a lot of bad food choices in our lifetime out of hunger desperation.
I can’t remember what we ordered, but I do remember that it came piled high with shredded lettuce, stripes of sour cream and ketchup packets. We pulled our plates closer to us and started divvying out the kids food onto separate plates. A few short minutes later our server came back with a pair of scissors. Our Spanish was limited, and his English was limited, but he was gesturing wildly with the scissors in his hand. Finally we just agreed, smiling and nodding. He could have been offering to stab us in the throat for all we knew. Apparently it was worth the risk.
He then proceeded to pick up each ketchup packet, one by one, and cut the tops off in a clean perfectly straight line with the scissors. He laid them back down on the table in a row, smiling at his craftsmanship. It took everything we had to hold back the imminent laughter until he was out of earshot.
► For Kids: The place is more cafeteria style. It’d be great for kids if the food was decent.
Other than that, the food at Soda Tio Mano was inedible and unappetizing. We ended up choking down most of it, and got something else around the corner to eat back at the airbnb.
► Nap-Time Version: Not the best restaurant in Costa Rica, but if your bucket list includes watching someone get excited about cutting open ketchup packets with a pair of scissors – don’t miss it!