Cooking and eating through a new culture

Time Out Tavern…A gringo’s guilty pleasure.

I love food. That should not come as a shock, but I love all food and as conscious as I am about what I eat, I do have a soft spot for comfort food, like a big o’ piece of meat and a beer! A woman cannot live on bean sprouts and green tea alone, especially this woman. So when the mood strikes, Rafa and I will head to the Time Out Tavern to drink good beer, watch sports, and nosh on some exceptional bar food. Now, I will be the first to admit. I was rather reluctant to check this place out. I just never thought they would be able to capture what it is, at least for me, to be a honest-to-God real American, hometown bar but it is a skill the proprietors have. That’s because the Grahams are from upstate New York and no one quite does a tavern than a drinking area with a sports problem (that’s for you, Nickel City).

The Time Out has a large horseshoe bar usually lined with the assortment of people you would expect…or maybe not. Don’t be surprised to find people representing every corner of the globe and with the added social lubrication of alcohol, be warmly invited into conversation. And that’s what sealed the deal for me. Bars from my hometown were not meant to be places to hunker down and hide. You went there to escape the cold, but expecting people you know, or know you through someone else. There was, at the most, maybe three degrees of separation from anyone within a 100 miles of where I grew up. Here you’re not recognized from high school, but as a fellow outlier and that’s pretty comforting. Regardless of the circumstance that brought you to Costa Rica, and keeps you in Costa Rica, it’s good to get back to your roots and commiserate with your fellow expats.

The bar is lined with not only choice sports paraphernalia, but 13 TVs tuned to every sport imaginable. For us, it was our guilty pleasure of watching the live UFC fight over a pint or two. For some time now, Rafa and I would find ourself snuggling on the couch gleefully watching men beat the living shit out of each other. It may have stemmed from the fact there is nothing on Costa Rican cable (and not enough pirate taxi drivers), but we are now avid followers of the UFC. Other treks to the Time Out have included getting my hockey fix, especially now since the playoffs are gearing up, and trying to find some sort of redemption in my hometown football team…which lasted about 3 games, *sigh*. There is not a doubt in my mind that they would tune to any sport on one of the numerous TVs, if asked politely. The World Junior Curling Championship is going on now if you are so inclined to sit down to a brew and watch the excitement.

If sports are just too stimulating for you, the Time Out also has a book exchange. Sometimes finding a good English read can be challenging here and it is a great service they offer. Easy to see them lined along the wall as you walk in, or as you peruse the specials board, you may be pleasantly surprised at what you find. For us it was, The God Forsaken Sea. I have passed along a few of my own too. No Dan Brown or Stephanie Meyer, please. Have some decency people.

This most recent time around we just stayed with a pitcher of the new IPA by Costa Rica Craft Brewery. CRCB never disappoints and their IPA is no exception. But if you should need to soak up some of that fine brew, rest assured the menu is sure to please. Daily specials are listed when you walk in and it will be full of any number of local hometown favorites. Pizza seems to be a very popular option too, although I just haven’t been able to go beyond the usual burger or chicken wings. They also offer blue cheese with their wings, which may seem like a no-brainer, but can be a challenging find here. If you are going to watch your favorite team (getting their asses handed to them, like mine), beer and burgers are the way to go. Then again, nothing says UFC than chewing the meat off the bones of something smaller and tastier.

300 Meters South of the Costa Rica Country Club, 1250 Escazú, Costa Rica


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8 thoughts on “Time Out Tavern…A gringo’s guilty pleasure.

  1. This sounds like a fun place. Costa Rica would be a stretch for me to get to, but… My first craft beer experience was with IPA and I haven’t gotten over it yet! IPA with some spicy chicken wings – yes!
    Well, when (if) I make it to Costa Rica, thanks to you, I know where to go for great craft beer, food and camaraderie.

    David Ivey
    Black Bucket Brew Inbox Magazine Editor

    • David,
      Thank you for reading! And any time you want to pop down, I promise it will be a great time! I am hoping to do a blog on Costa Rica Craft Brewery again for St. Patrick’s Day since they have brewed a special stout. Craft beer has been breaking into the scene down here and I, for one, could not be happier! So keep reading so you can plan your itinerary!
      Pura vida!

  2. Blue Blooded Gringo on said:

    I spent 3 weeks back in January at Villa Del Rios which is about a 10 minute walk from time out tavern. The walk is all uphill from the resort to the tavern,, but it’s well worth every step of the 10 minute hike. I fell in love with the insanely huge brick oven pizzas and calzones. I had my first Imperial as well. I recentlly was asked to return to Costa Rica for another business trip and my first question was “when do I leave?”(Come on after all it is Costa Rica) and the second question was “will I be staying at Villa Del Rios again. “(while images of calzones as big as a Shaquille O’neil shoe danced in my head.) The prices are great, the food is amazing, and I will be there for a few weeks of march madness. What more can a Kentucky boy ask for. See ya in a week or two.

    Blue Blooded Gringo

    • Will do! It’s always great seeing a new country and exploring the surrounding areas, but there is just something about connecting back to people who are doing the same thing too. Sure I have eaten my fair share of gallo pinto, but there are certainly times when nothing compares to a great hamburger (or in your case calzone). Thank you for reading!

  3. “Guilty pleasure” is a good way to describe the place. Food is better IMO than 90% of bars in the States and they bend over backward to put your game on. Craft beer on draft is icing on the cake.

    • I love seeing craft beer breaking into the market here! Once we get more settled, we are going to do a little brewing of our own! In the meantime, you will find us at the Time Out. Thank you for reading!
      BTW-Love your blog too!

      • Regarding homebrewing, a shop dedicated “cerveza casera” is about to open up in Pavas, probably in the next couple of weeks. TicoBirra. Also, the Bodega de Chema in Los Yoses sells a few things for homebrewers. The local community is growing quickly.

  4. Pingback: Getting yer Irish on « consumingcostarica

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