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