Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, June 22, 2024
Cabot gives teen angst royal treatment in 'Forever Princess'

Forever Princess: Anne Hathaway, Mia in The Princess Diaries"" movies, should be ecstatic about the newest book in the series, ""Forever Princess.

Café Costa Rica creates unique restaurant experience

Restaurants are about more than just the food. Restaurants are an experience, from the process of deciding where to eat to deciding who pays for the check. They should entertain, bring new experiences and give you satisfaction. It's basically like finding your soul mate. Sometimes you lower your standards, sometimes you dish out the cash for something nice, but in the end, you choose what makes you happiest.  


Although I do not believe it is my soul mate, Café Costa Rica, on Butler Street kitty corner to the Great Dane, meets all these criteria, creating a wonderfully entertaining and new dining adventure.  


The dining area at Café Costa Rica is tiny, with electric palm trees lighting the way to the entrance from what looks like a home's front porch. The atmosphere is intimate without being overbearing or crowded. It's great for a small group of friends but not for very large parties. Festive Caribbean music floats through the air as friendly wait staff flutter about. A seemingly simple menu offers classic Caribbean dishes such as burritos, tacos and plantains, but all the ingredients, most focusing around the signature mango sauce, combine together in a unique way, creating substantial flavors.  


The plantain appetizer is simply delicious. The banana-like strips taste almost caramelized and amazingly sweet. It is a must-order starter for all first-time visitors. I had never tried plantains before this experience, but they exceeded my wildest expectations. I will now order plantains whenever offered, hoping they are just as tasty as at Café Costa Rica.  


Entrées come in reasonable portions, satisfying guests without stuffing, for reasonable prices averaging around $14. The quesadilla dish is worth mentioning. It tastes a bit different than most Americans are used to. The crust is a bit fluffier and crisp, brimming with cheese around the edges. I love cheese just as much as any Wisconsinite, but this dish needed a bit less cheese. Tacos and burritos are both enjoyable dishes as well. The rice and beans served with tacos was perhaps my favorite part of the meal, besides the plantains of course.  


Drinks are served very strong, sometimes almost too strong, which some may enjoy. I did not have room for dessert, but all the options sound deliciously tempting. I would recommend saving room to try something new from the dessert menu.  


Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Daily Cardinal delivered to your inbox

This little place is great for trying something new in familiar ground. It tastes different from Mexican dishes or Tex-Mex. Ingredients seem a bit fresher, tastier and almost spunkier, if food can taste spunky. Café Costa Rica delivered on all my expectations for an enjoyable new dining experience. It's almost like a little dive without being too shady, and lord knows I love lots of shady dives.  


Here's my final bit of advice. Skip the Great Dane two blocks away and hop on over to the Café Costa Rica. I have nothing against the Great Dane. I experienced some greatly enjoyable meals there, but the wait staff is simply terrible. It makes me upset every time they forget an order or bring out cold food. The thing that put me over the top at the Great Dane, however, was when they charged me for extra cups of butter. Let me say that again - they charged for butter. That is ridiculous. The Great Dane needs to get over itself, train their wait staff better and give customers butter for free.  


Go to Café Costa Rica, where they don't charge for extra butter or forget your dessert orders. It will be much more enjoyable, I assure you.  


If you have been charged for butter at a Madison restaurant, warn Emily at so she can bring her own.  

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Cardinal