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“What a treat!”
Review of Cafe El Manglar - CLOSED

Cafe El Manglar
Cuisines: Costa Rican
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed March 2, 2013

We visited Manglar last night on one of our last nights of a month stay. If only we have tried it earlier.The food is delicious, the prices are more than reasonable, the cafe is just lovely and the host and cook friendly and welcoming. They serve breakfast lunch and dinner. We had pasta, chicken, fresh shrimp, beet/ rosy rice, vegetables and a complimentary sliver of lime cheesecake for dessert. A visitor must get past worry about the cafe's location, just past Don Brasilito into the local housing. If you want good food and don't mind the ninos and dogs running around you will love it there.

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Thank csf1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (60)
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18 - 22 of 60 reviews

Reviewed February 27, 2013

Wow!! We live in Seattle, WA and know what really fresh, well-prepared food should taste like....especially fish and seafood. And this place ROCKS!

It took us 2 days to find Cafe Manglar, so listen up!! As you travel on the main drag of Brasilito, you will encounter a big 90 degree turn....NORTH of the "main" part of this tiny little town. There is a restaurant on the NW corner of this 90 degree corner that looks kind of like a big "soda." (I believe "soda" must be Costa Rican for "Mom & Pop shack with seating, usually outside, that serves local "cuisine." Don't get me wrong....there are some excellent Sodas in CR, but you should probably have a good recommendation before you waltz in...just sayin'....) It is called called Restaurante El Camaron Dorado, and there is a very large sign that you really can't miss. You will also see a sign for Don Brasilitos. To get to Don B's, you turn off the main drag onto the gravel road (heading due north....paralleling the beach) and go past the back side of El Camaron Dorado on your left, and then about one block down will be Don Brasilitos on your right. KEEP ON TRUCKING!! Another 1/2+ block or so PAST Don B's is Cafe El Manglar. LOOK FOR A KELLY GREEN SMALL BUILDING WITH A TIN ROOF...on the right (EAST) side of the road. There are a lot of little houses on the road...but keep going!! You will be so glad you did!!

We ordered the Hearts of Palm salad: YUM, YUM, YUM!! So fresh, so perfect, so delicious! We had the shrimp dinner and the sea bass dinner. Neither one could have been more scrumptious! Cooked to perfection, not one hair over- or under-done. The garlic-white wine sauce was light and perfect, and the veggies were amazing (just dug-up baby white potatoes steamed with rosemary and a medley of veggies that included carrots, red bell peppers, onion and.....gosh, can't remember. I think I gobbled it down too fast!). The shrimp was equally delicious!

We ended up splitting the banana cake for dessert, despite our best intentions. Even though we were certain we'd only have room for a bite, we ended up licking the plate clean (ok....I'm exaggerating, but it was ambrosia!!).

Jorge waits the tables and is just a gem of a guy! So friendly and helpful. Victor mans the kitchen, and both of them are top notch, extremely talented guys. Did I mention how charming they both are???

Manglar's is open from 9am for breakfast til 8 pm. I am embarrassed to say this, but we are going back tomorrow morning for their cinnamon rolls. Just cannot resist....

You will not beat the food.....and it has to be the best value for top-notch food anywhere in the region. Try it! You will love it!!

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1  Thank migolfergirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2013 via mobile

The food was amazing! We had a party of 6 and everything from the food to the service was amazing. Jorge who is part owner waited on us. You could tell he really cared. I can not remember the last time I have had service like this (writing this as we wait for the check). You can hear the waves crash as we ate. If you don't dine here you are missing out. We had calamari as an app. and I had shrimp and the others at the table had mahi, pork chops, and other dishes that all looked amazing.

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2  Thank John F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

Jorge on the dining floor and Victor in the kitchen...
This is what I'm looking for when I travel out of the country for a vacation - a local place with local foods prepared and served by truly happy, joyful people.

Located down one of many dirt roads in Brasilito this place can be tough to find. Once there you'll find a spacious, open-air dining experience that will leave you feeling nourished in every sense of the word.

The menu is chalked on a pair of boards; one in English, one in Spanish. And Jorge is just a pleasure to deal with when discussing the menu or any other topic. He's meticulous in his setup and I'm betting he's quite the perfectionist.

The food has the much-desired local flair and they are just flexible enough to accommodate a reasonable diner - I asked about Plantain and sure enough it was prepared even though it was not on the evening's menu.

The food is delicious, though my shrimp was slightly over cooked (it's a tough act to nail in the first place) and it didn't at all effect my rating of the experience. The Banana Cake is worth saving room for.

If you are in the area and looking for something true to the are without pomp and circumstance of a glossy veneer, this is your place!

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Thank TeamYoga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2013

Low key and homey. You feel welcome from the moment you walk in. Our table had one order of garlic jumbo shrimp and ome order of pasta with white sauce and shrimp. Jorge was flexible with any changes we requested with a winning smile. Pineapple flambe was delicious.

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Thank LGB973
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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