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“OK, But Nothing Special.”

Cascajo's del Arenal
Cuisines: Costa Rican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Romantic, Families with children, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Takeout
Description: Very friendly people. Good choice of typical food- we had a nice fish. Quite place. You sit outside under a wooden roof.
Pensacola, Florida
Level Contributor
287 reviews
198 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
“OK, But Nothing Special.”
Reviewed November 25, 2012

We read all the glowing reviews about this place, and decided to give it a try while in the area. The food we found to be average at best. We were also told that they were open for breakfast, which they are not. I don't know if it was the time of year that we were here, as we were the only customers that they had, or that the quality has declined since all the glowing reviews were posted. At any rate, I would not recommend this place, unless you happen to be at Tabacon, and just want a quick sandwich or the like.

Visited October 2012
Thank newjade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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246 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Jersey City, New Jersey
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
“best meal we had in arenal area”
Reviewed November 21, 2012

we went here on our last night in the area (three nights) and it was by far the best meal we had in the entire area. the food was fantastic, the waitress was super freindly (and spoke english very well). the atmosphere was great as well- outdoors restuarant, with a roof and all. it was down the block from our hotel (tobacan). the price was very reasonable, as well!

we ordered the typical costa rican food, garlic sea bass, tuna rice, avacado salad with toasted/grilled tostido chips, a hearts of palm salad and two drinks. the meals came with fries, salad, or veggies- all for $49! cant beat it in taht area thats for sure!

we left full and very satisfied, and i would suggest this resturant to anybody going to the area, especially if the other options are big hotels, which did NOT have good food in the slightest.

And this was the rainy season that we went.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank brian g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
27 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Bad Experience”
Reviewed October 3, 2012

I do not know if it was an out of season "disaster" but the food was awful. We were alone in the restaurant..., two bottles of wine that they have opened for us were stale (!!!). However, they have tried in anyway they could to keep us happy, but the food level and the emptiness of the restaurant were beyond their poweres.

Thank Ysela2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Good local spot”
Reviewed September 8, 2012

Good price, local spot, nice place for a casual lunch.
Casada was good but not the best. Heart of palm salad was delicious. Laid back service and atmosphere. Good location near arenal national park.

Visited September 2012
Thank Regan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fresh Meadows, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“I wanted to love Cascajo's but...”
Reviewed August 24, 2012

I came across Cascajo's while doing some research for the trip. I was ecstatic heading over to the restaurant after an epic zipline experience. I was even more hyped when I saw a lot of customers sitting down, confirming the positive reviews online. Boy, was I wrong.

First of all, the airy restaurant had a subtle but stunning view of Arenal volcano. Rocky, the pizote roamed freely in and out of the restaurant. The prices were noticeably pricier compared to the sodas in the area. As we looked around, we realized that the group of 14 haven't gotten their meal yet. We were naive to figure out what was going to happen next - a tortuous 2 hour+ lunch.

Here's what we ordered:
a couple of sodas and cold agua dulce (a combination of sweet, salty, acidic.. not my favorite)
- steak with jalapeno sauce - addicting sauce but thick/dry steak (probably would've been better if we had an option to get it medium rare)
- al ajillo seabass - the fish was so plumpy. The oil and garlic was a plus since I love garlic. I should've ordered rice and beans instead of salad and plantains to make it a real meal.
- fish tacos - freshest grilled fish with tasty tortilla
- fish casado - not the same fish used for the al ajillo and fish tacos.

Now, the downfall: The waiter and the organization within the restaurant. We were aware that the service in CR was more laid back compared to NY. It must of been bad timing that day too since two big groups swamped the restaurant prior to our arrival. However, our appetizer never came and our waiter totally "forgot" to tell us there were no more until we asked him. There was only one waiter, a gentleman that seemed to be the owner who also only spoke spanish, one cashier lady, and probably 2-3 people in the kitchen. I worked as a waitress before so I totally understand how hectic restaurant life can be yet I would've re-organized the staff to be more efficient. The cashier lady just stood there, basically just hung out while the one waiter tried to serve all the tables.There were piles and piles of dishes and you can tell the other customers were getting impatient. I'm pretty sure we also got ripped off. 8500 colones for tacos is a bit expensive especially without any sides. Our bill came up to $91 with no alcohol. The food was delicious (I would've given 4-5 stars) but I have to knock off 2 stars due to the service.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Marika T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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