In central Samara on the road to Playa Carrillo there is a blue and white awning over the popular new restaurant, Biergarten Donde Lina which serves a taste of Germany with a touch of Colombia.
Lina Clemencia Guzman and her partner Thomas Fitz make customers feel welcome as them serve up empanadas and German specialties to locals who often come for a beer and a boca and to chat with friends.
The clientele is primarily German expats, a few Gringos and Ticos, and so the menu is presented in German, Spanish and English.
The pork sausages are authentic and homemade with a good rustic texture -like a good Costa Rican chorizo- and nice seasonings with hot mustard.
Prices start at ¢800 ($1.50 US) for a homemade pretzel or an empanada filled with chicken, beef or cheese with Lina’s special sauce, a kind of chimichurri made of garlic, herbs and chili.
With ¢1200- ¢2000 ($2-4) you can buy a sausage or meat kabob, both served with a few slices of fresh bread.
Full meals featuring steak, breaded pork cutlet or mixed kabobs range from ¢4500 – ¢5000 ($8-10). Salads and fries come with meals or can be purchased separately and there are daily specials. Seating is under cover at the bar or on picnic tables. The Biergarten also offers vacuum packed sausages to go.
Lina emigrated to Costa Rica from Colombia about 8 years ago and Thomas, originally from Austria, has been here 14 years. Lina previously operated another restaurant in Samara that closed when she lost her lease. However her food stayed in demand even without a brick and mortar location. For years her followers bought a cold drink at Super Las Olas and hung out under the Guanacaste tree in the parking lot where Lina grilled sausages and kabobs, and served her Colombian style chili con carne. Even well known local chefs were known to frequent the stand.
Now, customers are happy to have a comfortable covered restaurant to hang out in and they no longer have to go to the market for a beverage. The Biergarten serves Costa Rican and German beers, smoothies, soft drinks, coffee and tea.
The good: Authentic German and Austrian sausages
The bad: Located on a busy street so can be a bit noisy
Prices: Appetizers ¢800 to ¢2.000 ($1.50 – $4)
Meals ¢4000- ¢5000 ($8-10)
Drinks ¢800- ¢1500 ($1.50-3.00)
Schedule: opens daily 10 a. m. to 9 p. m. or 10 p. m. depending on demand.
Address: It’s located at the end of the new commercial center next to Supermarket Las Olas.