Food News

Casa Calá, The History of Liberia in Its Own Sauce

Esta publicación también está disponible en: Español

I can’t stop savouring these delicious fried ribs. It’s well cooked and, what’s more, it has more meat than bone. After I douse it in homemade barbecue sauce it becomes even more juicy. It’s impossible not to lick your fingers.

Ribs are the star of this plate that includes rice, beans, plantain, salad and chopped veggies. The plantain leaves and wood on which it is served give it a traditional feel. It costs ¢3,500 ($5.80) My appetite and my wallet are satisfied.

I had passed the La Casa de Calá restaurant several times. How can you not? It’s in the heart of Liberia (in the southwest corner of the Mario Cañas Ruiz park). The historic building always caught my eye after the National Heritage Center restored it in 2016.

The house keeps the central courtyard, typical of this type of buildings. Photo by: César Arroyo.

Today I saw it up close and personal. The mud walls with interwoven vines of this historic house are renovated.

One of the restaurant’s partners, Alberto Morales, tells me that his goal is to give customers quality traditional food at an affordable price with the best service. Honestly, I think they have achieved it.

The conversation with Alberto continues over a good cup of export quality coffee accompanied by a delicious and creamy pitaya cheesecake for ¢2,800.

The pitaya cheesecake  it is delicious and creamy . Photo by: César Arroyo

The Calá chocolate carries the name of a famous Liberian who lived in this house. It’s a drink served cold and consists of a combination of three types of milk, powdered chocolate and whip cream. It’s pure energy and flavor.

The Calá chocolate  it’s pure energy and flavor. Photo by: Cesar Arroyo

The menu doesn’t discriminate against vegetarians. The vegetarian casado comes with rice, beans, broccoli, avocado, green beans, zucchini, plantain (sauteed or boiled), and handmade tortillas.

One of the managers of the business, Ileana Ávila Benavides, tells me that they hope to establish alliances with Guanacastecan producers, which is why they buy cheese and sour cream from locals in Tilarán and the curd is 100% Liberian.

If you wish to try this gastronomic experience, the hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Starting this month, they expanded their Sunday hours to 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.

You can also call and order takeout or delivery at 4700-2562.

The Good:

  • There are prices for all budgets
  • They allow pets
  • Cozy, family atmosphere
  • They accept credit and debit cards
  • Free wifi

The Bad:

  • They use plastic straws.
  • They don’t have parking. You have to park on the street.