The food at El Rincón Tico is very tasty. The menu looks like pretty standard Mexican fare, but the food is actually Costa Rican, and the blends of spices are a welcome change. I had a popusa, which is a house-made tortilla served open-face with toppings of beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, cilantro, and meat or plantain, drizzled with a tangy mango sauce. It was the right amount of food; i.e., not huge, which I appreciate. My husband had a burrito, which was about average size for a restaurant burrito, which, to me, means huge. We also ordered the sweet plantain as an appetizer. It was four long strips, spiced, fried, and served with a chili sauce (I think) and a couple of sauces the server brought to the table. I loved the habañero sauce and that it came in a spotlessly clean bottle. (I hate sauces in filthy bottles. Gross.) There was also a cilantro sauce, which was also good, but I preferred the other, which surprised me because I am kind of a cilantro freak.
The two entrees, appetizer and one drink cost $21 before tip. Pretty cheap eats.
The exterior is inviting. The interior was plain and smelled a bit greasy. I don't know what used to be here, but it is typical Willy Street shabby. Chic is up to you. There were three customers inside when we got there at prime time on a Saturday night, which made us wonder if we'd made a mistake, but we gave it a shot, and we're glad. The food, not decor, was why we came, and it was great.
Service was quick, informative, and attentive without being annoying. Many dishes can be catered to vegetarian or vegan diets. The night we were there, the credit card machine was out of order (They took checks – I don't know if that's normal or not.) and they were out of Coke and Sprite.
I hear the place is a sit-down expansion of Mango Man food cart.
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