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QCOSTARICA  by Roberto Cruz,  Vozdeguanacaste.com – If you find yourself shopping in Liberia or forced to spend a night there before an early flight the next day, the restaurant Jauja is a good option in the ciudad blanca(“white city”) to fill your stomach and leave with a happy heart.

You’ll find Jauja in a large and airy establishment located along the main street in Liberia (on Avenida 25 de Julio). The location is nice and the menu is very diverse, including cuts of meat, pastas, wood oven pizza – famous in Liberia – and seafood brought from Colorado de Abangares and Cuajiniquil de La Cruz, which is supplied by artisan fisherman to guarantee its quality.

On average, cuts of meat cost ¢10,000 ($18.80), while pastas and other plates cost about ¢5,000 ($9.40).

Everyone who works at Jauja has the same passion: good food. You can see it in the quality of their dishes and the constant innovation that they offer daily, off the menu – for ¢3,000 ($5.60). They can surprise you with grilled lamb, pupusas(corn tortillas filled with a variety of ingredients), beef stew or any other less-than-conventional dish at a place whose specialty is international cuisine.

Their chef visits farmers’ markets in Liberia several times per week to buy vegetables, many of which come from Tilaran or the high-altitude parts of Cañas; others are grown hydroponically by a family in Liberia. Sides on main plates and meats can be an exquisite mix of vegetables sautéed in olive oil or potatoes with butter and flavored with a mix of herbs.

Want the chef to surprise you? Ask for Juan Pablo and tell him that you would like him to make a plate especially for your taste. Jauja means place of prosperity, abundance and happiness. The restaurant honors its name, as good food abounds; you will leave with your stomach full and your heart happy.

Open from Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Sundays.