Costa Rica 2014 Day 4 Monteverde | Hotel Belmar | Don Juan Coffee and Chocolate Tour | La Mansion Inn | Manuel Antonio, Quepos

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woke up to this beautiful view from our room in hotel belmar monteverde. today our plan is to do the don juan coffee and chocolate tour in monteverde then get to our next destination in costa rica: Manuel Antonio, Quepos.

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enjoying our complimentary breakfast in the hotel. such a beautiful view.

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fresh costa rican coffee

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i signed up the don juan coffee and Chocolate tour from our hotel the night before. while we are waiting the tour van to pick us up from our hotel, we walked around our hotel.
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the entrance
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the yoga and juice bar building
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the hot tub which we didnt have time to use.
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hotel lobby
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don juan coffee plantation was only 10 mins away from our hotel
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the machine that separates the coffee beans

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cocoa beans
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cocoa plant
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grinding the cocoa
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cocoa butter
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fresh grind chocolate
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did you know that the light roast actually has more caffeine than dark roast and requires better quality coffee beans. dark roast just means more burned coffee. the light roast coffee carries more taste of the coffee than the darker roasts.
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sugar cane
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after the tour, we got back to our hotel room and enjoyed some freshly brewed monteverde coffee on the balcony which hotel belmar provides 24/7. it’s only a room service call away.
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after our coffee, we took a short cab ride to downtown monteverde. there werent much going on there except for souvenir stores, information centers, and couple restaurants, so we decided to walk back to our hotel.
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we packed our bags and waited for our driver to pick us up and drive us to Manuel Antonio, Puntarenas, Quepos. i booked the our transportation on
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on the way to Manuel Antonio, our driver stopped by a bridge where all the alligators were chillen.
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after 4 hours ride, we finally arrived to our hotel la mansion inn in Manuel Antonio, quepos safely.
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comparing to the last two hotels we stayed at, this hotel wasnt as exciting. still a view of the ocean.
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it was raining out and we were pretty tired to go anywhere. we just ate dinner at our hotel. the hotel’s pretty small, a five star boutique hotel altho it didnt feel like 5 star.
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we got some seafood on rice. lobsters, crabs, clams, squid, mussels, and more
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thats it for day 4 in costa rica. please read other parts of my costa rica trip below:

Costa Rica 2014 Day 3 Arenal – Monteverde | Sky Adventures | Hotel Belmar

Costa Rica 2014 Day 2 Part 2 Arenal – Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort | Tips on Shooting Waterfalls

Rialto DC| GeorgeTown, Washington DC

(Porkbelly) We were lucky to have been invited to Rialto in Georgetown, DC to try out their new Fall Menu. Rialto is located on M street off of the main strip in Historic Georgetown.

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I was meeting a friend there so I some drinks at the bar.

Some Italian Beers I drank
Peroni Pastro Azzurro & Birra Moretti La Rossa

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They have a very spacious bar with a good bar menu

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Where they prepare various salumi, this goes great with beer!
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The Restaurant is quite spacious, especially for a restaurant in Georgetown.

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The manager Hannah was nice enough to give us a tour of the restaurant.

She showed us the downstairs area where they hold special events.

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We were brought back upstairs and seated.

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My friend ordered a Sangria, which he recommended and we got started.

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Some bread to start off with


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Baked Smoked Mozzarella wrapped with smoked Italian pancetta
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Soft yellow corn polenta with truffled forest mushroom

I think this was my favorite dish of the night, It is a simple dish with very fresh ingredients. The polenta really brings out the natrual Umami of the mushrooms.
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Primi E Secondi:

Tortelli pasta filled with pumpkin in a brown butter and sage sauce, topped with toasted almonds

The Pasta tasted very fresh and the filling is just right for the Fall/Winter
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Grilled Branzino Filet over Sauteed Brussels sprouts and roasted pumpkin puree

I like Branzino it is delicate and light flavor fish, the sprouts and pumpkin puree give it a nice balance and a seasonal feeling.

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A solid Tiramisu

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Panna cotta al cappucino con salsa al caramello e Grandella di nocciole

Probably my favorite dessert. It reminds me of a Japanese Pudding, but with more delicate and complex elements. the caramel and Grandella di nocciole really makes this the perfect dessert for those with a sweet tooth.

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Overall Rialto is a very nice restaurant in a very historic and upscale neighborhood. The food taste very fresh with a great selection of beers and wines. I would recommend it to anyone in the area. Their fall menu is sure to be a success.

2915 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007
(202) 337-1571

Rialto on Urbanspoon
*The meal was provided for free all opinions are my own*

Costa Rica 2014 Day 3 Arenal – Monteverde | Sky Adventures | Hotel Belmar

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it’s day 3 in costa rica. we were leaving from our hotel tabacon in arenal to monteverde.

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there are two ways to get to monteverde from arenal: by car or by boat. by boat is the shorter and faster way because it cuts right through the water. we booked jeep-boat-jeep transportation from our hotel and they picked us up from our hotel (cheaper to book online). it was like a 10 mins drive to the water where we got on the boat.

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the boat ride was actually pretty nice. i also signed up the sky adventures tour in monteverde so we had to get there before 12:30pm when the last tour was.
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after we got off the boat, there was about an hour ride to monteverde. cant imagine driving on these roads, super terrible road conditions.
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normally they drop you off at your hotel, but since we were short on time, we asked to be dropped off at the sky adventures location.
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there are three parts to the sky adventure tour: sky trek, sky tram, and sky walk. you can sign up individually, but we decided to do all three parts.

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first part was the sky walk, a guided tour where you walk through the rainforest as well as five hanging bridges/Suspended Bridges.

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after we finished the sky walk, we were headed to the part II and park III of the sky adventures. sky tram’s like a cable car which took us to the top of the mountain and we got down by ziplining (sky trek) through 9 different cloud forest canopy.

ziplining is one of the most popular activities in costa rica. there are many places you can do ziplining in costa rica. dont be confused of canopy and ziplining; they are exactly the same thing. canopy/ziplining tours are available throughout costa rica in nearly every tourist hot spot. however, there can be different canopy/ziplining experiences depending on the location, the length and height of the cables, the overall number of cables and the duration of the tour. some canopy/ziplining tours use hand-breaking stop while the other uses automatic z-breaking system. some you zip line through the forest, some above the forest. some have more intense ones line the superman cable or a tarzan swing.

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i chose to do ziplining with sky trek was because they seem to have the safest and well built system. they also use the automatic z-breaking system so i dont have to worry about breaking myself since this was my 1st ziplining.
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this was my 1st time ziplining. i was pretty scared when i got to the top. the wind was crazy and i was really really high up. after the 1st one, it was actually not that bad.

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here’s a vid shot by my gopro. the helmet they provided actually had a gopro mount which was pretty convenient.

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thanks to my black rapid camera strap i was able to carry my dslr with me through the entire sky adventure tour. probably the most useful piece of camera equipment ive bought especially when i travel.
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we were pretty beat up after ziplining. sky adventures provided us transportations for a few dollars to our hotel: hotel belmar.

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daymnnn i absolutely loved this hotel. it was really beautiful. altho this wasnt the most expensive and luxurious hotel was stayed in costa rica, it was def was my favorite. it was really cozy, romantic, soothing , elegant, and a paradise of its own. a great place to relax and enjoy Monteverde. no wonder its rated no.1 hotel in monteverde.

here’s a vid of our room.

we were too tired to go out for dinner, so we decided to eat at our hotel.
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the dining room was really romantic.
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the steak was actually pretty good. we saw a lot of cows eating grass on the side of the roads in costa rica, so we wonder if this was one of them. we felt a little cruel. August 17, 2014-IMG_4644

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food was decent but nothing too memorable.
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Costa Rica 2014 Day 1 San Jose – Poas Volcano – Arenal – Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort

Costa Rica 2014 Day 2 Part 1 Rio Celeste River | Tenorio Volcano National Park

Costa Rica 2014 Day 2 Part 2 Arenal – Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort | Tips on Shooting Waterfalls

Comedor | Newton, MA Boston

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comedor is a relatively new american-chilean small plates restaurant in newton center.

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Ommegang Hennepin – Saison

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new potatoes, garlic, chicken egg
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toasted fideos + pickled onions
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sweet + sour NC mustard sauce, papas fritas
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spicy tomato fonduta, crispy chorizo
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little necks, shrimp + bay scallops, even more herbs
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after another 70-hour work week, i was really hoping for some good food and drinks to reward myself. the chilean american tapas concept was nice, but unfortunately, the food didnt carry out well at all. the ingredients and flavors tasted nothing special nor unfamiliar. altho the description looked nice on the menu, most dishes had no complexity or depth to the flavors. the dinner was unsatisfying all over. ambience was weird too. it looked very cozy, but the harsh lighting made me feel uncomfortable.
favorite dish: none
least favorite dish: the lamb meatballs.
will i return? no
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105 Union St
Newton, MA 02459
Phone number (857) 404-0260
Comedor on Urbanspoon

Minca Ramen Factory | East Village NYC, NY

(Pork Belly) Ramen, I love it, I always crave it and unfortunately I’ve tried every Ramen Joint in Boston…. NYC, is a whole other ball game, so I am always on the look out for a good Ramen Ya in NYC. On this Particular night I checked out Minca Ramen Factory in East Village.

I originally wanted to check out Go Ramen’s author Keizo Shimamoto’s Restaurant in the Financial District Ramen.Co Unfortunately they weren’t opened on Weekends….

So I called up the Uber and went to Minca Ramen Factory. They were no lines so I was immediately seated. Awesome!


Typical Ramen Ya Choices, although they are doing the double broth!

I got front row seats to the action. I wonder what kind of noodles they use…..



Shoyu for the Gyoza

Homemade Pork GYOZA
-pan fried pork & vegetable dumpling

Gyoza crisp to perfection and still hot. This isn’t the frozen ones that unfortunately most shops use…

Spicy Miso Ramen – Pork and Chicken Broth
This was good. The double broth adds a depth that cannot be achieved with one. I wish the egg was soft boiled, I prefer soft boiled eggs in my Ramen. The meat was very tender and melts in your mouth.

Good bye Minca Ramen, I’ll see you again.

Overall Minca Ramen Factory is a great choice if you want Ramen without the extremely long wait of the other Ramen joints in the city. The Double Broth is a plus! The restaurant is what I love about Ramen Restaurants, just Quick Delicious food at a good price. Japanese Soul food. Oh yeah, CASH ONLY!

Minca Ramen Factory
536 East 5th Street,
New York, NY, 10009
(Between Avenue A and Avenue B)
PHONE: 212.505.8001
Minca on Urbanspoon

Eight Turn Crepes | NYC SoHo, NY

(PorkBelly) It was a hot summers day and I was wandering around NYC looking for something cold. I walked past a sign that advertised Japanese Crepes. I thought, why not.


This brought me to Eight Turn Crepe, I saw the Green Tea ice cream and I knew I had to have this

They have various types of crepes such as savory and desserts, I went for the later….

Azuki Berries: Strawberries, Il Laboratoria del Gelato Matcha green tea gelato, Azuki beans, Eight Turn whipped yogurt,Eight Turn Matcha (green tea) custard cream, Slivered almonds,Chocolate Pocky sticks

This crepe really hit the spot! It is perfect harmony, the sweetness of the strawberries and Red Bean with the slight bitter-sweet flavor of the Matcha Ice cream and the crunchiness of the Pocky sticks all in a warm perfect crepe. It was fucking awesome.

I want to roll up in the crepe and sleep on the pocky sticks…….

If you are ever looking for a quick and easy dessert, definitely try out eight turn crepes! I didn’t get to try their other crepes since they were more like sandwiches. I probably never will since there is so much in that department New York already offers.

Eight Turn Crepe
55 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
(212) 334-3408
Eight Turn Crêpe on Urbanspoon


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