Making Etyl’s Famous Pancakes at Kaya Sol, Nosara, Costa Rica

I’ve mentioned already that while staying at Kaya Sol, we met these three fabulous ladies from Victoria. They even helped us preform our Beer Taste Test.

What I haven’t mentioned yet is that one of them, Benny, has an amazing food Blog called Being Bethany Jane. We of course immediately bonded over all things blog related as well as a mutual love for delicious healthy food.

When I heard that Benny was going to be getting a pancake lesson at Kaya Sol, I simply Etyl's Famous Pancakes Kaya Solcouldn’t resist joining in.

You see, the pancakes at Kaya Sol, are slightly amazing. Okay well actually they are bombdiggity delicious. I’m not usually one to order pancakes but after hearing the girls rave about them I got a couple for Shaun and I on his birthday. Seriously…life changing!

These pancakes aren’t the normal white, dry pucks with gooey centres that I am used to seeing at restaurants. These pancakes are full of oats, fresh ginger and coconut! I know I’ve perked your interest now!

Learning to make them was a real treat. As an added bonus, we not only got a lesson, but we got the lesson from Etyl herself! Now since this is not a food blog, I didn’t write down copious amount of notes during the process. I just wanted to get a the jist of the situation, so I could try and recreate them when I get home. Here’s what went down.

P1030158

Etyl whipping up some magic

The dry ingredients included whole oats, a bit of baking soda and baking powder all blended up in a blender. The wet ingredients included an egg, grated ginger, fresh nutmeg, honey, vanilla and three kinds of milk; whole milk, soy milk and fresh coconut milk. Add it all together and bobs your uncle. Etyl did say that you can bulk up the pancakes and add some pancake mix, but if you want to keep it whole grain, then leave it as is.

It was so awesome being able to learn how to make these creations from the inventor herself. You better believe I’ll be trying my hand at these when I get home. I might even be wild and add in a banana!

If you are sitting there reading this and thinking, Kate I really still have no idea how to make these pancakes, I would highly suggest checking out Being Bethany Jane. Not only am I confident that Benny will be trying her hand at her own version of Etyl’s pancakes, but she has tons of amazing recipes to tide you over in the meantime!

What is your favourite breakfast food?

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter:@caketress

 

Burgers of Costa Rica: A Taste Test

Shaun is a man who appreciates a good burger. Although he doesn’t claim to be an expert, with the amount of burgers he has consumed throughout this trip, he certainly has some experience in this area.

During our time in Nosara, Shaun had some particularly fabulous burgers. So, we figured we would rock a little taste test, as well as mention a few other notable burgers he has devoured during our time in Costa Rica.

Take it away Manfriend!

During our three week stay in Nosara, I had the burgers from The Gilded Iguana, Kaya Sol, and Burgers and Beers. Kate asked me to compare the three for her blog. I am by no means a food critic, but I’ve eaten a few burgers in my time.

On this trip we do a lot of meals in to save money. When we do go out for meals I often go for something we typically can’t make ourselves; more times than not its a burger and fries. I think I’ve had around twenty burgers over the course of our five month trip. Most of them quite good and way better than the ones back in Canada. As for the burgers in Playa Guiones, they were among the best I had all trip. However, Kate wants me rank them so here it goes.

To be fair each of the three burgers were a classic beef burger with cheese. I also ranked the french fries because I love fries, usually more than burgers. This time though the burgers took center stage.

The Burger at Guilded Iguana

The Burger at Guilded Iguana

 

Third Place: Gilded Iguana

Good burger, it was home made patty with good thickness and not overcooked. Could have used a bit more pickles, but that seems to be a common issue down here. The fries were okay, not terrible but nothing to write home about. I rank this number three.

 

 

The Burger at Kaya Sol

The Burger at Kaya Sol

 

Second Place: Kaya Sol Surf Hotel

Great burger, it was also a home made patty that was well seasoned and cooked perfectly. Easily one of the best burgers I’ve had all trip. I had this meal on my birthday and it was a fantastic choice (thanks Jorge).  The burger came with tons of fries and they were easily the best fries I had had in all of Costa Rica. If this was a contest about fries, Kaya Sol would have won hands down.

 

The Burger at Burger  and Beer

The Burger at Burger and Beer

 

First Place: Burgers and Beers

Best burger in Costa Rica, there is nothing bad to say about this burger. It was perfect. As I ate it I was getting disappointed as there was less and less left to eat. To top things off I had to share a few bites with Kate. It came with fries, but there weren’t that many and they weren’t as good as Kaya Sol’s, but the burger was perfect. So Burger and Beers gets my first place vote.

 

I feel I should branch out and mention three other notable burgers I’ve had during this trip: Willie’s ABC (Avocado, Bacon, and Cheese) Burger from the restaurant at Mal Pais Surf Camp, the Wipe Out Burger at Kaya Sol and the Bacon Cheeseburger from Nogui’s in Tamarindo

Willie’s Avocado, Bacon and Cheese (ABC) Burger: Mal Pais Surf Camp, Mal Pais: I had Willie’s burger back in January and it was amazing. I don’t usually eat avocado, but something about the soft avocado combined with crunchy bacon made it work perfectly. I have compared every burger I’ve had since to it.

Bacon Cheeseburger- Nogui’s Tamarindo: Even though Nogui’s is mostly Costa Rican food, they do know there way around a burger. I had their Bacon Cheeseburger way back at the start of the trip, and it was really good. The bacon was perfect. I might just really like bacon.

Wipe Out Burger, Kaya Sol, Nosara: I had the Wipe Out burger on our last night in Kaya Sol and didn’t rank it with the others because it was a chicken burger, but it was ridiculously good. Its a chicken breast cooked in buffalo sauce with cheese and bacon. It was like a delicious chicken wing with cheese and bacon wrapped in a soft bun.

I’m so hungry right now.

Thanks Shaun!

Where do you get your favourite burgers?

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter:@caketress

 

 

Kaya Sol, Playa Guiones, Nosara, Costa Rica

We are constantly asked by travellers “Where is your favourite place that you’ve stayed?”

We’ve had all sorts of answers prior to this, and they tended to vary from day to day. But, after our experience in Nosara, we can safely say, “Kaya Sol!”

P1030317Kaya Sol has been on our radar since the start of the trip. It seemed that any time we mentioned Nosara to people they would recommend Kaya Sol. The further along in our trip we got, the more excited we got about our stay. So much so that we kept extending our booking and deciding to stay longer. By the time we arrived, we had decided we would be staying for 3 weeks.

This turned out to be a fabulous decision.

No matter what kind of traveller you are, Kaya Sol has an accommodation option that will work for you. They offer everything from hostels, and private rooms to apartments and houses. Oh did I mention a “real good time” is also included in your stay?

The hotel is located in the northern part of Playa Guiones. It’s about 200m from the beach and 40m from the local grocery store. There are several restaurants and coffee shops that are super close, and then its about a 10-15min to the heart of Guiones. That being said, once you are at Kaya Sol, you’ll find that there isn’t much need to leave.

I would describe Kaya Sol as an oasis. The property is deceivingly large, but built around P1030280the existing trees and greenery. You’re more likely to feel like you are in the a tranquil jungle then on the property of a hotel. The hub of Kaya Sol is their restaurant and pool area. Their pool is shaded, and includes a waterfall. The shade makes it nice and cool all day. It’s the perfect way to get away from the heat, which was regularly creeping over 40 degrees during our stay.

Although their amenities are great, it’s the people that truly make Kaya Sol amazing. We have, of course, already heard about Neal, the bartender, but the rest of the staff is just as wonderful and helpful. From Judy in reception to J.C and Emerson at the restaurant, everyone is there to make sure you are taken care of.

The bar

The bar

I can’t mention the restaurant without talking about their food. Seriously now, we had some epic meals while we were there. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and if I were you, I would partake in all three. Jorge knows his way around the kitchen and whips up some amazing food. My favourite was the chipotle platter. A veggie and rice dish in a miso cashew sauce with your choice of meat. Get it with brown rice and the fish of the day and you won’t be disappointed. Then there were the pancakes. Not just pancakes, but Eytl’s famous coconut, oatmeal, ginger pancakes! Don’t worry, there is a whole post on those coming later!

The restaurant offers live music two nights a week, as well as Trivia Night on Mondays. But regardless of what day of the week it is, there are always great people at the bar. We met so many wonderful people during our stay, including three girls from our hometown of Victoria, and one guy who helped us become Trivia Night champions on our last night (thanks Chris!). Despite the activity at the bar, everything winds down by 10, so you don’t need to worry about the noise. Nosara is all about getting up early for surf. Perfect for early birds like us.

Rocking the self-timer in one of our apartments

Rocking the self-timer in one of our apartments

The one tip I would give about Kaya Sol would be to book early! We stayed there for three weeks, but ended up switching rooms four times. It was actually really nice because we got to get a feel for the entire property. We stayed in a couple private rooms that had a bathroom and fridge, as well as full on apartments. Let me tell you, having our own kitchen AND kitchen table was a huge novelty!

So if you are looking a place to stay, or a place to eat, check out Kaya Sol in Nosara. Make sure you say hi to them from the “Zealanders!”

Pura Vida!

Kate

Follow me on Twitter:@caketress