Finding out that pho – that magical soup from Vietnam – is now being served in Puerto Viejo de Limon, Costa Rica, is a nice surprise, since it’s pretty much the only thing that could have been missing from the Caribbean’s blossoming culinary landscape.
Yes, Chile Rojo might suddenly become your new favorite place to spend a Sunday, since pho's on the menu, as well as organic chocolate profiterolls for dessert.
Chile Rojo has been a go-to landmark restaurant pretty much since its inception, when it inhabited a tiny, seaside space where a handful of tables spilled onto the roadside. The digs these days are decidedly more dapper, and the affable Chef-owner Andrew Bacon is just as passionate about creating Thai fusion cuisine now as ever.
Feast on pho at Chile Rojo — Photo courtesy of cyclonebill
With Chile Rojo’s popular all-you-can eat sushi and Asian appetizer buffet every Monday night, and now with pho on Sundays – plus the addition of more organic chocolate desserts on the menu all week long – it’s hard to find a foodie-friendlier spot.
Besides adding pho to the Sunday menu, Chile Rojo has revamped a new street-level sushi bar, open every day (except Wednesdays), with a full spectrum of sushi and colorful rolls like the Playa Bonita.
The bowls of steaming hot pho at Chile Rojo can be made vegan or with chicken or beef. If you like your pho extra hot, there’s sirracha on hand for sprinkling in. Bowls are sold for 3000 colones or about $6.
All-you-can-eat sushi and Asian appetizers on Monday night is just 6500 colones, or about $13. Some cocktails are two-for-one at happy hour; check the signs outside for times.
Street-level seating offers people watching on the busy main street, if not the scenic panoramic of the upper level.
On Saturdays, things can get especially spicy at Chile Rojo. Recently, there were thick cuts of filet mignon with ancho chile organic chocolate sauce and live music by reggae band Los Reefers. On Saturdays past, there have been belly dancers, break dancers and a wild motley in between, so it's hard to say what the future of entertainment here will hold.
Chile Rojo is very easy to find. It’s located smack dab in the center of Puerto Viejo, occupying the upstairs of the two-story Puerto Viejo Shops, across the street from ATEC (Talamancan Association of Ecotourism and Conservation). Upstairs seating offers views of the beauty of views of both worlds: the sea on one side and the lush green jungle on the other.