Exploring the beautiful Costa Rican countryside can be hungry work! When you're out and about discovering the hidden gems of Alajuela, why not stop at Charly's for some chicharones? I can't figure out why anyone would prefer these tasty treats to a delicious dragonfly, but to each their own, I suppose!
A Latin American tradition
If you've never tried chicharones, you're in for a treat! These salty snacks are deep-fried pork rinds, and they make an excellent bar snack - as a plate of chicharones and a bottle of Pilsen or Imperial is a firm favorite with Ticos!
There are several variations of chicharones. Although the classic recipe calls for pork rinds, some restaurants prepare them using beef, chicken or mutton. However, in Costa Rica, most chicharones use pork ribs, not rinds. They're just as delicious and not quite as fattening! When you order chicharones at Charly's, they'll be served with a mandarin lemon (Costa Rica's yummy version of a lemon), a traditional custom for this dish, and pico de gallo, another Tico favorite.
Chicharones take a long time to prepare. The trick behind this delicious meal is frying the meat very slowly for hours. First, the cook will heat a pan of lard or pork belly until it's sizzling hot, then add the meat. After an hour or so, the meat will be tender, at which point salt, pepper and other spices are added. The reason it's best to cook the chicharones slowly is to preserve the crispy batter without making them too tough.
Charly's in Naranjo isn't just a great restaurant where you can grab some delicious chicharones, it's also a really fun place to hang out. The staff is very friendly, the atmosphere is relaxed and the beer is cheap!
If you like to sing along to your favorite pop hits from yesteryear, Charly's hosts regular karaoke nights - perfect for a fun night out after exploring the surrounding countryside! If chicharones don't sound like your kind of thing, Charly's has an extensive menu of other authentic Tico food. No matter what your tastes, you're likely to find something appetizing at Charly's!
Charly's is one of the most popular places to grab a bite in Naranjo, and for good reason. When you're on a Costa Rican adventure, don't miss the chance to try this local delicacy for yourself!
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