We are all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, but some New Jersey towns are more Irish than others. (more…)
Summit, NJ 07901
- Cost: $$
- Alcohol: None
- Parking: Street
- Take Out: Yes
October 17, 2010
Step into The Banderas Restaurant & Deli in Summit and you’ll find the same food served at any lunch counter restaurant (Soda) throughout the Central American nation of Costa Rica – Pinto con Huevos (rice and black beans with eggs), Ceviche, Arroz con Camarones (shrimp fried rice), and Vigoron (pork with cabbage and yuca). The Banderas caters to Costa Rican expats, so the Empanadas, made with corn, not wheat flour, and the Tamales, corn masa with pork in a banana leaf, taste like the ones in San Jose, not like the versions in Managua, San Salvador, or Mexico. For a typical Costa Rican meal, order the Casado (literally, “married”), a heaping plate of rice, beans, steak, fried onions, sweet plantains, salad, and a fried egg. Or try a Costa Rican “Taco” – not what you might expect – shredded beef wrapped in a corn tortilla and deep fried, covered with shredded cabbage, mayo and ketchup. The tropical fruit shakes, with water or milk, are a taste straight out of Central America. At The Banderas (“The Flags”), the only clue you’re in Summit, NJ is the Taylor Ham, Egg & Cheese sandwich on the breakfast menu.
The Banderas has a counter and about ten tables in the comfortable dining room. The walls are covered by hand painted murals of typical Costa Rican scenes, including an entire wall devoted to the Arenal Volcano. Most customers here speak Spanish, but the servers speak English and the menu in bilingual. Early afternoon on the weekends is when the place is packed with local families. Lunch is the main meal in Costa Rica, so on a recent Saturday around 5 pm, we had the dining room to ourselves. Service is super-friendly, but authentically Costa Rican, so consider take out if you’re in a rush.