Old West Meets Costa Rica at Black Stallion Surf Cafe & Saloon
To call this, a typical "BBQ" would be an insult as it was one of the most impressive and delicious spreads I’ve ever had.
Just a 10-minute drive from the most popular surf town in Costa Rica is a massive 2,000 acre eco-ranch with pristine indigenous wildlife, creeks mountains, huge trees and nature all around that is out of a Jurassic Park movie set. Black Stallion Surf Cafe & Saloon is the casual, rustic masterpiece of once professional surfer Alex Urbaniak.
Alex was born with animals on game reserves and watched his father run hotels. With the need for thrill and adventure, he left his home country of South Africa, became a pro surfer and traveled the world as much as he could, surfing and adventuring unknown surf spots. This led him to a career in design, working for many large clothing companies in Hong Kong, Australia, Europe and the United States. He always has the next idea and understands what's makes something cool and fun to do. Black Stallion Surf Cafe & Saloon is the perfect example of just that.
Black Stallion offers zip lining, horseback riding, hiking and the well know BBQ Fiesta, which is super popular, just check on TripAdvisor. Plenty of customers can attest. Select one activity or a combination of them, but make sure to stay for the BBQ Fiesta.
At the ranch cafe, we enjoyed a sangria at the cafe as we waited for the tour to begin - a two hour somewhat private horseback ride and feast for us and two others. After we met and mounted our horses, we trotted off on a trail where you could see howler monkeys just lounging around high on the trees. The grounds are beautiful, and the 360 views from the top at sunset are breathtaking.
Dinner is the main event and attraction. After horseback riding, we had a fantastic meal just after sunset, hung out and enjoy the BBQ saloon & cafe. To call this, a typical "BBQ" would be an insult as it was one of the most impressive and delicious spreads I’ve ever had. Plenty of fresh salads, rice, and other sides; sauces to accompany your choice of protein. Some of the menu items included Grilled Chicken, Steak, Homemade Chorizo Sausage, Fish, and grilled pineapple. It was like being invited over to a friend's house for dinner. The food was absolutely amazing!
Good times, good time. Alex, some of his friends, dogs, and staff entertained us for the next 2+ hours over drinks and an incredible meal. From other reviews on TripAdvisor, I know he didn't treat us any different. Alex welcomes all that come to experience Black Stallion with open arms, as if you were long lost friends, a sibling of sorts. Alex just enjoys life and what he does. He has great stories and carries a great conversation no matter what the topic. The food, drinks, atmosphere, and conversation were awesome that it would be the first thing on my list to do while in Tamarindo. And, if Alex's warm hospitality wasn't enough, at the end of the night he offered to drive us home.
This is one experience, not to be missed in Tamarindo. The food and the laid back atmosphere was the perfect combination and it truly embraced what being in Costa Rica is about for me “good times.” I know that we’ll be back, especially for the Friday Seafood BBQ with a menu offering of BBQ shrimp, corvina, dorado, Mai Mai & lobster and all the side dishes a tropical style buffet. Alex also plans to expand to a Zipline, Ride, Surf and BBQ outing. Once this is set, this will absolutely be a destination for the thrill seeking wayfarer.
Tour combos with the BBQ start at $85 person; BBQ Fiesta, $45 per person; Seafood Fiesta BBQ, $55 per person. Reservations are required.
A special thanks to Alex Urbaniak and Black Stallion Surf Cafe & Saloon. As always, all opinions are my own.