January 26th, 2011
Eat at Joe’s: The Heart of the Surf Camp
October 15, 2012
While surfing will always be the soul of the camp, our restaurant is the heart. And stomach. And…all the other parts that need fuel to keep surfing all day.
When you come to Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, you’ll spend a lot of time at Joe’s; watching the waves, cheering for tuberides and wipeouts, checking out the volleyball games on the beach, drinking tropical smoothies, and our very own Microbrewed Beers. It’s the place where friendships are formed, and stories are told.
The exact concoction that makes a great restaurant & bar is complex and elusive, but here are some of the key ingredients that have made Eat at Joe’s one of the busiest places in Tamarindo:
Beachfront & Wavefront
Eat at Joe’s is a Surf Joint. It has evolved in form and function from the dual purpose of feeding hungry surfers, and then getting them right back to the beach. Our surfboard rentals, surf shop, and even our surf surf shower are connected to the restaurant, and it is all just a few steps to the best waves in Tamarindo.
The surf scene in Tamarindo tends to revolve around Eat at Joe’s. Everyone hangs here. Locals, tourists, kids, families, young and old, surfers and non surfers, from everywhere. Eat at Joe’s is the place to gather early in the morning before a sunrise surf, midday for lunch and surf, sunset surf and happy hour, and then basking the glow as the sun slips below the Pacific and the sky is painted in technicolor…dreaming, drinking, talking about the day’s best waves…and discussing the what the surf will be like tomorrow.
Big portions of tasty food at good prices.
It’s not a gourmet restaurant. We effectively eliminated any claim at high-brow status with the “Nachos as Big as Your Ass” sign that has graced our entrance for the past decade. But just because we’re not fancy-pants (in fact, we don’t require pants. If you want to eat dinner dripping wet in your boardshorts or bikini, you will certainly not be alone) doesn’t mean we’re not serious about our food.
We have some awesome dishes, and over the years we’ve added more and more of the cuisine we’ve been craving; like our very popular Sushi Bar and more fresh seafood like our Whole Red Snapper, Seafood Soup, and Ceviche.
We have always had a mix of Costa Rican classics, Tex-Mex inspired tacos, fajitas, tostadas, quesadillas and burritos, and comfort food favorites like burgers, wings, and Chicken Digits. For lighter fare, we serve several delicious salads, and an extensive menu of sushi, sashimi, rolls, and appetizers.
Our menu, and in fact the whole restaurant, wasn’t exactly master planned with any specific theme. It has evolved over the years, often in response to late night munchies…”Dude, you know what I could go for right now?…We should totally add that to the menu…”
We’re always expanding around the foundations of the old surf shack (literally…the thick wooden pilings that divide up the restaurant are what holds up the structure above) that we rented back in 2001 and have slowly grown into the current surf camp.
The pilings are covered with faded stickers from thousands of guests, and the decor has always been authentically “Surf Shacky”. Bamboo is cheap, strong, and widely available down here, so that’s what we’ve used to build the bar and cover most of the walls.
The whole restaurant is open-air; half of it covered by the hotel above, and half of it with palm-thatched rancho tables. We continue to make improvements to our restaurant all the time, but we also love it’s essential character, so that will never change.
The next time you are in Tamarindo, stop by Eat at Joe’s, whether you are staying at the camp or not, you are always welcome. We’ll have a cold microbrewed beer and a plate of tastiness waiting for ya!