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Costa Azul

Posted by YAR 15 Aug 2008 23 Comments

Costa Azul (2721 Guess Rd) is Honduran/Mexican and is kind of like paradise. One way to explain how I feel about it is to say that I just ate more in one sitting than a human is made to contain, and still my mouth is watering looking at these photos.

As you can see from this action shot, the tacos (we had pastor) are pretty simple. It came on a pillowy fresh tortilla, was not at all greasy, and was quite subtle but delicious. I didn’t see a salsa bar but I didn’t feel the need to look for one.

We also ordered a surprisingly huge licuado–they were out of melon but offered papaya, which wasn’t on the menu. Unfortunately it was so frothy and good that I drank far too much of it.

This is the sopa al bondigas, a meatball soup, which was a special. It came with some of the same great fresh tortillas (which are also fried to make the chips that came with salsa when we sat down). The soup was extremely comforting and beefy.

The highlight of the meal (and of my week) was this cubano torta. Check out the many layers of goodness, which include beef, ham, egg, avocado, and beans.

This place is in the same location as, and may be a reincarnation of, a Honduran place that I went to in the spring but that closed before I had a chance to blog about it (I don’t remember the name). It is now remodeled to be much more appealing both inside and out, with tropical-paradise-blue walls and a big open dining area. Apparently they have more Honduran specials on the weekends–our waitress mentioned crab leg soup tomorrow! I didn’t notice any posted hours but there were awesome-looking breakfast offerings on the menu.

23 Comments »

  • Phil said:

    My God that all looks yummy.

    I traveled in northern Honduras all June and got to listen to various folks debate the food situation there. There was a moderate consensus that southern Honduran food is better than northern, and broad consensus that Mexican food is better than Honduran. Makes sense of course about the Mexican — the country is many times larger. But still, I wish I had some things that tasted as yummy as your Costa Azul stuff looks. Seafood. Yum.

    P

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  • Josh said:

    Awesome blog. As a Duke foodie myself, this blog is a great help!

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  • nick said:

    great pictures! what are their prices like?

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  • DNR said:

    The prices are pretty standard – $2 tacos, $6 tortas and lunch specials, and dinners and weekend specials are $10 at the most.

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  • Beth said:

    I went today and everyone was ordering the crab leg soup – it looked delicious. But after seeing the photo of the cubano torta, my heart and mouth were set on that. It was amazing! The bread is from the bakery on Hillsborough steet – the owner said they made the buns special just for her.

    Also tried a beef taco (had to ask for cheese) and it was also wonderful – amazing homemade tortillas and moist, tender meat. We had the banana/melon licuado – very refreshing and tasty.

    The only concern you should have is parking – there are only 4 or 5 spots out front. Maybe there is more in the back and I just didn’t see it. Once this place catches on, they’re going to need a parking garage. It’s THAT GOOD!

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  • Alex said:

    That cubano torta photo makes me feel all tingly inside like love at first sight or like how a lion must feel when she sees a wildebeest limping away from the herd. I want to hunt that sandwich and make it mine.

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  • nick said:

    that taco looks pretty huge. i can’t wait to go.

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  • Tooth said:

    Looks awesome. Speaking of “azuls”, you should check out the hole in the wall that is Playa Azul for some fine eats on Chapel Hill Road, its in the shopping plaza just across the road from Azteca Grill.

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  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    Just went — very good indeed.

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  • durhamfood said:

    Really? It’s round the corner from my place and I’ve generally found it abysmal.

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  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    What have you had? It was the second best torta de carne asada I have had in the area.

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  • Carpe Durham/Reasonably Prudent Person said:

    Oh. Where are you talking about? I am talking about Costa Azul, not Playa Azul.

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  • durhamfood said:

    Ah. I was talking about Playa. Costa’s on my list for the next few days :)

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  • Beth said:

    Took a friend here last night and had the Torta Asada (beef.) It was just ok, not nearly as good as the cubano torta.

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  • burgeoningfoodie said:

    Costa Azul was just reviewed in the News and Observer and also my friends loved it. Not sure what they had though.. Now I await your review of this place and some huevos *L*

    At Los Migueleños (3316 Guess Road; 620-6412), an unassuming little counter service eatery that opened early this month in Durham, the adventure can be as tame or as wild as you like. That’s tame, as in carne asada, roast chicken and Tex-Mex fajitas. And wild, as in huevos de toro — bull’s testicles, which are available stewed, roasted or in a soup. Each of those methods of preparation represents a specialty of a Central American country, according to Ruth Linarte, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Alvaro. The soup represents her native El Salvador.

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  • burgeoningfoodie said:

    That blurp about Los Miguelenos was from the News and Observer courtesy of Mr. Cox.

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  • Los Migueleños « Carpe Durham said:

    [...] try Los Migueleños again soon. There are several interesting things on the menu that, as this commenter points out, we must try. We will post an update when we try the roasted bull’s testicles. Published [...]

  • Tacostumbras: Tamales!! and more « Carpe Durham said:

    [...] meat in either.  The tortillas weren’t freshly made, and I’ve been spoiled recently by Costa Azul in that respect, but I still completely enjoyed my taco here.  The torta was a bit mayo-heavy, [...]

  • La Cordobesa « Carpe Durham said:

    [...] (map) may not have the absolute best Cubano torta I’ve had (that award still goes to Costa Azul), but the Cordobesa Cubano does win in terms of sheer number of different meats: FIVE.  [...]

  • Full Frame Recommendations « Carpe Durham said:

    [...] area, some of our faves are New Visions of Africa (”soul food”), Green Leaf Indian, Costa Azul (Honduran/Mexican), taco trucks on Hillsborough Rd. (late night), Guglhupf (lunch and especially [...]

  • Marty said:

    Just ate at Costa Azul last night because I read the review in the newspaper last week. Arrived at 7:30 expecting to see other people having dinner….but no one was eating, just drinking and playing pool. No women were there except the wait staff….and myself and my daughter. Music was way too loud for any conversation. Food was okay but nothing to rave about, although the waitress was attentive. Doubt I’ll return, but it was worth a try.

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  • YAR (author) said:

    I’ve never been for dinner, but I just tried their breakfast for the first time (which I think they serve all day; I had it at noon). The huevos con chorizo were super. Ambiance is not always the greatest there, it’s true, but it seems it’s better in the daytime (and I’ve always had great service).

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  • Torta Lover said:

    The Triangle’s Greatest Torta has fallen. No, I haven’t found a better torta, just it has defeated itself. I have loved the torta at Costa Azul for some time now, but the last two times I have ordered it, I have been cheated. This last time (ten minutes ago) was the worst. One thin piece of milanesa on the bun, a layer of beans, a piece of white cheese so small that it barely covered half, no tomato, one avocado slice and a single jalepeno slice.
    My initial assessment would be that maybe they are saving the rest of the food I normally would have gotten for someone else. But upon reflection, maybe it is the poolhall business that they are depending upon to keep the place open, and the (formerly) awesome torta has fallen by the wayside.
    At any rate, I’m bummed out and won’t be going there again.

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