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Stories about San José

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Albert (Alberto) Brilliott (1951 – 2016)

Updated: Jul 2, 2018

by Michael Miller

(August, 2016)

Albert (Alberto) Brilliott (1951 – 2016)

Downtown San Jose, Costa Rica looses a prominent ex-pat.

Albert Brilliott died Thursday morning (August 11, 2016) at his home in San Jose, Costa Rica.  Albert was also known as “Alberto,” and “The Sausage King,” and “The Mayor of Gringo Gulch.”

With his trademark white fedora, and a glass of Chilean white wine, Albert Brilliott (Alberto) flashes the smile that won him hundreds of friends in Downtown San José.

Alberto, a long-time resident of Costa Rica, was a prominent figure in Downtown San José, particularly the Barrio Amon and Barrio Otoya neighborhood.  With his trademark white Panama hat, his quick smile, and his droll sense of humor, he was recognized and befriended by hundreds of people in Downtown.

Alberto’s body was discovered by his housekeeper on Thursday afternoon when she went into his apartment to clean.  When the medics arrived, they determined that he had died several hours earlier, but at this writing, the cause of death has not been determined.

Alberto grew up in Northern California.  He became an accomplished electrical engineer and worked for a number of hi-tech firms in California’s Silicon Valley. After he retired to Costa Rica, Alberto continued to use his engineering and design skills to help local businesses set up state-of-the-art sound systems and WiFi connections.

Alberto (aka: The Sausage King) poses with a Rod Stewart look-alike at one of Downtown San José’s nightspots.

He is perhaps most well know for his cooking skills.  He loved to cook, particularly Italian food.  Shortly after taking up residence here in Costa Rica, he decided that there was a need for a good quality Italian-style sausage.  His sausages are now carried by many restaurants in Downtown San José, and that is how he earned the moniker:  "The Sausage King."

Because of Alberto’s gregarious personality, he made friends with people in all walks of life, including the best-selling author Steve Martini, who made Alberto a character in one of his novels.

Alberto was 65 years old.  He has no family in Costa Rica.  The U. S. Embassy has been notified, and they are in the process of notifying his family members in the U. S.  At this writing, there are no services scheduled.

Albert Brilliott (Alberto), (The Sausage King), (The Mayor of Gringo Gulch), Rest in Peace.

On one of Alberto’s business cards, he characteristically billed himself as: “Your personal leisure time advisor and information guru.”  Perhaps Alberto now has a great new location to promote. He will be missed.

Photos are from the Mark Wise Collection.

Michael Miller is the author of the first and only guide book that focuses on Downtown San José, Costa Rica, titled The Real San José. Paperback copies are available for sale at selected retail outlets in San José.  An electronic version of The Real San José is available at Amazon/Kindle.  To access it, click here.

Your questions and comments are always welcomed. You can contact Michael directly by email: You can see additional stories that Michael has written about Downtown San José at his website:


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