Santa Barbara is one of those famous, just-on-TV places I have always wanted to visit. And today I had the chance! It was just as beautiful as I had imagined - old Spanish architecture, palm trees, beautiful people, endless sunshine... In addition, we had fantastic company!
Wonderful fellow Slow Traveler KHB generously offered to show us around the Farmers' Market when she heard I was going to Santa Barbara. We enjoyed the gorgeous drive from the Central Coast and met K. and her husband at the market. They not only gave us a fantastic tour, but they knew all the vendors so we got the best treatment at all the stalls. The produce and products were all great. We bought: butternut squash and the other ingredients we need to make KHB's own butternut squash soup; strawberries for dessert; salad greens; and some pretty cool and unusual things: black carrots - who knew? Almond brittle - yummy. Smoked walnuts - amazing! Chipotle/cocoa flavored walnuts - even better! Delicious apple cider - and verjus, juice made of early wine grapes! What a great tour.
After the market, our gracious hosts took us to a cheese shop that had some of the best selection ever. We tasted our way to a couple of cheeses and some salami, before K. and her husband gave us their best recommendation for good Mexican food. We set off for Super-Rica Taqueria on Milpas Street. They had warned us that there might be a long line and they were right! After 5-10 minutes of waiting without moving, we decided to walk down the street to another restaurant. We had delicious tacos there, and when we walked back 45 minutes later, the people who had been in front of us in the line were just reaching the door of the Super-Rica! We were happy with our decision to go somewhere else - we will just have to come back for the Super-Rica some other time.
After this we went to the Santa Barbara Mission - I'll put some pictures in a separate post. Thanks K. and S. for a great day!!