Thursday, January 29, 2009

Super Taqueria La Chiripita

This is the newest place in town, located in the old ChiliTown/Doghouse/etc./etc./etc. building at the corner of De La Guerra and Milpas. They just opened up a few days ago, although their sign next to the register says “since 1980” and the sign above the building says “since 1985”. I guess either of those, although an outright falsehood, is better than “since yesterday”. Either way, I was excited, as usual whenever a new place opens up, especially when it’s the 3rd closest Taqueria to my house…easy walking distance makes me happy.

They’ve got a huge menu, and a huge staff. I was standing outside ordering at the counter and saw no less than 7 people scurrying around in the kitchen .(including a cashier poached from El Buen Gusto and a cook poached from the Rose on Haley....if you're gonna poach, do it from the best). Keeping this many people on the payroll is frightening if you’re at all business minded and my first thought was that no matter how good the food is, this place is not long for Milpas. For example, on the busiest nights at the almighty Rose Café on Haley ( a restaurant that has been there since the 50s) they have a staff of 5 at the most, and one of those is usually sitting in the corner watching everyone else work.

Regardless, I ordered up a ‘burrito ranchero” with chicken, because it sounded good. And when I got it, after far, far too long of a wait for a kitchen with 7 people in it, it was decent. Decent is all. It also wasn’t chicken, it was asada, which is not what I ordered. So that pissed me off, but I couldn’t take it back, because I was already home, had already opened a beer, and wasn’t going to go back and complain about a meat mistake. But the ranchero sauce was verde, and in my world, verde sauce doesn’t go with beef, so the dish would’ve been better with the chicken that I had fucking asked for in the first place. That said, I was longing for chicken even more, because the sauce was quite excellent.

I can’t recommend anyone rush out to this place yet, but I’ll let you know what the next couple times are like. And hopefully I’ll get what I ordered.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

El Pollo Norteno

Sometimes you just want to eat food that you know is not good for you.

Now a burrito from Cuca’s might not be the best thing for the human body, but I guarantee that a half-chicken from El Pollo Norteno (336 N. Milpas) is worse.

But it tastes good. Real good. Even when it tastes bad for you. The only reason I don’t eat here more often is because I usually prefer pork or beef, in their various forms with my Mexican grub, nothing really, other than personally preference.

I don't know what they marinate it in, but always when I eat here, I’m like, this chicken is fuckin’ good.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Los Lonely Boy

It was a little odd tonight because everyone out surfing with me after work followed me to The Rose Café on Haley. That’s right, they all came. All none of them. While 658 guys fought for scraps at perfect Rincon, I surfed 2 hours of chest to overhead waves at a clean peeling beachbreak less than two miles down the road with no one else in the water (actually, that’s a lie, there was ONE other guy for a while).

So of course afterwards I was hungry and picked up Deb when she got off work. As often happens, we ended up at The Rose. Now The Rose Café is like the Rincon of Santa Barbara Mexican food. It is truly world class, except that unlike Rincon, tonight there wasn’t anybody at all relishing in her glory. We sat down, ordered, got our food in about ten minutes, paid and tipped ‘em good for the slow night, then headed home. Meanwhile over at The Sojourner Café, which is world class at absolutely nothing , there was a wait to get a table. Are you kidding me? What the fuck is wrong with people? But hey, I’m not complaining.

But shabby surf metaphors aside, I had the Red Chile, which is pork cooked ranchero style. I don’t often get this, and yet again, I wonder why. It was off the charts tasty. Deb had an enchilada/relleno combo, equally as good.

Maybe tomorrow we’ll trade. Everyone who was at Rincon can go to where I was surfing, and I’ll have my way at head high Rincon alone. Then I’ll hit the Soj and they can swamp The Rose.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Best in Show

There are a very small number of places that can be considered as having the best burrito in town. My vote always lies between Super Cuca’s (the one on Micheltorena) and El Buen Gusto. But it’s hard to compare the two because they are so different. So I basically don’t compare them and always give them each the title of best burrito.

Especially after tonight’s Super Asada at El Buen. THE best burrito in town.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Taqueria El Bajio

I don’t relish writing this review, but something really has to be said about this place. I’ve eaten here a number of times over the years and on top of being the most ridiculously expensive taqueria in town, the food always sucks. Always. So I went there today with low expectations, because I was hungry and tight on time and felt I needed to get this place off my Super Asada checklist. And, go figure, my 8 dollar regular (meaning ‘not super’) chicken burrito sucked. It lowered even my lowest expectations. How a restaurant can make food suck so badly so consistently I’ll always wonder. On the upside, everyone that works his is always super nice. Perhaps kindness is the only way to get tips in the jar, cause they can’t make any extra from quality.

If anyone eats here and has something they like, for the love of Jehovah, please, please tell me what it is.
So I can tell you that you’re wrong.