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One night in Santa Barbara - Where to Eat?

Crab Louie at SB Shellfish is generous too and an outdoor table gives you one of the best waterside views. This is at the end of the wharf at the very bottom of State Street and is a hefty walk but there are city shuttles for 50cents that go up and down this distance. Then you have to walk to the end of the wharf.

2 days ago
glbtrtr in California

One night in Santa Barbara - Where to Eat?

Lark is a bit of a walk but you have excellent choices within a few blocks of your hotel - ground zero for good restaurants are the 1000 to 1300 blocks of State Street and their side streets - take your pick. We like Juliene a lot which is a few blocks away in the other direction on the corner of Canon Perdido and Santa Barbara streets.

But also love Sama Sama and Scarlett Begonia. Can't go wrong with either - both small and casual.

For old school Santa Barbara where locals still come to celebrate their big events, our own favorite remains Downey's which you find in this same Ground Zero 1300 block of State Street area as well. it is more staid, but a true Santa Barbara classic.

Paradise Cafe is another far more casual but oldtime Santa Barbara spot - no one can beat their chocolate moouse pie and well prepared basics - outdoor setting if the night is warm.

You ask a challenging question and I don't have a good answer - what says Santa Barbara best for a single night's dinner. Actually, I might say Sushi Teri for their combo plate, La Superica #15 special, or the Carnitas Super Nachos at Super Cucas with a tall horchata, (!)

Aug 18, 2014
glbtrtr in California

New in Santa Barbara

Service was young and friendly and they seemed to be proud to be working there. I did not pick up any of the early and edgy hautiness reported but we also made very few demands on them since it was just lunch and the dining setting was very uncrowded.

I would rank it as more eager to please than polished or professional as the setting, clientele or prices may warrant. But it was welcoming, which I had feared it would not be.

Made it feel okay to be just a mere local going back to visit one for their former favorite haunts. In fact talking about it right now makes me want to run back up the hill and have another burger!

Aug 17, 2014
glbtrtr in California

New in Santa Barbara

Here you go - the El Encanto lunch menu (Aug 2014). Hope you enjoy it - the serenity of the view and strolling around the grounds still makes it a worthy Santa Barbara destination.

Was pleased how faithful they were to the look and feel old interior lobby since they gutted this place down to the newly installed steel girders. (But miss the squeak of the old floor boards!)

The extended dining terrace was an excellent improvement. A trip up the lobby stairs takes you to an even higher level view deck.

http://4c6c364fdf1082a37bcf-54493dc0d...

Aug 16, 2014
glbtrtr in California

New in Santa Barbara

My first taste of SB for lunch was a glorious vegetarian eggplant sandwich - and I am really no fan of vegetables but this place did magic.

Aug 15, 2014
glbtrtr in California

New in Santa Barbara

I think both those choices will deliver for you and your son. Toma gets great reviews and Lark gets mixed but very high marks too when it works. Looking forward to your report when you get back -- have not been to either one myself and am going only on local reviews.

Aug 15, 2014
glbtrtr in California

New in Santa Barbara

Agree, the El Encanto got such mixed reviews at first we never wanted to go but decided lunch would be a good time to try since it is almost in our back yard - and were very nicely surprised. We did only have the hamburger with fries, but we really enjoyed the wait staff and were greeted nicely during the entire experience.

So for the best view, ambience and reasonable lunch for the price spot I would certainly put it back on your list of places to enjoy when you come back this way. Not sure I want to try dinner, but definitely this is a prime lunch spot for us now to return to again and again ... and we can walk to it so that makes it even better.

Aug 13, 2014
glbtrtr in California

New in Santa Barbara

Juliene and Buchon are not fancy - more casual chic but assume families would feel okay there and lots of variety to chose from. This town is geared towards vegatarians and all the other prohibited food lists too and will try to accomdate them, particularly if you call ahead of time.

Might want to try TomaToma on Cabrillo Blvd or Stella Mares by the Bird Refuge which is close by. The new Funk Zone is in your backyard where the Lark and Lucky Penny are located. Lark has "family style" serving items. An LA chef was brought in to take over the restaurant at the Hotel Indigo right by the train station which was getting some good (and mixed) reviews but this is down in the Beach front area too.

Might want to explore Scarlett Begonia in the Victoria Courtyard by Buchon and for sure visit the new Santa Barbara Public Market on the corner of West Victoria and Chapala for a lot of inticing food court variety.

For a special treat try the newly refurbished El Encanto Hotel view patio for lunch - great hamburgers and a casual setting even in its remodeled opulence -they were welcoming and not crowded.

Worth a drive up to Cold Springs Tavern on the San Marcos Pass - woodsy, very historic logcabin setting - good lunch spot so you can see the scenery during the day.

When classes are in session, you might want to try the SBCC Gourmet Dining Room on Thurs and Friday for dinner or everyday during lunch time - call the college for reservations - this is a student run operation which is always fun and often quite spectacular.

Website "Santa Barbara Dining" will give you more info and some reviews which are not CH level, but occasionally helpful.

You almost can't go wrong as you will be well-fed most everywhere in this area. Stroll and decide what looks appealing. There is a nice cluster of casual spots in the 1200 block of State Street - Indonesian, Vietnamise, Brazillian casual and other more substantial choices. Anderson's Bakery and Cafe for Danish is my favorite sidewalk people watching place. Petit Valentin in La Arcada is also good as well as new choices in this area too.

Aug 13, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Central Coast Updaets

Thank for the update to this unique destination area.

Sadly no hope for the reopening of the wonderful La Simpatia Cafe in Guadalupe, even though the sign beckons that it will be re-opening soon ---which is no several years old and looks like no earthquake repairs have even been started.

A new Simpatia would not be the same anyway. Good buy counter stools, kitsch on the walls, formica countertops and tuck and roll naugahyde booths. And the best chile rellenos on the planet, thanks to ToodieJane's CH tip.

Aug 05, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Italian food in Fresno!

Trelio in Clovis.

Aug 01, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Sorry, another I-5 and Hwy 99 question!

Jack Ranch Cafe in Cholame on 146 - tuna melt and peanutbutter pie. Ummm, umm, ummm

Jul 27, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Sorry, another I-5 and Hwy 99 question!

Kingsburg on 99 is a delight - the town with the Swedish Coffee pot water tower you can see from the freeway - Dala Horse Restaurant serves swedish pancakes before 11am and Swedish plate lunches after that, plus has some Swedish food supplies - lignonberry jam and the large rounds of hard tack.

Tout Sweet in Stockton is another nice deli/bakery with tables stop - a few blocks off 99. http://www.tootsweetsbakerycafe.com/

Jul 27, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Donuts in Santa Barbara?

Spudnuts won a local newspaper article blind taste-off a few years ago during the KrispyKreme craze. There are several loctions in town.

I really like the Spudnuts on West Carrillo and De la Vina, where the new (old) Italian Market will soon be moving into the old Carrows location. This little shopping complex is looking like a nice new specialty stop for locals - inclusing those on a Spudnut's donut run.

Local reviews - mainly very good but also some clinkers - splurge the $1.50 and and try it for yourself ;-)- plus you might like looking at more of the local Santa Barbara Dining reviews on this website. Not as good as Chowhound but far better than Yelp for local recommendations:

http://www.santabarbara.com/dining/re...

Jul 26, 2014
glbtrtr in California

White Wolf Lodge Update, 2014

Maybe you already planned this, but I can recommend getting Glen Aulin to pack you a lunch (surcharge) and hike down to WaterWheel Falls.

A group of guys had wine hauled in by mule - I think it was only $5 a bottle to provide this service, but not sure. The friendly family style meals meant they were willing to share and no reason to not drink it up if it was going to cost them another mule to haul it out. Drinking in the pine scent was good enough for me. Water was at a premium at Glen Aulin - cold wash ups only during a short time period - probably worse now. But you can always dip into the lovely falls and pool next to the camp. Brrrrr. Bringing some water treatment device might be a good suggestion if you want to rely on any left over flowing spring water. I loved this hike, did it as a kid and then 55 years later. Hiking poles a must for me now.

Jul 21, 2014
glbtrtr in California

White Wolf Lodge Update, 2014

Thanks for your reprt. Have always been intrigued with White Wolf for a short stay. Having done one of the Sierra High Camps (Glen Aulin) a few years back we can endorse the very good food we had there as well. Mules haul in fresh supplies every few days and it was pretty spectacular what the cooks/chef was turning out in these highly remote settings.

Jul 21, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Gonna be in San Simeon tomorrow night

They are seriously running out of water in the Cambria area.Plan accordingly.

Jul 18, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Uni in Santa Barbara

Arigato could be your best bet, on State Street in the 1200 block. Or try the restaurants in the SB Harbor area. I don't have first hand knowledge about this but know Arigato gets the best reviews of sushi here.

Jul 18, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Ojai for the weekend?

Both - price is good for the food. This is chow, rather than fine dining please understand. But their heart is in the right place and you will be fed well. Fresh food, full flavors for simple and hearty menu items.

Jul 09, 2014
glbtrtr in Los Angeles Area

Ojai for the weekend?

Boccali's has old fashion strawberry short cake and reasonable Italian dishes in a great casual indoor/outdoor setting .Feels really local. Strawberry season is almost over but give it a try. On the outskirts of town heading east.

http://www.boccalis.com/

Jul 09, 2014
glbtrtr in Los Angeles Area

What Pastries and bakeries makes your mouthwater the most in Denmark and the greater Europe?

Bornholm Island has the best danish pastries in Denmark. See if you can get out there - worth the trip because the ones in Copenhagen on the same trip tasted like they were cutting corners.

Jul 04, 2014
glbtrtr in Europe

Roadfood along the 5 btwn SF and LA?

Agree, skip Harris Ranch. Nothing wrong with a MacDonald's fish sandwich, fries and coke when you are traveling in fast food land and there is no IHOP.

Jul 04, 2014
glbtrtr in California

South Shore Lake Tahoe

The venerable old school Swiss Chalet is definitely worth a visit.

Jul 04, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Santa Barbara Seafood (family friendly)

Thanks for your follow-up report. Always good to get feedback and that no culinary crimes were committed recommending deep fried candy bars at Mac's.

Jul 03, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Avocados

Mash them up for guacamole and add some chopped tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, tomatillo, parsley, seasonings and oregano and no one will notice the discolorations.

But it sounds like they got over-ripe or were held in suspended animation somewhere along the supply chain to keep them from ripening before sale. Good advice - try a mexican type market because they won't settle for less than the best fresh.

Jul 02, 2014
glbtrtr in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Family Restaurants In SB and the area...An update?

I like your challenge because I look for the same things when visiting new places- how to get a feel for the place.

There is a cluster of restaurants around the 1000-1300 blocks or State Street and the side streets that cover pretty much what we have to offer in this town for variety and types of cuisine and hard to go wrong at any of them so this is a good place to head and then just pick what appeals to you.

High ambiance and high end are elsewhere than the list we now have for you, and sometimes a mixed bag in their reviews but if you want a very special luxe experience with views and history: The El Encanto Hotel; The San Ysidro Ranch and the Biltmore Hotels all have stunning settings and gracious grounds.

One of the most ambiance-loaded local restaurants is the old stage coach stop at Cold Springs Tavern (lunch and dinner) about a 20 minute drive up into the hills behind Santa Barbara and a good place to explore the sights of the Santa Ynez Valley and Solvang -which are a worthy day trip to see our "back country" California.

I'll keep working on this. More later.

Jul 02, 2014
glbtrtr in California

Family Restaurants In SB and the area...An update?

Emilio's is now Toma Toma and getting some very nice reviews. I believe the Emilio's employees took it over. If your family is young, the Pardaro Beach Cafe has lots of outdoor tables and play equipment for families in Summerland/Carpinteria Santa Claus Lane area.

My favorite in Carpinteria is Gianfranco's on Linden - nicely casual and top end Italian with a Sicilian twist. There are also spots now in what is called the Funk Zone (website).

Especially good for kids and their attached parents is the brand new Santa Barbara Public Market in the 1200 block restaurant zone off State Street and West Victoria, by the Arlington Theater. More like a food court with lots of excellent and creative choices - something for everyone there.

Jul 01, 2014
glbtrtr in California

A few days in Minneapolis area - did my CH homework

Trip report: got to only a few of our original choices. Luggage lost by the airlines so we waited at the hotel instead of getting to HELL'S KITCHEN.

Enjoyed KRAMARSZUK'S a lot for lunch - yummy German potato salad, I had the crepe with sour cream and DH had the polish sausage sandwich with saurkraut which he declared to be the best polish sausage he had ever had. My red cabbage was a disappointment. But too full to try the lovely looking walnut torte.

Bought some of their Bavarian style mustard, some Hungarian Paprika and a yummy marzipan candy bar. Liked what we saw in their deli choices but did not know how were were going to bring coils of sausages home in our suit cases. Wish we had now.

Room service dessert at the HOTEL MINNEAPOLIS was very good - lava cake and a rice-crispie and ice cream for me and a salty caramel ice cream and candied popcorn for DH were perfect - also available at MAX'S restaurant down stairs.

MILL CITY MUSEUM makes a good gingersnap cookie for a midday treat. And a very nostalgic look at Betty Crocker throughout the ages and iconic American food brands.

Wedding buffet at LORING PASTA BAR was very tasty with an excellent Greek Salad and perfect dressing. Very nice buzz to that place.

Sad to report after making a special trip to GLOCKENSPEIL in St Paul it was not open on Sunday when we arrived at 11am, and then later when we returned.

So back up choice on the way to the airport was the CORNER TABLE off Nicolett (4500 block) for some pork belly benedicts with hash browns which were filling, if a little disappointing in execution.

But that was a great restaurant choice for brunch with plenty of creative and very yummy dishes coming out to happy and obviously repeat diners, who knew the menu better than we did.

Not quite satisfied with our savory egg dishes at Corner Table we topped them off at FIKA with a cardamom roll and a rhubarb muffin, so I did get a tiny bit of rhubarb after all. Loved the Swedish Institute gift shop and picked up some "Queen's Jam" (raspberry and blueberry) and some cooking utensils, along with "In Cod We Trusts" about an American couple's adaptation to life in Norway. We are heading that direction in our travels next year.

There was so much more to explore and we did miss all of the top pick due to our schedule and family gathering and a very crowded town that weekend which had gobbled up all the reservations ahead of time.

One can certainly dine across the globe in the Twin Cities and we wish we had more time to go into more depth. TwinCities - very chow worthy. Yes!

Thanks to all who help send me the right directions and my only wish is restaurant websites were more helpful as to times, locations and up to date information.

Sorry the Glockenspiel did not work out because I wanted to try saurkraut fritters, curds, and take on that all you can eat promised Sausage Sunday challenge.

Jun 30, 2014
glbtrtr in Minneapolis-St. Paul
2

Santa Barbara Seafood (family friendly)

Family friendly - Mac's Fish and Chips on State Street with their deep fried candy bars. A Mom's nightmare, right? But it is the real deal like what one would find in the UK. And their mushy peas are a great way to get them to eat their vegetables. Cole slaw is fresh and good along with their pickles. Casual place - stools and high chairs, or some tables. Self-serve.

The outdoor patio dining at the BoatHouse at Hendry's Beach at the end of Las Positas Road is as family friendly of a beach restaurant as you will find in town, plus have the fun of visiting the beach too. Mom and Dad can enjoy a drink there too.

Jun 30, 2014
glbtrtr in California

A few days in Minneapolis area - did my CH homework

Okay, time to get serious for the last minute pre-trip details: where and/or what is the best rhubarb dish?

FRIDAY: Looks like our BREAKFAST/LUNCH samples will include Hell's Kitchen, Kramarszuks during a walk around downtown and across the river. With some exploration also of Brassiere Zentral.

SATURDAY: Then maybe FIKA for BREAKFAST, LUNCH at Lucia's as there are activities planned at Lake Calhoun mid-day.

SUNDAY: Then the wide open choices now for SUNDAY BRUNCH since Haute Dish is solidly booked the entire time we are there: Bachelor Farmer or Glockenspeil. I do want to explore the neighborhoods of old St Paul.

Other meals are covered by family events.

Breaking news: just recommended on another thread - Sunday brunch at Corner Table - for pork and old Minnesota all in one place?

Jun 25, 2014
glbtrtr in Minneapolis-St. Paul

A few days in Minneapolis area - did my CH homework

Sad to report but after zeroing in on Haute Dish for our Sunday brunch, the online reservation service said they are already fully booked.

Anyone know if one could still take a chance dropping by on Sunday to see if there is an open table?

So still casting about for a Sunday brunch (again looking for "old" Minnesota) and see that Brassiere Zental is not open on Sundays.

Intrigued by the recommendation for Glockenspeil in St Paul - all you can eat sausages on Sundays (!).

Do love really good sausages -old style, European German/Swiss - not new style California ones with blueberries, feta, wheat germ and hemp seeds.

So Sunday brunch suggestions - we will be heading back to the airport late afternoon - but can do a small road trip into the surrounding area that makes for easy access back to the airport.

Jun 25, 2014
glbtrtr in Minneapolis-St. Paul