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Sep 29, 2007 03:28 PM

Mexican in Santa Maria?

I am passing through Santa Maria. Can anyone recommend some good mexican places in the area? Thanks

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  1. Hi ! I used to live in Santa Maria, and actually married into an extraordinary Hispanic family. They recommended this restaurant highly, so imagine how embarrased I am not to remember the name, nor to have ever actually gone there! But my former mother-in-law told me if it was the most authentic Mexican restaurant in the area. I can tell you how to get there.....

    Take the Main Street exit off of 101, and head west to Broadway. On the south west corner there is a Mervyn's department store and strip mall. Way back in the corner there is a very colorfully decorated Mexican restaurant... and that is where my brain cells stop ! Maybe someone else can pop in with a name and a review.

    Something I did on a regular basis was to head further on down Main to Blosser Street, and the fine El Toro Carneceria. It is a meat market which serves a plate lunch. They make it somewhat easy to find by parking a delivery van with a huge figure of El Toro the bull on top.

    Anyway, locals swarm the place, coming in from the nearby broccoli fields to get lunch. So, it can be crowded. But there is a reason for that. the food is basic, and phenomenal. (If you are a fan of chicharrone, grab a biece with meat and add it to your meal.

    In any event, long story short, I would buy a plate lunch and head further west on Main street about eight or nine miles, smile nicely at the person at the gate, and head for my ocean side picnic table at the Guadalupe Dunes. Most days, I was alone there, with miles of rolling sand dunes and the occasional sea gull. The warm sun, pulled pork on just made tortillas (you can, and should, buy them from the almost hot stacks at El Toro to take home -- at quitting time in the fields, you can get them right at the cash register and they are still steaming....corn and flour), salsa, beans and rice, and perhaps some cold horchata and the vastness of the Pacific. It doesn't get any better than that.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ldychef2k

      Thanks for the great detail!
      From yahoo maps, its one of these 3, I should be able to figure it out

      Taqueria El Buen Gusto
      (805) 614-2883 See reviews on Local 241 Town Ctr W
      Santa Maria, CA Map 0.0

      La Hacienda Restaurant
      (805) 349-8820 See reviews on Local 312 W Main St
      Santa Maria, CA Map 0.1

      Las Brasas Mexican Food
      (805) 925-2953 See reviews on Local 315 W Main St
      Santa Maria, CA Map 0.

      1. re: gandro

        We have eaten recently at the restaurant in the Town Center West (Mervyn's) for breakfast and it was only just OK. Served on ice cold plates with lukewarm coffee. Not really chowish. Have not had lunch or dinner there.

        I have to agree that the best (most authentic) Mexican food in Santa Maria is to be found at the take-away Deli-Mex's and Taco Trucks dotted around town. El Toro Mkt at the northeast corner of West Main and Blosser sits kitty corner from Carniceria Su Mesa, which also has a much smaller, but terrific deli.

        Others locations in town include another location of CSM in the back row at the Stowell Center (S. Broadway, the main n/s drag, and Battles Rd.), and a market in the Peppertree Plaza at the north end of Broadway. Most little Mexican markets with a meat counter seem to have deli's even if very small. All are better than most of the Americanized larger sit-down restaurants.

        There are some very good Mexican bakeries in town, Carmelita in the Penny's center at Stowell and S. Broadway, Mana just a few blocks north of Main on N Broadway, and Panaderia San Juan on W Main, just a block or so east of El Toro Mkt. Very good flan here, too.

        The taco trucks operate mostly in the late afternoon and evenings along N. Broadway. El Chino, which during the day parks just north of the Santa Maria River Bridge on the west frontage road near the RV sales lots, comes into town after 4 pm to park across the street from Panaderia San Juan on W Main. Their carnitas is very good, but they have a full range of most meats and deli items.

        Just about 1 1/2 miles east of 101 at the south end of town, Tichita parks her truck along the edge of the fields on E Betteravia from about 10:30 to 3. Great lengua here, and a lovely smiling face to warmly greet you.

        Also must mention the Tamale Shop at W Betteravia and Blosser (turn right at the intersection, hang a "U" at the end of the center divider and turn into the first driveway at Vintner's Park industrial complex. They are at the front corner of the right hand building. Closed Sun/Mon. Outstanding tamales, no other dishes offered. $1.50 each last time we were there.

        If you are in town on Sunday, there is fresh menudo with hand made corn tortillas
        on N Broadway at Carmelita, a little restaurant tucked at the back of an aging stripmall about 5 or 6 blocks north of Main St on the west side of the street.

        I'm sorry I'm so bad at names, please forgive me. But it's a small town, and the places are not hard to find--just switch on your chowdar and cruise the main streets.

        * note: the dividing point for N/S and E/W in Santa Maria is the intersection of Main (E/W) and Broadway(N/S) not 101 as might be assumed.

        Santa Maria Tamale Shop
        2115 Blosser Rd, Santa Maria, CA

      2. re: Ldychef2k

        that first restaurant is called el maya

        and it is okay compared to some other places, like across from el toro, there is a place called el matador. they have great stuff. and el toro is great as well.

      3. To quote a previous post ( ) there's the Santa Maria Tamale Shop at 2115 Blosser Betteravia in Santa Maria (with a telephone of 805-614-4171). Deliciousness. Get there early as it seems to cater to a local lunch crowd,

        Santa Maria Tamale Shop
        2115 Blosser Rd, Santa Maria, CA