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Sep 8, 2010 10:47 AM

Santa Barbara questions

Two questions, please:

1. Good fish tacos in SB?

2. Classic Santa Maria style tri-tip bbq for take out?


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  1. Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch is the local go to place for take out tri tip. Have not yet found the best fish tacos in SB. Will also look forward to what others suggest.

    Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch
    2618 De La Vina St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

    4 Replies
    1. re: glbtrtr

      "Have not yet found the best fish tacos in SB"

      Isn't that the saddest statement about your lovely coastal community? There's always the Minnow Cafe at the harbor and I have Altimirano's in my notes, but alas, no specific good memory.

      High on my list is Tacos Rocco in Buellton, but that's a schlep.

      Surprised nothings popped up in Carpinteria, or hell, even IV for that matter.

      1. re: PolarBear

        It may be a schlep- SB to Buellton via the 101 (ocean views) is 35 minutes- and you'll pass the pick your own/or not blueberry farm, and Classic Organic Farms and their Peace Barn- WORTH a visit just to see the goats!

        Via the 154 it is a longer drive, becasue you'll have to travel thru Santa Ynez/then Solvang to get to Buellton- and since its a single lane- it can be affected by high school let out, farmers market- you name I say 101 is your best bet.

        I would suspect the Beachside, the Minnow and probably the Harbor restaurants have them...but like PolarBear said- we have yet to find them, BUELLTON is my choice!

        Beachside Bar-Cafe
        5905 Sandspit Rd, Goleta, CA 93117

        1. re: PolarBear

          I tried Altamirano's fish tacos and Cesar's fish tacos and even the unlikely Lemon Tree Inn Crocodile Restaurant and nothing comes close to the beautiful simplicity I found once in Baja, south of San Quintin and a half mile up the beach from La Quinta resort. I am happy to keep trying..... Minnow could be good.

        2. re: glbtrtr

          re: glbtrtr

          sounds like a job for a chowdown, to me...

        3. SMSBBQ is not something to get for takeaway. You want to see it pulled from the grill and sliced so you can get the pink and juicy cut, and eat it hot. Trust me. No tri tip sandwiches for takeout for the same reason. They will be dry and--oh gawd--they are often NOT cut across the grain, so tough and chewy as well. I recently ate tri tip at a tri tip bbq challenge and watched as the proud all-men (well...) teams ran the tips through the meat cutter along the long, wrong side. Yikes.

          Buy a bundle of oak and a couple of nice marbled tri-tips at the store, and take them home to bbq.

          That's my advice; would be happy to be proved wrong and eat my words.

          1 Reply
          1. re: toodie jane

            Agree about getting it hot off the grill and some of the best I have found is at the Democratic Party Labor Day picnic at Oak Park in Santa Barbara - they season it really well, and buy very good meat to start out with. SB Chicken Ranch takes if off the grill and slices, it but it never rises to stellar heights the way some of these pride of ownership home cooked BBQ offer. It is all in the selection of the meat, then how it is seasoned (Dem Party cooks - you are the best) how it is cooked and then, when it is served. Has to all work together.