When asked to describe her last meal on Earth, Julia Child gave a few answers. But in addition to the French meal we'd all expect, the native So-Californian also picked In-N-Out Burger and La Super-Rica Taqueria. At least that's the lore in Santa Barbara, California, where I found myself last weekend.
By pure coincidence fueled by a hangover, in the span of 8 hours I found myself eating at both places so beloved by Ms. Child. Though I have to say, Super-Rica was by far my favorite of the day.
A group of five of us ordered a feast at the tiny taqueria. At a few bucks per dish, you can order practically the entire menu and I'd highly recommend it. Because it's impossible not to get the tacos, the tortillas for which are handmade by a tiny woman who pulls chunks of the corn and lard dough off a giant ball, stamps them in a round press, and throws them onto the griddle. But then there's the tamales, which were so fresh and flavorful (especially when topped by a cup of the green or red salsas) that even the people at the table who "don't like tamales" devoured them.
If I had to choose under duress, I'd go with anything involving peppers and cheese. There's the chile relleno, which had excellent smoky char, and the tacos de rajas, where fresh tortillas are topped by a heap of grilled peppers in a creamy cheese sauce. Don't forget to order an agua fresca and top everything with the homemade pico de gallo—it has just enough spice to clear your hungover head.
La Super-Rica Taqueria
622 North Milpas Street Santa Barbara, CA 93103 (map) 805-963-4940
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