Thursday, March 18, 2010

Santa Barbara Day Trip!

With graduation, the "real world" and unemployment on the horizon, a vacation to Cabo was not in the cards for my last college Spring Break. I was, however, fairly certain that I would shoot myself in the face if I did nothing to change up my routine. With this in mind, J and I headed North to Santa Barbara (a first for both of us!) on a day trip. Sadly, because this was just to be a day trip, no wine tastings were involved (*wah wah*).

After asking for a food recommendations, J and I made our first stop of the day (obviously a food-related one) at La Super-Rica Taqueria. Literally translated, "la super-rica taqueria" means "the super tasty taco shop," and, indeed, it is.

Menu @ La Super-Rica Taqueria
Look at that menu!

With its open-air ordering area and covered outdoor patio/eating area, La Super-Rica Taqueria has a nice, relaxing vibe. If I lived in the area, I'd definitely be a regular.

La Super-Rica TaqueriaLa Super-Rica Taqueria
La Super-Rica Taqueria

I ordered the chorizo quesadilla ($3.50) and arroz. La Super-Rica Taqueria hand-makes its tortillas on location, and you can taste the difference; they're so light and fresh. The quesadilla oozed with yummy cheese, and the chorizo added a nice smoky flavor.

Chorizo Quesadilla @ La Super-Rica Taqueria

I'm not sure what was in this rice, but it was delicious. The flavor was milder than that of traditional Mexican rice, but J and I really enjoyed this.

Rice @ La Super-Rica Taqueria

Next up, The Burger Bus--how could we come to Santa Barbara without trying it? Operating out of a shiny yellow school bus, The Burger Bus uses only grass-fed/free range/hormone-free beef and local bread, jelly, cheese and produce.

Burger Bus

Burger Bus

Burger Bus MenuBurger Bus Menu

The Burger Bus is best known for it's CB&J ($7.50)--or cheeseburger and jelly. Because the #1 had a cautionary "Hot!" written next to it, I opted for the #2 with cheddar cheese and olallieberry (a hybrid of blackberry and raspberry) jelly.

There was nothing not to love about this burger. From the crusty ciabatta to the sweet jelly to the gooey cheese and the juicy meat, this burger was delicious.

CB&J @ Burger Bus

We also ordered yam fries ($2.50), which were delightfully simple. They tasted like sliced-up yams with a little salt thrown in. So fresh! A dip in ranch dressing took the fries to a whole 'nother level.

Yam Fries @ Burger Bus

J and I then took a stroll around the UCSB campus which is, apparently, a 5(-ish) minute walk from the beach. Clearly I made the wrong choice in university. The campus and surrounding area were gorgeous! I have no idea what their programs are but, if I had toured the campus in high school, I would have definitely applied (you can take the girl out of Hawaii but not the Hawaii out of the girl).

Santa BarbaraSanta Barbara

Next up was the Santa Barbara Mission, which was founded by Spanish Franciscans in 1786. Because the day was getting late, we didn't take the tour which, in retrospect and as a history buff, I regret. I guess I know what I'm doing on my next trip to Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Mission

Santa Barbara Mission

Santa Barbara Mission

Afterwards, we headed to State Street, parched and hoping to find a smoothie, which we did at Blenders in the Grass. If you ever happen upon one of these, I highly highly recommend you check it out. My Tropical Guava smoothie was all fruit and flavor and no gritty ice. Yummm...

While walking around State Street, J and I noticed a farmer's market...and just when we thought that the day couldn't include any more of our favorite things! We ended up buying some of the best tangerines I've ever eaten and some behemoth strawberries.

Santa Barbara Farmer's MarketSanta Barbara Farmer's Market
Santa Barbara Farmer's MarketSanta Barbara Farmer's Market

Although J and I were both pretty stuffed, I had been very strongly urged to visit McConnell's Ice Cream and Yogurt, a locally-based ice cream chain. Far be it from me to ignore any ice cream recommendation, so off we went.

McConnell's, Santa Barbara

The first thing I noticed was the size of the servings of ice cream and frozen yogurt of the people around me; they were huge! I then noticed the completely reasonable prices and began trying to convince myself that I was not too full for ice cream.

McConnell's, Santa Barbara

McConnell's, Santa Barbara

J ordered the Macadamia Nut ice cream in a cup ($3.75), which had whole macadamia nuts in it. So good.

Macadamia Nut Ice Cream @ McConnell'ss

I ordered the Burgundy Cherry in a sugar cone ($4.25). With its creamy cherry base and chunks of fruit, this was mind-blowingly good.

I'm already trying to find a grocery store near me that carries McConnell's ice cream pints.

Burgundy Cherry Ice Cream @ McConnell's

Sadly, it was then time to head back...but not without one last look at the gorgeous water.

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

I thought this was funny.

Santa Claus Lane

And so, my day in Santa Barbara was fun, gorgeous, relaxing and delicious. I didn't even wish I was in Mexico, instead!

La Super-Rica Taqueria
622 N. Milpas St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
(805) 963-4940

La Super-Rica Taqueria on Urbanspoon

The Burger Bus

Blender in the Grass

Santa Barbara Farmer's Market

McConnell's Ice Cream
201 W. Mission St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105
(805) 569- 2323

McConnell's Ice Cream - Mission St on Urbanspoon


  1. I just left Santa Barbara this morning. I would have loved to check out your blog first... next time I'll stop by here before I stop by there. Great post!

  2. Thank you! I lucked out with some very good eating tips before I headed up there. Hope you can get to try these places next time!