Building on DorkvsMaximvs' foundation...
Yes, on the east side of Santa Barbara, California, about a mile or a mile
and a half up Milpas Street from East Beach, lies Super-Rica,
favorite Mexican food eatery of many locals. You can eat lunch or dinner
between 11 in the morning and 9 at night Sunday through Thursday, and
until 9:30 Friday and Saturday. Don't bother wondering if you'll be able
to park in the miniscule 4-car parking lot; there's probably not even any
space on the cross street, Alphonse (sometimes not wide enough for two
cars to pass each other).
When you do finally get there, there's a good chance you'll have to wait
in line, sometimes 10 to 15 people long, extending out the door and down
the sidewalk. When you're able to step over the threshold, you'll be in
sight of the chalkboard displaying the menu, and you'll be the second or
third person from the order window.
It's your turn now? Place your order with the smiling cashier in your
choice of English or Spanish. Whichever you choose, your order number will
eventually be called out in that same language by the man at the pickup
window. All items are a la carte, ranging in price from
US$2 to US$5; I usually find one sufficient
but most people probably get two or even three. On the bebida
front, you might want to rethink your instinct to go for a Corona,
Tecate, Pacifico, or Coke, which you can get anywhere; if you like horchata at all,
I have it on good authority that you won't find any better.
Pull out that big wad of
efectivo from your pocket; your credit cards will not
help you here.
Now make your way out to the wood-floor patio at the side of the building,
and choose one of the plexiglass-covered picnic tables scattered upon it.
Don't venture too far if you're tall; the canvas canopy forming a nine foot
ceiling slopes down to a scant five feet by the time it reaches the far
wall (forcing the ficus trees on that side to be permanently hunched over).
When you hear your number announced (remember to listen for it in Spanish
if you placed your order that way), proceed to the pickup window where you'll
find plastic utensils to the right and several kinds of salsa to your left.
The food for you and your companions will probably look quite similar.
A five-inch paper plate covered with a mess o' meat, grilled vegetables,
and maybe cheese. Hidden underneath that there are likely three three-inch
corn tortillas. You might get a cup of beans on the side.
The major exception to this rule is if you go for either the
queso de cazuela, tocino especiál,
or chorizo especiál. These are cups containing a
big, stark blob of melted cheese. The first has tomato sauce, but who
ya kiddin'? You didn't order that for your health, so get it with bacon
(tocino) or sausage (chorizo) and listen to the apprehensive squeals emanating
from your arteries.
When you're ready to go, try to push your plates, forks, etc. into the
trash cans, which may be overflowing, and drop your bottles/cans into
the recycling bin (if you didn't give the horchata a try).
Thanks for visiting Santa Barbara!