As far as Mexican food goes, this place is the 'Real Deal' (spanish translations of 'Real Deal' are welcome). Should you find yourself in Santa Barbara, California for any reason, then the Power of Christ compels you to locate the corner of Milpas and Alphonse... just look for the little white building with aqua trim... oh, and the line of humanity waiting to savor the delights within. Connoisseurs should know that SB local Julia Child has found La Superica Taqueria to be some of the best Mexican food this side of the Milky Way galaxy.

Some things you should notice upon entry: Roughly 30 lunch items on the chalk board. If you don't know a taco from a relleno, just pick one... IT'S ALL GOOD!!! The guy at the booth will take your order. Don't forget to order a fine beer with your lunch... might I recommend a Pacifico? Pay careful attention to the woman behind him with the bowl of cornmeal and the tortilla press. Yep! Fresh corn tortillas... the only way to dine a la Mexican.

Now with your order placed (about a 5 minute wait), scoot around the corner into the dining area (it's a tent with picnic tables). Stand before the pickup area and marvel at the assortment of salsas (that's rojas AND verde right there, buddy).

Hopefully you will have recieved your order by now. Adorn your meal with salsas of choice and proceed to eat. Your meal will likely have been arranged thusly: 3 corn tortillas stacked on top of each other. Whatever meat/veggie combo you ordered on top of that. Cheese and cilantro on top of that.

How to eat your new taco: There are two schools of thought here, so let the debate rage... Take 2/3 of the toppings and slide it onto the second tortilla, leaving the remaining 1/3 on the top tortilla. Season... consume. -or- Take the bottom tortilla and scoop off 1/3 of the top... you get the picture.

I'm writing this from Hartford, Connecticut. If anyone is aware of a similar taco experience in the northeast, please let me know.

EDIT: Hey now. 7 years later and here I am. Quick update: I've moved from Hartford, CT to Portland, ME...Lo and behold there's a great taco joint here called El Rayo Taqueria on the corner of York and High streets. Not quite the authenticity of La Super Rica, but they've got the right vibe.

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!

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