There are few things Californians take seriously and tacos is one of them. Last month, while in Santa Barbara, California, I learned fairly quickly where to head for quality local Mexican fare, after asking the fine folks at LA Foodie and, well, Santa Barbara locals. All of them pointed me towards La Super Rica Taqueria, located on the corner of Milpas & Alphonse Street, and I’m grateful for their kind and accurate advice, because the food was fantastic.
Stepping into La Super Rica, I immediately noticed the lunch rush had surpassed. Many warned of La Super Rica’s long line and suggested I get there early, but I strolled in around half past noon, lucked up, and walked right up to the counter to order. Before noticing the chalkboard menu, full of authentic concoctions all under $5.80, I became distracted by the orchestration taking place immediately behind the gentleman behind the register, a woman pressing out fresh corn tortillas and a guy grilling up a variety of beef, chicken, and chorizo. It was one of those moments where you think to yourself, “this is going to be good…”
There was so much I wanted to try, so I did. My first order consisted of Sopes de Pollo (masa cups lightly fired then soaked in a tomato sauce, topped with chicken breast, cheese, avocado, radish, & served with hot sauce), Tacos de Chorizo (chunks of grilled chorizo served on two fresh homemade tortillas), Tacos de Chuleta (grilled strips of pork steak served on two homemade tortillas), and Quesadilla con Chorizo (grilled chorizo with melted cheese served between two fresh tortillas). Everything was made to order, very authentic, and absolutely delicious. Each dish was purposefully simple, flavorful, and carried a unique taste – not like some Mexican food out there where the enchiladas, burritos, and (fill in the blank) ends up tasting eerily similar. What stood out most of all was the fresh homemade corn tortillas – they were fantastic and some of the best I’ve ever had.
After crushing this order, I went back for the Alambre de Filete (grilled tri-tip with bell pepper, onions, & bacon with three tortillas), and another Tacos de Chorizo. Yes, it was a ton of food, but I knew my stay in Santa Barbara was going to be short-lived and I wasn’t certain I’d make it back to La Super Rica during my visit. The second act was just as good as the first with the locally-grown bell peppers and onions tasting fresh, flavorful, and slightly charred, really balancing out the steak and bacon. Somewhere in this heap there were some freshly made tortillas that helped out, too.
Not only was the food at La Super Rica Taqueria wonderful, but the servings were generous, the menu’s affordable, the staff’s friendly, and the atmosphere’s welcoming and laid back, the way a California establishment should be. Oh, and they take their tacos very, very seriously.