De la Guerra Plaza.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
11 a.m. to 11 p.m., today through Sunday
Viva la FOOD!
This week, we could have ventured to a restaurant, but why not enjoy a multitude of options at El Mercado de la Guerra during the 95th Old Spanish Days celebration?
The variety is impressive, mixing what you come to expect from fair-like food, as well as true Mexican food.
Here’s a look at a few options to enjoy today through Sunday:
A nice, dry slaw tops the taco, with the fish quite tender — at first blush, it very much looks like chicken breast. Adding some beans or rice adds a little bit of texture, but the taco stands alone just fine.
Tender beef, outstanding fresca salsa, definitely a dish that is worthy of a second or third helping. Really simple dish, but a staple of El Mercado eating. (Be aware, after 10 p.m., listen for the calls of $1 tacos throughout El Mercado!)
Impressive size, and really enjoyed the cilantro and raw onions, created a crunchy sensation not seeing in most burritos around town.
Corn on the cob
Such a simple food, yet provides children and adults alike a lifetime of memories. The corn is sweet and juicy, add a little seasoning and it feels like a meal all to itself.
Beef ribs (one bone)
Yeah, it’s $6 for basically an oversized rib, but it’s downright tasty — and the BBQ sauce has a bit of a kick. The ribs stand out in a sea of Mexican food, providing an alternative option to quell your hunger. Super friendly booth, and they take credit cards, so you aren’t stuck with having to carry around cash!
Oh. My. Word. Prepared fresh, with the ability to add strawberries and cream — although, going old fashioned with just a little bit of powdered sugar brings back childhood memories. Do yourself a favor and eat this fresh off the grill, as it melts in your mouth. Yes, you’ll need to look the other way on caloric intake, but you’ll be walking around plenty, right?
Yeah, your diet is pretty much a pipe dream if you are visiting El Mercado, so just sit back and enjoy the fresh, hot churros. For some reason, eating a churro at Fiesta just makes them taste all that much better.
The ambiance doesn’t get much better. Live music and performances, a positive vibe, celebrating Santa Barbara’s history. The options to satisfy your hunger, albeit a sweet tooth or need for a hearty meal, El Mercado provides anything and everything you’d need.
Yes, the week is a celebration of yesteryear, so it is understandable that there would be some old ways involved. Having said that, it should be a requirement of each booth to offer the ability to pay with credit cards or some type of virtual pay (Venmo, Apple Pay, etc.). Yes, there are ATMs on the premises, but there are fees, and many folks no longer feel comfortable carrying around cash. And, from a business perspective, people run out of cash, but speed more freely with a credit card.