Sunday, October 18, 2009

Stop #1: The Museum Cafe

So stop number one on this military march is The Museum Cafe.  I was referred there by a lovely woman at Jaffurs Winery.  Since I love Jaffurs, I chose to believe her that this place was worth my time (and hard earned money!)  Since she clued me in on the happy hour deal consisting of 3 tapas + a glass of wine for $15 dollars, I felt comfortable making this the place I dip my toe into the SB foodie scene.

How was it? Very very good I have to say.  The ambiance was a bit lacking, but that's most likely due to a bias on my part.  I'm not the biggest fan of contemporary design, too sterile. That being said the scenery is in keeping with its location at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

  The demographic was, well. . . old people.  I don't mean middle age, I mean grandma and grandpa love this place.  You know what though? That's not a bad thing! I know my grandparents are the pickiest eaters ever.  If they approve of a place then it must be good.  I'm going to assume the same of these people. 

 Upon arrival we (the bf and I) were greeted by a cheerful waitress who immediately declared that I look just like her friend Nadia.  Whether schmoozey or authentic, I was hooked.  We ordered the Toasted Manchego Cheese and Garlic Bread, the Garlic Shrimp with Olive Oil and Chili Flakes, and the Baked Artichoke with Soy Chorizo

They brought the spread out on a cute little silver platter and all together the little heap looked like a feast.  At the suggestion of the waitress (my new bff) I ordered the Sangre de Toro 2006 which was very pleasant.  I like it because it was so smooth and drinkable.  I often find that alcohol takes my breath away with its sheer strength.  This I could enjoy like a nice glass of water (but better).

The Manchego and Garlic Toast was the perfect combination of garlic and cheese. Maybe more garlic than cheese, but a great ratio in my opinion.  Mmmmm.  The shrimp was great of course, I find it pretty hard to go wrong with shrimp.  The artichoke with soy chroizo was the most interesting.  The artichoke had a sour bite to it, paired with the savory soy chorizo it was really good.

Finishing off with the biggest cappuccino I've seen and an amazing rum cake, I'd say mission accomplished. I've found a source of culinary culture so very close to home.



  I don't really know how to start this thing off.  Like with any true, deep and unyielding love explaining its nature can be near impossible.  It exists in a realm somewhere beyond words; it just is.  So is my feeling toward food. I am forced to control myself so as to avoid gluttony but let me tell you its a trying task.  If it were up to me I would chase any scent, savor any bite, and pay any price.  Luckily for me circumstances like weight and income keep me in check.

  For a foodie such as myself heaven exists on earth.  New York.  San Francisco.  Paris.  Rome.  Notice I didn't mention Santa Barbara? Well I noticed too.  I currently live in some man's paradise, and one little lady's purgatory!  I tell you I'm hungry here and I've been looking to find some culinary redemption in this town!

Based off my web research I see I'm not alone.  After some mostly fruitless attempts at attaining gastronomical advice in this place, I decided to set out on my own.  One restaurant, one class, one shop at a time I will conquer the Santa Barbara food scene.  I will do it so others don't have to, and I promise I won't enjoy one minute of it.