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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Rate-A-Restaurant #175: La Super Rica

Restaurant: La Super Rica

Location: 622 N Milpas St. (Santa Barbara)

Type of restaurant: Taqueria

They stipulated: The line gets lengthy during the way -- so you may have to wait to order. Once you get to the front of the line, order by number, and fast. Also, don't be afraid to order a lot: The tacos are street food-sized.

We stipulated: On our drive up north, we wanted to make sure we hit a couple of simple, great spots. La Super Rica -- well known as Julia Child's favorite Mexican spot -- fit the bill. It was easy to find, and we happened to be in Santa Barbara for lunch, so score.

What we ordered: Tacos de Adobado (strips of marinated pork steak served on two homemade tortillas, $2.50); Tacos de Chorizo (chunks of grilled chorizo served on two homemade tortillas, $2.50); Auesadilla (grilled cheese between two homemade tortillas, $1.55); Lomito Suizo (grilled marinated pork with melted cheese between two corn tortillas, $3.50); Gordita de Frijol (handmade thick corn tortilla filled with spicy ground beans, $2.75); Guacamole (served with two homemade tortillas, $3.25); horchata ($1.60); cafe de olla (coffee flavored with cinnamon and piloncillo, $1.40).

High point: Ahh, those homemade tortillas, filled with meat and topped off with homemade salsa. I especially loved the gordita -- they don't lie, it's spicy. And the guacamole is excellent -- we weren't originally going to order it, but so many people were walking away from the counter with it, we couldn't resist.

Low point: The wait was a little too long, particularly since we had to get back on the road. But still worth it.

Overall impression: La Super Rica is an instutition, and while I still think our own Yuca's beats them on taste, it's definitely as good a reason to visit Santa Barbara as anything else. La Super Rica is about to be featured on the Food Network, and I also hear rumors that the owners are planning on opening branches of the taqueria overseas. Not a bad export -- perhaps the U.S. ought to consider making "taco diplomacy" a benchmark of its international strategy.

Chance we'll go back: Next time we're in Santa Barbara, we're hitting La Super Rica first.

For a complete list of our more than 175 restaurant reviews, check out our companion Rate-A-Restaurant site.

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