WWJE? (What would Julia Eat?) Tacos!

Last Saturday the Mr. and I hit up La Super-Rica Taqueria in beautiful (and I mean BEAUTIFUL) sunny Santa Barbara. The little taco stand, with it’s big back porch was fabled to be Julia Child’s favorite Mexican spot.

The queue is apparently often scores of people deep, but since we didn’t get there for lunch until about 4, we didn’t have to wait too long before placing our order at the counter, which is particularly fun because you get up close to watch the kitchen folks making handmade corn tortillas.

For such a wee place, there were loads of options, and it was difficult to make a decision, but I’d heard that when at Super Rica, be sure to eat loads of tortillas and go for the special tamales, so I did as told.

A deceptively simple taco de bistec — perfectly grilled meat on one of those impeccable fresh tasting tortillas. (Really it’s two tortillas, but when splitting one taco between two people, the Mr. and I each take a tortilla and half the filling and it works out just fine. Blasphemous perhaps. But just fine.)

Guacamole. Believe it or not, there are two tortillas lurking under that mountain of avocado. What initially seemed like an excess of guac quickly became a dearth of the glorious green stuff. Especially with a drizzle of one of the three complimentary salsas. Especially when scooped onto the taco de bistec.

One of the specials — a tamal de verduras. (Though I get the sense this “special” is often on the menu.) Fresh masa stuffed with chayote, corn, zucchini, potato, chili strips, and cheese. Topped with a crema sauce. This was kind of the fettuccine al fredo of the tamale world. Decadent. Comforting.

And finally my first favorite. The itty bitty tamalito de cambray.  A pint-sized tamale fit for a pint-sized taco joint, stuffed with chicken, raisins, almonds, and tomato sauce, packed into a banana leaf. Moist, a little sweet, a little savory. A little corny. I literally licked the banana leaf clean of all traces of this one.

Thanks Julia! Thanks Super Rica!

3 Responses to “WWJE? (What would Julia Eat?) Tacos!”

  1. Manolo the Shoeblogger June 18, 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    Ayyyyy! All the many times the Manolo has eaten there, he had no idea that this was Julia Child’s favorite! This knowledge brings such joy!

  2. Judith in Umbria June 19, 2010 at 12:28 am #

    I used to love that place when I worked now and again in Santa Barbara and Montecito. I made a point of eating there at least once on every trip. I never saw Julia there, although I always watched for her.

  3. Rachel June 20, 2010 at 6:58 am #

    I love this place, too. Always worth the wait.