An Appetite for Fiesta
Nobody goes hungry at the
Photo credit: STEVE MALONE
By SALLY CAPPON
Benjamin Franklin once said nothing is certain but death and taxes.
Old Ben never lived in Santa Barbara. He could have added a third certainty: Fiesta food.
Food dished up at various venues during Santa Barbara's annual summertime festival has a wonderful dependability about it.
All you can eat pancakes? Check.
Burritos? Tacos? Tamales? Nachos? Churros? Tri-tip? Check, check, check, check, check.
Call it comfort food.
Many Santa Barbarans find their mouths automatically starting to water July 1, anticipating the annual rite of grazing among a wealth of culinary riches at the two major marketplaces, Mercado de la Guerra and Mercado del Norte. It's a time to enjoy all the forbidden fruits Ñ not to mention guacamole, barbecued ribs, quesadillas, bratwurst ... Bratwurst at Fiesta? Don't ask questions. Just enjoy.
Also if you want to push the envelope of Fiesta foods, the 1997 markets go beyond tacos. How about potato pancakes, strawberry shortcake, veggie tortas, pizza, mochas or Balance Bars?
Need a teeny bit of rationalization to enjoy all this pleasure? Remember you're raising funds for schoolkids, disabled persons, Boy Scouts, nursing students, churches and dozens more do-good programs and organizations.
By tradition, booths at Mercado de la Guerra and Mercado del Norte are operated by non-profit and charitable organizations which raise much of their money to operate programs year-round by the sale of Fiesta goodies. Thus we see fajitas from the Downtown Boys Club, New Mexico burritos from Semana Nautica, taquitos from Bishop Diego High School, or chocolate bars from Endowment for Youth.
It's not so different, really, from the 1950 El Mercado (then there was just the original market in De la Guerra Plaza). A 1950 lineup revealed enchiladas sold by the Altrusa Club, bunuelos from the Zonta Club, and helados (ice cream) from the Opti-Mrs., all to benefit charities, refrescos (soft drinks) from the Santa Barbara Exchange Club, and tacos and tamales from the Mexican Mutual Benefit Society. You could also get chile rellenos, raspadillas (shaved ice and syrup), and asado (barbecued meat).
The 1950 El Mercado saw more booths devoted to sales of crafts interspersed among the food. Souvenir items included baskets by the Assistance League to benefit Hillside House, sombreros sold by the California State Nurses Association to aid the Tri-Counties Blood Bank, or mantillas and combs from the California State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to benefit the Society for Crippled Children and Adults.
Fiesta food in 1997 is not limited to the mercados, but can be found everywhere.
Fiesta-wise Santa Barbarans know to plan some time to turn their backs on the downtown street scene and head up to Montecito and Nopal streets on the Eastside. There, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church puts on its annual carnival Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Visitors can get mouth-watering homemade tamales, tortas, tri-tips, enchiladas, and all the yummy trimmings.
Those wanting to cool their heels after all that walking may opt for a sit-down dinner Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening at First United Methodist Church at Garden and Anapamu streets. The menu here is also carved in stone: tri-tip, chicken, beans, salad, bread and churros. There's also take-out for folks who find there's so much food, so little time.
For a change of pace, thousands of Santa Barbarans will take their annual places in lines at the 45th annual Santa Barbara Kiwanis pancake breakfast at Alameda Park, Santa Barbara and Sola streets, Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The menu? Pancakes, of course (all you can eat) plus honey-baked ham, fruit, orange juice and drinks. All proceeds go to charity, said Sid Smith, in his 44th year among the flapjacks.
There are free breakfasts for people in costume Wednesday in La Arcada, sponsored by the Downtown Organization, and Thursday at La Cumbre Plaza. The Celebraciön de los Dignatarios (Dignitaries Party) offers food and beverages from local restaurants at the Santa Barbara Zoo Thursday from 5-8 p.m. (You may even find a public servant to complain to about that bad street light at your corner.) Add to that numerous private and semi-private parties throughout Fiesta.
If you're looking for a change of pace, a Farmers Market will offer local produce adjacent to De la Guerra marketplace.
Beer and wine are available at Mercado del Norte, located in MacKenzie Park, Las Positas Road and State Street, on the city's Northside. No alcoholic beverages are sold at the downtown market in De la Guerra Plaza on De la Guerra Street, one-half block off State Street nor is beer on tap for 1997 at what's normally the beer garden across the street at Casa de la Guerra.
Here are 40 booths offering food at the two mercados, according to information supplied by Old Spanish Days. Plan ahead.
Mercado de la Guerra
Burritos, chile corn chip pie, lemonade: D.A.N.C.E.
Soft drinks: Knights of Columbus
Quesadillas, nachos, tostados, lemonade, Mexican candy: American Business Women's Association
Flautas, horchata, drinks: Adoption Center
Fajitas, burritos, tamales, rice, beans, lemonade: Downtown Boys Club
Corn dogs, French fries, chicken nuggets, lemonade: Vietnam Veterans
Tacos, lemonade: Special Olympics
Tortas (barbecued beef on a bun): La Casa de la Raza
Aguas frescas, raspados (snow cones): De Mano a Mano
Hot dogs, cotton candy: Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center
Barbecued beef ribs, shrimp cocktail on avocado, water, iced tea: Santa Barbara Masons
Corn on the cob, water: Santa Barbara Host Lions Club
New Mexican burritos: Semana Nautica
Mini tacos: Carpinteria Lions
Taquitos, guacamole, iced tea: Santa Barbara Jaycees
Taquitos, sopas, lemonade: Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Potato pancakes, lemonade: Jewish Federation
Tacos: Old Spanish Days Committee
Soft tacos, enchiladas, agua fresca: Dos Pueblos Little League
Churros: Sally Howell
Mercado del Norte
Soft tacos, carne asada tortas, bottled water: Calvary Chapel
Burritos, quesadillas, rice, beans: Boy Scout Troop 1
Tri-tip, chicken, veggie tortas, corn dogs, strawberry shortcake: Youth of Unity
Chicken fajitas, fries, bottled water: Santa Barbara Elks
Tamales, fruit salad: Apostolic Church
Burritos, chile corn chip pie, cotton candy: D.A.N.C.E.
Ice cream sundaes, root beer floats, pizza, licorice: SBCC Nursing
Tacos: Old Spanish Days
Taquitos, chicken nuggets, salsa, guacamole: Bishop Diego
Bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels: Edelweiss Choir
Tri-tip, soft tacos, salsa, barbecued corn: Boy Scout Troop 11
Tri-tip sandwich, pickles, baked potatoes: Santa Barbara Optimist Club
Balance Bars: Bio Foods
Sorbet on a stick, chocolate bars: Endowment for Youth
Hot dogs, chili dogs, burritos, tostados, wine: Santa Barbara Uptown Lions Club
Hot and cold cafe mochas, biscotti: Northside Rotary
Non-alcoholic beverages: Northside Business Association
Beer: Carriage Museum
Churros: Sally Howell
Hawaiian shaved ice: Santa Barbara Christian School
Contact us at: email@example.com
Website development by:
© Copyright 1996 Santa Barbara
News Press and Imago Internet Marketing
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED