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updated: Apr 24, 2010, 9:40 AM
By Ms. Lemonjelly
One of my 2009 new year's resolutions was to eat at every taqueria in Old Town Goleta. This was not a difficult resolution to keep, for two reasons.
First, there weren't as many taquerias in Old Town as I thought! I went through the ones on Hollister so quickly I had to expand the radius to the whole Old Town area to hit up the eateries off the main drag. Second, it's eating, and most folks eat 2-3 times a day naturally without any new year resolution for motivation.
My all round favorite of the taqueria tour was La Chapala Market, at 5780 Hollister, at Tecalote Ave. It's not a restaurant, but a market that also serves prepared food. The grocery section has a good meat department, for raw cuts, carnitas and chicharrones.
The food counter is for pick-up, although this is where the menu is posted and that can be confusing because you naturally want to order where you can see the menu. That's not how it works. Browse the menu
first here, but ordering and paying is done at the regular cashier for the grocery store.
The menu is not complicated. It has expanded in recent times, but I still enjoy the simple tacos best.
The fillings are all the standards: asada, al pastor, pollo and more. My usual tacos are the lengua (tongue), birria (goat) and carnitas (fried pork). Their carnitas is my favorite in Old Town, possibly for
all of Santa Barbara. Big, tender, golden-brown chunks! The price is about $1.50 each.
Three tacos are an ample meal for me and most others. I usually get two tacos and a fruit popsicle (try the papaya). It costs about $5, either way. I've been coming here reasonably often since my new years
resolution. Great cheap and cheerful recession-friendly food.
Some other notes:
* decent salsa bar, at the pick-up counter.
* if your Spanish is no bueno, the cashiers can cope, but the food staff will probably announce your order in Spanish, so keep an eye on
the plates coming out.
* this is no frills eats, hole-in-the-wall style. There are very simple tables and chairs provided.
* Bonus: decent parking lot in the back, entrance on Tecalote.
Carnitas taco - succulent and golden brown
Typical Lemonjelly lunch - 2 tacos and a fruit popsicle.
2010-04-26 07:53 AM
My favorite place to eat in Old Town is Goleta Bakery. Their pan dulce is beyond wonderful! My husband and I have tried numerous panderias throughout SB and out of town (Oxnard/SM) and this is our favorite.
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