Panini Girl

My obsessions-Italy and Cooking

November 27, 2007


California Dreaming

We’re planning a road trip. Growing up on the east coast where the states are much smaller and in a matter of hours you can pass through three or four, I’m always amazed by the size of the state of Califonia. We’re thinking of driving to San Francisco some time in December. If we take the direct (non-scenic) route we can get up there in about seven hours, that’s without the major Los Angeles traffic that we’ll probably hit! If we take the coast drive, it adds a a few hours to the trip, but the views are amazing. You still have to go through the bumper to bumper madness of LA, but once you get up to Morro Bay and hit the coastline, the scenery is spectacular.

Of course before this, a stop in Santa Barbara is a must. How could we drive past the Milpas exit without detouring up the street for lunch at La Superica Tacqueria? This is not your run of the mill Mexican restaurant. The menu thankfully hasn’t changed in the eighteen years that we’ve been eating there. There are usually a few daily specials, but it’s hard for me to veer away from #4-marinated pork tacos, and my all time favorite, #6-rajas tacos. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten here without ordering this delight of poblanos and onions bound together with a creamy Mexican cheese. I could turn vegetarian if I could eat this every day!

La Superica is a family run place with a chalkboard for a menu. You order at the window from one of the brothers while you watch your tortillas being prepared behind the counter. Actually the whole kitchen is right there and everything is made to order.The choices are limited and are not what you might expect-no burritos or combination plates-but you will not be disappointed by any of the regional offerings. As I keep my eyes peeled for a table while waiting for our number to be called, I scope out what everyone else is eating, in case I feel the need to get back in line and order more! You are basically sitting outside under a tent-like structure and in the rainy season you may have to scoot over so as not to be hit with some droplets, but even if you do get a little wet, it’s well worth it! This eatery attracts all types and everyone looks very happy to be here. Let me just say that many years ago late in the afternoon without the usual crowd, we lunched a few tables away from John F. Kennedy Jr. and Darryl Hannah. Another day Julia Child was there with a companion having her lunch!

Back on the road you become mesmerized by the beauty of this state. The coast highway twists and turns and around every curve is a scene more spectacular than the next. There really aren’t a lot of places to stop on the way up this famous road, but once you get to the Big Sur area be sure to turn into at Nepenthe. The view from the patio of this restaurant is unbelievable and if you’ve been on this incredible road for hours, this is just the break that you’ll need. The food is good and the view is priceless. Until then…


2 thoughts on “California Dreaming

  1. Ciao from another California girl! I love your header picture – where is it?

  2. Hi Sara-the photo is from Calitri (my grandparents birth place) in the Avellino area of Campania. Do you ever come back to CA?

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