January 21, 2013
Just imagine that all your dreams came true one particular day, well that is what happened to me when I had Sunday brunch at Casa Blanca. I set up my tasting prior, but really had no idea how my day would turn out, and oh silly me, I called and asked the restaurant if they had flat screen TV’s to watch sports. Turns out they have 7 flat screens, and they are everywhere!
I love a good margarita with chips and salsa while I am watching a sporting event. Here, with over 75 different Tequilas, and a packed menu, the football game played second fiddle to this marvelous Mexican cuisine. Don’t get me wrong; my spectacular San Francisco 49ers were playing their last playoff game to become super bowl bound, so seeing this game was very important. And might I add that Santa Barbara has a huge San Francisco 49ers fan base. So here I am doing an official tasting when everyone around me is screaming and yelling at the TV’s trying to get San Francisco to the super bowl, please pinch me, I am in heaven!
Here what I tried:
Guacamole – Haas avocados with Serrano chilies, chopped tomato, onion, garlic and cilantro, nice and chunky, perfect for dipping those very crispy tortilla chips.
Taquitos Tinga – Your choice of chicken or beef with sweet onion, tomato, chipotle sauce and topped with guacamole and queso fresco. Both the chicken and the beef were great, as well as the toppings.
Ceviche de Camarones – The finest Mexican white shrimp, lightly poached and marinated in fresh lime and mixed with tomato, cucumber and avocado. Just what the Doctor ordered, fresh, delectable and the perfect marriage of flavors.
Soups & Salads:
Traditional Chicken Tortilla Soup – Traditional tortilla soup or Central Mexico. Blended smooth and garnished with pulled chicken, queso fresco, avocado, toasted poblano chiles and sour cream. If I had a Mexican Grandmother this is what she would make, very delicious and southing.
*All combinations come with choice of beans and rice*
Chile Relleno – Topped with our ranchera salsa, queso fresco and salsa fresco. Everything a fantastic Chile Relleno should be!
Crispy Tacos – Shredded chicken, shredded beef, served with shredded lettuce, salsa fresco and queso fresco. I liked the beef better then the chicken in its entire traditional splendor.
Enchiladas- Cheese w/ Red Sauce. I would stick to the Chile Relleno and tacos.
Tamales – Chicken. This tamale had lots of heat and great flavor.
New York Steak – 8oz New York Steak cooked to order and paired with 2 jumbo bacon wrapped shrimp. Served with home-style potatoes and mixed veggies. The jumbo bacon wrapped shrimp is the highlight of this dish for me, so succulent, and the bacon is to die for.
Baja Tacos – Two fresh, battered white snapper tacos with cabbage, pico de gallo and a jalapeno tartar sauce. A very unique version of this otherwise typical Mexican dish. One of the best fish tacos ever.
Casa Blanca Margarita – El Charro Tequila, triple sec, fresh lemon, lime and orange juice. My favorite margarita here, so smooth and sweet. What a way to get drunk!
El Matador – Blanco tequila, fresh lime, pineapple juice and champagne float with mixed berries. This one I would skip next time, kind of weird having tequila with champagne.
Don Julio Blanco Margarita, great tequila flavor, very refreshing.
Casa Blanca is owned by Tom and Adam White. (Father and son). They have four total restaurants in town, Santa Barbara Shellfish Co., The Fishouse, The Boathouse, and Casa Blanca. The building used to be World One Imports furniture Store. Local Architect Jeff Shelton designed the building, and his brother Dave Shelton did all of the specialty ironwork. Santa Barbara Art Glass’s Saul Alcaraz did all of the very sexy hand-blown light fixtures. Their lovely blue fish design tiles were shipped from Mexico. Much of the other materials used are Local, including the wood for their tabletops. The front of the curvy bar top is one long solid piece of wood from a Black Acacia Tree that shot up in nearby Goleta,
Chef Onofre Zuniga has 15 years of experience creating food for Mexican Restaurants in Santa Barbara. He is originally from Zihuatanejo, Mexico from which his tastes are heavily influenced. His creations are bold, and unique, with an enormous degree of flavor.
When in Rome do as the Roman’s do, when in Santa Barbara, go have brunch here!!! And catch a little sports while your enjoying glorious Mexican cuisine and fantastic inspired cocktails.
Casa Blanca Restaurant and Cantina
330 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101