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Our Burg’s Better Burgers

Try Montecito Cafe’s Bar or Jill’s Place for Tasty Hamburgers


It’s been well over a year ago since we extolled the virtues of this town’s Top 5 Burgers. Since then, one of those places, sadly, has closed (Quantum) and another has changed chefs almost as frequently as Larry King changes wives (Hungry Cat). So here are two more easy-to-get, easily pleasing burgers that will make you feel like an S.B. insider. Of course everyone loves the value-pricing at Montecito Cafe, but of late I’ve found the tiny bar (1295 Coast Village Rd., 969-3392, montecitocafe.com)-once a jewelry store-even more of a jewel. Great cocktails, plus a burger that will be sure to please at an affordable price. It’s a bit spooky they don’t ask how you’d like it cooked, but it’s okay-they know medium-rare is the way to go. In town, there’s no better burger option than Jill’s Place, or Shalhoob’s (632 Santa Barbara St., 963-0378, shalhoobs.com), but calling it Shalhoob’s is like calling 6th Avenue the Avenue of the Americas in N.Y.C.-you just gave away that you don’t belong. Of course, given that they are butchers, too, the meat itself is top-notch, but they give you both salad and fries as sides, so you even get to feel a bit noble in your choice as you munch your lettuce-even if it’s covered in blue-cheese dressing.

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