Day Five of Eating My Way Through Fiesta, 2006
photos by Sue De Lapa I didn’t find the perfect taco
during Fiesta 2006, but to be honest I wasn’t looking too hard.
Too many culinary distractions. Maybe next year. Sunday, for
instance, I had a choice. The best deal in Fiesta, down at Pershing
Park, or the best wine-tasting-eating combo. I did both, also
listening to snatches of music at the Courthouse Sunken
The best deal was a huge plate of barbecued chicken and tri-tip,
beans, rice and a tortilla at Pershing Park, while an endless
stream of young dancers did their stuff on the bandstand.
All this for only $8. Travis Twining, owner of Santa Barbara
BBQ, was putting it on, with tables under the trees. “We’re
donating all the money to Old Spanish Days,” Travis said, as a
Harry Ohanian and his wife Kathy, from
Texas, were digging in. “We love everything here,” Harry told me.
“It’s absolutely gorgeous. The barbecue is pretty good, considering
that it’s not from Texas.
Meanwhile, my granddaughter, Danielle Arellanes, was up on the
stage, dancing with the Linda Vega group. My mouth was watering for
the barbecue but the rest of the family wanted to walk over to the
Breakwater Café. So I did, scarfing down just a bowl of oatmeal (my
mother would have been so proud) because I knew what I’d find at
the next stop: Elements restaurant.
In a tent on the Courthouse Sunken Gardens, Elements was staging
the first annual Fiesta wine tasting, where 27 wineries were
pouring. “They’re mostly from our wine list,” said Elements
co-owner Larry Kreider.
Jimmy McLeod, a Scot who knows his
wines, was rhapsodizing about the Ojai Syrah. “It’s a beautiful
wine.” And the food was excellent, Jimmy told me. “I really hope
it’s a success. It’s a great addition to Fiesta.”
I guess it was because Kreider said Elements would “absolutely”
do it again next year. The first thing I did was dip a strawberry
into the cascade pouring from one of those chocolate machines. Then
on to solid food, a bite-sized sized Focaccio sandwich Rebecca
Amundsen deconstructed for me: bell peppers, zucchini, pesto
mayonnaise, Portobello mushrooms and more.
There were stacks of sushi, a table full of cheeses and more
nibbles than I could handle. All the goodies were from Elements,
just across the street, except for the Olive Street Table, a
catering company whose specialty Sunday was a Mediterranean crisp,
a small, spicy pizza-like dish.
Sue and I have discovered Viognier wine
and poured some of the Ethan label, made by Ethan Lindquist, son of
famed Santa Barbara County winemaker Bob Lindquist, one of the
original Rhone Rangers. The grapes come from Lompoc and take that
all those who put down Lompoc.
Another favorite was the Jaffurs 2004 Syrah.
Meanwhile, the West Coast Symphony was making sweet music, led
by Christopher Story VI.
What a perfect finish for the Fiesta.