Cheap Eats in a Bad Economy

How to Chow Down for Less in Santa Barbara

Holiday cheer is hard this year, as the economy falls faster than a poorly baked souffle. That said, some restaurants are doing their part to give us a bit of a bailout so we can keep eating out. And remember how much locally owned establishments need our help and business during this recession. Roy (7 W. Carrillo St., 966-5636, has taken this relief most literally, opening what’s billed as a “soup kitchen” 11:30 a.m.3 p.m. daily. Roy himself will serve up a 16 oz. bowl of soup-from beef stew to vegan vegetable-and freshly baked bread for a mere $5. Cafe Buenos Aires (1316 State St., 963-0242,, meanwhile, offers Pizza Tuesdays and Pasta Thursdays-a complete lunch with individual pizza or choice of pasta, small salad, soft drink, and flan for $9.99. Heck, it might be worth a couple of bucks just to sit on that enchanting patio for an hour. Finally, Elements Restaurant and Bar (129 E. Anapamu St., 884-9218, has two ways to save on a finer dining experience. If you’re headed to an event at the Granada, just show your ticket beforehand and get one complimentary entree for one paid entree, something like BBQ chipotle glazed Kurobuta baby back ribs or lemongrass-panko crusted sea bass. Then Elements not only offers a deal, but it also somehow extends time, offering a Sunset Special Sunday through Thursday, 5:307 p.m. (Perhaps the lights of the County Courthouse across the way are bright enough to fool some people?) This time, Elements dishes up a three course special menu for $36.


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