Teresa Keeling, owner of the new sandwich shop Flavors (225 McMurray Rd., Ste. A, Buellton, 688-0204), recalls one local’s advice just after the restaurant opened in December: “No frou-frou sandwiches. Men want to eat a good hearty sandwich.” Since then, working men on their lunch breaks have been coming in to Flavors steadily because they know that is exactly what they will find.
The Keelings are longtime friends of the Hitching Post’s Ostini family, and Flavors is only one of two restaurants to use the recently debuted, vacuum-packed, Santa Maria-style, red-oak–grilled Hitching Post tri-tip in their sandwiches. Chef Christa Keeling pairs the meat with avocado, Swiss cheese, and chipotle aioli in the Santa Barbara Style sandwich, though she says the French dip with garlic mayonnaise, and the California Style tri-tip with arugula, garlic mayonnaise, and smoked Gouda are also very popular. Sandwiches cost $8-$8.50, salads are $9, and a cup of soup is $3.50.
“It doesn’t take much longer than going to the fast-food restaurant across the street, but it’s healthier,” says Teresa, who runs Flavors with daughter, Christa, and son, Shane. She says their idea to create a restaurant that would be fast and inexpensive, but offer flavorful, healthful fare, came from one of their catering clients: “She is very into healthy eating and suggested we open a fast food restaurant that serves good food fast. That became our tagline.”