Brisket Bánh Mì @ Book Ends Café

Brisket Bánh Mì @ Book Ends Café
Matt Kettmann

Truly quite hidden and truly a gem, the Book Ends Café serves a steady line of mostly grad students and faculty on the second floor of Antioch University in downtown Santa Barbara, right atop the corner of Cota and Anacapa streets. The menu is manageably tight but packed with gourmet goodness, and this sandwich of slow-roasted brisket, pickled carrots and radishes, cilantro, smoked aioli, and jalapeño vinaigrette is the hands-down highlight: fresh, savory, healthy, and not heavy at all. And half is plenty, so for $10, order that with half a deli salad, which changes frequently but usually feature greens mixed with some legume, grains, and tangy fruit. Not feeling beef? The pickled beets sandwich with feta cheese, Kalamata olives, market lettuce, and smoked aioli is a great veggie option, and the chicken salad, with peas, yogurt, chives, and parsley dressing is equally awesome. 602 Anacapa St., (805) 963-3222, bookendscafe.net.

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