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  • Writer's pictureAngela Mannino

Can We Taco About This: Santa Barbara Part Two

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

I've been home in NYC for just under a week, but my mind is still thinking about my recent gig and the several weeks spent in Santa Barbara, California.  It was truly one of the most beautiful places I've ever visited because it had everything--mountains, ocean, palm trees and sunshine!  

On this particular afternoon in SB, it was one of the coldest days in recent years in NYC....I tried not to rub it in that I was wearing shorts! In the previous post I spoke about the performance milestone involved in this experience and in this post I'd like to discuss an equally important topic:  FOOD! I've blogged before about cooking "on the road" in hotels, sometimes with nothing but a microwave and a mini fridge.  Fortunately, in SB I had access to a full kitchen so I was able to prepare nearly all of my meals for myself.  I am, surprise surprise, extremely picky about what I eat before I sing.  Food affects the way I feel, so if I can eat more or less of certain things then I really enjoy eating pretty light all day and waiting until the day is over to let loose a little.  It helps me to feel energized and satisfied, but not too full, sleepy....let's just say bloated.  Plus, cooking for myself helps to make me feel more at home wherever I am.  I spend less money and it's healthier.  Win win win.   Food-wise, there are two things I noticed during my weeks in California.  The seafood and the produce were spectacular!  It was just so fresh--never before have I ever bought lettuce that tasted so fresh and lasted so long in the refridgerator--nearly 2 weeks! In the kitchen, I always had prepared quinoa ready to go and would mix it with anything from scrambled eggs, cooked broccoli, a laughing cow cheese wedge and veggie sausage in the morning to avocado, cooked spinach, chicken and oil and vinegar for lunch or dinner.  I always had baked sweet potatoes ready to go.  The skin peels right off and I could mash it up or dice it up and eat it quickly.  New to my cooking routine during this trip was tofu.  I am not a vegetarian, but I have always enjoyed tofu cooked in every way imaginable.  Turns out, no matter how I cook it I really enjoy it:  diced up in soups, sautéed in a pan or baked in the oven.  I like the texture and it pretty much takes on whatever flavor you add to it.  Once it was prepared, I enjoy eating it cold, as well.   I did eat out a couple of times and only had a desire for Mexican food!  Why would I want to eat anything else??

Fish tacos!  Served with a side of Caesar salad....odd choice, but delicious.  I'm thinking...very California.  

Shrimp tacos!  Look closely:  there are two kinds of salsa.  One with tomatoes and one with Papaya. Ordinarily, Papaya is on a very short list of foods that I find gross.  But at this restaurant I couldn't stop eating it.  Amazing.   Is there anything better than Mexican food?  For me, there sure is:  Singing for a living in a city known for great Mexican food!

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