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Monday, September 7, 2009

My little Santa Barbara adventure

Labor day usually makes the beginning of the school year. It also mark the beginning of many more holidays to come. Probably on of my favorite times of the year because holidays equals food.

This past Saturday, I took a trip up to Santa Barbara. It's such a contrast from LA. Really a beautiful place to visit. One of my best friends lives there while she goes to school up at UC Santa Barbara. She invited me and few other of our friends for a small house warming and a little wine tasting. I decided to take the train up there as to make it a bit more relaxing. Driving the 101 north freeway on a holiday weekend would probably have been crazy. My stop was in Goleta, CA. Shortly after the main Santa Barbara station.

I arrive shortly before 12 noon, meet my friend and head back to her place where the others of the party are waiting.

 
There are many winery tasting rooms in Santa Barbara and the tasting room we went to was for the Giessinger Winery in Santa Barbara. They have 2 other locations at Fillmore and Westlake Village. It's nice little place. The weather was fit for a little wine tasting on a sunny and breazy afternoon. 
 
 

We get there and view room full of their selections of wine. $8 per person for a little taste of 19 different wines: white, reds, dessert and ports. Not bad, eh? So our group settles into a little booth and for the next couple of hours enjoy the lovely samplings. Our hostess, comes by every 5-10 minutes, serving up a bit of each wine. One by one we all swirl, smell and sip each deciphering whether our palates liked it or not.
 
  
Lady in Pink 
From the selections, I loved their Sauvignon Blanc Reserve. It has a light body and a crisp fruity flavor. I know I've mentioned that I'm not much of a white wine person, but I think I can make an exception. I also liked their Forgiveness Reserve and Lady in Pink Reserve. Both having a lovely fruit taste. Those two are dessert wines. The aroma was pretty nice with a red and pink color, too. By the end of it, we were all pretty slightly buzzed, but enjoyed every moment of it.

 
  
So if your in Santa Barbara and in the mood for a little wine tasting why not give Giessinger a try.
210 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Ph.(805) 568-0820
 
For those closer to LA: 
3059 Willow Lane
Westlake Village, CA 91306
Ph. (805) 405-5557, 494-1122
After the wine tasting, we decided to grab some grub from a local joint there called Freebirds. The first thing that popped into my head was the song by Lynard Skynard by the same name minus the 's'. It's a Mexican fast food place a little reminiscent of Chipotle in LA. You wouldn't necessarily connect the name to the type of cuisine it offers. So I was a bit confused at first. I decided to share a veggie burrito with my friend.  
 

Loaded with rice, black beans, guacamole, cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream and wrapped in a large flour tortilla and served warm. Good thing my friend and I decided to share because those suckers were huge, but it was really good. Our other friends also ordered a chicken burrito, some tacos and nachos.
 
Yeah, it was that big. Let's see...there's was cheese, beans, beef, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo. I think our friend had gotten the works.  A fully loaded serving of nachos fit for 4 people. It was pretty good, too. But "food coma" inducing good.
I planned to spend the night at my friend's place as we were driving back together into LA the next day After everyone had gone, we decided to head for some frozen yogurt at YoYumYum in Goleta, CA. It's not far from where she lived.  It a new place there. I had gotten the original flavor and topped it with some fresh strawberries, pineapple and some granola. I love frozen yogurt. This is one of those places where you grab a cup and fill it your self. They weigh it to determine the price. I paid a little over three bucks for mine. Not bad considering how much I had gotten. A nice desser for a chilly night.

 The next day before heading back, we stopped off for lunch at Silvergreens. It is the first certified green restaurant in Santa Barbara. It's a cool joint that serves healthy type foods that is full of flavor and it pretty good. I think someone in LA should do something like this. One neat thing is that on your recipe there a little table showing you how many calories your meal is all together. It's called a "nutricate recipe."


I ordered the Ahi Club. Seared ahi tuna with hickory smoked bacon, tomatoes, goat cheese, baby spinach, fresh sliced avocado, cucumber and lite mayo on your choice of bread. I enjoyed it very much. I had gotten mine with a nice chocolate chip cookie and a lemonade.


An awesome meal to end my little Santa Barbara adventure. I'm still thinking about that sandwich, though. I think I may just have to recreate it myself soon. Stay tuned!

 The obligatory road-mirror shot. Trip back to LA.

Come back tomorrow and you'll find out what the pic below is all about. Happy labor day to those in the US!!

27 comments:

NMOS said...

Hi! I went to school at UC-Santa Barbara. Great place to live and to eat! Try the Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch the next time you're there. They serve up some nice tri-tip and chicken.

Feel free to check out and follow my Seattle-based food blog, Om Nom Nom Nom, over at www.nmos-omnomnomnom.blogspot.com. Keep up the nice work.

Parita said...

Pics are stunning and seems like you had loads of fun there..i have never been to a wine tasting before, sounds like fun :)

Heavenly Housewife said...

I'd love to go to santa barbra one day... maybe eat a burritio... or two ;)

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

What a fun trip! I really want to explore the Santa Barbara area some more...

lisaiscooking said...

Wow, incredible day. Very jealous! We're lucky to have both Chipotle and Freebirds here in Austin. Never too many burritos!

Mary said...

Nice photos. It would be impossible not to enjoy a weekend with friends and food and wine. I'll bet the train was relaxing as well. Enforced time for introspection.

Diana H said...

Sounds like a really fun time with friends. You're lucky.

Jenn said...

Nmos: Thanks for visiting.

Parita: I did have fun.

HH: Go for it. hehe...

Andrea: You should. It's really lovely there.

Lisa: It was my first time trying Freebirds. It's sooo good.

Mary: Yeah. Yeah, it better that having to stress over traffic on the road.

Diana: Thanks. I really love the friends I have. They're awesome people.

OysterCulture said...

What a fun relaxing way to fill a day - love trying out different wineries. Your day trip looks like a blast

Dawn said...

hey your burrito joint is waaaaay better than ours. well, you are in cali though and we are in craphole, ma.
what a fun way to spend a day, lucky you.

teresa said...

what a fun trip, all of that tasting. i would go into a food coma for those nachos anyday!

Chow and Chatter said...

wow what fun and great fun and wine happy for u lol

Jenn said...

Oyster: I'd love to go to more tastings. It's pretty fun.

Dawn: Awe. Come back to Cali. ;-D

Teresa: Food comas are good. Sometimes. hehe...

CC: Thanks.

s said...

GREAT pics.....

Esi said...

I should not have opened this page...I am starving right now!!! This looks like it was a great trip. I am going up to SB around Christmas and I can't wait!

girlichef said...

One of my favorite things to do...wine tasting!! I'd love to visit there if I'm ever in the areae (wishful thinking). And the food...ahhhh...looks awesome.

5 Star Foodie said...

What a nice getaway! The wine tastings sound wonderful!

Jenn said...

s: Thanks.

Esi: It's so lovely up there. You'll enjoy it.

girlichef: Who knows...it could happen.

5 Star: It was. I'd love to go to more wine tastings.

Phyllis said...

WOW that some burrito!!! And I have to admit that I'm a big fan of the DIY yogurt places :) But the nutricate recipe calorie counter thing is like my worst nightmare! Thanks for sharing your lovely labor day weekend with us (it sounded a lot healthier than what I was doing on labor day weekend LOL)

Cinnamon Girl aka Reeni♥ said...

That burrito looks amazing!! And I love Vampire wine! So cool. What a fun time.

Jenn said...

Phyllis: Hehe...

Reeni: It was.

Tangled Noodle said...

A day of food and wine - sweet! I'd love a Saturday like that. We took a side trip to Santa Barbara and further up (to San Luis Obispo) during our last visit to my sisters in Redondo Beach. Now I can't wait to go back!

Jenn said...

Tangled; 8-D

Teanna said...

Is there really a wine from Transylvania called Vampire? Hahah too funny. I am dying to get to Santa Barbara... I was actually just talking about it to my boyfriend the other day. Next trip I make to the West Coast, it is on my list of places to take a trip to!

Jenn said...

Teanna: It was there, so I figured it must be true.

ValleyWriter said...

Sounds like a great weekend! I agree with you - I love Labor Day because it signals the start of many more holidays to come (and many more short weeks of work) - all packed together :-D

My Wacky Friends said...

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