On Wednesdays the special of the day is banh mi.
They use curry-marinated chicken, shredded daikon (radish), sweet peppers, carrots, cabbage with a Vietnamese-style dressing on a granary baguette. It included side portions of sweet tangerines and apple slices. The apple has a light turmeric dressing, which makes them derishous. The meal is $9.
This is Corey’s lunch. I didn’t have as much stomach real estate and asked for a half sandwich. Mine was $4.75 and still came with tangerines and apples. The filling is yum, but the bread is a bit tougher than I prefer for banh mi. However, later that day a friend send me a picture that stated: people who eat white bread have no dreams. So perhaps today was a good day to have granary bread.
It’s not a superior croissant by any means, but this is a croissant sandwich filled with turkey, cranberry spread, fried egg (with oozy yolk) and swiss cheese and it cost just $3, from the workplace cafeteria. To that I say: Not Bad.
I took the day off to celebrate my birthday without the hassles of work taking up my attention. For lunch we went to Metropulos to eat a gyro. Theirs are the best in town, made from scratch, and only served Fridays at lunchtime. Since I no longer work in this area, my only hope to get this sandwich is by taking the day off. Coincidentally, that has worked out several times.
We shared the gyro, and also tried the warm turkey and harissa sandwich. Gyro was fabulous, as always. The harissa, however, was too hot for me, even after scraping off as much of the sauce as I could. No more harissa sammies, just the Metro Firehouse going forward. But the harissa certainly was memorable.
We also did a little shopping, picking up some creamy blue cheese, some lovely olives, and no-nitrate salami, for snacks later on.
Photos by Ted Mills.
Metro Fine Foods
I can’t put my finger on it, there’s something “blah” about Holdren’s and steakhouses of this sort. It’s the kind of place people gravitate to when they think it’s as good as it gets. And steakhouses remind me a lot of “ME AMERICAN I EAT STEAK.” Steak wasn’t a big part of my life growing up. The first time I remember having a steak and potato meal was at my boyfriend’s house when I was already 16 years old. And I think part of the meal of microwaved. It wasn’t until I was 25, living in England, and spent a weekend in Belgium where I had a simple cut of steak with this magical green peppercorn sauce that I finally saw the light that steak can be yummy.
I’ve been to the Holdren’s downtown, for a business dinner. Now I finally had the opportunity to try the new Holdren’s in Goleta, for a business lunch. And for all my blathering about steak, that’s exactly what we didn’t order.
Brent had a turkey melt sandwich, with potato leek soup. I had the crab cakes with a side salad.
The Holdren’s interior is like a typical steakhouse. Actually, it seems that steakhouses come in two designs. One is the Hunting Lodge, that’s dark and has lots of animal heads on the walls, and muskets and Daniel Boone caps. If you don’t get a pile of paper napkins, then maybe a red check cloth. The other is the more “classy” of the two (and when I say classy, it usually means I’m not) that’s still dark, but with more elegant leather booths and dark wood stain and white napkins. Holdren’s is the latter. Business people desperate for a site to have power lunches and dinners in Goleta now have to spot to hone in.
The first batch of fresh pea shoots appeared at the farmers market!
A big bunch for just $1.50. These are delicious raw and cooked. Today, they were eaten in a lovely sandwich.
Ciabatta = Our Daily Bread
Renaud’s makes his fine croissants available to the downtown masses!
Finally, downtown dwellers are now in walking distance to the best croissants in town, because Renaud’s has opened a new location in Arlington Plaza. We wandered down there on a crisp morning, the first week it was open and Renaud himself was there overseeing business. I love being an early adopter.
If you thought the uptown location was cramped, well, don’t hold your breath. Or DO, because this one is even more “bistro” like. There’s room for perhaps six 2-tops, scattered inside and outside the shop. So, really, consider it more of a shop rather than a restaurant, because the chances of you snagging a seat are slim.
And that’s another equation to ponder:
Uptown location = old people
My table’s fancy was an almond croissant, a rum baba, a coffee and a fried egg sandwich. Yum, yum, yum, and….yum. But I got lucky scoring a table before the deluge of customers piled in. Next time, I’ll anticipate a quick dash to the counter to snap up the pastries, and the FLEE to nosh in the privacy of my own home. Or the park.
Stop #2 on our progressive dinner.
Ted supports many community projects and organizations. His work alongside la Casa de la Raza meant he was in the know on some good torta action at the downtown mercado.
We arrived to an absolute madhouse of people rocking out to an oompa band that was bringing down the house with some righteous tuba playing. It was best to lurk around the backside, chatting with the Casa de la Raza folks as they were preparing the next round of tri-tip for their sandwiches.
It probably took 40 minutes to acquire the $8 torta. Freshly grilled and seasoned beef tri-tip, served in a soft roll with lettuce, tomato and onion. It was good, of course, and we quickly retreated into the back lots to eat it in peace. I only had my small camera with me, which doesn’t do well in low light, so I must subject you to some rather bad photos of Ted’s silhouette by the toilets – you’ll have to trust me that he’s very happy holding his torta – and the torta itself, which required some mad photoshopping skillz to make it look like a torta and not like the blue, green and yellow alien pod my camera tried to turn it into.
I admit it: it was my first torta at Fiesta ever.
Today’s bento box was the collapsible sandwich case, containing a salami and caramelized onion sandwich using homemade bread, some homemade gingerbread and a couple pieces of chocolate.
The sandwich was put into the panini press for warm toasty sammie awesomeness.
The idea behind the sandwich container being more of a mesh basket is to keep the sandwich from becoming soggy over time. And once the sandwich is removed, the basket collapses down for easier storage. I love this setup, but do wish the colors weren’t so girlie. This does not make a great gift for dudes. But I know that secretly they are very jealous of my bento box and want one of their own.
I got vibes of quiet hungry desperation here.
To fully immerse myself in the cheap food experience, I ordered the “Five Meat Stack,” or as I renamed it, the “Freak Show.” It was a hodge podge of random meat-like substances with an overwhelming flavor of “toasted stuff.”
Two sweet looking grannies were eating by themselves at one of the plastic tables. That breaks my heart. Grannies should never have to eat by themselves, much less in such a depressing atmosphere as Quizblows.