Let’s Start a New Kind of Restaurant Award

••• I had no idea we had another empanada specialist in the area: Ché Empanadas in Carpinteria. (Thanks to Bite Me for the tip.) They’re available baked or frozen, but only for pickup or delivery.

••• The Independent‘s annual Best of Santa Barbara issue is out, and once again, it has an effect opposite of the intended one, in that it shows how far this town has to go in terms of food. (There are far more baffling winners than worthy ones.) But then the awards aren’t really about acknowledging excellence; they’re about building the Independent’s brand by encouraging nominees to get their social-media followers to vote, and building the paper’s advertising revenue by encouraging winners to run ads. All of which is fine! But my heart goes out to the folks who really do make the area’s best food, who must wonder why they lose every year. So I’m thinking of starting a new kind of award, decided by a panel of people who obsess over food in Santa Barbara. Some will be professionals, and some won’t. This is all in the early stages, but if you’d like to throw your hat in the ring, please email [email protected] about why you should be a judge. I don’t care whether your opinions dovetail with mine; I’m looking for expertise and enthusiasm. Are you the person your friends ask for food-related advice?

••• The dates from DaVall Date Gardens, at the Saturday farmers’ market, are always good. But the “fancy” ones—such as the Medjools below—are next-level. Seek them out while they’re in season.

••• “After decades in business the last South Coast Silvergreens restaurant at 900 Embarcadero del Mar in Isla Vista has closed. On October 6, the business reopened as a Kyle’s Kitchen,” making it the fourth in that burgeoning chain. —Restaurant Guy

••• In response to the recent post about how Telegraph Brewing Company’s N. Salsipuedes building is for lease—and all the equipment inside is for sale—a former staffer said that Epic Brewing, which bought Telegraph in 2017, laid everyone off and didn’t hire them back when other establishments started reopening.

••• A profile/review of Peasants Feast in Solvang. —Independent

••• The High Roller Tiki Lounge in Solvang is an homage to Disneyland. —SF Gate

••• “Longoria Wines seeks to sell it all, while Ampelos Cellars is offloading the vineyard, not the brand.” —Independent

••• Helena Avenue Bakery bakes pies you can order 48 hours in advance. I can recommend the apple one.


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