How long would you wait for a taco? Hint: It’s La Super Rica

Line outside La Super Rica Taqueria, Santa Barbara.
Waiting in line to get into La Super Rica Taqueria.

I discovered a new food this week. Adobada.

What is adobada? It’s marinated meat (often pork) in a flavorful, chile-based mixture. It’s chopped into chunks and cooked on a hot grill or pan so it chars on the outside and is tender and juicy inside. The taco and burritos I had included a citrusy flavor and chunks of pineapple.

Before we took our son to the airport to fly home to the Bay Area, we stopped at La Super Rica. It’s a taco stand with a line out the door from the time they open to closing. It became famous as Julia Child’s favorite restaurant.

Adobada tacos at La Super Rica
Adobada tacos.

When our son went to UC Santa Barbara he told us about the best Mexican food that we had to try. It was La Super Rica — our favorite Santa Barbara Mexican restaurant for 25 years before he discovered it!

Tamale with cream sauce.

Sunday, we waited 40 minutes to get inside to order at the window. Then we waited longer than than that to get our food. By the time it arrived, I was famished. I had the adobada taco and a chile relleno. It was so delicious, I wolfed it down. The wait was worth it.

The other adobada I had was in a burrito the day before from a liquor store in Carpinteria. They’ve been there for 25 years and we’ve been ordering breakfast burritos from them for that long. We’re trying to convince the owner to open a store in Arizona! Our son introduced us to the adobada burrito and we’re hooked. The line isn’t nearly as long as La Super Rica, either.

The wait at La Super Rica reminded me of waiting for pizza where our kids live. Although my son’s girlfriend commented that the Cheeseboard’s line goes around the block and has about 100 people and La Super Rica’s line is only about 20 deep. I wrote about waiting in line for pizza HERE.

La Super Rica patio
View of La Super Rica’s patio.

How long are you willing to wait for a taco? How about a pizza? What other food would you wait for?

On the way to the wedding

Taco station interior in Riverside.
We were looking for breakfast burritos and ran across the “Taco Station.” Yes, that’s a real car.

We had a seven-hour drive to get our friend’s children’s wedding in Temecula, Calif. We left Friday afternoon and drove to Riverside to sleep for the night. Saturday morning we took a walk while the temps were in the 60s. It felt wonderful. We stayed downtown in a hotel we often stayed at for CIF (California Interscholastic Federation, the governing body for California high school sports) for our son and daughter’s championship high school swim meets. It felt nostalgic. Memories surfaced about the hours spent in the hotel between prelims and finals. Our daughter would take ice baths after her morning swims and put her legs up against the wall while laying on her back. This was her way to recover and prepare for finals.

We were craving a breakfast burrito — probably because that was the staple breakfast at swim meets throughout Southern California — prepared by the hosting swim team.

We found one spot during our walk that was packed! So it had to be good. It’s called the Taco Station.

Taco Station fun interior based on filling stations.
Inside Taco Station in Riverside
The theme of Taco Station is a filling station. There was a ton of memorabilia from old filling stations.
We split this breakfast burrito with eggs, cheese, sausage, potatoes. Delicious! We bought two burritos, but I’m grateful we didn’t eat them both! They were huge. We’ll have something to munch on during the seven-hour drive home. I don’t know when we’ll be back to stay in Riverside. It’s not on our bucket list, but if we do, we’ll be back to Taco Station.

The food looked amazing.
Outside view of Taco Station.

What are some of the fun, off-the-wall diners or restaurants have you discovered? Where were they and what type of food did they serve?