Saturday, June 13, 2009

Zen Yai Thai, Rose Cafe and the Santa Barbara Farmers Market

Zen Yai Thai Cuisine in Santa Barbara

While The Hungry Cat provided our best food in Santa Barbara, we had other nice meals as well. We had a surprisingly good Thai dinner at Zen Yai - a little place right on State Street (pictured above during lunch service the next day).

We started with their papaya salad, which was nicely done and had a decent heat level. Then we had an eggplant/chile/basil dish with chicken. I can be mixed on eggplant, but this was very nicely cooked. We also had their "Massaman Salmon". Generous chunks of crispy salmon in a rich, flavorful sauce.

On our way out of town, we stopped for late breakfast / early lunch at the Rose Cafe, a Mexican greasy spoon a few blocks east of State Street.

Rose Cafe in Santa Barbara

When we arrived, a few people were finishing up breakfast, and some older gentleman were enjoying coffee and a newspaper at the counter. Definitely a neighborhood joint.

I had huevos rancheros and Sherry had a pork burrito and a chile relleno. Everything was good - nothing particularly special, but quite enjoyable. Combined with friendly service and the nice local feel to the place, it makes a good casual breakfast or lunch option in the area.

On Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings, they shut down two blocks of State Street for a farmers market. We happened to be in town for the Tuesday market and took a stroll down the line of booths. We immediately had farmers market envy.

Santa Barbara Farmers Market

While we love our local farmers market, the Santa Barbara market was pretty impressive in comparison - with easily twice as many vendors. Like our market, it is all farm-produced products - nobody selling jewelry or snacks on a stick. Truly a great resource for those living in the area.

Zen Yai Thai Cuisine
425 State St.
Santa Barbara, California
(805) 957-1102‎

Rose Cafe #1
424 E Haley St.
Santa Barbara, California
(805) 966-3773‎

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