The little beach town of Santa Barbara is a desirable enough place to visit even apart from a few unknown-to-the-world dining gems. But I am sucker for breakfast, and Scarlett Begonia at Victoria and State Street in Santa Barbara is the kind of place that makes me go back to a town – just to eat.
I went with a southern theme for my meal, enjoying their Shrimp and Grits with two soft poached eggs, paprika sausage, cipollini onions, and roasted red pepper. The grits were an absolutely perfect texture, and the flavors of the meats with the medley of other ingredients left your mouth watering. The chef brings his own creativity to the menu and changes specials on a daily basis. My wife, on the other hand, went with a staple on the menu …
It will not be common to find a restaurant with Chipotle Chilaquiles on the menu that somehow disappoints. In this case, two rosemary farm eggs with pasilla chili, caramelized onion, queso fresco and crema, and their housemade chorizo topping it all off. The flavors are overwhelmingly good, and the fresh ingredients even make you feel like you might be eating something sort-of healthy, despite that face that it is essentially fried chips and chorizo meat.
The little patio outside the restaurant is peaceful and pleasant, and even friendly for well-behaved kids. I could do without all the dogs, but I have given up on the idea of patio dining in California without people bringing their animal companions with them. Scarlett Begonia is a must-visit when driving through Santa Barbara, or if you are just needing a little reminder of why breakfast is the greatest meal of the day.