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22 May 2010

Way Down in Carpinteria

Last weekend, the three of us headed down to the Santa Barbara area to do some Mommy Mobile car shopping. David and I have been sharing one vehicle since we moved out here in November of 2007. (Side note - I can't believe we've been out here for 2 1/2 years. Time sure does fly when you plan a wedding, plan and grow a baby, and then spend 13 months raising said baby.) Anyway, David and I have really done well sharing one car, but it's time to add another one to our already packed garage. We had settled on the car that we were going to get and then I changed my mind at the last minute. I really feel like it's a smart move to find a car (please note that I said CAR and not mini-van) with three rows so that somewhere down the line, we don't have to do this whole car shopping/Consumer Reports researching again. Because, let me tell you folks, it's not fun.

In a 32 hour timespan, David, Olivia and I checked out at least one type of vehicle (and often times more than one) from the following makers: Acura, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, and Volvo. We drove from our house to Santa Barbara, down to Carpinteria, up to Goleta, down to Thousand Oaks and back home. Needless to say, we were ALL exhausted Sunday night. We have at least narrowed down our choices to our top 5.

We did get to enjoy a little downtime while we were there and ended up eating dinner in the little beach town of Carpinteria. After looking up reviews online, scouting out a couple of restaurants in person, and talking to some locals, we decided on a place called The Palms. It seriously had to have been the most unique restaurant we have ever eaten at. I guess their "claim to fame" is that you grill your own food. At first thought, it sounds kind of fun, until you see that everyone is lined up at this tiny grill in the middle of the restaurant waiting to flip their steaks. Oh yeah, that and the fact that they bring a raw hunk of meat to your table while your dining on their "all you can eat" salad bar. One trip is enough to get you not wanting to go back for more. The night we went, it was like pigs to the trough! They offered unlimited baked potatoes and bread right next to the salad bar. You had to reach your hands into the Orrowheat bag to get out a piece of bread. Needless to say, we ordered something off the menu that didn't need grilling and neither of us left with our stomachs satisfied. But, we did have a great time laughing at the locals and the craziness of the restaurant.

My attempt at nonchalantly getting a picture of the meat at the table behind us - just got my "hunk of meat" instead. I later saw that couple poking at their steaks and salt and peppering them...The Palms Special Seasoning.

Mmmm, raw meat, right next to a salad from a dirty salad bar.

The Grill. Just curious how often that gets cleaned.


Marissa said...

Oh weird restaurant! Yikes.... Happy car hunting. It'll be worth it when you finally get the one you want. :)

Irma said...

Sounds like The Palms will never be a stop for us!

Mom Cooper said...

Give me my good old chain Texas Roadhouse any day.