Scarlett Begonia Restaurant Review

Scarlett Begonia Restaurant Review
Whether one is driving through or staying the weekend in Santa Barbara, Scarlett Begonia is a wonderful place for a nourishing and tasty breakfast. It is located at 11 West Victoria Street #10, right off State Street just north of the main downtown section. The restaurant serves trendy, high-quality food with an offbeat, artistic flair. Known primarily for its breakfasts, brunches, and lunches, It is also open for dinner as well.

11 Victoria is a small arcade-like building, and Scarlett Begonia is located at the southwest end, close to one of the city’s municipal parking lots. Diners are seated either outside in a courtyard (which can be somewhat chilly in the winter) or inside in a small square room (which can seem close and crowded when filled.) The restaurant shares a restroom with the other businesses in the enclosure; diners must get the key and leave the restaurant area to use the facilities. The staff is friendly but business-like, bringing samples of food to diners waiting for their entrees and pieces of toffee after the meal.

Santa Barbara has long been called home by surfers, ex-hippies, and other nonconformists, and Scarlett Begonia is grounded in this tradition, although also heavily influenced by the farm-to-table movement. The menu, which changes seasonally, features organic eggs as well as quinoa ‘oatmeal’, pancakes, and the like. In addition, there are three different kinds of biscuits; for those who don’t like to make choices, a biscuit sampler is offered which includes the buttermilk and bacon-maple biscuits, with a side of jam. Add-ons can include house-made sausage and creamed spinach, as well as seasonal delicacies. Gluten-free items are marked on the menu for easy reference. Those who prefer lunch food can choose between soups, salads, and sandwiches, which run the gamut from classic burgers to Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches. As a small, independent restaurant, the facility does run out of items from time to time, which can be annoying if one has a favorite entrée.

On our last visit, my husband ordered the shrimp and grits; I ordered the smoked salmon plate. We split a biscuit sampler, and each had a cappuccino. The food was delicious. Breakfast for the two of us was just under fifty dollars, which is somewhat more than average for the area, but didn’t seem excessive considering the quality of the food and the fact that we both had seafood.

Scarlett Begonia is open from 9a to 2p and then closes until the cocktail hour at 4:30. The restaurant also serves dinner Tuesdays through Saturday until 9p, with special Farmer’s Market dinners offered from time to time.

Please note: My husband and I have no connection with Scarlett Begonia. We paid for our meal with our own money.

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