Steak dinners for under $20 at The Palms in Carpinteria
Trying to find a decent steak dinner near Santa Barbara for under $30 is like hoping to spot a unicorn driving down State Street in a Lamborghini. It’s just not going to happen. Unless you have the time to travel only fifteen minutes south to The Palms in Carpinteria. Not only can you order prime cuts of meat and seafood, but you can put your big-kid pants on and get the grilling done all by yourself.
There’s something predatorily satisfying in throwing your raw cut of perfectly-marbled eight ounce rib eye on the flame. The Palms boasts two 36-inch grills surrounded by any and every seasoning you could ask for to flavor your beef, chicken, fish, or lamb. Although, having tried the rib-eye and the filet mignon myself, the only seasoning the delectable meat needs is just a dash of S&P.
“I usually get seafood when I come to The Palms,” said Carpinteria local Doris Rocha. The succulent shrimp and scallops deep-fried to perfection are certainly nothing to overlook. If you have a little extra lunch money left over, the Australian lobster or rack of lamb are sure to satisfy. Herbivores are not to be discouraged either, because the homemade baked beans and potatoes, along with the full salad bar definitely fill your belly. Even the croutons are deep fried.
What I didn’t expect to find out about this rustic restaurant, was that the The Palms was once a hotel that was built over one hundred years ago. At the turn of the century, the building was used not only as a hotel, but also contained the town bar, bank, and post office.
For all you men who need to arrange a date night in the near future, nothing screams sexy like fixing your lady a filet mignon
“Our family didn’t take it over until the late 50’s,” said Tod Bennett, who owns The Palms with his brother Bill, “[Our] parents started the cook-your-own concept in the late 1970’s”. Bennett remembers doing whatever he could to help his parents out at the restaurant, “even at twelve years old I would sweep and help clean up.” After being so heavily involved with the business for such a long time, Bennett has had a chance to see it morph into the most happening and historically recognized restaurant in Carpinteria. As for the rumors about whether or not The Palms once housed a brothel or something of the sort, Bennett “can’t confirm that but [he]has heard the story too”.
Now, the hotel, bank, and post office are gone; but the history is kept alive through the family as well as the Carpinteria History Museum. Some people (like me) will argue that there couldn’t have been a better outcome for The Palms. It has become a local favorite over the years–and at roughly $15 per cut of meat, dinner is quite reasonable, considering each order comes with unlimited baked potatoes, beans, and salad bar. For all you men who need to arrange a date night in the near future, nothing screams sexy like fixing your lady a filet mignon–especially if she knows she doesn’t have to help clean afterward!