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After doing a little research on restaurant Santa Barbara’s namesake Saint Barbara, I learned that she was a total badass. Not only can she teleport, put out fires with her mind, turn sheep to locusts and strike people with lightening, she can turn people to stone. Definitely cool. Throughout history, she has been strongly associated with artillerymen, engineers, miners, mathematicians and those who work with explosives because of her ability to control and work with lightening. Thinking about our recent visit to Santa Barbara in Montreal, this all suddenly seemed to make sense. Walking into the restaurant, the back wall is covered in various mini busts of religious figures in a way that lends an interesting vibe to the place. Plus the fact that they’re all coated in a layer of pastel green paint. Then, you have brunch items all named after different professions Saint Barbara herself was thought to provide protection for. The plot thickens…
El Sombrero is very easy to miss or pass by. Not looking like much from the outside – one might even write the place off before walking in. But doing so would be a fools deed. Once you do get in, head straight for the outside terrace. It’s a really great spot surrounded by buildings but still gets sunlight into the evening. The menu is quite varied and extremely authentic – most of the dishes are listed in Spanish only with only the occasional English hints. The basic plates of 5 tacos cost around 10$ – We ordered the Chorizo Tacos with Coriander Herbs and Onions and the Marinated Pork Tacos as well as a bowl of guacamole. There are also a variety of soups, enchiladas, burritos, fajitas to choose from as well as some less common traditional Mexican fare. The food was delicious and I added extra spicy chili sauce to my tacos which was perfect.