Montecito Country Mart Update
Last week Montecito Country Mart announced that its newest eatery, Alma Fonda Fina, is scheduled to open in June. The restaurant is the latest offering from Ramon Velazquez, a local Santa Barbara chef and Michelin Bib Gourmand winner, and the owner of the popular Corazon Cocina in the Public Market in downtown Santa Barbara. Alma Fonda Fina will feature Velazquez’s elevated Mexican food, showcasing a Mexican spin on coastal cuisine. The restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; breakfast will include corn pancakes, bionico fruit cocktail, and many flavors of chilaquiles, a Mexican breakfast essential. For lunch and dinner, there will be family-style choices such as Pescado a la Talla, steak tacos with molcajete salsa, Ramon’s mother’s tamales, chicken soup, and ceviche.
Ramon says when he was young, his family ran a “Fonda” in Guadalajara. Fonda is a name given to small, family-run neighborhood restaurants that usually have a set menu with local food. Ramon’s mother Imelda will be cooking alongside him at the new eatery in Montecito Country Mart. “Alma Fonda Fina will be a place where you can find the unexpected; it’s my version of soul food. I’ll be bringing dishes from different regions of Mexico, and there will be a heavy focus on my two passions: local seafood and vegetables, not what people typically think of when they think of Mexican food,” Ramon said. The restaurant will be located in the space formerly occupied by Little Alex’s for over 30 years. We’ll have more on the new eatery as the opening approaches.