WeissCrax: Got Cheese?

Emma Cantu was in high spirits over the weekend as her Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV.

Amongst the organic fruits, veggies, talented street performers, balloon artists and, of course, the ‘chill’crowd ambling gingerly in the sea of humanity known as Saturday morning’s Farmers Market – Where The Locals Buy Local – you could see the cheese from a mile away.

Literally …

“Wait ‘til you see the cake!” sez this little voice under the yellow dairy wedge – all belonging to Emma Cantu, as she zips by seconds later, carrying a little white cardboard box that can only mean one thing.

Cantu, you see, is a cheese head of massive proportions. A ‘Phanatic Packer Phan.’ And here she is in all her glory. Once she unveils the box’s delicious contents — “GP” in green and gold team colors boldly sits on top of the icing.

“It’s my birthday today,” she adds. “And all I want is a Packer victory tomorrow.”

Fast forward 24 hours ….

Nearly 300 people converge on Stow Park for the annual Super Bowl 4-Miler – a race through Goleta’s sleepy neighborhoods. A pre-calorie burner for what’s likely to come later in the day.

In the Winner’s Circle moments later, Mike Shalhoub responds to the obvious question on everyone’s

“Definitely Packers,” he said. “My daughter’s favorite color is green.”

Mike Shalhoub crosses the finish line to win the Super Bowl 4-miler on Sunday.

Oh, and about the actual race: “Great course and super conditions. Todd (Booth – 2010 winner) was ahead of me. I didn’t think I could catch him. Three-hundred yards out (before the finish line) I found my opportunity,” he adds.


And about that BIG game – SUPER BOWL (’43 – think huge Roman numerals here) featuring the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers — the question remains: where is best place to watch in Santa Barbara?

Well ….in the name of investigative sportz journalism, this cub reporter wandered the city’s streets to uncover the naked truth.

Here is that Special SB Report:

1st Quarter – THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Having missed the kick-off, server Matt Allensworth provides quick recap. No score yet. A thin crowd here to start. He’s pulling for Packers. Thinks the action will pick up. Though he’s talking after the game, once people are done partying privately. The Pack score. Seconds later, again via interception.


2nd Quarter – THE PRESS ROOM: Funny watching football in this cozy pub better known for futbol. It offers a generous, gratis spread – compliments of John Molnar and Jake Reimer of Ariel Catering – and a healthy balance of Packers and Steelers fans. But, everyone loooves the commercials! Especially Budweiser. Go figure.

MADSION’S – Jammed! Waitresses wearing cheese heads and another with STEELERS on her, well, never mind …. There’s an elder Aussie couple sitting nearby taking in all the action. They’ve been “in The States for two weeks” and leaving for home in the morning. “The Yank’s’ version of the game is fascinating,” the gent shares.

O’MALLEY’S – Blonde beverage barista Anna Marie gives the scoop using her brand new UCSB Communications degree. The crowd leans towards Green Bay – judging by the cheers when the Pack score again. The two JUMBOTRONS make it feel like you are actually at the game! Pack leads 21-3 with 2:24 remaining.

Time for “The Two Minute Offense”….

SANTA BARBARA BREWING COMPANY: Front and back serving areas are SRO (Standing Room Only). The front is relatively quiet, compared to back’s loud, younger crowd … SANDBAR: Not only a waiting line out front but local TV cameras inside filming the action … OLD KING’s ROAD, JOE’S CAFÉ and DARGAN’S all relatively tame.

Somewhere along the way, the Steelers score their first touchdown with 39 seconds remaining.


3rd Quarter – New game plan: private party scene. First up: cool estate of long-time amigos. Toni and Bob Kipp hail from Wisconsin. ‘Go Packers’ flag out front. (‘No brainer’ here.) Mellow crowd with great food, refreshments and cozy set-up. Amazing: inside flat screen and outside TV not in sync. Five-seconds ahead outside. Fun to watch inside crowd react when one knows already outcome! No cheers here when the Steelers score their second touchdown.

PACKERS 21-17.

4th Quarter –Kids galore at Gloria & Carl Easter’s annual SB party, including 2 sets of young twins and a brand new beautiful baby granddaughter. “Get something to eat,” Gloria sez. Carl’s done another masterful tri-tip job. Time to savor the fare and the finish. The Steelers close the gap to 3. Then Green Bay’s field goal with 2:10 left makes it 31-25. It could be a spectacular finish!

Steelers have the ball, time on the clock. But when they don’t convert on 4th down – “Cheese Head Nation” launches celebration.


Randy started his Super Bowl run at the Neighborhood and checked out nine other downtown establishments.

So, the proverbial “bottom line?”

Best place to watch the Super Bowl in Santa Barbara?

Umm… Way, way too hard to answer. Only 11 venues investigated.

More research definitely needed next year!

And the good news…

Emma Cantu gets her birthday wish after all …

Would love her action photo celebrating – just one thing to tell her:



  1. Best place: Sandbar. Hands down.

  2. Can’t vouch for a best Super Bowl spot, but fun article :)

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