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Whale Tail Deli
[closed, no longer in business]

1114 State St, Santa Barbara
Phone: (805) 965-1730

  • Category: Deli
  • Hours: Mon-Fri Breakfast & Lunch 7am-4:30pm;Sat 9am-3pm. Thurs-Sat Dinnner 6:00pm- 10:00 pm
  • Chef: Adrian
  • Price: < $10
  • Serving: Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
  • Reservations: No
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Reviews by the General Public

Very Good Paninis
Reviewer: Dianne from Santa Barbara, CA
Finally had a chance to get a sandwich here. Great deal because I eat a light lunch I can buy one and make it last two days. You get a side and they are all pretty good. The quality of food has improved with the new ownership. Wish there was a way to see the daily specials online. I plan on going there more frequently now.


No more salad bar???
Reviewer: Arlene from Santa Barbara, CA
I was dissapointed to hear they took out the salad bar. Whale's Tail was the best; one of the very few super resonable for breakfast or lunch downtown. I ate lunch here at least twice a week. I don't undertand why good places like this get bought & changed. Good luck with the gourmet italian deli theme....


Good to Ok Food, Nice Server
Reviewer: Glenn from Buellton
This is kind of a stepdown in quality from the Jeanine's next door I think but people probably go here on overflow from there or just tourists stopping by for a quicker sandwich than Jeanine's can make. Burger was adequate, Smoothie was good. Can't comment on their bfast or mexican entrees which are hopefully better. Its so off the street I wonder how they get their business except for tourists in the courtyard there(the one with the statues). Interesting they have an upstairs seating area that looks out on the parking structure next to the library and I wonder if at the time the restaurant started the structure was not there as it would have been a great view of the courthouse. Apparently the site of an old church where the current mission bells once hung? Named for the Whale's Tale sculpture just outside. Lots of indoor/outdoor seating.


Old and still costumers from Santa Barbara
Reviewer: Marie from Santa Barbara, CA
I've been a costumer of the whale Tail Deli since a long time ago. The new owners are wonderful people and they are doing a great job!!! All their food is delicious and their service is great, they have good prices as well. It is a very pleasant place to eat...you have to visit it to prove it. Thank you & Congratulations to the new owners for their good job!!!!!


Highly recommend...
Reviewer: T.R. from Ventura, CA
the pozole they have on Mondays and Tues. I go here about 1-2x a weekfor lunch. I usually get salad bar which is priced great and always fresh. But if you are a pozole fan don't miss trying theirs. Tip: Call ahead for specials or look up their menu on line then call your order in ahead of time, lunch time gets pretty busy .


B-Fast
Reviewer: Sisco Kid from Santa Barbara, CA
Get the Croissant breakfast sandwich with egg, bacon, and avacado, it is to die for!!!!!


The GREAT CHOICE
Reviewer: Eduardo Ferreira from Sao Paulo, BRAZIL
Hi, I visited this place in 2004 with my girlfriend in vacation. So, we ask for the CLUB SANDWICH and I can promisse you that is the best choice there. I love the people that work there, and obvious the flavor. Itīs a nice place with cheap food.


Love the Whaletail
Reviewer: Tom from Santa BArbara, California
Since the Whaletail came under new ownership, I have found their ingredients and menu top notch with low prices. I eat there about once a week sometimes twice. The staff is very friendly and now I can order the usual and they always remember what I want. I find the food to be superb especially sandwiches from the grill. Not only are the ingredients fresh but their prices are cheaper than "The Habit" I recommend The Whaletail to anyone looking for a nice relaxing atmosphere with delightful service and delicious food!


An original review!
Reviewer: J.C. from Carp, CA
I don't understand why some people are reviews of other people's reviews. This page is about YOUR review, not what you think about someone else's experience! I had a good experience at Whale Tail today. My burger was just as I ordered it, and every person I came in contact with was very friendly.


Going downhill fast
Reviewer: Sarah from Santa Barbara
We tried Whale Tail for the first time a year ago, and loved it. That lasted for a few months. Since that time, they have had ridiculously slow service, even when the order is called in ahead a half hour in advance. In addition, the literally have not gotten our orders right the last half dozen times we have been. Every part of the order has been wrong - wrong sandwich, wrong meat, wrong fixings - EVERY SINGLE TIME. In group orders, they have left out entire sandwiches. They also serve substantially smaller sandwiches and fewer fries than they used to. It is INCREDIBLY frustrating, particularly considering how good it used to be. We still go there occasionally, hoping that it will be as good as it used to be, but it always ends in a very disappointing experience. To the owners: Bring back the old Whale Tail or continue to lose your customers! Please!!


Whale Tail Deli is Yummy
Reviewer: Taryn from Santa Barbara, CA
It hasn't changed THAT much. Sure there are going to be somethings that are not the same. But, the new team has done a good job of maintaining the menu and level of service. I eat there quite often and think the food is great and the prices are excellent. People who give bad ratings for asking "to go" and for computers being down are a little harsh. I eat there 2-3 times a week and never have a problem.


I miss Daniel
Reviewer: Katie from Santa Barbara
You know, I used to love Whale Tail, but I was shocked the last time that I went there. I ordered my usual hot pastrami and was disappointed. There was less than half as much meat than I'm used to getting when I order them. My boyfriend's roast beef had even less meat on it, most likely a little less than 2 ounces. The fixins that were always there and made the sandwich amazing wasn't there anyomre, there was more bread than meat, and forget about the sprouts, the onions, the mustard, and tomatoes. What's worse was that all of their hot sauces were empty and when we asked for more, the girl just forgot about it. It's just not the same and I'm sad because Whale Tail used to be a good eat at a good price and now, it's just cheap


no problem this time!
Reviewer: Dan G from Santa Barbara
I had the philly cheesteak. It was very good, tender meat,grilled onions,mushrooms on a nice white roll. My friend had the roast beef sandwich and said it was very good and big! I had no problem with the service or stating "to go" at the start of ordering. good food good prices, next time your downtown try it out.


They couldn't even take my order...
Reviewer: Gene from SB
I just called Whale Tail to phone in a lunch order, as I often do. I was told, "We can't take any phone orders right now because our computers are down." I asked her if she could just write it down on a piece of paper, and she again said no because their computers are down. This stinks, because the Whale Tail Deli is such a convenient place for me to get lunch during the week. But I guess it makes more sense to walk past Whale Tail to get lunch from somewhere else. Zero stars for ZERO service, and zero stars for ZERO food!


Would you treat your mother how you treat your customers?
Reviewer: Ellie from Santa Barbara
Although I have enjoyed breakfast burritos on a few occasions from this establishment, the customer service is terrible. They have always been fairly unfriendly, but when I confronted the staff about overcharging me, they made excuses rather than refunding me the $2 and then ignored me when I inquired a second time about the extra charges. The breakfast burritos are good, but not worth the unfriendly atmosphere.


Still good, but just not the same...
Reviewer: Bob Childs from Santa Barbara, CA
It appears that the Whale Tail Deli changed management sometime this year (2006). The food is still good, but the service is just not the same. Jim Garrett (the previous owner/manager) seemed to know everyone by name, and he seemed to even remember everyone's "usual." Customer service to a tee - simple, old fashioned and effective. These days, business seems to be a little slower, as does the service. The cashiers now appear to have some newfangled computer system which requires the cashier to ask "for here or to go" at the very beginning of the process (a pet peeve of mine). The actual service people are friendly and helpful, but the new system makes the experience less personal and so much more "fast food." So sad. Garrett was a hard act to follow.


Huuuuge Sandwich
Reviewer: Los Olivos from Santa Barbara
Little did I know that the Chicago Club sandwich I ordered would be ridiculously huge. Very tasty as well. The man behind the counter was very happy to take my special request to hold the mayo, and the sandwich makers were equally happy to ignore that request. I was disapointed to find this, but my sandwich was good nonetheless. While I did go during lunch hour, the traffic situation seemed bad and could use some improvement. People with to-go orders have nowhere to-go while waiting for their food, so they just sort of pile up at the end of the counter. They staff seemed too busy to even notice (perhaps they are used to it?). When my order finally came, I jetted out of there to eat my sandwich in piece. Would I go back? Probably, but not during rush-hour.


More bang for your buck
Reviewer: Kaye from Santa Barbara
Whale Tail is quite possibly the best deal in Santa Barbara. There is nothing that I have tried that I didn't love, whether it be breakfast, smoothies, sides, or sandwiches. The poeple are great and friendly and you get your food pretty quickly too. Five dollars will go a long way for you at Whale Tail. Try the hot pastrami, or if you have room, the club sub.


Everything A Santa Barbara Deli Should Be
Reviewer: Helianna from Santa Barbara
The Whale's Tail is a friendly place Always puts a smile on my face Especially when enjoying their food It puts me in the right mood To get me through the whole day And a few dollars is all I pay For this wonderful experience In a cozy Santa Barbara styled ambience!


A Great Place in Downtown
Reviewer: Chuck from Downtown Santa Barbara
The Whale´s Tail is an example of a fabulous business plan; it´s easy to see why they succeed when other restaurants in their vicinity come and go! Their staff is super-friendly; the food is great, and the prices are cheaper than Dennys! Jim, Daniel, Lisa and the rest of the staff...I don´t know how you do it, but thanks so much for all your hard work.


Repeat-Eat every day of the week!!!

Calling this place a Deli is almost unfair. One of the owners has a background as a butcher and gets the best cuts of meats for their deli items, but their diversity in foodstuffs makes the place a MUST EAT. You can visit every day of the week and feel like you´ve gone out to five different excellent eateries. At least 5 daily lunch specials are added to their huge menu 6 days a week. I´ve eaten at the Whale Tail at least twice a week since 1998 and I´m still suprised at how good some of their food is!


Everyone´s a regular !!!
Reviewer: Alissa from San Diego, CA
I love this place, I ate there a lot last year before I moved out of SB. The service is great, I felt like my friends owned it because they were so friendly when I visited. I usually order one of two things, and they got to know what I ordered. Even if I came in right before closing, they still treated me like the first customer of the day. Great deli! Excellent service and I love the fact that they have two TVs. Wow, I miss this place! My only advice? Open another one, just like it in downtown San Diego, I´ll go everyday I promise:)


Fabulous!

I love this place and bring all of my out of town guests here! Never fails to make you feel like a local. Amazing food, service and atmosphere. A ´must eat´ for anyone visiting.


Good Choice Lisa
Reviewer: Mark Mash from Santa Barbara, CA USA
Lisa has never led me wrong. A wonderful atmosphere and great food. Everyone is very nice, as well. Thanks honey.


Us Locals love it!!

Great everything on the menu! You won´t be disappointed. To top it off, the atmosphere is very friendly with the employees and owners taking time for a small chit-chat.


Flexibility, specialization, suited/tailored to your desires
Reviewer: Lisa Michelle Clor from Santa Barbara, CA USA
Just trust me, this place is WONDERFUL... simple or fancy-smancy.. prices are adjustable... For super special service, speak w/ Jim and/or Daniel, the owners of the Whale Tail Deli. Lisa M. Clor


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