Now that I know the NTN rankings at Santa Fe Cafe are on-line, I have a certain amount of motivation to keep my ranking up. So before I travel, I'm now doing an NTN search to find places to eat. I'll be eating out anyway, so it's not like I'm spending extra money (or gaining extra calories) through this method.
I was pleased to discover Federico's, right next to my hotel offering NTN. After I checked into my hotel yesterday, I went there for a late lunch and played a couple games of Countdown. Since I'm at the conference all day (half an hour from my hotel), I don't know how much I'll get to go back there. (Also, they're closed today.)
Today, it was off to the Old Town Tavern. It's about a 5 minute drive from the conference, in what passes for downtown Goleta. I had a little trouble finding parking, but I eventually parallel parked across the street and went in. It was a nice enough place. The bartender mentioned that they had a "tri-tip" sandwich on special. After enough "what-what"s out of me, she realized I must not be from the West Coast, since I had never heard of "tri-tip". Apparently, it's a cut of beef. It was tasty enough, but I don't know how special I find it. I played one game of Wipeout and then came back to the conference. (And the wireless network in the lecture hall -- a lifesaver during boring talks.)
Update (August 2004): Federico's doesn't seem to exist (or at least have NTN) anymore, according to on-line searches.