Monday, March 10, 2008

Montecito meltdown

Last week I reported that Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream at 1016C Coast Village Rd (next to Vons) has been sold and will be replaced with “Burger Place.” Baskin-Robbins had been a fixture for decades at another Coast Village Rd address, near Tony Rose Camera.
When Baskin-Robbins closed the first time early this decade, Montecito had no ice cream service at all for two years.

Fortunately three new creameries popped up but the sweet celebration now appears short-lived. It has come to my attention that, in addition to the closing of Baskin-Robbins, Gelateria Gioia at 1150 Coast Village Rd is also going out of business. That leaves Here's the Scoop as the “Last One Standing” as far as ice cream in Montecito is concerned. On April 2nd Here's The Scoop will be celebrating their 4th anniversary.

FRENCH REVELATION: Reader Hajir passed me this great tip: “I'm just letting you know that Renaud over at Renaud's Patisserie & Bistro is now also selling chocolates from Chocolats du CaliBressan out in Carpinteria. This is actually a really good deal because they are like the two premier French “places” in town and before getting chocolate from Chocolats du CaliBressan and getting an eclair from Renaud's was hard because they're 20-30 minutes apart from each other. Now people can have both at the same location.”
NEW IN I.V.: Isla Vista will soon be home to two new eateries: “Fresh Start CafĂ©” and “Tasters.”

25th ANNIVERSARY: This year State & A Bar and Grill is celebrating 25 years in business. That's a huge accomplishment for any business, let alone a restaurant! Call 966-1010 or visit

BREWCO SPECIALS: The Downtown Brewing Co. at 3744 State St now has evening specials from 5pm-9pm: Mondays in Mexico - $2 tri-tip tacos, $4 margaritas, $12 margarita pitchers. Twos Day - two steak dinners for $12.95, pint nite 9pm-close $2. Wednesday - hot wings 25 cents. Thursday - bottomless spaghetti bowl $7.95, Chef's choice appetizer and a martini: $9.95. Call 682-7803. Further down State St, The Santa Barbara Brewing Company announces: Monday Burger Madness — $4.99 burgers & $1 off all micro brews. Tuesday Steak & Bourbon - $9.99 sirloin steak & $4 for select bourbon. Wednesday Wrap & Well - $2 off all wraps & $4 well drink. Thurs-Sat Late Night Happy Hour - $2.50 pints after 11pm & kitchen open late. The lounge is now open for lunch with free pool. Call 730-1040.

SAFFRON UPDATE: I poked my head in Saffron World Fusion Cuisine at 113 W. De la Guerra St and finally spoke to a real person. The gentleman said he expects to open in May 2008.

EXCELLENT MEAL OF THE DAY: You must try the Sampler Platter at Chad's Restaurant. A meal this good is even worth a drive from L.A. to Santa Barbara just to check it out. This platter is a three course tour of Chad's specialties. Start with Caesar salads followed by full entrees of Blackened Filet, Caramelized Halibut and Chicken Tchoupitoulas. Finish the experience with their delicious Chocolate Jack Daniel's Souffle. I discovered this meal the first time I visited Chad's years ago and it sent me into taste bud euphoria. If I remember correctly, the Chad's Sampler Platter is a dinner for two.

FORBIDDEN FRUIT: The next time you visit a local restaurant beware of children that don't like orange-colored fruit. I dined at a downtown eatery recently and heard the words “Bad Persimmon” as I entered the door.
While I sat down to wait for a table I noticed a little girl standing by the entrance. Just as a gentleman entered the front door, the little girl said “good person.” Soon another patron entered the door and she again said “good person.” Another customer arrived and she said “bad person.”
Much to my amusement I realized that this little girl was openly stating her opinion about each person who walked in the door, based on nothing more than a glance. We all consciously or subconsciously make some sort of assessment when we see people for the first time, but we usually don't just blurt it out. I wondered how I had rated in this young child's public opinion poll?
Soon I was following the hostess towards a table when, to my shock and dismay, I realized that the jury had indeed made a decision. The odd comment that had softly drifted past my ears when I first entered the door wasn't “bad persimmon” after all. I had actually heard... :(

John Dickson’s column appears every Tuesday in the Daily Sound. E-mail your restaurant news tips to

1 comment:

Greg Knowles said...

Thanks for the update. Maybe the burger place in Montecito will sell ice cream?