Monday, May 12, 2008

Fresco Cafe North opens

I Stopped by Fresco North Café last Saturday, late in the afternoon, not expecting many customers to be around. It was packed. On a Saturday. In the late afternoon. That was my first clue that this new restaurant at 5940 Calle Real (across the street from Zodos) is shaking up the food scene in Goleta.

Their menu includes salads, sandwiches, burgers, tortilla wraps and pizza. I interviewed co-owner Indras Govender who mentioned that this new Fresco is open on Sundays, whereas the uptown location (at Five Points) is not. Govender also told me that they will have a grand opening party on Sunday, May 18th from 12-5pm that includes food, fun, a magician and a live band. Future plans for the restaurant are to upgrade the large outdoor patio to include a 6 ft tall glass enclosure and heaters. Fresco Café North is open daily from 8am-9pm serving breakfast, lunch & dinner. For more information call 692-8999 or visit

CELEBRITY DINE-OUT: This Wednesday, May 14, 2008 from 5-10pm Pascucci Restaurant at 729 State St is hosting a fundraiser for the Summer Solstice Celebration. Be waited on by former mayors, our current mayor, council members, Solstice board members and by local media. 10% of your bill goes to help support the 34th annual Summer Solstice Parade. There is no cover charge and no reservations taken so show up early! Guests are invited to show their “Solar Flair” which is the theme of this year's parade (June 21st). The Solstice committee has asked me to participate. Though I don’t consider myself a “celebrity,” I do know a thing or two about serving food. I worked as a waiter for four years at the Casa Dorinda retirement community in Montecito.

REACHING FOR STARS: Help hundreds of runaway, homeless, abused and at-risk kids by participating in the 9th annual “Reaching For Stars” event this Wednesday, May 14 6pm-9:30pm at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion. Enjoy an extraordinary dining experience created by five of Santa Barbara’s top chefs with exclusive wine tasting by Cottonwood Canyon Winery. Proceeds benefit Youth and Family Services YMCA, Noah’s Anchorage Youth Crisis Shelter, Isla Vista Teen Center and Youth Development Outreach. For information and tickets call 569-1103 x32 or visit

SPECIALS SPOTLIGHT: The Enterprise Fish Co. at 225 State St has a new lunch combo for only $7.95 (served 11:30am-4pm). Call 962-3313 or visit

CLEAN CREEKS: The Sojourner Café at 134 E. Canon Perdido St and Natural Café at 361 Hitchcock Way have been newly certified as “Clean Creeks” businesses. The City of Santa Barbara congratulates restaurants for taking important steps to protect creek and ocean water quality with their Certified Clean Water Business program.

VICTORIAN VOGUE: In last week’s column I misspelled the name of the popular costume shop Victorian Vogue. I also mentioned that they had moved but didn’t include their new address which is 4289 State Street. Call 967-4626.

GILBERT GARCIA 1965-2008: The owners of Steve's Patio Cafe (3007 De la Vina St) have contacted me and asked me to let you know that their kitchen manager, Gilbert Garcia, passed away recently in a motorcycle accident on the 101 freeway. He had been a staple at the restaurant for 20 years and everyone is mourning the loss of a good friend. He was a husband and a father of three.
Nicole Bates, co-owner of the restaurant, sent me the following message: “We are so heartbroken. The memorial service was last Thursday, and our friends at A & J Limousine comp'd us a 14-person van to take our staff and our folks to the rosary and memorial. Gilbert's mother and father are still living in Jalisco Mexico, and they took his body back to Mexico so his parents could bury him.
“We had cards on our counter so anyone who wished to contribute money to his family could. We took more than 30 cards from regulars to the ceremony on Thursday night. So many of our patrons are also heartbroken. I can't say enough how special he was...
“As an aside, Gilbert asked for a day off each month to take his nephew (the boy's dad also works for us) to UCLA for Doctor's visits, as the boy was born with a cleft palette. Gilbert spoke better English than his sister and brother-in-law and was able to communicate effectively with the doctors. Gilbert was on his way, to drop off his motorcycle and pick up a car and his nephew and take him down to UCLA. This is just one example of his commitment to family....
“I can't stress enough how wonderful he was. No attitude, No machismo...just wonderful. Thank you for sharing whatever you feel appropriate with your readers.”

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

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