Last week I conducted an online poll asking readers “Which are your favorite South Coast restaurants that no longer exist?” I received more responses to this poll than any conducted in the 1,511 days (give or take a few hours) since I started this blog. In part that is because it’s easier to respond now that you can post comments in the blog where before you had to send me an email.
Many of the restaurants mentioned have been gone for decades while some closed in just the last few months. For my column in the Daily Sound newspaper I gathered up the first 100 names mentioned in the poll and sorted them alphabetically.
How many names do you recognize?
1129, 31 Flavors on Coast Village Rd, Aloha Burger, Andrea’s Harborside, Arby’s, Azuma, Bay Cafe, Big Yellow House, Blue Bird Cafe, Bonanza Steak House, Bray’s 101, Brink’s, Carrows, Casa Blanca, Casa de Sevilla, Casa Linda, Castagnola’s, Chad’s, Chanticlair/Irelands, Char West, Charlotte’s Deli, Chart House, Chef Karim, Cliff’s & Co, Coast Village Snack Bar, Dean-o’s, Eggception, El Cazador, El Charro, Epicurian, Espresso Roma, Fat Burger, Feed Store, Flight Line, Fresh Choice, Geno’s, Good Earth, Greek Italian Deli, Green Gables, Haagen-Dazs, Happy Steak, Head of the Wolf, Hector’s, J.K. Frimples, Jasper’s Saloon, Jimmy’s Oriental Garden, Joe’s Café (original), Johnny’s Rib Shack, Josie’s El Cielito, JR’s BBQ, Jurgesen’s, La Chaumiere, La Paloma, La Tolteca (original), Leatherby’s, Left at Albuquerque, Little Audrys, Lobster House, Maggie McFly’s, Mariann’s Italian Village, Mariscos Boca del Rio, Melting Pot, Mom’s Italian Village, Moonangel, Nan King Gardens, Nippers, Norberts, Nu Restaurant, Olive Mill Bistro, Oysters, Pancho Villas, Papagallo, Pascual’s, Paul Bhalla’s, Pelicans Wharf, Peppers, Pescados, Petersen’s Drive-In, Pino’s, Piranha, Plaka, Red Robin., Redwoood Inn, Ricardo’s, Rocky Galenti’s, Sage & Onion, Sevilla, Somerset, Spike’s, Storke Road Drive-In, Swenson’s, Talk of the Town, Tea House, Teasers, The Grill, The Zone Sports Grill, Timber’s, Tony Romas Ribs, Whitefoot Meat Market
I’ve lived here a long time and remember nearly all of them. Some of them I had totally forgotten about. I enjoy being reminded of some of my favorite places from years past.
Do you remember the breakfast places Eggception??? and Omletts Etc.??? (sp.?)
I used to work there.. Summer of ’84. We watched the Olympic Torch really from the store front. Remember those gigantic bran muffins…. we used to sell a ton of them.
Wait. How about Club Zelo.?
and the Iguana Club.
Know it well. Saw Brian Shaw there. Friend saw Rob Lowe. DB used to always take care of us royally.
Hi Aubrey: I absolutely loved those bran muffins at the Eggception. I was hoping to find their recipe(s) somewhere/somehow. I worked next door in the Granada Theatre building late ’70s thru mid-’80s. Also, the decadent brownies with the delicious frosting! Needless to say, I had to ration myself or I’d be a big butterball! If you have any idea what made the bran muffins so special, maybe you could email me back. Lots of good memories from working in Santa Barbara. I am working in north county now. firstname.lastname@example.org
yes! I forgot about those bran muffins, and I would order one every time and they were huge! I’ve probably seen you there back then!
Bran muffins were so popular back then, now the only place I see them are Trader Joe’s!
Yup, we’d wrap lots of them, freshly baked, after our shifts… they were also sold at Kayser’s Smoothie bar near La Cumbre! Nothing better than an Eggception bran muffin and an orange buttermilk smoothie. I guess Kayser’s has closed?
yup I worked there..then opened PICADILLY CAFE…was my restaurant for awhile…awh, also part owner of prod. company there…awh
modelled at Brook’s Institute…worked at Cafe Del Sol too…my fav
had kids…moved back to grand rapids…to raise kids with family
love love S.B.
Lived in S.B. in 1980- 84 while attending Brooks and the Eggception was the best breakfast place hands down anywhere, and I’ve never been to one that is better 30 years later! They used to serve homemade banana bread with every breakfast and the food was delicious!
I guess we were classmates Bo…I seem to remember you…
Hi Bo Page,
I’ve been tryin to find info on the Eggception for years. Does anyone know why they closed? It was so popular! I LOVED the omelettes and breads they served. I don’t understand why they would close. Would like to recreate it here in the PNW.
There was standing room only when we went there as students in 1975-1977…
(I think there’s an Asian food place there now)
If you want the main menu, and recipes etc. that made up the EGGCEPTION, I was a main cook for 2 years, and am a past Top chef who went on to Create the Wine Cask and many other Santa Barbara Institutions when I was younger. I can put together such a place if you are serious. Kind of what I do at times over the years as a Chef/Consultant.
Robert Wilson. 1(805)421-6805
I was one of the Cooks, that helped take it over in 75? The Muffins were really just big, and a classic Raisen Bran Recipe that was on their boxes around that time. All ingredients were CLASSIC bran muffins with NO subs, like everything is today. I think we used honey for 1/2 the sugar. NO ONE is mentioning here what the Eggception was MORE FAMOUS for…Home of 500 Different Omelets…! I learned how to prep ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING at that place….have some cool stories about the soap opera that place was…
Do you remember the recipe for the onion cheese rolls? Those were my family’s favorite and I would absolutely love to surprise them.
Yes, I’ve been looking for the cheese onion roll recipe for ages….
and trying to remember what was in the “Santa Barbara Joe” egg scramble.
Yes, I cooked there, for Cliff, the owner, in 1744, before his divorce. His wife got the restaurant in the later 70s, and it was never the same.We had the largest lunch rush, in town
Were you, Cliff the guy, who cooked in Prison, with long ponytail?
Yes! There was one upstairs in Isla vista across from Perry’s Pizza!
Is this what I remember as Skip’s Perry’s Pizza? It was right behind the apartment I lived in on Cordoba, so I think that was Pardall, right? Great place. I remember all we needed was a 6 pack of San Miguel from SOS and a square cut pizza (back before I was vegetarian it was the standard pepperoni) and we were good to go!
I worked at both of them!!!
Nan King Gardens, the best Chinese Food on lower State Street, owned by the Yee Family
Audrey, it was called “Club Iguana”
Nan King Gardens was the best chinese food ever! The Yee family was the best people and there kids who still live here honor the Yee Family. One was a police officer and the other a physicians Assitant.
We went there every week entering through the back door to say hi to all the cooks and family. Every day for 18 years of my life till I left town. My parents went there every week till it closed! After eating I could walk over a couple of doors and go to Pep Boys to parts too!
I loved the Yee family for bringing my family many years of happiness!
La Tolteca on Haley St, had the best taquitos, you could buy 10 for $1.00 back in the day!
Poor Richard’s Pub (where Rusty’s is now). Do you remember
I do! I used to go there with my folks back in the 70s. The building was bought and reassembled on the site. Good English food! Yorkshire pudding!
I remember my mom would take us to Brinks.
My grandfather owned El Charro on Santa Barbara and Canon Perdido in the 60- early 70’s before retiring and selling business to what became La Playa Azul. If this is the El Charro you are referring to on the list… the original location was on the corner and they lived in the house that was right next to the restaurant .. I have nice memories ..
El Charro was a favorite of a group of us guys mostly surfers and motorcycle racers in the early ’70’s I think the waitress we always liked was ” Andy” when El Charro closed we went to Casa Blanca.
El Charro was better!
I still miss the enchiladas and would love to have the sauce recipe!,
In 2014, you mentioned that your grandfather owned El Charro in Santa Barbara. Was his name Abel Maldondo? If so, I am doing research on Senor Maldo and I was wonder if I could ask you a few questions please. Thank you, Gary
Aja, and Downey’s, the cafe on the Mesa where Dominos is, Ocean something or other, and also the sandwich shop where the Mesa bookstore is, also the bar/pool hall where Mesa Burger is. Also, Mexican Fresh.
Does anyone remember a place that had a burger/omelet restaurant on one side and an upscale steak/seafood restaurant on the other with a bar and mini dance floor in it?
The omelet/burger side I believe was called Cocos. It was off one of the highways in Arlington TX. It was unusual at the time as the omelets and burgers were similar- ex: mushroom/swiss omelet or burger, chili omelet or burger….etc. I worked there and it was open morning to night. The steakhouse didn’t open till 5pm. This was around 1979-1984.
So are you going to take the finalists and have a vote off to see which was number 1? Surely your new blog software has a poll function.
I forgot about Johnny’s Rib Shack, good call on that one.
I loved that place… best place for after church lunch, or so I thought…
Forgot the Tea House!
Was that the place that serviced all these amazing teas in pitures? I remember going to this place that made the most amazing chai tea that I have not tasted a equal to in 30 years.
I have a couple “classics” to add to the list, Jade Terrace, formally at the Bird Refuge, Flapper Alley and The Bakery.
I helped open the Flapper Alley Restaurant. At 18. We were the busiest place in Santa Barbara, AND reveled the Mothers Day Buffets of the Old Montecito Biltmore’s. BUT, what that place became more famous for was the frigin Dancing that happened at night on the second floor. Over 500 people dancing, making that floor bounce ! I have stories of those days that are ripe for an HBO series…Jay Stone, Bill Wood were insane! They did not KNOW I was only 19, when I was helping Bounce that Night Club, as well as cook during day.
Does anyone remember Little Audrey’s, on State St. ? It was run by a Family, from Goleta I believe. Great breakfast spot.
Definetly some Santa Barbara Classics on that list. Restaurant NU was our favorite. The perfect after work destination. No one comes close to this day
You should have been here when it was 1129. I bought David Crosby several Jack Daniels one night (before his liver transplant) Ah the good ole days.
Does anyone remember a Mexican restaurant on Milpas, closed in the mid 70’s, may have tried to open in Isla Vista. Didn’t have a Mexican name but it was sooooo good
Loved Maya’s. I went to UCSB in 1974 and used to go there ALL the time!
Yes, it was Maya’s, next to the liquor store on Haley and State St,
The family of my girlfriend in the early 80’s owned Maya’s and it was located across the street from Jordano’s at Milpas and 101…They had another one out in Goleta a block off of Hollister if I remember right. The one near Jordano’s had the best machaca!
Was it Tiny’s? It wasn’t as good after it moved from Milpas St. though.
No, not Tiny’s. It had a more formal name, but thanks.
I loved Tiny’s – everything was delicious. Went once a week with my parents and family and later with my husband.
Do you remember the cross/side street on Milpas where Tiny’s was located? It was across that side street from the Snack Shack (do you remember that?) which my Dad managed in the early 1960s.
My uncle was the main cook at Tiny”s at the corner of Milpas and Reddick Ave, right across from the old Snack Shack which had the best 29 cent burgers.
I used to work at Espana owned by the Castenola’s back in 1980. It was facing the warf across the street. Food was good and margarita’s better. After work we would walk across the street the the Chart House that had great margarita’s too!
I guess we were classmates Bo…I seem to remember you…
Espana had great Margs and the chips and salsa were the best…god drank gallon of margs there. And yes then the Chart house for Clam chowder
My dad worked on that building…..concrete. I had 2 friends that worked there back in the 70s, Aurelio and Adrian Molero (brothers). I used to drink margueritas in there in high school with a fake ID. The place was always packed!
loved nu, azuma, chef karim’s & definitely chad’s!!!!
Does anyone remember the name of the French restaurant that used to be in the spot of Norton’s Pastrami on W. Figueroa in the mid 90’s? I loved that little place!
Oh, I’m getting weepy!
The Tea House
There was a mexican food restaurant on Milpas that I went alot with my patents and brother called Tiny’s. The restaurant I miss is the Philadelphia House at Modoc & Hollister. It burned down during the Paint Fire.
Yes!!! Tiny’s. It was so good.
I went there several times in 1986 in my grad school days. I loved it. I thought about it because I still have a few a mint match box from the place. I wondered if it was still there. When you are student, you want a good meal for your date. But you are still on a student’s budget!
before it was the Philadelphia House, it was Colony Prime Rib. It only served Pime Rib and It was served properly with Yorkshire Pudding. It was the Prime Rib you judge all others by. It was the best.
Just found this while looking for info about the Epicurean. Way before the Philadelphia House it was the Swiss Chalet. Owner’s names were Marie and Louie and it was my mom and dad’s favorite hangout. Live music (polka?) drinks and food. I can remember the Chianti bottles on the tables with the drip candles.
Some more oldie’s from a couple friends.
Chili Factory, Queenie’s and The Rice Bowl,
The Rice Bowl……the best Cantonese Food Ever. Made by “Mama” herself and a few sons. I still remember, piled high on a chipped ceramic plate, was the best Pork Fried Rice I had ever eaten. My Mother and I would enjoy lunch/dinner all the time. Wonderful memories. My mothe just passed two months ago…..but I can still hear her laugh and talk about “Mama’s” older so Whoe…who was down right rude most times….Lol and he was our waiter! He was hilarious.Lol thanks for letting me share.
If its the one on lower State Street, I think it was called “Frank’s Rice Bowl”
I Still do an imitation of Frank shuffling up and throwing the silverware on the table….
No hippies ! if you had long hair..
The Espana down on Cabrillo Blvd served up a lot of margaritas back in the 70’s.
Yes! I used to work there in 1980 while going to school. It was the best place. Met a lot of celebrities while working there. I served up a lot of margaritas and they had the best chips and salsa ever!
A trip down memory lane. . .
The Bakery…ohhhh, The Bakery…..my absolute favorite place for breakfast. The croissants were to DIE for and the view…well, gorgeous. I so miss that place.
was that mark olivers french bakery?
No, It was Susan Sullivan who opened The Bakery accross from the Courthouse next to Victor’s Flowers. Susan was my friend and a baker after the true French tradition. She WAS the Meryl Streep character in Its Complicated – a very hands on, let me shower how a real French croissant is made kind of chef and pastry maven. Before The Bakery that location was Irene Davis Pastries – unbelievable, melt in your mouth Dannishes! What memories!!
I worked at The Bakery in the early 90s, when it was owned by same folks as Tutti’s. I lived just down the street and recall walking down there to open in the mornings, in the dark. I worked behind the bakery counter and making espresso drinks for the servers’ tables. On weekends it would be crazy busy and sometimes you just couldn’t get the milk to foam and you had orders stacking up for cappuccinos… aaarrgghh. But it was a cool place, I always recall fondly the way they had Italian language tapes playing in the restrooms.
Chanticleer (sp?) on CVR, now Lucky’s…really liked that place too.
If you remember Chanticlair then you remember Geno’s breakfast place that eventually became Tuttis and now?? You must also remember Nippers (many hangovers there) and Chucks of Hi. on Coast Village??
I lived right behind Geno’s and next to The Settlement on CV Circle in the mid 70’s. Their italian omelet was my favorite. Great breakfast hangout. And then Casa Linda just down the street for some great mexican food.
I remember Geno’s (and the owner Geno Bonoir) very well. I was a diswasher there when I was 13. It was called Sams before Geno took it over.
Nippers, where the CHAMPAGNE was always cold, and the COKE always flowed…
OK, just one more….Kelly’s Corner….State & La Cumbre. Used to like their happy hour a lot.
Mousse Odile and then Odile’s last place: Pinocchio which was where Soho opened and is now Hob Nob
The John Dory??? Now Brophy’s
Yes , they had the Sunrise Burger ( before the EggMcMuffim I’m almost positive)
Copper Coffee Pot
Yes, remember it! as well as Mousse Odile.
I would have to say piranha sushi and tuttini I never saw the online poll or I would have placed these two
Rock and Roll Sushi?
The Great Wall, when it opened in the early ’80s, was the best Chinese.
Pescado’s on Milpas! THE best fish tacos anywhere!
O yessir!!! Pescados!!! Ate there so much I coulda I lived there. The best – makes rubios seem like styrofoam.
Zelo’s & World Cafe …. Zia cafe
The restaurants below remind me of growing up in Santa Barbara, I know they weren’t the best restaurants but they bring back so many good childhood memories. That’s when eating out was always fun, I can’t remember ever having a bad restaurant experience when I was a kid. Sunny’s Pizza London Fog Fish and Chips RG’s Giant Dj’s Burgers Mr. C’s Pizza Michael Anthony’s Pizzeria Chewy’s Scandia Buffet Pioneer Chicken Betos Cantina Soho (original location) Alex’s Taco Stand (dont’t remember the name) where the china bowl is now (the volcano salsa!!!) Carnation Chuck Wagon Buffet Wendy’s (Lower State) Hibachi Pescados Foster Freeze Hot Dog on a Stick (La Cumbre) Bobs Big Boy Zeus & Co. Round Table Pizza
Spikes on Hollister had exceptional delivery food especially their Clam Chowder and Fettuccine Alfredo. Italian Pizzeria on Fairview; Chicken Parm sandwich awesomeness. I enjoyed Chevy’s too but the Camino Real Cafe especially when new was fantastic. China City buffet…where will I go when it rains now? Paparazzi in Goieta, Greek House in Old Town Goleta, Fresh Choice downtown, Hola Los Amigos at the beach.
Spike’s had the best potato skins. I left when I graduated
from UCSB in 1988, and I have not had decent potato skins since.
They closed a few years later. Does anyone know what is in that
Boy do I remember all those places . Worked at a few and enjoyed the others. How you can’t forget the around the world at spikes. Good times
I remember going around the world at Spike’s; I did it three times, in addition to the around the world with the five extra mini-kegs. I earned three t-shirts, a long sleeve shirt, a baseball hat, and a mug. I still have a Spike’s card. A few years after graduating from UCSB I took my cousin who was visiting from Slovenia there and he still has his Spike’s card.
Hi Paul – I worked there in ’88 & ’89; maybe even served you a pint or two. Lots of good memories there, but mostly as a consumer not a worker! Lunch crowd was mostly nearby business employees, and then at night mostly UCSB students.
I remember Spikes well First few times I was not even 21
Used to go after SCUBA class. I got my first spikes card on my 21st B-Day and everyone was shocked as I had been going for so long. I still have a few unfinished around the world cards…. might have go digging in boxes for them for nostalgic purposes!
I graduated from UCSB in ’88 also! But I continued living here. Not long ago I drove by the old Spikes building and it looks empty =(
I “studied” in SB from 80-83..some of the best times of my life…I’ve eaten, drank ,recovered from drinking, been thrown out of, tried to pick up waitresses, in most of these places…Espana had the best Margaritas in town…clam chowder at chanteclaire,lobster bisque at La Chaumier, Spagetti and meat balls at Joes then hanging out at the bar, there was a place in Carp where you cooked your own steaks Palms hotel?…a great deli on Coast Village Rd that made the best subs on the planet…cant remember the name of the family run mexican rest on either lower De La Vina or Chapala had a couple of tables outside on a little veranda…best tamales and chili relleno I’ve ever had…fond memories steer burgers and the waitresses at Derf’s loved those surf-rats and volleyball girls Dean had working for him…wonder where Jules and her gold VW beetle are now. Funny to engage in this from all the way over in Prague, Czech Republic.
Was it El Presidente?
The deli on Coast Village Road was the Liquor and Wine Grotto, where I worked. We used to get lots of celebrities coming in for the deli and the really expensive wine.
I’m thinking about AAHZZ ( later The Bistro) GREAT place !! And Rocky Galentis and the place by the harbor, cant remember the name but SURE do remember their OYSTER SHOOTERS…..college days in S.B. yep the good old days!!!!!!!!!!! 😀 (and I’m thinking about it all in Prague Czech Republic too!!!! 🙂
You were there the same time I was with some of the same memories! I used to work at the Espana, age 21. Before I turned 21 I worked at Bob’s Big Boy on Calle Real. Loved going to the Feed Store for drinks, The English Department in Goleta, Frimples for the most amazing cinnamon rolls, Chart house for margarita’s, and many other bars that I can’t remember the names of. S.B. was an amazing place to be 21 back then!
Bo did you have long blonde hair…your name is really familiar…i was at Brooks from 80-83. good friends with Virginia Boyd, Joe Camp, Bruce Stoddard,Neil Ronnasen…they’re all still good friends but havent see many of them other than Joe over the the years. Joe and I actually worked on a film together in Budapest in 2010. Bruce came to visit me in Prague(where Ive been living in Prague for 21 years)…He had an exhibit here. I work as stills photographer on films. Joe is an Assistant Director on films…and i shot stills on a film he directed back in 1998. We’re still close friends. Did you stay in Photography? and no one has mentioned Head of the Wolf or Woody’s Ribs.
Before JK Frinples I believe it was The Blue Onion. Anyone remember that? Oh and what about The Jolly Tiger on Chapala and De La Guerra.
I absolutely remember the Blue Onion. It was the turn-around spot for the car guys cruising State St. Does anyone remember the Swiss Chalet between Goleta and San Roque?
Was that the place with wallaby’s inside the atrium?
I remember the Jolly Tiger well. I used to work there during the middle of the night on the weekends in the late ’60s.
I worked at the Blue Onion when I was 17 as a waitress and car hop. Great times. So many young CBs became like my brothers. Course that was in the 60s. Ugh! Oxnard sure has changed. I also worked at the Vogue Theatre and the A & W Rootbeer. Great back then.Sigh…I also used to go to the Carousel Club to dance. Back then you could party and sleep on the beach. Have you ever gone Grunion hunting?lol
The Blue Onion/JK Frimples was a late night hangout for Westmont students in the late 70’s.
Cajun kitchen now
There also used to be a Jolly Tiger on South Milpas, right about across from the old Post Office. That Jolly Tiger had a full bar. First bar I went to for my 21st birthday in 1977. Sometime later it became Wendy’s, now it’s a Carl’s Jr. Does anyone remember the Cresent restaurant about the mid-lower 900 block of State St.? Old fashion breakfast & lunch dinner.
Best food at the Jolly Tiger on Milpas
I grew up I Goleta, so my childhood/ teenhood haunts were D.J’s (best chat burger ever!) Jasper’s Saloon ( God do I miss Abalone!) Brays 101, (my parents would always insist on eating in the lounge area,so they could have cocktails) my favorite Italian was Baltieri’s! ( now Natural Cafe in Old Town) it was so good! And cheap! And I must lament over the Old Timbers! Our whole neighborhood would go there on Maine Lobster nights!! Boy, that was depressing!!
You forgot or omitted Azteca. I loved that place.
Oh yeah! Azteca. I loved that place…on State Street, wasn’t it? Or am I getting that confused with Casa Blanca…which was definitely on State Street. You could get cheap, delicious food and hang out with friends, just a stroll away from home (which for me at that time was on a court on De La Vina.
Does anyone remember the name of the German Restaurant located downtown? I used to eat there when I lived in SB from 1990-1995.
I’m pretty sure it was called The German House.
Thanks! So easy, yet I couldn’t remember for the life of me.
It was the Heidelberg Inn…I lived right next door.
Was the German Haus the Rusty’s on Mission? It looks like it was built to be a European restaurant.
Yes, I remember it being very European looking.
There is no Rusty’s on Mission. If you mean the one on Carrillo, It was Poor Richards Pub, built to the specs of a real English pub.
So that’s what it was!
I often miss the Good Earth that was near Picadilly Square (which was torn down to make way for Paseo Nuevo). Too bad they couldn’t put the mall somewhere else, Picadilly Square was downright charming!
We did the theme windows for Good Earth and the commercials for Piccadilly Square. We are still so fond of the food at the Good Earth that we searched out several recipes. Just made a Mediterranean Sunshine Salad last night. We were forced to move after our house burned down in the 1990 fire. We visit often though. We are still morning the loss of The Sojourner this last March!!
Nostalgic list, John. I ate at many of these restaurants. Casa de Sevilla was my all-time favorite and their Chile con Queso recipe is on our menu for tomorrow night. Thanks for generating this list.
These were some of my favorites as a kid in Goleta….Mr. C’s Pizza, Bray’s, Roland’s Nugget, A&W Drive In where Rusty’s is on Fairview, Manila Cafe, Bonanza, Petersen’s, Happy Steak, Swensens, Dj’s Burgers, Pancho Villa. Once my folks took us to Talk of The Town, that was pretty memorable.
Later on when I moved to SB…Nan King Garden, Frank’s Rice Bowl, Good Earth, SB Cinammon Rolls down by the beach, Little Audrey’s, Woolworth’s counter, Copper Coffee Pot, Frimples, Rose Cafe, late nights at Carrow’s, and for something fancy before a night of dancing at Peppers or hanging out at Head of The Wolf….Teasers.
The Nugget with Roland’s white apron covered with grease was truly a classic.
We remember Tommy’s Golden Nugget on Patterson with the greasy SOS sauce… same thing?
Does anyone remember the Manila Cafe on Hollister? Very funky breakfast joint in the early 80’s… you’d ask for butter and they’d bring you some melted margarine in a little cup! Very friendly place.
Sounds a lot like Alphies or an early version?
I grew up in montecito worked at the coast Inn Snack bar in 1969, then i bought it 1974 and kept it till 1982 when the lease ran out. I loved it there for that short period of time. it’s now called the Silver Horn, what a trip down memory lane. I had my share of famous people who loved my sourdough burgers. they were the best!!! people forgot tino’s italian deli best torpedo’s in the world. the Santa barbara news press wrote a great artical on me when I closed on that last day. (sad day} Bobby G.
I remember the “Bun” on Coast Village Road where it was six burgers for a buck back in the early 1960s or thereabouts.
I still remember those sourdough burgers….BEST in the world. I’d forgotten the name of the little place in Montecito but will NEVER forget those burgers….best in the world!
Scott worked at the Snack Bar. Best sourdough burgers ever!
I have never forgotten the Sourdough Burgers from my first day in Montecito (to attend Brooks) in January 1968, stayed next door until I found an apartment (with a darkroom), off Milpas in Santa Barbara. There was a lot of great cheap food in Santa Barbara, in those days.
George-That apartment off Milpas….The Angie? I lived there in ’77 when I went to Brook! I remember, the landlady was a woman named Maude? Loved those sourdough burgers too! 🙂
Tino’s hands down had the best Italian sub’s ever! I think it was called “Italian Grocery”. They moved from the small location a block away from SBHS to a bigger place that was still open last time I was in SB. “Mayonaise, mustard, and oil?”
Balogne, Mortadella, salami and provolone as well on those subs…Tino was a pervert though, sad to say. I knew many girls who worked there…
Be-Bop Burgers was a childhood favorite of mine. Great shakes and a fun atmosphere.
Besides Jasper’s Saloon, Baltieri’s, D.j.’s Charburgers, Bray’s 101, Scotch & Sirloin, Swensen’s, Pancho Villa, The Timber’s, Heidi’s Pies, The Orchid Bowl, A&W, The Original Habit, Char West, The Good Earth (Picadilly Square) Carrow’s, Italian Pizzaria (Fairview) and Howard Johnson’s end of course….Hot Dog on a Stick (loved those cool uniforms!)….I also miss good old original Mel’s (before Paseo Nuevo took over…sigh..) whaaaaa!!!
Char West! Remember it well. I do miss Santa Barbara…
There still is a Char West on Stearn’s Wharf.
Yes I remember Char-West too I miss S.B. as well!!!
When you said “original Habit,” which one did you mean?
Oh no! Not even the same as the original!
Where was the old Char West located again? I forgot. The owner of the East Beach Grill and Char West on the pier I believe bought the “franchise” from the original guy. Burger I had on the pier was good(reminded me of a Habit one), East Beach one not so much.
The old Char West was on upper State, sort of around the Rusty’s/Jack in the Box area.
Char West was where Taco Bell is now on Upper State. I
remember when they mowed it down to build that. Sad day . Was a
great hangout when we used to cruise Muscle cars on Upper State in
the mid 70s
Great question thank you so much for asking it and the great responses. I worked at the Bistro so was a big fan, loved a little Italian place called Piero’s..trying to remember the hibachi style place on state in the early 80’s oh and surprised no one mentioned the Fish Enterprise when we still had stoplights on the freeway. As I’m in vegas now don’t know if Harrys is still around (stiffest drink in town lol) or that great polynesian bar\restaurant upstairs at the Santa Barbara Inn we would drink those huge crazy blue drinks made for 2…I loved the place up at the El Encanto also…amazing view!
I used to work at AAHZZ during college (which became the bistro) I worked there for a short while too …AHZZZ was a great club with a super sushi chef outside named Masa ….
Fish Enterprise was started by Ray Klein…he worked for Sam Batastone, Sambo’s founder, and both were Mob connected.
This is ABSOLUTELY not true. Attribution, please, or we know this is a total falsehood. (Which of course it is).
When and where was Bob’s Big Boy?? We would often go there when we were visiting our dad in L.A. Mind blowing chili spaghetti! And I still order that crazy Bob’s seasoning salt (the secret ingredient, believe it or not is curry powder!). I do not remember a Bob’s here in town! I think I was really little when there was an A&W in Fairview, for some reason I just remember a big, round, copper fireplace that one could sit around….is this real or a dream?
The Bob’s Big Boy was around Hitchcock and Calle Real. Before it was car dealerships, it was a Golf and Fun with miniature golf, skate park and arcade games. Bob’s Big Boy was adjacent to that.
I miss Bob’s in general, barely remember that one and don’t remember the A&W. I remember that good Italian place down the street with their great Calzones where Natural Cafe is now. Wonder what happened to that owner.
Golf n Stuff was pretty cool. I was the king of Defender and Battle Zone. Miss those pinball machines too! Good times!
My friend tore up his knee on that trampoline/baskettball game they had there and sued them, I hope that was not their downfall! It was great not to have to go to Ventura.
Hey Glenn! The awesome Italian place you were referring to was called Baltieri’s and it was my favorite Italian place for years! The original owner is the Presto Pasta guy. But he didn’t own Baltieri’s for very long, he told me that he was young and didn’t have a clue what he was doing, so he sold and split. I told him that he must have done something right, everything about that place I just loved! Sigh…
Maria’s Italian or something like that, no? My parents liked it.
It was Marianne’s Italian Villa!!
Yes, on Calle Real. I used to work there in 1979/80. They were always busy and had great food actually.
Moms Italian Village
Um, no. Mom’s had one and only one address.
Sorry if you were just trying to state your favorite closed restaurant and accidentally made a reply.
I was an opening shift waitress at Bob’s in 1985. It was packed for breakfast and lunch on the weekends, which made it surprising that it disappeared soon thereafter. Probably just wasn’t the same after I moved from SB! I also worked at the Habit in IV for several years of college. Now there are Habits all over, but I can’t find any mention of that one on their website. I was just curious which was the original, cuz I know there was one downtown which did not seem to be affiliated with IV, which is long gone.
Some great posts… Swensen’s in Goleta and at San Roque had the best icecream sundaes – we always had trouble deciding between the Banana Split and the Cable Carfait. Does anyone remember the Epicurean? I believe it was on Carrillo Street; and, later, Michael’s Waterside. The french onion soup was to die for.
I don’t remember The Epicurian, but I was just looking it up because my mother has had a framed menu on her wall for decades. Tracy
My college boyfriend took me here in the 80s. He had good taste (obviously it wasn’t cheap either) !!
The Epicurean was in the 100 block of East Carrillo, next door to what is now the Probation Dept.
I ate at the Epicurean in 1978. They had two seatings a night, and a set menu–I think you chose between a couple of main courses. The tables were quite close together, and Robert Mitchum was seated at the table next to me. Wonderful food, and a memorable evening.
I remember going there in early 1980’s. Is the Probation Dept. a bar? If so, I thought it was the English Dept.
The Probation Dept. is a County Office. It used to be the County Welfare Dept. – now called County Social Services.
The English Dept. was definitely a bar. Also, does anyone remember the Lame Duck or is that the same as the English Dept. I remember professor from UCSB, Bob Brandts was one of the proprietors.
Btw, you might like browsing the list of SB restaurants going back a century: http://santa-barbara-restaurant-history.wikispaces.com/
If you have information to contribute, you can send it to the site owner.
My family moved to SB in 1969. Pancho Villa was a favorite. Casa De Sevilla was also a favorite.
Char West was good. And Sambo’s pancakes.
Came upon your column, I worked for United at the airport, about 1957-1963 Enjoyed dinners or few cold ones at the Flight Line, Owner Art ?? was ex pilot, Last 40+ years I call Florida home, Back then if you blinked you could miss Goleta, Quick stop about 4 years ago, way over crowded now, .but still pretty area.
Here are a few more to bring back some memories….
The Chili Factory, The Silver Spur and The Crabby Lobster (best clam chowder).
Oh how I miss The Crabby Lobster! That’s where I fell in love…w/ oysters! The chowder was superb indeed. Thanks for jogging my memory.
What was the name of the steak house tucked back in on that little street beside 5 Points Shopping Center and the Animal Hospital? It was on the ground floor of an office building.
it was related to the silver spur after they closed
It was called Fred D’s Spur or just The Spur (That was on the sign). It was named after son of the original owners of the Silver Spur after he won a liquor license in the lottery.
I lived in SB from 1952 til 1978 and remember most of these places. How about Dick’s Den great avacado sour cream omlet
I miss the fresh cut butter top bread from Irene Davis Bakery. Another great deal was at the Snack Shacks (5 burgers for a dollar) on Milpas, lower, and upper State street. There might have been more, but these were the ones my parents took me to. The one on Milpas was across the street from Milpas Raceway (slot car days).
Wow, a lot of great memories here. A few of my favorites growing up were Bonanza, Char West, Moms Italian Village, Zips Ice Cream Parlor, Sonny’s Pizza, Flying Pizza, La Tolteca, Little Audrey’s, Joe’s Cafe, and JK Frimples. My first job was at The Hibachi on Milpas. As I got older I enjoyed, BB Obrien’s, The Ketch, Club Bistro, The Open Door, Crab Shack, Big Bull Cafe, Sticks, Aloha Burger, el Pollo Norteno, Alex’s Cantina, Acapulco, Maya Restaurant, and Peabody’s.
My favorite pizza in SB when I was there (’77-’78) was Flying Pizza followed by Pizza Luau. Tastes change though so only God knows if they were as good as I thought!
Skandis Buffet ! And Fresh Choice!
We need a good buffet place again! Hometown Buffet, are you listening?
We loved the Philly House that burned down! Everything on
menu was good. Another place I remember was Feed Store with that
big salad bowl they would bring you. The salad had sunflower seeds
in it…really good. We also loved Citronelle that started in late
80’s in the Santa Barbara Inn. In mid to late 70’s I used to go to
a natural food restaurant on Milpas that I think used to be where
La Superica is now or maybe it’s where old Fosters Freeze was on
Milpas. I used to get a sandwich on whole grain bread that I
remember it as having layers of cream cheese, guac, black olives,
sprouts and shredded carrots. Anyone remember the name of this
Before it was Fosters Freeze, was it an Orange Julius?
Carnation Diner, they had the best fries and milkshakes. I
still remember watching it being torn down in the early 90s as a
student at Peabody. Sad day, would make a killing today rather than
having El Pollo Loco and a verizon store. Also miss special
occasion dinners at the original Wine Cask and Big Yellow House.
Woody’s on Montecito (neighborhood now) was a really cool place to
go, Goleta location is still there but the energy and vibe are
different (from what I remember at least).
The Head of the Wolf…I worked there off and on as well as
the satellite location in Palm Springs. What a party. Every night.
Craig Bigelow owned the place with a couple of other investors.
When the blues band was added on Friday and Saturday nights, bar
revenues went from $200/night to $3000/night. Paid the blues band
(Bobby Franklin?) about $150/night. Loggins and Messina used to
dine there regularly though not together. Partied with Bonnie Raitt
and band post Arlington concert. Chill Wills, Steve Martin ate
there. Weekend influx of LA actors. Employees Ty Robb, Bobby the
chef, Mario and Ed the bartenders, Elaine the Manager, Sharon the
hostess. Non-stop fun and getting paid for it. Those were the
Not a favorite, but an ancient: Loops on upper State. I was so young I can’t remember — was it Hope & State? I do remember we hurried out one night when there was threat of a fight involving chains.
And upper State St. Sambos. I still love the children’s story.
More on topic: The Mandalay! 1980. Across parking lot driveway from Olio pizzeria; next to Vic Theater. I still haven’t pinpointed address.
Oysters, where Bouchon is now.
I used to sing French and Italian art songs at the Mandalay. Bruce, the owner and his wife were so wonderful! Always afternoon tea and scones and wonderful curries. So relaxed and civilized… It was like living in a bubble!
I worked at Bob’s Big Boy, and the Habit in Isla Vista. Can
anyone tell me if this chain of Habits that is opening up all over
has anything to do with the one in IV. Was the original in IV or
Goleta and was it a different owner? The new ones seems like the
one in downtown SB and they don’t have chili on the
The only habit that continues to offer chili is in old town Goleta. But they do still offer it.
But do you, or anyone, know why the IV location isn’t mentioned on the Habit’s history?
I don’t know how long it was open, but I worked there for three years.
They used the name, but maybe not affiliated with the parent company?
Maybe an independent franchise? I became curious when all the other locations started opening, but maybe I’ll never know!
Does anyone have any photos of the ceiling and the drawings
at the old Rocky Galentis. Would like to see if mine was still
there after many years
A couple more are Main Squeeze ( it was on corner next to Soujouner) and my favorite Poncho Villa
Pancho Villa was me and my best friends to go place on a Sat. afternoon. We’d ride our bikes down to Calle Real Centre, gobble down free chips and salsa and drink water, whilst reading our menues…only to split when we were full. After about a dozen times or so , we were finally banned. There were always freebees across the way at 31 Flavors! Oh to be 10 again in the 70’s!
OMG! We used to do the same thing in the 70’s
What about Pascuals on Victoria….the greatest man who ever owned a restaurant…sang to his customers etc and the place in Montecito wher the original “Cougars” hung out….was it Olive Mill Bistro……
The Good Earth – loved that Planet Burger, Baltieris,
Skandi Buffet – not great food but they did have good crepes and
applesauce, The Bakery across from the courthouse and Tutti’s –
favorite breakfasts of all time. The Philadelphia House,
taco/burrito place in IV by Giovanni’s – cant remember the
how about the blue onion, dutch garden, a&w root
beer, brooms ,sammy’s, just few that an old guy remembered
I used to sing French and Italian art songs at the Mandalay. Bruce, the owner and his wife were so wonderful! Always afternoon tea and scones and wonderful curries. So relaxed and civilized… It was like living in a bubble!
Dutch Gardens is still with us! Just Google it.
shout out to Big Al, and to PASCUAL! Best pork chops in the world; best Sunday brunch then read and snooze. Waitress Suzie is at Breakwater, right?
Feb 1973,18 yrs. old, just finished my 1st (unsuccessful) semester of college at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and with a 1966 Impala convertible and a couple hundred bucks in my pocket, I managed to make it to Santa Barbara. My Grandparents lived in Woodland Hills, Topanga Canyon and my older brother was in the Air Force at Vandenburg near Lompoc, so… I settled sort of in between. Fell in love with SB. Got a job at SB Mill and Lumber on E Haley St., worked for a Jose who took me to some great Mexican eateries along E. Haley and took me to see the nude beach in Summerland (great); after a few visits, I finally mustered the nerve to walk the tracks and down over the steep bank to try it out. Fantastic !!. BUT….Can’t remember the apartment complex, but they had an old house that had 3 rooms upstairs, mine w/ a kitchenette, we shared a bath room. It was right up the street from the BLUE BIRD CAFE where I went quite often and enjoyed the jug bands that played all the time. I had just sparked a memory and googled the Blue Bird and read up on the 50 years of Peter Feldmann and realized I was there right in the mist of those five grand years. Also saw Greatful Dead w/ the New Riders of Purple Sage at UCSB. twenty yard line , unbelievable !!! Went back to Shepherd, got a math degree and have taught high school math for the past 30 plus years. Great memories…….
Left SB in 1980, and it’s been nice to read through the
comments as there are so many places I’d forgotten. The best
margaritas were definitely at Espana. Loved the waitresses at
Derf’s….I clearly remember on stunning blonde, Gaynor McGregor.
Anyone know if the Enterprise Fish Company is still there? Used to
spend Sunday afternoon at the bar drinking Sam Smith’s Pale Ale and
eating their stellar clam chowder. Anyone remember Teaser’s? I can
still hear Ace Diamond (yeah, that was his name) on the radio
imploring people to come to Teaser’s where “We’ll spoil you. You’ll
Yes, Enterprise is still there
I too remember Gaynor McGregor. We were good friends for a short while. What happened to her?
Completely forgot about this thread until today. Wish I knew what happened to Gaynor as well. I worked at the YMCA with one of her friends (Elaine) who introduced us. Played racquetball with her occasionally. The time, it passes quickly….
Yes, I worked at the Espana in 1980 and they did have the best margaritas. My friend worked at the Enterprise Fish Company then too, also blonde named Erin Foti who was attending Brooks.
How about Sun and Earth natural foods restaurant in Isla Vista in the late 60’s to mid 70’s? For forty cents, you could get a plate of veggies and brown rice! Perfect place for impoverished students. They had an enclosed patio to sit on the floor and eat off of paper plates.
Loved Sun and Earth. Brown rice with steamed cabbage and carrots topped with cheese. Huge portions. Just add soy sauce. Sitting at tables under the geodesic dome covered in vines on a sunny—we thought those days would never end.
Oh, i forgot the dish would also have sliced almonds in addition to the veggies. Simple food.
I worked there as a hostess in 1979 or 1980 and have never been to another restaurant like it. The chefs and one server, Annette, were surfers who would actually go fishing and serve fresh-caught fish along with those enormous salads. I still try to emulate the dressing – a mixture of good olive oil, tamari sauce and fresh-squeezed lemon. The wooden spool tables out back were pretty funky, with brown rice embedded in all the cracks and stray cats walking all over your meal… but we liked it, we loved it!
Pino’s! Many work lunches there, and some dinners. (Caroline, aka Mrs. Pino, babysat me when I was a kid. :-))
I miss Pino’s very very much.
I miss SB and Goleta! I was raised there and I used to go to Pino’s as a kid back in 1979-1981 every week. I remember Pino himself ALWAYS singing while bringing the best pizza and spaghetti I’ve ever had to this day!!! I moved out of state but went back in 1985 and had grown up quite a bit, and he STILL remembered me!! I sure miss him and the wonderful food they made!! I sure wish they were there!!
Legendary Abalone dinners ar Jasper’s Saloon. And of course the locals only Early Bird Prime Ribs slathered in BBQ sauce. I suddenly feel overwhelming sense of melancholy…. missing the 80’s and all the fabulous old haunts. I remember when Elephant Bar opened. Wow! The coolest place in town for Happy Hour and Spikes was right across the street… Good times.
Yes! Jasper’s on Calle Real!
Does anyone remember the Somerset restaurant and lounge on Coast Village Road with their famous “piano bar”? I think they closed about 1975.
I worked at the Head of the Wolf on lower State Street in the 70’s. there was a guy who ran the place named Rod McDougal., Wonder what happened to him. Also worked at the H&R Land and Cattle Company on Santa Claus Land in Carpenteria for awhile. That place was the getaway if you needed privacy. What a time that was.
Here’s a few more I haven’t thought of in awhile. Going way back in time, anyone besides me remember the original Sizzler restaurant in Magnolia Center where Woody’s is now? For me, the most original German food could be found at the Hofbrau Restaurant and German deli on the corner of Alamar and De la Vina. The best fish and chips I ever had came from H. Salt. And although it wasn’t around too long, Little Alex’s Mexican in Goleta had some great salsa, food and entertainment.
I thought Flapper Alley preceded Woody’s. Don’t remember Sizzler ever being in that location. I was one of the original staff members when Sizzler opened in 1987 in the Blue Ox location on Hollister. I believe there was a Happy Steak where Cody’s is now and The Bonanza in Goleta where Spikes Place was ( great location for a restaurant ). All places had the Sizzler business model.
I worked at Baker’s Square during its brief incarnation in SB, good pies, sort of like Coco’s. I also remember Something Fishy for sushi, and JK Frimples. What was a frimple again?
A Frimple was their signature dessert. I think I remember it being something like profiterole with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. They were magical.
Do you (anyone) remember Hobson’s? They were like Coldstone, before we had Coldstone.
Before the Sizzler it was the Elegant Farmer. I bartended there from 1982 until the day we closed on Halloween, 1984
The Restaurant Guy used to work in the local Hobson’s factory, at what is now Calle Cesar Chavez, making ice cream as a summer job. I then delivered ice cream to my sister who worked at Hobson’s on Stearns Wharf. My favorite part was bringing home tons of extra ice cream. If the last of a batch couldn’t fill a tub, we got to take it home. I remember working on the deep freezer until my limbs were numb then laying out in the sun until I could move again. Everyone who worked nearby was given free ice cream.
No wonder they didn’t last! I remember there was one in Orange for a little while after I moved to the O.C. I think also one in Montecito?
Lived in Santa Barbara 1955-1976.
how about Ken’s Drive In We would ride our bikes there from Peabody school
I went to Peabody School in 1958-1959–Mr Fry’s class. And yes, Ken’s Drive-In was the best!
Yes, Kens Drive in on De La Vena. Me and my sister used to love the fish and chips there in about 1964. We went to Garfield School.
Baseball on blacktop like Roosevelt
No fosters was on delaguera amd milpas
La suparica was orange julius went there almost everyday when i went to Lincoln school
In the late 60’s or early 70’s Ken’s started making zucchini burgers, too. Maybe some other meatless burgers. Ahead of their time. Unique and delicious.
I miss Bobby Levi’s and the original Ye Olde Butcher shop (before the fire)
I was in SB to cover the floods of about 1995 (that washed a poor retired judge down a canyon), and after a hard day’s work we would repair to a unique bar and restaurant somewhere off Hollister, maybe off Patterson, going West toward the water. Great couple ran it, wife’s name was “Marty” and I’m forgetting the husband’s for the moment. Absolutely the best bartender in town in a fellow named Kevin. We labeled his strong drinks “Kevinators.” Anyone know the name or whereabouts, exactly. Great sophisticated sort of menu toward continental side. nice guitarist-singer there, did “Hello Girl It’s Been a While…” loved it. Like to recall it better. Nothing else there, just empty lots. Hard to find. thanks!
What a great thread. I came here looking for the name of the Scandi Buffet. Couldn’t remember it to save my life. But I was thinking of it yesterday and those big tapestries on the dining room wall.
Also, I’ll add Koelsch’s bakery in Five Points to the list of gone but not forgotten. I STILL walk past and wonder why there’s a wall where the bakery door should be!
The Koelsch’s adopted us when we moved to SB in ’65 because we had the same last name and they came from the same city I. Germany as my dad. We used to go there every Saturday morning and hang out in the back. Always got loads of goods including g the u forgettable cinnamon loaf.
I am looking for Joe and Chris Koelsch’s daughters, Kelley and Lesley. Can you pass along my contact information? I am a distant cousin to Chris [Even] Koelsch. thanks. bill. Email is BLUCKOW2003 at YAHOO dot COM
I worked at Koelsches Bakery for about 3 years in 1980s. and I was I’ve been wondering what happened to Kelley her sister and she had a brother, tight blond curl
Hi Colette! It’s Kelley – I just saw your post! Still in SB
Paula’s Place at Alamar & De la Vina, before Mimosa was there. Had a birthday dinner there decades ago. Too bad I can’t remember what I ate.
Also can’t remember the places that were at the location Madame Lu’s is now at, but being blocks from where I grew up, the family ate at all of them. Wish I could remember what it was in 1978 — Wonderful couple owned it and always served home-made yellow split pea soup.
And Carl’s Steakhouse (I think it was), where Your Choice Thai is now?
I remember Carl’s was one of my parents favorite in the late 50s.. Would get burgers to go when I worked at Mac’s Bicycle Shop in the late60s
Was Mac’s Bicycle in Loreto Plaza then? Or closer to Hope Ave? I know I went there, but I can no longer place it.
I too miss Koelsch’s bakery and have very fond memories. My mom baked awesome chocolate-sour cream-choc. chip bundt cake, home-made sourdough, buckwheat pancakes and more, but when it came to little kids’ decorated birthday cakes, we bought them there, along with the occasional eclair treat. I still remember my Halloween themed birthday cake when I was 10 or so, it was gorgeous. Hard sugar witch, black cat, pumpkin, beautifully done.
I love this thread.
Mac’s bike shop was 3411 state between the post office & the Farmer Boy. They had a store in Goleta too Mac’s Goleta Schwinn
I worked at Koelsches Bakery for about 3 years in 1980s. and I was I’ve been wondering what happened to Kelley her sister and she had a brother, tight blond curl
Would have the best time at Club Zelo’s from 1985ish -1987. Great owner Bob Stout and the restaurant food was great too! Such fun times!
Great memory. I know I ate there a few times, but my memory is my first company holiday party, held there. Great food and atmosphere. Boss gifted us with bottles of White Swan from Moet & Chandon, that was good too. I think that was the name, it was tasty amber champagne.
Angels on Horseback at BB OBrians.
What a meal!
When are they going to determine what they are going to do with the former Elephant Bar in Santa Barbara. It has been quite sometime since it closed……
All for now,
/. Bill ……………aka………………..WB
Re-opened on December 7, 2015 as the High Sierra Grill.
There was a wonderful restaurant on Upper State St. on the north (or is it east) side of the street that we went to for our anniversary years ago. It was intimate and quaint, not stuffy and had excellent food. I think the name was one word. Does anyone know what it may have been?
Was it the Stockpot? I remember their wonderful cheesecake.
No, but thanks for trying. It had lovely atmosphere and was perfect for a special occasion.
It sounds like it could be Aja which became Jade.
No, that wasn’t it, but I’ll post it when I figure it out. Thanks!
What year? Not Epicurean, cuz that was a block off State, right?
Yes, that was off of State. This one was right on State on the east side, small and intimate. I think it was in the early ninties.
I am getting closer. I think the restaurant I am trying to remember is now a knitting shop called Cardigans. Does that jog anyone’s memory?
Chucks of Hawaii?
I’m quite certain that all the wonderful restaurants that I remember, if I would eat the same food today ( older, wiser more refined palate ) maybe just meh… It’s the nostalgia. Eating those meals with people who are no longer in my life. A time in my life that I miss very much.. “The good old days”.
Please let me know the latest about the closing of ‘The Elephant Bar’. I am hoping that another restaurant will takes its place.
All for now,
/. Bill …………aka………….WB
The Snack Shack (on Coast Village)
How about Serranito’s in IV? They were the only folks who made “flautas” the way they did. (basically, a wet, green burrito, but with lettuce inside and then placed under the broiler – and peppery! What a great find for a kid from Boston!)
I worked at the Isla Vista Habit, in 1980-81. Yikes, that’s a long time ago.
I remember those flautas! I worked at the Habit beginning Fall of 1981, after losing my job at the bookstore because I needed a water pump for my 1970 AMC Ambassador ( and missed a training session on the new cash registers ). You worked for Joe (Hussein) and his wife Pari?
Hey Al P! It’s so nice when I run across people who still remember Serranito’s. That was my family’s restaurant (owned by my uncle Miguel). Those flautas are an old family recipe and we still make them!! If you have old pictures taken at the restaurant we would love to see them!
It was the favorite place to go after surfing all day – in 70’s surfer lingo a flauta was “da plug” with no disrespect meant – they were truly delicious!
Not only remember Miguel at Serranito’s, but also remember Sun & Earth, Borsodi’s and The Juice Factory.
Wow, Serranito’s and Sun and Earth… I actually worked as a hostess at “Snearth” for a year back in the 70’s… the staff were mainly surfers and the food was truly awesome. Rice and nut salads and exceptional grilled fish.
…also remembering the fabulous salad bar at Teasers…and that was in the 70’s before it was such a popular thing
I believe there was a Sizzler on upper State.
I went there for the salad bar, not the steaks!
I believe Sizzler was where Denny’s is, Ontare X State. I could be wrong, but I grew up a few blocks away.
Or Bonanza… or both at same location? Or at least within a few blocks.
Sizzler was out in Goleta. Bonanza was at Ontare and Happy Steak was where Cody’s is now.
I loved Sun & Earth, and Borsodi’s with my older siblings was a huge treat.
(fascinating work & site, Lisa!)
hmm, does my website show up on here… interesting
I would think you entered your site? Your user name is linked. Email John if you’d like it changed.
That’s good! I had just forgotten that it was linked…
Thanks to all for bringing back sublime memories of Sun and Earth (great soy burgers), Borsodi’s, and Serranito’s (I, too, loved the scrumptious flautas…so cheap and so good).
Fabulous food, nice atmosphere. many a lunch there…good burgers (blue burger was my favorite). i miss it and the steaks too. 🙁
Does anyone remember Dick’s Den on Cabrillo Blvd. back in the ’70’s? For 60 cents, you could get the “Blue Plate Special”, as they called it, including coffee. All the seadogs and poor locals who couldn’t afford Sambo’s turned up there in the early mornings.
No mention of Cattleman’s Inn. Best cole slaw.
Jim, Cal and Eddy all worked there.
thats what I was about to say No Love for cattlemens? Best happy hour and amazing all you could eat champagne brunch..Worked there for years.. Even when it made the sad name change to kokopelli grill..Ugh We had great crews tho..Lots of great friends still today..Also worked at Zelo and Rockys
The Bull Market on upper State St. in the 1970’s.
Oh, how I and my friends loved Cattleman’s all you can eat brunch in the early 90’s! (seafood and eclairs, prime rib & eggs). My family went there for somewhat higher-end dinners in the 80’s, maybe the 70’s too, I can’t remember. Good old SB memories indeed.
Alex’s Cantina on Hollister (currently Pataya) was THE SPOT for Monday Night Football Circa 1996 in my broke, no car having college days.
Wine Bistro in Montecito (currently Los Arroyos) was an awesome place to take a date (they had a killer grilled artichoke and a great steak as well).
Fat Burger started off strong and originally nudged past Habit as my favorite burger place, but the quality nose dived, and Habit remained as solid as ever (Chili Cheese Fries at the original Habit is UNBEATABLE … too bad its only available there)
Looking for recipe for lemon cheesecake from the Old World RESTUARANT used to be on State near La Cumberl Mall.
Around 1970, we went to a pizza place every Friday night, in the back of the Lompoc Shopping Center…..anyone remember the name and if it is still there? My dad was stationed there in the USAF until early 1971….great pizza great memories. Thanks for the help!
Ernies drive inn chapala. Oh ya master burger. Hotdog sandwich yum. Good memories. Good people.
old fashion hair cut and shave. Cant find that anymore!
Ernie’s had the best Chili Dog…
It was right up from Hazzards Bicycles
Perusing, I saw no mention of The Falcon Lounge across from the Bird Refuge. Met a pretty black girl named Brandy there c 1979-80 … leave the rest of the story to your imagination
Frimples, Copper Coffee Pot, Tutti’s…heloooooo.
No one could ever forget Frimples. Never in my whole life have I eaten a cinnamon roll that matched theirs. They were so additive and delicious that you had to stay out of there! A friend of mine at the time, Michelle, left Bob’s Big Boy to work there and put on 50 lbs because of those darn things!
Cafe Suisse in the Fairview Center!
Where was Cafe Suisse?
In the Fairview Center!
Never heard of it.
I DO have a faint memory of Cafe Suisse! On that parallel to the 101, right? The part you’d walk up years or decades later to get to Bud Stuart’s vet clinic and later Wildlife Care Network. I know I ate there, but I can’t remember much else.
Say what you will, but I always LOVED Jimmy’s food, best egg rolls ever. I did have a bad experience with shrimp and have never eaten it at a Chinese restaurant again, but stuff happens. And Pearl! Wonderful person, wonderful waitress, who of course did a lot of other things. Who wouldn’t want to eat at Jimmy’s after a few drinks? 😉
Bummer. The wiki subscription to “SB Restaurant History by Anthony Gardella” has expired; the wiki is inactive.
Café Suisse was where Panda Express is now. On the corner across from the Chicken Ranch.
The only restaurants I remember in Fairview is of course Jasper’s Saloon, Italia Pizzaria, the sausage place and that little Italian place near the theatre.
Franco and Rosa’s by the Fairview Theater – authentic, delicious Italian food. The owners/chefs closed it and moved to the mid-west somewhere to be near family.
I’d like to add Arlington Tavern to the list.
Very surprised they are closed
Jimmys Oriental Garden had the very best Mai Tais in the world. Wish I knew their recipe.
Remember so many of those great places. How about Maggie McFly’s on State? Also Casey Jones. The best Japanese place, to me, was The Cherry Blossom. Fuzzy was the owner and her husband,?, was the cook. Fuzzy used to have a Christmas party and give everyone a toy from Japan that she ordered special. Also the best plum wine.
Maggie McFly’s, Casey Jones, and the bar behind The 1129. The best Japanese place was the Cherry Blossom on State and Delavina. I loved the food there. Best Tempura I ever had. Fuzzy was the owner.
does anybody remember the small, seminal French Restaurant in Los Angeles in the 1970’s?
Here are a few going back in time . I worked in wholesale food distribution so got around town a bit. Top of the list is Leon’s on lower state across from the old Joes. San Roque Steak house man it was good.Texas Lunch, Coast Inn, in Montecito,Moms Italian Village, Twin Burger on De La Vina now a pizza joint,Silver Spur steak house,and Little Audreys. And the lunches at the Olive street cafe up the street from Arnolids with a card room in the back room..And i will be missing Jack Sears at the now closed Cafe Del Sol, his first one in Montecito was also great. And if you were never in the old Harbor Restaurant you missed a really cool spot and Nantucket style building the indside was like and old schooner ship so cool…
I was on my way from Raythron night shift in Goleta to where I lived in Carpenteria and a fire engine crossed in front of me on 101 . I looked down state street and saw the flames out on the pier . I sat in on the beach and watched the Harbor Restaurant disappear and the safe fall into the ocean . All that varnish epoxy and wood didn’t take long to go . The roamer was that when Santa Barbara would not renew the lease Because they wanted an environmental education area for the pier the owners (
Connected) in LA had it conveniently go By By .
Thanks for reminding me of Pancho Villa, La Tolteca, they were great! The other one I liked was Casa del Sol in Montecito. So many great memories. Thanks. Espana, Chart House, Moby Dick’s on the wharf, too many to name.
I worked at Hobey Baker’s in the early 80s. Lots of great bands came through, including Mike Love, Joe Cocker, Reverie(Jeff Foskett,Bo Fox,Randall) The Pups with Philip Claypool. On our nights off we would go downtown to Joe’s for some seriously huge drinks.Then to the Tee Off for prime rib and finish up at 1129 for some music. Greg Alexich was the bar manager at Hobey’s.Does anyone know if he was the guy that was tragically hit by a Amtrak train in 2013?
Yes, there is a noozhawk article from February 2013 that confirms that.
Hobey Baker It is named for Hall of Famer Hobey Baker, who played college hockey at Princeton University and died in World War I. Was the Resterant named after him ?
There’s a KEYT news video of a bicyclist that was hit in SB. No name but it shows the guy on a gurney. 2 big medallion tattoos on his L arm. He lived.
El Nayarit on Haley, best chile rellenos I ever had. The Chuck Wagon on DeLaVina,have to second the Pizza Luau,Casa Blanca -still heartbroken over that.
I was wondering if someone would mention Casa Blanca. I remember them having the best tostadas in the world back in the 60’s and 70’s – right across the street from the original Joe’s Cafe at State and Haley.
Casa Blanca! Too funny…went out with friends there for cheap food/beer on weekends before hanging out in the bars on State in the early 1980’s… One night while we were there a person in our group ran into some other friends and wouldn’t you know, that’s how I met my wife!
Pino’s rocked!! I was only a kid but loved it when he came out singing EVERY time we were there! I used to watch him make the pizza’s, the best ever! Still to this day! Wish they were still open!!!
Ohhh, so many great restaurants, now gone: Andria’s, Zia Cafe, Zelo, Brigitte’s, Maison Robert, Pino’s, The Bakery, Citronelle, and there a couple of really good Thai restaurants on upper De la Vina….
Pascual’s and missing Pascual . Such a great warm place to be and eat and drink and be merry .
The Copper Coffee Pot on State St.!
Hyotan (Japanese place in the old “Alpha Beta” strip mall on DLV, German Bakery on upper DLV, Azuma on Figueroa, Mousse Odile on Cota all come to mind as places I remember fondly from 20 or so years ago.
WHERE IS SCANDI’S???????
It was on De La Vina — a Scandinavian buffet…
Does anyone remember the name of the Mexican restaurant that was on the corner of State and Anapamu? Also, does anyone remember if there was a restaurant where Cantwells is now?
Pepe DelGados.Cantwell Market was Teasers.
It was Ace Diamond’s Teasers Showcase Restaurant. Before that it was Cafe Gourmet owned by John Puppo. I bought his corporation & opened Teasers. Fun run for five years then sold in 1981 to guy who destroyed it.
Ace-I loved Teasers when I lived in Santa Barbara in ’77-’78. There was a drink there called a Yellow Submarine (I think). If this is correct, do you happen to have the recipe for it? One of my faves. Thanks!
My roommate at the time played guitar (classical) at Teasers in ’78 for a time. Do you remember Marc Magennis?
Nite Bite. Fortunately SB Munchiez has picked up the mantle… As far as “Old School” restaurants, Col. Lee’s Mongolian Barbecue (located by the Arlington) was my favorite of all time. You would be seated and served your water and drinks by the waitstaff and choose from a buffet of entrees (like beef, lamb, veggies) to be prepared (grilled) in a storefront window by their grill master. I can still taste that delicious meal and I only ate there once in the early 80’s.
Epicurian… Wow. I was awarded a gift certificate there once after helping to put out a fire in my workplace when I was a C.N.A. at the Samarkand. That was a unique restaurant with each table enclosed in it’s own unique and private cubicle. However I wasn’t thrilled with the blackened duck…
How about La Parilla Suiza, which was in an unfortunate location, behind the current Panda Express. It was one of my all-time favorites. Some Goleta residents brought the chef here to open it after eating in his restaurant in Mexico. The adobada was the best ever. Alas, the chef got homesick and moved back to Mexico after a couple of years and the place closed down.
It took a while and several reads, but yes, I DO remember La Parilla Suiza! was it open in the early 90’s, when I worked on Encina? I remember delectable green sauces. Thanks for the flashback.
I think the restaurant I miss most of all these is Mousse Odile. What food, what value.
I think you forgot a chain of three “hamburger hangouts” that closed around 1962.The Santa Barbara one on upper State, where Char West replaced it, was “Los Tacos”. There were also locations in Isla Vista, where Burger King replaced it and in Lompoc. The company closed down when the owner’s wife caught him with a female employee and the divorce caused the chain’s breakup.
Hey guys, we worked there too!! How are you Audrey?? Marie is here visiting me in Nashville and we just yesterday looked at a photo of us with YOU at my house on Arellaga! She wants to know if you remember “the maple syrup guy” and “taupe pantyhose”… Where are you these days? Marie lives in Oakland… I remember the muffins of course and having to bring “sauces and salsa to every table” with the omelets and the awesome rolls.
I remember the muffins of course and having to bring “sauces and salsa to every table” with the omelets and the awesome rolls. I’m friends with Jackie on fb too…
There was a tavern( did not serve foods, only snacks) by the name of Jimmy’s in Oxnard , California , I was the manager back in the 60’s there. Was just wondering if it is still there , been sold or what . Thank you
Worked at Tommy’s Ice Cream, Casa Dorinda, The Mar Monte Hotel and Spa, Link’s Hamburgers, La Grange, La Chaumiere, The Grand Hotel, Bay Cafe, Papagallo’s and Downey’s. Actually, my brother worked at Tommy’s. I wanted to, but he got on being one year older at thirteen maybe. Yeah, who had worked at more places than me? Is there anyone?
Rudy’s had the best burger. Petrinni’s still going. Worked a couple of days at Aloha Burger?
Rudy’s near the giant Fig Tree at 101 had the best tostadas!
The Yankee Clipper, The Tee Off, Peterson’s, Orange Julius, The Winecask, Auberge (Ojai), Der Weinerschnitzel, Fiesta Liquor CVR, The El Paseo, Pepper’s, Take One?,
I’m trying to recall the chicken place on upper State. Maybe before McDonald’s. Anyone remember?
How long ago? Maybe Chicken Delight? 😉 Or was it Delite?
Chicken Shack had great fried chicken. Cole Slaw was good, too…
On lower State STreet Right?
Woolworth’s counter closed when? late 60’s?
Does anyone remember a restaurant called Wolf’s (may have spelling wrong) in London in the late 1970’s? The loo was down a spiral metal staircase.
Living in the US now, missing all my old “haunts”.
Can’t seem to find it on any search engine.
I can’t remember the name of the restaurant in the basement of the old Y, incredible Paella Barcelonessa.
And delicious soups and breads …. and the chef owner would come out and sing opera arias – beautiful voice! Anyone remember the name?
I’ve lived her my entire life and have seen a lot of great eateries come and go. Just to reminisce about a few: Talk of The Town, Chicago Rib Broker (BEST onion “brick”), The Elegant Farmer (their creamy avocado dressing and their bread pudding were SO good), Andy’s Chuck Wagon (we called it Mr. Pigs, because you could really pig-out there), Uncle John’s Pancake House (every Sunday after church), Soujourner, Main Squeeze, 1129 (to-dyed-for chocolate crepes), Heidi Pies (those cinnamon rolls…and their homemade jam…and their pies…and the best hash browns…) Carrows, Piatti’s, Philadelphia House (burned in the Painted Cave fire)… The list goes on
Uncle John’s Pancake House. I was wondering when it would be mentioned.
For me, The Sunburst Farms in Gaviota. Jasper’s Saloon for Abalone, Baltieri’s for chicken picatta and Marsala. Philadelphia House, Char West, DJ’s Charburger, The Good Earth near Picadilly Square. Late nights at Carrows, Heidi’s Pies, the original Jerry’s Pollofino. ( just saw Jerry at a party last night, all smiles as usual). What was the name of that place next door to what’s now Brand Tires in Goleta? Patio on the golf course. Beers around the world, amazing potato skins. (Wow..really dating myself now!) The Bakery downtown, JK Frimples, Pancho Villa, pizza at Patrini’s on Calle Real, the seafood restaurant on Santa Claus Lane where you would pick your own lobster in the tank. Pioneer Chicken across from SMHS. And last but not least, dinner in the dark cocktail lounge at Bray’s 101.
That place with beers around the world was Spike’s Place. I went there about five times a week while I was going to UCSB, and earned a few t-shirts. I still have my baseball cap I earned there.
I agree about the potato skins; I have never had better potato skins anywhere, and have had acceptable potato skins only two or three times in the twenty five years since I was at Spike’s. Potato skins must be difficult to do correctly because you cannot get good ones in restaurants.
so true on the potato skins! Also had a few plaques on the wall of fame there.
1/2 dozen Link’s Drive-in hamburgers on State St. across from the Fox Arlington, then cruise on down to the ither Link’s Drive-in at State and Cabrillo St. for six more. Then we chugged on the beach for all the peep’s that were up our butts…! Hahaha..!
The 1962 TV show Route 66 featured a restaurant, possibly in the Pacoima area, called the Prime Oak Inn. I believe the sign was a fake, but the restaurant was real, with what seemed to be a Bavarian or German restaurant. It was next door to the Continental restaurant. Would you happen to know where this location might be?
i miss case de amigos in santa ynez in 1974
Frank’s Rice Bowl on lower State St. Decent Chinese food for poor students.
The Espana across from he wharf owned by the Castenolas. I worked there in 1980 or 81 and they had the best margaritas, salsa, chips, clam chowder and more. The Chart House across the street had great margaritas too where we used to go after we left our shift at Espana.
Before I turned 21 I worked at Bob’s Big Boy, which was a hopping place! They opened a new restaurant down the road from there on Calle Real called Old World Restaurant next tot he movie theater, but I don’t think they did very well. I worked there when it opened and it never really got busy.
When I turned 21 I got a job at Espana and that place was always rocking. Met a lot of celebs working there too. Was definitely a hot spot.
Also hung out at the Feed Store, English Dept. (?) Tea Room, and several other bars on State Street. Anywhere in S.B. was fun. Best breakfasts at the Eggception on State Street with the most amazing home-made breads and muffins.
I felt privileged to have lived there in my youth while attending SBCC and my boyfriend *husband) attended Brooks (Bryan Page).
What a trip reading this has been! So many names I “temporarily” forgot. Flapper Alley, LA España (miss the steak and enchilada combo!) The Feed Store, where Kenny Loggins and sometimes Messina played almost every time I was there, Bluebird gone?, Original Joe’s gone? Epicurean, gone? Bittersweet memories.
I don’t know what happened to the original Joe’s Cafe location, but they moved north a half a block, and I think are still open at the “new” place.
Didn’t Joe’s move to where Maggie (Merlin?) McFly’s was located at one time? Regularly visited Joe’s although the food was hit and miss the drinks were always strong.
Head of the Wolf…I saw Stephen Stills and David Crosby there one night and late into the night Joe Cocker stood up from a table and sang a set with them. I saw Joe Walsh at some breakfast place next to Vons in Monteceito…cant remember the name. I was wearing a James Gang T-Shirt and he invited me to join him…he was pretty cooked I think. Just some of those Santa Barbara moments.
The breakfast place was Xanadu I believe
What was the name of the old Japanese restaurant down on lower State Street, between Casa Blanca and Nanking Gardens? It was very formal, lots of wood everywhere, tatami mats, very atmospheric. I think it closed in the early ’80s, if not earlier.
Suishin Sukiyaki was at 511 State Street.
There was a formal restaurant on upper State St. that was really excellent, great food and not pretentious. I think it was called Norbert’s. Does anyone else remember it?
You may be thinking of Green Gables at State and San Roque back in the ’60’s which is now First Bank. Norbert’s first restaurant was at 302 W Montecito and opened in 1981. He partnered with Downey’s for a while and then he and his partner Brigitte ran Norbert’s at 920 De La Vina from about 1985 to 1990. Brigitte’s at 1325 State is now Opal and Norbert is at Mirabelle in Solvang.
Norbert’s was at De la Vina X Alamar, no? Where Our Daily Bread is now.
Norbert’s current endeavor is The Nook – Waterline, 120 Santa Barbara St. Is he still consulting at Mirabelle?
Our 4th grade class from Cold Springs went there for a class outing – we had to buy aloha shirts for the Japanese cultural experience 🙂
Wasn’t there an Esau’s coffee shop on lower State St. until the 1970’s or later?
I used to work as a waitress at Clementines in Carpinteria. No alcohol served, so my tips were just “ok”. I attended the Music Academy in Santa Barbara. Used to love the Yellow House and the Espana!!!
One of my favorite all time meals was at The Espana. I live in SLO County, every chance I got I’d go to The Espana for the enchilada and lobster combination dinner. The half lobster shell had a filling in it in addition to the lobster that I just loved (the filling) I wish I had that recipe, I think my wife could make it. Of course we also had the margaritas, they were excellent….
I worked at Frimple’s in 1980, good comfort food – never claiming to be gourmet but pretty tasty. I lived in SB from 1979 thry 1981 – that was the era when Frimple’s waitresses wore their hair in high, loose buns. Old Ilko would sit at the Frimple’s counter for hours a day and give each of us waitresses roses, for us to tuck into our hair. Do any of u in this blog remember the rose-bedecked Frimples Waitresses of the 70’s and 80’s? Mine was also the era of the town character ‘Jonesy’ whose main territory was mid-Milpas and who yelled friendly hello’s and waved vigorously at everyone, pedestrian and driver. This went on for years before & after I lived in SB – anyone know what ever became of Jonesy? During this era, favourite food spots for me & my peeps were Esau’s (breakfast), Joe’s, Casa Blanca, Azteca & Suishun, (all 5 on lower State St). Other faves were Playa Azul & Sojourner, of course – are they still open? In my day, Sambos was still operating on Cabrillo as the only other 24-hour restaurant in town, but don’t think they served hard liquor, like Frimples – wine/beer maybe? I saw 1129 mentioned in these posts – didn’t remember they sold food… possibly ‘cuz I couldn’t afford to eat there – but do remember dancing the night away on the 1129 dance floor on many an occassion. Also loved Baudelaire’s, music and dance spot – didn’t read all the posts so not sure if anyone mentioned it – but, oh, the cwa-a-a-zy times at Baudelaire’s! My boyfriend bartended at Second Story, then at Head of the Wolf – Wolf being another fave spot. Anyone remember the Greek & Italian Deli that used to be on Lower State, as well as the Schooner Inn donut shop? Used to buy that cheap but tasty, and somewhat trendy Fatzibatalgia white wine at the deli – was it a grigio? Remember the twisty bottle? … and oh, the Schooner Inn donuts were the best ever. So sad to see that so many of the smaller, non-corporate food, bar and dance places we all loved way back when have closed down.
Does anyone recall a short-lived restaurant on upper State called Ted’s or Ted’s Place, c. 1996? I think it folded after just a year or two.
Beto says come to my cantina…
loved that place!
Our whole family loved that place! I still wonder what happened that caused them to close so suddenly. We just came for lunch one day and they were closed and gone forever!
I am looking for the name of a smorgasbord that was popular in the 70’s/early 80’s in Orange County. Smorgasbord was in the name and I believe they had additional locations (one being in South Bay?) My grandparents used to take us there all the time and I cannot remember the name. 2nd location might have been at Beach and Slater (before two guys italian)…. And NO not Sizzler 🙂
Was it the Sir George Smorgasbord? We used to go there on high school trips.
Foster’s Freeze on De La Vina Street, where Chicken Ranch is located now…
Foster’s Freeze on Micheltorena Street, where Super Cucas is located now…
Foster’s Freeze on Cliff Drive…
Texas Burger on De La Vina Street, where Marty’s Pizza is located now…
Dinno’s Pizzeria on Cliff Drive…
San Roque Steak House on State Street…
Leon’s on State Street…
Little Audrey’s on State Street…
Copper Coffee Pot on State Street…
Woolworth Lunch Counter on State Street, where Old Navy is located now…
Torkey’s Bar on De La Vina Street, where Cajun Kitchen is located now…
Red Dog Saloon, where Derf’s Cafe is located now
There was a restaurant on Hwy 101 where my dad took us, when it was just a 2-lane Hwy. I do not remember the name. Dad always ordered frog legs when they had them. There was the El Patio with it’s swimming pool, across from a park and on the other side of the street was the Mushroom kiddie pool and next to it the Plunge Municiple pool. The El Patio had the best fish and chips in the world. There was Little Black Sambo’s down the road heading to the Wharf. In my early college years, Sun and Earth in Isla Vista.
I’ve read all the posts. I’ve not seen the favorite Mexican restaurant of my father, which was off of State Street two or three blocks going towards Santa Barbara High school. It might have been on the same street as Arnoldi’s, the old part of town. My father was born in Texas and spoke Spanish. He was native American and a little Irish. His father worked on the Panama Canal. My father was well educated in the Mexican lifestyle. I want to say this restaurant was on the same street the old Pep Boys was, or perhaps one street above or one below. I was only 7-8 years old and can’t recall the name. It was either El Cielo, Mama’s, Mama Mia or Mamacita’s, I just don’t know. Does anybody recall that restaurant? It was situated on a corner, I think, and there was a big cement wall with stairs going up to what had been an old Santa Barbara casa that had been made into a restaurant. The restaurant was so small, perhaps four tables next to a kitchen. Dad loved to speak Spanish with the waitresses. The tortillas were hand made with pulled beef with shredded cabbage and tomato, with shaved Mexican cheese that looked like snow. What wonderful flavor.
Went to a Mexican Restaurant for prom night 1977 about where you describe and yes you had to go up steep outside stairs. I want to say it was Playa Azul?
Michael’s Waterside had a killer gruyere souffle. I remember the original La Tolteca. Great tacquitos, Duke. The Green Gables had great steaks and seafood. Suishin Sukiyaki was where I had my first sushi.
I occasionally watch Chef Hutchings on tv, sadly I never ate there.
My first souffle was at Sage & Onion restaurant on Ortega. OMG. It was a Stilton souffle. Ended the meal with a fruit souffle. Walked in with best friend on my b-day, sat at their tiny wine bar, and ordered every app on the menu. Chef Gilles came out to see us — probably wondering who these crazy eaters were. I hope I never forget it. He was so kind and friendly (and handsome). And a great cook! He got a kick out of us. I had a seriously wonderful and significant food experience.
I remember a corner kiosk in Isla Vista on the same street where there was a hamburger/donut shop. I don’t remember the name of the hamburger/donut shop but we’d be up all night and have to go there to eat. They were the greatest hamburgers and donuts. But this little kiosk with Indian food is what I’m writing about. The man was very nice but I didn’t know his name. He must have cooked his falafel balls the night before because there was no electricity to the kiosk. It was a large pita bread pocket half. Inside there were five falafel balls with thinly cut cabbage, drizzled with cucumber-yogurt dressing and a pickle slice in the middle. They were so good!
The kiosk was down the street from the donut/hamburger shop, on a corner, and the kiosk was setting on bare ground. This would have been 50 years ago. Oh I’m old!
Was it Uncle Mustache’s Falafels? I went there once in the ’70s on a first date. Tiny place, but good falafels!
Yes!! That was the place! What great memories. I would come home from classes, always feeling really hungry, and stop there to get the best falafels I have ever had. They had a cool garden out back too. I can still see and hear the falafel balls bouncing happily in the huge wok hot oil! Yummy!!
My grandfather and his brothers actually owned that particular falafel shop, I am glad you enjoyed it!
Cool! It’s difficult to describe how satisfying it was to eat those falafels…usually sitting in the back garden…watching the beautiful tanned girls biking home…breathing in the salt air. Heaven!
Was that possibly King Falafel? Their falafel is the gauge against which I measure every falafel I’ve had since. I remember they had an absolutely huge old lavender bush outside.
Robinsons department store LA Cumbre Plaza had the cafeteria downstairs where Macys sell mattresses now. A &W drive in North side state Street. Still have my pee wee root beer mug!
Not to mention all the Sambos remember the Sambos on Montecito street when the freeway had traffic lights and stopped at state and chapala. It was a sad day when Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens closed. I am 55 now and so happy to have seen santa barbara in its prime before corporate came to town and I remember everyone of those on that master list of restaurant’s. My father ran the sambos on Montecito and 101 in the 70’s man the stories he had to tell. My favorite is the day he kicked out Steve McQueen and Ali Mcgraw for being rude to the waitress!
I mentioned the Robinson’s cafe way back in this thread. Lovely memories eating there as a child with my mother. And earlier, Woolworth’s lunch counter. My memories of A&W by State X 154 are faint as I was so young. But it was good! The only burgers we ate were from there and upper State Char West, though I did go to McD’s with a 4th grade friend for my first time.
Much later, I too loved Jimmy’s and miss it.
Does anyone remember the Chuck Wagon restaurant??? Maybe over by the Old Ralphs upper De La Vina?
Oh yes! We used to take the kiddos there on Saturdays when we could feed them for fifty cents. What a deal!
Does anyone remember the scones? They stand out in my memory as does the owner or manager there. A big guy who always made this little kid feel special
Looking thru all the posts I did not see or missed the following: The Green Gables State at Los Positas, The Sportsman had great food (In the 50s and 60s) and the chef was Leo Carrillo’s brother (Pancho of the Cisco Kid) . Fosters Freeze had great hamburgers in the 2600 block of De La Vina not to mention 5, 10, 15 and 25 cent cones. Harry’s Townhouse was a great place. the Blue Ox was great
How about the Flight Line – so much fun, such good steaks, the perfect, perfect bar and home to the perfect martini lunch! Josie’s El Cielito in La Arcada, Peterson’s Hamburgers for a BBQ Burger during every horse show at Earl Warren, the great paella place at Carrillo & Chapala, shredded beef tacos at Maya’s in 5 Points, Mom’s Italian Village, The Green Gables – so sophisticated, Ace Diamonds house of bad behavior, Mrs Flurey’s Enchilada’s the original Fiesta pop up on DeLaVina, the little French Deli in the center (Radio Square?) at Carrillo & DLV – strictly take out so delicious, late nights at Casa Blanca, early AM’s @ Little Audrey’s, Bray’s 101 and Sambo’s at State & Hope…..Beaudalaire’s, Head of the Wolf, Mousse Odile..my first spiced chai at the sweetest spot, The Tea House…..Santa Barbara is where I first fell in love w restaurants.
I forgot to mention Lafeits not sure of spelling but the old CHP office at Carrillo and 101 was moved to the bird refuge and Lafeits opened in the moved building. great food. Kens burgers on de la vina had opened after Petersons with burgers costing 1 cent less than Petersons. I think burgers were .19 at Kens . Burgers at Kens Shakes at Petersons were the best combo.
I believe that I have the only piece of glassware that exists since a fire was given credit for the Restaurant never opening. At one time, I had the only 2 cups that were NOT destroyed, but over the years, one of them cannot be located. The one I still have is like new, made in China, and is beautifully marked “Company C Rotisserie & Grille, with no location. It has a Fireman’s cap on the cup which would seem to indicate a Fire Fighting Company, but I can find absolutely NOTHING in all my searches. Strange, but I am at the end of the rope trying to find out ANYTHING about the cup, the business, etc. Treasure, or Trash???????
Who Remembers Thrifts Diner inside the Thrifts? best BBQ ribs Yum!
Does anyone remember rg’s giant hamburger next to the fiesta 5 the best burgers I had when I was a teenager there
Absolutely! They were always my favorite place to go for a burger.
RG’s also had some of the best breakfast burritos.
There was a place in the mid 90s about 30 minutes outside of Tuscaloosa that served burgers fries and I remember it so well because they were the first people to do the chicken fried when i was a kid. And help finding this places name thx? Also it might start with a w.
I lived at the Sun and Earth in 68-69. It was an Oasis from madness.
Vince Lalomia email@example.com
Hector’s! I could eat their salsa with a spoon, it was so good, and the kitchen and wait staff were always cheerful and kind. What I remember the most about Hector’s is their chicken dishes, which had raisins and slivered almonds in them. I’ve never had anything like it before or since and I would make the drive all the way from Washington state if they were still there, just for one of their soft chicken tacos!
Yvette, I’m glad someone else remembers these soft chicken tacos!
I’ve been trying to find a similar recipe for years without luck. Hector’s was a regular stop for my family and I still miss it.
I was the area District Manager for Sambo’s Restaurants from 1970-1973. Except for the original Sambo’s Restaurant on the Beach all these restaurants I supervised are now closed.(Camarillo, Oxnard, Carpenteria, Hwy101 and Milpas, Santa Barbara. N. State Street, Santa Barbara , Goleta, Buellton, Santa Maria, Arroyo Grande and Atascadero). For those old enough to remember a cup of coffee with unlimited refills was 10 cents. Martin Engelman, Rancho Yobo Organic Navel Orange and Avocado Ranch, Pauma Valley, Ca.
Martin, “Marty” I remember when you lived in Illinois Lake Zurich or Wisconsin Lake Geneva ?
A little more than 43 years ago I met you and John Puccinelli at the May 75 NRA convention. I (Pat Cattin 64 years old) was a 20 year old friend of Roger Duchemin (now 86 years old) from Wenatchee WA. Roger was in Joliet. I was in Effingham. “The most perfect name for a town”.
I’m not sure if you were at the convention but I’m certain we met at the Effingham store in late summer.
It is great to see your name and make the connection. I hope you are doing well.
My all time favorite was Tinys
Us kids would order number 4
My mom went for number five with the chili relleno
Loved how the cumin would merge
Into the arroz The same with the cheese
Into the frijoles still miss this place never had better Mexican food
Also miss Johnny’s market on lower State – Nero’s Hero veggie sandwich with tons of cream cheese…. my grandfather used to do the signs “shoplifters will be prosecuted”
Gaynor McGregor worked at the Yankee Clipper, Kellys Corner and Derfs, i was running Hippo Waterbeds at Loreto Plaza (now Chaucers books)
and i went to the Yankee Clipper every nite just to have her wait on me.
Derfs was a classic. I remember watching Celtics-Lakers championship games there in the 80s!
Derf’s in still there
Kentucky Fried Chicken next door to Federal Drug Store in Loreto Plaza and of course, Harrys Plaza Cafe (still there, still the best cocktails anywhere hands down). A&P, The Shopping Bag, Fazios and Alpha Beta were the Grocery stores that came and went in that plaza. Also, next door was a 5 & dime store called TG&Y where we would buy toys such as Wham O Frisbees, those balsa wood airplanes you’d put together yourself (the really cool ones had propellers) and Slinkys. The Snack Shack at Arroyo Burro Beach (or Hendry’s) also known as the Pit owned by the Thompson family. They would give us free left over Corn Strips with yummy Red Salsa right before dark when we would come out of the water starving after surfing. Man do I miss those days!
What is there now where TG & Y used to be?
I thought TG & Y was at 5 Points.
TG & Y took up half the space of where Gelsons is now I believe. Trying to remember what else was at 5 Points. Kaisers health food store for sure, Koelsches bakery and a sewing machine repair shop:)
Yes TG & Y was where Gelsons is. I was thinking of W. T. Grant’s at 5 points.
Also at 5 points was Maya Mexican Food and Cool’s Candies.
My roommate loved the Monkey Flip at Kaiser’s!
Yes TG & Y was where Gelsons is. I was thinking of W. T. Grant’s at 5 points.
Also at 5 points was Maya Mexican Food and Cool’s Candies.
A little off topic but here it goes. Up on the hill above Gelsons there have been many restaurants. One in particular in the early to mid 70’s was called Talk of The Town. Well, before the food establishments in the early – mid 60’s, it was a nursery school called Winkin’ Blinkin’ & Nod. I went there and they had a swimming pool which is where I learned to swim. Then I was off to Adam’s Elementary for Kindergarten and 1st through 6th grade. Ahh, the memories:)
I have to correct my last post. My sister set me straight that the restaurant on the hill above where T G & Y sat was called Harry’s Town House not Talk of the Town. It was an attempt by the owner of Harry’s at the time to have more of an upscale dining experience. I don’t think it lasted more than a few years and became something else that I can’t recall. Several establishments have come and gone and it is currently called Le Cafe Stella. Talk of the Town was downtown on State Street.
In 1985 it was called Beto’s Cantina. Talk of the Town which opened in 1949 was at 123 W. Gutierrez.
“Beto says, come to my cantina……..seniors and senioritas….”
Anyone living in SB in the 80s had that song ingrained in their head1
Wasn’t Beto’s Cantina further down Las Positas Road near the freeway, where the truly awful Empress Palace wound up?
Yes it was – before it moved to where Le Cafe Stella is now.
My mothers parents owned Talk of the Town in its hey day. I t was a brothel before that.
In the early 90s it was The Jetty. Great chowder and salad.
Jorgensens: malts and burgers, as I recall
Upper State San Roque where Verizon store is now.
It was called Peterson’s House of Hamburgers. Really good too:)
I loved their cherry and chocolate cokes.
I loved Petersen’s Peppermint Stick ice cream. I’d get a cone and eat it while I rode my bike back to my grandma’s house on upper Calle Palo Colorado. Wow, that was in the 70’s. I’m getting old…
Have we mentioned Hibachi on Milpas and Alex’s on lower State Street (the original with red booths)? The prior was such a good value for quick, tasty stir fry, and the latter had THE best chicken enchilada suizas… Of course, I guess we should remember its later incarnation, Alex’s Cantina on Hollister — their brunch was amazing.
I noticed someone mentioned Second Story Bar and Grill, where I also waitressed, and I was wondering if the original post meant “Brown Pelican” (where I also waitressed) instead of Pelican’s Wharf?
Anyone remember The Brewhouse down by Big Dog on lower State Street — they served prime rib, mashed potatoes, a salad, and a beer for $5.95? Oh! And Steamers had the best happy hour (first time I ever had buffalo wings and Merlot, but not together!).
I have to concur with someone above who remembers the croissants from The Bakery…and all of a sudden I can’t remember the name of the bakery that was at One State Street, before Eladio’s and owned by the same owner as Max’s, back in the early ’80s (one of my first jobs!). And obviously someone had to have mentioned Esau’s on lower State, right?
Too many to remember!!!
Well everyone forgot La Tourell on Haley at Chapala. How about Loop’s (Mr. Looper), as he had a about 5 restaurants and motels, which became Mr. Lloyd’s. Pizza Bob’s in IV, as he was the manager and bought Rusty’s (original) Pizza from Roger Duncan, who bought from Rusty, as it had been Rusty’s Roast Beef. The original Jolly Tiger on Chapala. The Sherman House on Chapala became Chad’s. Oh, Char West on upper State was originally Los Tacos (in IV and Lompoc too). Kelly’s Corner on State at La Cumbre. How about Wing’s Chinese on upper Hollister, across from Philadelphia House/Colony. Bray’s 101 became Good Earth (owned by Rusty of IV Roast Beef fame, who also had owned ALL of the early Taco Bells). How about the Drumstick on upper State that became Rusty’ Pizza. Petersen’s Drive-in on upper State (which was later owned by Bill Thuer’s brother). Ming-On Chinese. Oh, but here’s my last one, do you remember Chicken Delight?
I do remember Chicken Delight. Where was it located again?
Broome’s (near the courthouse
San Roque Steak House
Uncle John’s Pancake House
I love remembering these old restaurants. Does anyone remember the name of a small hamburger joint on about the 800 block of State Street? It would be in the late 1980’s or early 1990’s. They had the best onion rings I’ve ever had in my life!
Hmm, Chubbies was at 1027 State next-door to Aldo’s. They were around from the ’80s up until the late ’90s. Burger joint with some great onion rings. Could this be it?
The one I’m thinking about was on the other side of the street. Chubbies was great too!
Janice, Are you thinking of RG Burgers?
Yes! That’s it! Best greasy burgers and onion rings. Thank you!
I was on the other side of all ya’ alls Restaurant Experiences. I was involved in Opening, cooking, saving, etc. … at many what became landmark, famous area places. Eggception, Holy Cow(Mont;, you forgot about that…), Flapper Alley, Norbert’s, Wine Cask(Was Originating Chef, ’81), San Isidro Ranch, Casa del Sol, Crepe? something, Copper Coffee Pot…, and many of Areas larger Places past 8 years as a Chef/Consultant…I kept The Santa Barbara Brewing Company ALIVE for an extra 6+ years with my redo of Menu,food,kitchen, crews… AND YET HAVE NOT OWNED MY OWN PLACE IN S.B. YET… Maybe sometime. I actually KNOW how to make all of these old Santa Barbara Recipes…more American derivatives of other cultures recipes I have come to find out as I became a world traveler, and researcher, foodie in Countries all over the planet.
Sonny’s Pizza on Cabrillo, I saw only 1 mention of it. I thought they had GREAT Pizza !
Inmates be the only one who remembers Collywobbles tavern on the corner of State and La Cumbre. Peanut shells on the floor and ice cold beer, no fuss I remember but I don’t remember much so who knows?
I meant no food as I remember
Tugboat Annie’s Linden ave Carpinteria 1970’s best Fish n Chips Garlic Bread Ambiance..I lived around the corner as a teen.. loved it. We were Catholics every Friday we got fish and chips from Tugboat Annies
Does anyone remember the potato wedges at the what used to be Rafero Market and deli on Mission and Modoc? Serious “POTATOE CRACK“!! I used to race there with my friends after school to get some! I wish I knew the recipe.
Does anyone remember Recardos Restaurant in Goleta in a Shopping Center ?
Does anyone remember a very hard to find old train dining car restaurant tucked away in Montecito? I went there as a kid but cannot remember the location. It felt secret and mysterious, anyone recall that place?
Hi, Mixie—the dining car restaurant was on the grounds of the old Miramar Hotel on S. Jameson Lane. I don’t know what became of it when the hotel was razed to make way for the new facility. Too bad, because it was unique. You’re right about it being secret and mysterious. Even many locals weren’t aware it was there.
The Car was called the National Embassy. History: from the SCRVHistorical Society:
The Pullman Standard built the National Embassy for the Union Pacific Railroad in early 1956. This car was built to run on the passenger train City of Saint Louis, which as co-operated with the Wabash Railroad. These trains ran between Saint Louis, Missouri, and Los Angeles, California. Union Pacific has 12 of the National Series, and the Wabash Railroad had 3. In the late 1960’s, the City of St. Louis train was cancelled, and the UP Nationals were looking for a new usefulness. The Nationals saw some use on the Union Pacific Portland Rose, and the Union Pacific ski train to Idaho.
By the fall of 1971, all the 12 Union Pacific National cars were auctioned off. The Pacific Railroad Society won the bid for the National Embassy. Due to the lack of serviceable wheels, the society never used the car in any service. In early 1978, William Gawzner, who owned the Miramar Hotel in Montecito, California made the Pacific Rail Society an offer they could not refuse. Mr. Gawzner owned an ex-SP Shasta Daylight car, which he wanted to trade for a sleeper car. Since the Pacific Rail Society already owned another National Series car, which had serviceable wheels, the decision was made to trade the two cars.
For many years, the National Embassy was open on Sunday’s in the parking lot of the Miramar Hotel in Montecito for public tours. Unfortunately, in 1984, Mr. Gawzner passed away. After the passing of Mrs. Gawzner, a new home was sought for the classic Pullman sleeper. The car was donated to the Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Society. On February 16, 2000, the National Embassy was hoisted from it’s 22 year home, onto a truck, for a ride to it’s new home, Fillmore, California.
Rex and Diane, thanks for confirming the car’s existence and for the thorough history! I will pay the car a visit on my next trip to Fillmore.