fredThe Restaurant Gal and I recently enjoyed a fine meal at Fresco Cafe (3987 State Street) with retiring local astronomer Fred Marschak and his wife Nancy, who are moving to Pennsylvania soon.

Fred has been teaching astronomy and science at Santa Barbara City College for 37 years, ran the planetarium at the Museum of Natural History for decades, and has been the local go-to person for all heavenly events that graced the night skies.

While enjoying Fresco’s popular Hot Mushroom Combo, which is on my top 10 lunches list, owner Jill Brouillard walked by. My automatic response was, of course, to ask her to send me any news about Fresco that I might have missed and she kindly obliged:

Hi John,

Some of what is new at Fresco Five Points:

  • We now cater seven days a week and provide staffing and assistance with rentals.
  • We offer Fundraising Saturday Evenings where an approved non-profit or people in crisis can receive 15% of cash sales between 5 and 9 p.m.
  • We have many gluten-free items on our menu, including sandwiches, salads, pastas, desserts. Especially good is our gluten-free caramel and coconut banana cream pie. In our case you may also find coconut macaroons, flourless chocolate cake, sour cream coffee cake muffins, all also gluten free.

– Jill Brouillard

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12 Responses to FRESCO UPDATE

  1. Rex Of SB says:

    Unfortunately, until the bulldozed parking lot nightmare is over at Five Points, we’re staying WELL away fom there. We miss Fresco, but look forward to returning in a few months, when the parking lot fiasco is finished. We feel so sorry for the merchants and restaurateurs who are affected by this hideously executed “improvement.”

    • John Dickson says:

      When I was at Five Points last Wednesday there was plenty of parking even though much of the lot was under construction. Perhaps so many people are scared away that there is excess availability, like what happened during “Carmageddon” on the 405 freeway.

  2. Christine says:

    Albertsons’ manager Chris told me Thursday the paving goes into SEPTEMBER. He said their sales are down 25%. I hope whoever owns the location is offering a nice deal to the leasees during this nightmare.

  3. Dawn OBrien says:

    Fred Marshak taught the best class Ive ever taken – Voyages Into Space at SBCC.
    I still speak of it…
    Thank you Fred! And Bon Voyage!

  4. Ed says:

    Took his Astronomy 101 class at CC many years ago, He is a great teacher! Thanks Fred!

  5. John Dickson says:

    Fred is my favorite teacher of all time. Great classes and a great guy.

  6. Bernie says:

    Hi John, I’m very curious what your other top 9 lunches are and I’m sure others would like to know too. Please do share. Thank you!

  7. Josh says:

    Just have them put the Wednesday Special Salad (Kale & Quinoa) on the regular menu, and I would eat there waaaaaaaaay more often than I aleready do (which is kind of alot, says my wife). Even better, a Fresco Cookbook (with that recipie, for sure) would be an awesome seller.

    • DN says:

      Josh, I TOTALLY agree! I’ve been hoping they’d put the kale & quinoa salad on the regular menu ever since I first ordered it quite a few months back (maybe we can start a petition? : ) ). I didn’t know it was offered every Wednesday! I thought their daily specials were just dependent on what mood the chef was in. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Thank you for the nice comments on the Kale salad. Each day Fresco Cafe offers a special salad that is hand made to order, and pretty much people ask that each one be on the menu. Unfortunately, if we continued to put favored specials on the core menu, we would have a menu we could not sustain.
    Here are the daily salad specials.
    Monday- Gaucho, a shredded cabbage based salad with Chipotle Ranch dressing.
    Tuesday — Jill’s Big salad, too many ingredients to name, but crunchy and delicious, and the
    biggest seller as a special salad.
    Wednesday — above mentioned Tuscan Kale
    Thursday — Skewered Shrimp & Salmon over Arugula (second best seller)
    Friday- Panzanella, our version of a tomato & bread salad
    Saturday- Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad over Mixed Greens

    and on anther note, the parking lot has been a challenge, but we are almost half way through the process. We thank everyone for their support and patience.


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