Plow to Porch is a local organic/pesticide free produce and grocery delivery service that tries to simplify the purchase of healthy produce order to inspire good nutrition, support local farmers, and protect our environment. The company recently announced that their service is now available in Isla Vista. Their service starts with a weekly or biweekly box subscription packed with fresh fruits, vegetables and other ingredients based on seasonal availability. The box also includes easy-to-follow recipes to go along with the ingredients, which might help UCSB students focus their attention on school instead of stressing over meal planning. The service offers numerous add-ons to complement the box, such as eggs, sustainable meats and fair-trade coffee and teas. Visit

Courtesy photo

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Brasil Arts Café at 1230 State Street #C has added a weekly special:  every Wednesday from 5-7 p.m. kids under 10  eat free with a paying adult.

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This just in from Norton’s Pastrami & Deli  at 18 West Figueroa Street:

“Hi John,
I’m the owner of Norton’s Pastrami & Deli the sandwich shop on West Figueroa Street. I’m reaching you because this year we’re celebrating 15 years in business. On top of that on Saturday October 19th we will host a customer appreciation day, a selection of the sandwiches featured on the original’s Norton’s menu will be offered at their original price ($7). The event will be called “The Originals, at the Original Price”. Have a good day!
– Filippo – Norton’s Pastrami & Deli”

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For years locals have flocked to Finch & Fork (31 West Carrillo Street) on Tuesdays to indulge in Chef Cham’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken. The Restaurant Gal and I come to Finch & Fork specifically for their fried chicken so I take this news to heart.  The perfectly coated, seasoned and crispy pieces have created quite the fan base. With Fried Chicken Night as one of the busiest of the week, they’ve decide to up the ante. Starting this week, Finch & Fork will be expanding the special, offering it Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. Guests can pair their chicken with a local beer or a craft cocktail from lead bartender George Piperis, who just launched a new seasonal drink menu.

Nothing better than Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Beer! Courtesy photo.



Here is a message from Ca’ Dario Cucina Italiana at 250 Storke Road in Goleta

Hi John,

Danny here from Ca’ Dario Cucina Italiana in Goleta.

I was hoping you could share some information about an event we are hosting this Tuesday, October 15 at 6pm.  We are partnering with our Goleta neighbor SAMsARA Winery for a 4-course, 6-wine dinner featuring Dario’s signature Northern Italian cooking paired with the wonderful Santa Rita offerings of SAMsARA owners Joan and Dave Szkutak.   Cost for the evening is $75/person and space is limited.

If any of your readers are interested making reservations they can call the restaurant at 805.884.9419


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Here is a press-release from Root 246 restaurant, located at 420 Alisal Road in Solvang:

Sunday, October 20, 2019: “Root 246” Restaurant in Solvang, CA Hosts Five-Course Firestone Walker Brewing Company Barrelworks Beer Pairing Dinner

Chef Crystal “Pink” DeLongpré of Solvang, California restaurant, Root 246 at Hotel Corque (, located in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country, has announced plans for “The Wild Ones”, a Sunday, October 20, 2019 Firestone Walker Brewing Company Barrelworks Beer Pairing Dinner. A continuation of Chef Pink’s “Out of the Box” dinner series, the exclusive event, which begins at 6:00 PM, will include five inventive courses of wild ale-friendly fare, utilizing local ingredients, and a special dinner guest, “Sour Jim” Crooks, Master Blender for Firestone Walker Barrelworks.

The October 20 brew-paired culinary adventure, priced at $95.00 per person (includes beer pairings; excludes tax and gratuity), will feature such luxurious, flavor-layered fall dishes as a scallop crudo with caviar, uni and bottarga; a local rabbit roulade with prosciutto and smoked pine needle; venison saddle with a blackberry and thyme Barrelworks Terrior Duex sauce; and a smoked pumpkin goat cheese cheesecake with a Barrelworks El Gourdo reduction and pumpkin powder.

Reservations for the October 20 “The Wild Ones” dinner at Root 246 may be made in advance by contacting the restaurant at 805.686.8681, or via OpenTable: (space is extremely limited).

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The fall season is upon us at Cachuma Lake, bringing with it a serene atmosphere for relaxation, boating, fishing, picnicking and overnight camping. Visitors to the park may also enjoy a new restaurant at the marina recently approved by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. Hook’d Bar & Grill, at 1 Lakeview Drive, is air-conditioned with indoor and outdoor seating and a shaded patio. The menu includes hot and cold beverages, breakfast burritos, prime top sirloin BBQ sandwiches, and beef hot dogs and burgers.

Hook’d is brought to you by Craig Lingham, whose family operated the Cachuma Lake Recreation Area snack shack and marina for years, along with business partner Dustin Farnum. Lingham is a chef and partner at Roost restaurant on State Street.

Normally there is an entry fee at the front gate when you spend more than 20 minutes in the popular recreation area. The rules have been adjusted to accommodate patrons of Hook’d Bar & Grill. If your destination is the restaurant the entry fee will be waived, and you will receive a 2-hour pass at the gate. You need to spend at least $10 at Hook’d Bar & Grill to get the pass validated by the eatery. Upon exiting the gate you must present the validated pass. Without a validated pass, or if your stay exceeds 2 hours, you will be charged the full entry fee when exiting the gate.

Hook’d is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call 350-8351.

Photo courtesy Hook’d Bar & Grill Facebook page



Co-owners Chef Brendan Smith and Rachel Greenspan have demonstrated their commitment to sustainability with the announcement that their Bettina restaurant at 1014 Coast Village Road in Montecito has earned the Surfrider Foundation’s certification as an ocean friendly restaurant. They encourage other hospitality colleagues to join them in making this commitment to sustainability as an industry standard to be followed throughout the country.

To qualify for the certification, restaurants must prove the below compliances: Participating restaurants participating must follow the first five criteria: No expanded polystyrene use (aka styrofoam); proper recycling practices are followed; only reusable foodware is used for onsite dining; no plastic bags offered with take out or to-go orders and utensils are provided only upon request; and paper straws are provided only upon request.

Restaurants must also choose a minimum of two of the following criteria: No beverages are sold in plastic bottles; a discount is offered for customers with reusable cup, container, bag, etc.; vegetarian/vegan food options are offered on a regular basis; all seafood is ‘best choice’ or ‘good alternative’ as defined by seafood watch, or certified as sustainable; water conservation and pollution mitigation efforts are implemented; energy efficiency efforts are in place.

The Surfrider Foundation is represented by over 50,000 members and approximately 80 local chapters in the United States and multiple international affiliations. “Plastic pollution is suffocating our ocean and the many animals that call it home,” says the Surfrider Foundation. “Researchers estimate there are now over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the sea with the number continuing to grow every day. This pollution is impacting our marine ecosystems, wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, fish, and turtles, and plastic fragments are even displacing plankton at the base of the food chain. The Surfrider Foundation encourages positive change via one restaurant, one customer at a time to increase awareness, drive change in behavior and to create scalable impact to reduce the community’s plastic and water footprint.”

Bettina restaurant owners Rachel Greenspan and Chef Brendan Smith with their new ocean-friendly restaurant certificate. Courtesy photo.



Reader Maria heard a rumor that Dave’s Dogs at 149 South Turnpike Road in Goleta is planning top open a new location, supposedly near Milpas and Cannon Perdido Streets. If this rumor is true, could Dave be taking over the former location of Sal’s Pizza? Reader Eric says he drove past the old Sal’s about a week ago and saw Dave standing out front on his phone as construction crews were inside.



Reader Viv let me know that 212 Hotpot, which opened at 6533 Trigo Road in Isa Vista in June 2018, has closed and that it has been replaced by a Japanese restaurant named Sizzling Lunch that opened in late September.

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This just in from reader Tom:

“Good morning – passing this info on for the Restaurant Guy section of your paper.  Oku officially opened yesterday [in the old El Torito/España space at 29 East Cabrillo Boulevard].

I happened to be walking by on the bike path and noticed them setting up, so swung over.  Very impressive!  Extensive drink and food (sushi + filet Mignon, ribs, etc) menu.  2 bars, 2 floors, 2 outdoor patios.  Outdoor fireplace and couches with great views.  Seating for 180 they said.

– Tom”

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THE CRYSTAL BALL KNOWS ALL: After intense concentration and a wave of my hand over the all-knowing crystal ball, my eatery oracle has revealed a list of food and drink locations appearing in your future:

  • Bristol Farms, 3855 State St. (formerly Vons at La Cumbre Plaza)
  • Ca’ Dario, 1187 Coast Village Rd., Montecito (formerly Giovanni’s)
  • Copenhagen Sausage Garden, the Funk Zone
  • Dave’s Drip House (ice cream), 193 S. Turnpike Rd. (near Vons)
  • Joie Di Vino, 532 State St. (formerly Zia Café)
  • Leadbetter, 23 E. Cabrillo Blvd (formerly Wheel Fun and L.T. Cinnamon)
  • Little Dom’s Seafood, 686 Linden Ave., Carpinteria (formerly Sly’s)
  • Mangione’s Italian Ice, 1222 State St. (formerly Spoon)
  • Mesa Burger, 1209 Coast Village Rd., Montecito (formerly Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf)
  • M. Special, 634 State St. (formerly Tonic)
  • Oku Sushi, 29 E. Cabrillo Blvd. (formerly El Torito)
  • Rincon Brewery, 205 Santa Barbara St. #B (formerly Laplace Wine Bar & Shop)
  • Rusty’s Pizza, 2315 Lillie Ave., Summerland (formerly Stacky’s Seaside)
  • Sprouts, 29 S. Milpas St. (formerly Trader Joe’s which moved up the street)
  • Taqueria Santa Barbara, 1213 State St. (formerly Jersey Mike’s)
  • The Daisy Restaurant, 1221 State St.
  • Vons Chicken (Korean BBQ), 955 Embarcadero del Mar, Isla Vista (formerly Sweet Alley)
  • 7-Eleven, 700 State St. (formerly Panera Bread and Left at Albuquerque)
  • Unnamed French Bakery, 34 E. Canon Perdido St. (formerly Miso Hungry  and Sojourner Cafe)


Reader Primetime says that the Goleta Coffee Company at 177 South Turnpike Road has new owners and that they’re going to be adding a special gluten-free kitchen soon.

Photo by Primetime



In-N-Out Burger will soon lose its monopoly on long car lines in Noleta.  In June of 2017 I announced that Starbucks is building a drive-thru location on the then-vacant lot at the south-east corner of Turnpike and Calle Real between In-N-Out Burger and IHOP. Reader Tim says that the caffeine dispensary opened on Sunday, September 29th, which was also National Coffee Day. In addition to a drive-thru Starbucks the new building is expected to house an ice cream shop, a sandwich shop, and office space. Tip: When you enter the parking lot, take an immediate right to enter the drive-thru. It’s easy to miss.



Here is a message from reader Gillian:

“Hi John, I noticed that construction has stopped at Bristol Farms [that is set to replace Vons in La Cumbre Plaza]. I am in that parking lot on most weekday mornings and I noticed last week (possibly Friday) that the construction company was packing up their staging area over by The Habit.  The fencing is gone where all of their equipment was and the place is boarded up.  Curious to know whats up?”



Reader Steve H. saw a sign posted at 23 East Canon Perdido Street, near the Lobero, that says Sevtap Cellars, a wine grower, has applied for an ABC license to operate a business at that address.



This just in from owner Tracy:

“Hi John,  October 6th is Yellow Belly‘s 5th year anniversary. We’ll be celebrating the whole weekend, October 5th and 6th, offering $5 draft beers, and $2 off all wine from 11:30am-9pm. Also, we are now open for lunch on the weekends. Saturday and Sunday we open at 11:30am, serving our full menu of delicious burgers, pizzas, and sandwiches ALL DAY, plus some brunch specials!  – Tracy, Yellow Belly,  2611 De la Vina Street.”

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Reader Primetime says that Joe’s Cafe head Chef Rick Braun died recently. I’m told that he had been with the eatery for 15 years. Chef Eddie Lino from Trattoria Grappolo in Santa Ynez passed away in late September. Here is a write-up on a GoFundMe page that has been setup in his honor:

“Eddie Lino, beloved son, brother, uncle, cousin, friend, and Chef at Trattoria Grappolo, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, September 23rd.  Eddie had a unique way of lighting up any room with his smile and joyful spirit.   He worked hard and played hard, and he had a genuine love for life!  Eddie was a friend to so many, and his love for his family was immense.   As our way of paying tribute to Eddie’s bright, vibrant life, we would like to raise money to help send him home  to his family in Toluca, Mexico.  We are hoping to raise these funds as soon as possible, so Eddie can rest in peace at home near his family. Thank you for your contributions and for showing your love and respect for Eddie in this way.”

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Reader Brendan says that Seoul on Sixth, a Korean taco popup from Los Angeles, will be at the Breakfast Culture Club , 711 Chapala Street, as part of an art opening that takes place Thursday, October 3, from 6-9pm.

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Empress Palace at 2251 Las Positas Road, which closed in May of last year, has been set to be replaced by a new eatery named Meet Up Chinese. Reader Beatrice says that they had soft opening last weekend.  I am told that the owner said official opening was planned for Tuesday Oct 1.

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Readers suggest that there might have been changes at Pizza Guru, 3534 State Street, though I have not confirmed anything.

“Hi! Pizza Guru was closed last night when I stopped in at 6:30 PM with no explanatory sign. My Axxess app says ‘We are sorry, this business is closed.’ ” – Mark

“Just wanted to share a possible tip… looks like Pizza Guru on State Street may be closed. Went for a pizza on Friday at 6pm and all was dark.  Same thing Saturday evening as well… big loss to the pizza loving community!” – Cliff M.



Americana gastropub Eleven14 Craft House and Kitchen has opened in La Arcada Court at 1114 State Street, the former home of Viva Santa Barbara, Cielito, Stateside, and Acapulco. Fans of Viva Santa Barbara will notice that some of the menu carried over including the Shrimp & Crab Enchiladas, Baja Fish Tacos, and Fajitas. The Poke Tuna Tacos are now Poke Tuna Nachos. During Happy Hour (Monday-Friday 3:14-6:14 p.m., and all day Sunday) the homemade flat breads, burgers, and bottles of wine are half price. Soon it will include half off the house beer. Bar Manager Nathan Galeano tells me that that the Crafthouse Marg margarita (Blanco tequila, lime, agave) is one of the most popular drinks they serve. Eleven14 has 16 beers on draft, and all of them (from tap to brewery) will be locally sourced, no farther than 2 hours away.

The burgers and sandwiches range in price from $10-14 and include the 1114 Burger, Bacon Burger, Truffle Mushroom Burger, Spicy Jalapeno Burger, Crisply Chicken Sandwich, and the Beyond Burger. Homemade flatbreads cost $14 and include Pepperoni, Pesto Caprese, Crafthouse, Club and Margherita. Signature dishes ($14-28) include Fish & Chips, Steak & Fries, Double Cut Brined Pork Chop, Bourbon Chicken, Wild Salmon, Spicy Tequila Shrimp Fettuccine, Lobster Mac & Cheese, Sizzling Fajitas, and Shrimp & Crab Enchiladas. A special kids menu and Sunday brunch menu is available.

Live music outdoors is available Thursday–Saturday night and all day Sunday. The NFL package is now available and many more TVs have been installed up and downstairs. Upstairs seating in now available all times instead of just during busy hours.

Eleven14 Craft House and Kitchen is open daily  11:14 a.m. – 11:14 p.m. and is available for events, rehearsal dinners, and more.



Organizers of the popular California Wine Festival are returning to Santa Barbara for the 3rd Annual CA Brew & BBQ Festival, a beer festival showcasing premier beer and culinary professionals, on Saturday, September 28, 2019 in Santa Barbara. The event will feature
top breweries at the picturesque Chase Palm Park venue making it one of the largest oceanfront beer festivals in the state.

The event will continue the popular BBQ Competition where top local restaurants and caterers compete for the ‘Best Tri-Tip in the 805.’ World Championship Pitmaster and Traeger Grills Ambassador, Doug Scheiding, will be on the panel judges in addition to serving his award-winning BBQ to the attendees. “We are thrilled to partner with such a talented professional as well as a top notch brand like Traeger to shine the spotlight on Santa Barbara’s top restaurants and caterers. The competition will feature Beans BBQ, Convivo, Craft Woodfired Catering, The Hitching Post, The Monarch, Mosto, SoulCal Smokehouse, and Santa Barbara Woodfire Catering,” said Executive Director Emily Kaufmann.

This years’ event will include famous names from the beer world like Firestone, Lagunitas and Karl Strauss, as well as an amazing line up of top Santa Barbara County breweries including The Brewhouse, Captain Fatty’s, Draughtsmen, M. Special, Rincon Brewery, Santa Barbara Brewing, The Cruisery and Third Window Brewery. In addition to breweries, the event will highlight wine, ciders and kombucha. The 2019 California Brew & BBQ Festival will feature more than 40 breweries and over 120 beers, allowing attendees to sample some of the best craft beers around.

Along with showcasing hundreds of beers, two well-known Santa Barbara bands will complete the live music lineup. Neighborhood Thieves will kick things off with their rock pop vibe, followed by headliner One2Tree with their unique blend of old school reggae with a laid back Hawaiian feel.

Event goers can expect some to taste tri-tip from the BBQ competition in addition to gourmet food samples as well. There will be a handful of local food vendors presenting their tastiest treats such as tacos, wood-fire pizza, lobster bisque and more. The event will also feature an opportunity for attendees to cast their vote for ‘Best Brewery.’ Each attendee will be given one bottle cap to cast their vote for their top brewery by placing the cap in their favorite brewery’s voting receptacle. Awards will be presented to the top three breweries at the end of the event.

The VIP Pavilion will include catering from Patxi’s Pizza, VIP bathrooms, lounge seating along with rare brews that will only be offered in the VIP area. The oceanfront VIP Pavilion will allow VIP guests to enjoy the ocean view along with an unobstructed view of the stage. The California Brew & BBQ Festival proudly supports the local community and donates a portion of its profits generated from the California Brew & BBQ Festival to Surf Happens Foundation, an organization committed to enriching the lives of local youth through environmental education and the sport of surfing.


California Brew & BBQ Festival is a beer festival open to everyone 21+. All attendees will receive a 16oz. commemorative pint glass for tasting. There will be food samples including BBQ from the BBQ competition. VIP ticket holders get early access to the event at 1:00PM, unlimited beer tastings, VIP tent access with complimentary appetizers from Patxi’s, VIP bathrooms and seating. Gates open for General Admission ticket holders at 2:00PM and include unlimited beer tastings.

Tickets can be purchased online at General Admission tickets are $65 in advance and $80 at the gate. VIP tickets are $100 in advance and $125 at the gate. Designated driver wristbands are $40 online and $50 at the gate. California Brew & BBQ Festival is September 28, 2019 from 1:00PM to 5:30PM at Chase Palm Park Field in Santa Barbara located at 236 East Cabrillo Boulevard.

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Here is a message from a local restaurant owner:

“Hi John,
I hope you’re doing well. With the proliferation of so many restaurant delivery companies, I thought you might like to hear from a local restaurant owner about some of the differences. We currently offer delivery from 3 companies: Restaurant Connection, Grub Hub and SB Bites.

Restaurant Connection has been around many years, they offer very professional service, and charge 30% over the restaurant menu pricing (which the customer pays), along with a delivery fee (usually $5-$7)  then the 30% is  deducted from what is paid to the restaurant. Essentially the restaurant gets paid pretty close to full price.

The local service for Grub Hub used to be run by SB Menus, but was taken over last year, and they offer pretty much the same % and pricing, but use Uber drivers. When they took over last year, they were overwhelmed, and the orders took a long time (sometimes up to an hour) to be picked up/delivered, but their service has improved.

We used to use Doordash, but discontinued, as they did not increase the price charged to the customer, but deducted 30% from what the restaurant was paid, so it wasn’t profitable for us.

A little hidden secret is SB Bites. Orders are delivered from a taxi driver, but they only charge the customer 10% over the menu price, and a small delivery fee (I think it’s $5-$7) then they deduct the 10% from what we are reimbursed, but the bill is substantially lower  for the customer.”



A couple of weeks ago I reported that Flightline restaurant / High Sierra Grill at 521 Firestone Road was officially closed for a “few days.” Manager Warren Butler now tells me that the eateries are closed permanently. “Airport/City of SB did not allow the lease to be assigned to Flightline,” says Butler.



Reader Beatrice says that the old Empress Palace at 2251 Las Positas Road, which closed in May of last year, has a new sign out front:  Meet Up Chinese but I am told that it still seems to be closed. Their web site indicates that the new business is a restaurant but gives no indication when they are opening. The site suggests that you can order food online now.



Reader Annie walked by Vicenta’s in Camino Real Marketplace and noticed that it looks like they’ve shut their doors for the foreseeable future. I contacted a manager from the eatery who confirmed that they are closed permanently. Vicenta’s opened in October 2018.



The hugely popular Jeannine’s Bakery has opened a new South Coast location in Goleta at 7060 Hollister Avenue, near Smart & Final. I am happy to report that Chef Gordon Hardy and Operations Manager Alison Hardy made sure that everything is the same as other locations around town, which includes 3607 State Street, 15 East Figueroa Street, and 1253 Coast Village Road in Montecito. The Hardy’s have been operating Jeannine’s for over 30 years, ever since they bought the original bakery on Carrillo Street. “We at Jeannine’s strive to be the best in providing great food, amazing service, and a memorable experience – every time!” said Alison Hardy. All the veteran team members from Jeannine’s, including always-on-the-go Lalo Mendoza, will be on hand to launch the new store and help keep everything running smoothly. Outdoor seating is available in front of the bakery and in the common area a few doors down. Jeannine’s is open daily 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m., and is closed on Tuesdays.



A reader tells me that their reservations were canceled suddenly, just hours before dinner at The Silver Bough restaurant inside the Montecito Inn. Here is the message they received:


It is with much apologies that I am reaching out to you on behalf of The Silver Bough. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to open and honor your reservation. We are of course going to issue a full refund of your ticket purchase, and genuinely appreciate your interest in and support for the ambitious project we created. We look forward to the opportunity to invite you back to the concept in the future, when we have resolved our current issue.

If you are still looking for someplace to dine, we would love to invite you to make a reservation at either Sushi|Bar Montecito, or at The Monarch. If you need help making a reservation at either, please let me know and I’ll see how I can help.

Please accept my humblest apologies, and if there’s anything I can do in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thank you.”



Reader Annie broke the news that Sal’s Pizza at 900 North Milpas Street has closed. Here is a message posted on “CIAO! Thank You Santa Barbara! After 15 Years In Santa Barbara – Sal’s Pizza Is Now Closed! Sal Wishes To Thank His Loyal Customers As He Retires From Pizza Making.”