Lunch with Louie at Fresco Santa Barbara food reviews with Louie the pessimist food critic Feb 24, 8:23 PM (PT) By Louie
Do you have about an hour and a half for lunch? I have a really good place for you. Fresco is located at the Five Points Plaza right next to Blockbuster and La Salsa. It will take you 15 minutes to find a parking place, 15 minutes in line to place your order and the rest to enjoy it, because you certainly will.
A mainstay in the restaurant community Fresco started modestly. Owned by a tiny Argentinean lady and a giant grouch of the same origin who spent the entire day complaining about everything and whining about going back to either Italy or Argentina. She was the sweetest little thing, and she could really cook. But to no avail. Too many unhappy vibes circulated in the place. Soon it changed owners and it quickly took off.
At 12.45 I counted a total of 72 patrons eating and waiting. Unbelievable. What are they giving away? Very simple, they are providing good and tasty food of good quality and above all, consistency. The salads are wonderful, and the house dressing is probably one of the best in town. Prices are very reasonable and if you are not too gastronomically pretentious you can have a slice of pizza or a calzone with a giant salad for $6.50. Their dishes are very generous and most of the time a half a salad should be more than enough. One curious tidbit, the ratio was approximately 5 women to every one man, including Ed and me in the male category. Where are the guys?
The tortilla soup was excellent and the chicken Milanese was outstanding; a delicious breading made the outside crispy and the inside tender, thin and delicious. I am not a fan of garlic-mashed potatoes but these were good and not overpowered by the garlic. Ed had a ‘told’ in his nose and not feeling that great which was ok by me because I polished off most of the Milanese. 75 people is a lot of lunches to prepare in what I know is a very small kitchen and with limited space in general. But the service was good and prompt.
You order the food yourself, but somebody brings it to your table and they are pretty fast at that.
Now, getting bread is another thing, my Spanish theory didn’t do me any good this time, I tried twice in Spanish and once in English but no luck. Sorry, no bread for you. I guess it is a gender thing. All the ladies around us were eating their bread with gusto and some were even flaunting it at us. Well, what else can we do, no bread, I guess we’ll join the no-carb craze.
A good place for lunch and for dinner too. Try it.
To make my afternoon even more pleasant, Ed rewarded all of my hard work by giving me my own business cards, they read
“edhat.com, Louie the pessimist food critic.”
Sometimes it is hard to express in words the joy of accomplishing something so transcendental in your life.
I went home and cried.
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