Lunch with Louie at the Bogart's
Santa Barbara food reviews with Louie the pessimist food critic
Jun 09, 2:21 PM (PT)
Bogart’s Café is located right inside La Arcada, that beautiful shopping area in the eleven hundred block of State St. It’s a charming place that initially gives you the impression of being an English or Irish pub, but the menu is just your standard Continental fare.
It was such a beautiful day and La Arcada was packed with local people in search of lunch, and hordes of tourists just trying to take it all in. Perfect for people-watching. We were lucky and secured a table outside under the canopy and away from the sun. It was just lovely with a soft breeze that made it even more pleasurable just being there. Life was good.
Our waitress, an Irish firecracker full of charm, good nature and humor, guided us through the menu with conviction and after the usual recommendations we proceeded to order just the opposite. We shared a cold sliced chicken sandwich on a French baguette with avocado, lettuce and tomato and a calzone stuffed with cheese, tomatoes, chicken and a wonderful pesto sauce. What made the calzone a success was the judgment and restraint used by the cook in the amounts of cheese used to finish the calzone; it was surprisingly light without losing any of its taste. I usually get my calzone delivered with a crane; in this case no outside help was needed, just a regular size Irish flower did the job.
I was amazed, the entire lunch was faultless, well presented, tasty and extremely reasonable; $7.95 for the calzone and $6.95 for a super good chicken sandwich, and the drinks were included.
Visually attractive, friendly, pleasant and unpretentious, Bogart’s is a great find. You should not miss it if you are in search of a great and inexpensive lunch.
As for the clientele, one very pretty girl and two guys who were drooling; lots of tourists all wishing they could live here (sorry), a member of the local fuzz with his mom and probably his aunt or grandma, very touching: to protect and serve and still find time to have lunch with your mom. No wonder they all want to move here. Luckily for us we had already asked for our check when a lady saturated in 2 quarts of perfume sat next to us. Be cool lady - subdued is the key. Still I managed to move my table a couple of feet away. She should have been arrested for being a living weapon of mass destruction. Should I talk to the cop with his mom? No, not fair to mama having lunch with her baby.
As for Bogart’s: “Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”.
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