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Lunch on Sunday after USB graduation

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Chicago, Illinois
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Lunch on Sunday after USB graduation

It's me again. Have the hotel, dinner reservations (3 mo ago) at El Encanto, and now (this is next week remember) we need a place for lunch. Could be anywhere from 8-10 people, around noon-1 p.m., either near the university (beach area) or in Santa Barbara proper. Sorry, but this is my brother's kid that's graduating and the family lives near L,A. so they're all sooooo laid back. I am the one that had to make reservations for HIS son's graduation dinner and I live 3,000 miles away! Reason I am spouting is they made no plans for a lunch after graduation which I know will be packed. If it was just me, I'd make do with crackers from the local 7-11, but I have older parents with me. Any suggestions without me going through every restaurant on-line in Santa Barbara? If necessary, we'll picnic at our hotel and grab something from Savoy Deli (which I heard is fantastic). Any last minute ideas?

Santa Barbara...
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1. Re: Lunch on Sunday after USB graduation

It's best to make reservations anytime there are 10, and especially on graduation day when competition will be tuff at the best places. Here are classic Santa Barbara dining spots with room for parties: Joe's, Cafe Stella, Zaytoon's, China Pavillion, Harry's Plaza, Cielito, Enterprise Fish, Opal, Petros, Eureka Burger, Bella Vista, Chuck's (both), Endless Summer, Stella Mare's, Louie's, and Jane. (There are two places worth mentioning - Longboard's Grill and El Paseo, where the setting is great, but unfortunately the food isn't on par.)

http://santabarbara.com/dining/best_of_sb/

Manhattan Beach...
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2. Re: Lunch on Sunday after USB graduation

We hosted dinner at El Encanto when our son graduated from Santa Barbara as well. The sunset view is gorgeous.

Our son had an early ceremony too, but none of the graduates wanted to rush to lunch. We brought in food and drinks before the ceremony to have ready, following when we walked back. He lived on Del Playa Street across from the ocean, in a house, as do hundreds of other grads. The parents were all hosting gatherings. The kids wanted to be together one last time before they moved out the next day.

Order from Woody's BBQ. My son delivered from them at their Goleta location near campus during college. Food is good.

http://www.cateringbywoodys.com/

Are the Grad's parents driving up for the day, or do they have a hotel during the weekend?

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Lunch on Sunday after USB graduation

Thanks all! CAnative: grad's parents have a hotel in Goleta...the Hampton Inn, I believe. But what I did was secure a reservation at Wine Bistro on State Street at 1 p.m. for 10 people on a Sunday. (It's also Father's Day which is nice). If my brother and his clan want to join us, then fine. If not, then that's fine too. We need to eat. And on Saturday, my brother and the grad will be "moving" stuff. Think we will take in Savoy Cafe & Deli for an early dinner. BTW, how WAS El Encanto? We have an early dinner reservation Friday evening for 11 people and while I heard about the great view, the service and food reviews were much less than desirable (I booked 3 mo. ago as they just reopened).

Pauma Valley, CA
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4. Re: Lunch on Sunday after USB graduation

When my niece graduated a few years ago, we had lunch at Los Arroyos in Montecito. Wonderful little place. the food, the service, the margaritas, were all great. We had about 15 in our group and am sure had reservations. Right off the freeway.

www.losarroyosrestaurants.com

1280 Coast Village Rd

Montecito 805-969-9059

Manhattan Beach...
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5. Re: Lunch on Sunday after USB graduation

I see that this is a vacation trip for you and your parents, so of course you want to have meals reserved. Doesn't sound like you are having a Grad Dinner the same day as the ceremony hosted by his parents?

This was our order of events. Arrive SB, have lunch at Bella Vista at the Biltmore 4 Seasons in Montecito. Check in.

fourseasons.com/santabarbara/…

Friday night, full from fantastic lunch, met son at Stern's Wharf for appetizers and drinks upstairs at Longboards Grill for sunset.

Saturday morning drive to son's home in Illa Vista next to campus, walk over to Graduation area. After ceremony, share food and drinks with roommates, girlfriends and others.

Saturday night, Graduation dinner at El Encanto. This was when the original hotel and restaurant was still operational. It's been closed for some time and just reopened. I don't know anything about the new chef, but I will still try it out next visit to SB, as El Encanto holds many memories for us, Honeymoon, Anniversaries, Birthdays, etc.

Sunday packed up and load two cars with college stuff, clean up house, moved stuffed chair/desk and other used items to the curb for trash pick up. Took good part of the day, don't remember having much of a meal, probably was Father's Day as well.

Even if it's overcast for the outdoors ceremony, bring sunscreen for all, and caps or hats for shade on your face/head. It got really warm among the throngs of people.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Lunch on Sunday after USB graduation

Actually, just got back from SB and it was really very nice. And, no, CAnative, the grad's parents didn't host anything. MY reservations and my parents' paying of all meals, however, was well received. We had the "graduation" dinner at El Encanto which we all LOVED. Had a great time. Sunday afternoon we went to Wine Bistro (on State Street) after the early morning graduation. (Friday night was the main dinner as my nephew graduated separately as a commissioned officer through USB). Wine Bistro was good too. Of course, we all had to eat dinner (9 of us) on Saturday and by some miraculous means at 10 a.m. that same day, I secured a reservation for all at Maggie's (also on State Street) at 5 p.m. That was a good dinner! All of these fine establishments will be reviewed under separate cover. All in all, SB was really a beautiful town and we had a great time. I want to also put in a good work for the Spanish Garden Inn...lovely place. If and when I return, I will definitely want to stay there again. Reviews will follow. Thanks all! Had a great time in your beautiful town.

Manhattan Beach...
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7. Re: Lunch on Sunday after USB graduation

Thanks for getting back to us and letting us know how things went. So happy to hear El Encanto worked out fine. Well be there in Aug for our Anniversary.

Can't believe the Grads parents didn't plan or pay for a meal. Oh well! As grandparents we pay for a lot because we can, but when you invite people to an occasion you host something.

Curious how your parents did parking and walking to the ceremonies on campus. Hope the crowds were not too much.

Will look for your reviews. Glad you enjoyed SB.

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Lunch on Sunday after USB graduation

My mother didn't come to the ceremony (hip pain) but my 89 year old father who can outwalk us all did attend along with my brother's clan. OMG! the walk is outrageous and there were little or no signs as to where to walk and no USB staff directing the way. Did enjoy looking at the very utilitarian barrack-styled buildings that comprise that part of the campus, however. And, the outdoor graduation was really nice, although it would have been nicer were there big TV screens to see more of the graduates. Also, very annoying that the graduates were called onstage not in alphabetical order, but to the order of their seating arrangements. Strange. We parked on the first floor of the garage, getting there about an hour before the commencement, well, commenced. So, it didn't take us that long to get out of the garage once the graduation was over. I really did enjoy it and my brother and his family really did appreciate everything my parents and I did for them. So...guess it all worked out. We're all happy.

9. Re: Lunch on Sunday after USB graduation

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