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Sip, sup, swing at the scintillating Sawdust


There are only 10 days remaining of the summer festivals, so let’s

get with it at The Sawdust before the lively entertainment ends,

because it’s party time under the stars every night until Aug. 31.


Among lively bands for the listening and dancing pleasure at the

al fresco cabaret up front, are the Friday night performances of the

Peter Dobson Trio. With talented Sue Cross on bass, melodic Michael

J. on drums and inimitable guitarist / vocalist Peter setting the


entrancing pace, some memorable moments await.

Check out The Saloon for a frosty brew, a chilled glass of wine or

a sparkling split of bubbly and let the fun begin. Settle under one

of the umbrella-topped tables or step up to a circular bar under the

sun or stars while checking out the menu of Mexican taste treats

fronting the Laguna Taco Bowl and the endless variety of sandwich,

salad and fountain favorites featured at the forefront of Deb’s Deli.

Then discover something delicious to please everyone in your party


and check the surprisingly affordable tariffs.

If south-of-the border is your choice, commence with a taco bowl

featuring grilled steak, fish, pork or chicken presented with grilled

veggies atop bed of rice and beans, each $6.95. The same price

garners tasty tostada salads festively served in big, edible flour

tortilla shells heaped with the same choice of ingredients or perhaps

grilled veggies, all topping pinto beans, chopped lettuce, guacamole

and salsa. Combination plates of tacos, burritos, enchiladas are $4


to $6.50; each served with Spanish rice and beans. A la carte tacos

and enchiladas with those meat and fish stuffings come a la carte at

$2.50; big burritos and big wet burritos are $5 and $6, the latter

cloaked in melted cheese and red salsa.

Breakfast burritos, available until noon daily, are $2.75 for a

stuffing of egg-bean-cheese-salsa. Another 75 cents for the addition

of steak, chicken or salsa. The breakfast menu also includes standard

eggs with toast, bacon, and sausage, $1 to $3.75. For kids, $2.75

brings their choice of a taco with chips, quesadilla, nachos, or a

bean and cheese burrito as well as the chopped romaine salad and soup

of the day available to all. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate and soft

drinks are $1.50 and $1.75.

Now go to Deb’s Deli (there really is a Deb whose significant

other is the Harlen Terwilliger who introduced food and drink to the

Sawdust at its very beginning a whopping 37 years ago). This menu

commences with super sandwiches which translate to generously hefty

fillings inside sourdough, squaw, rye or rolls with tomato, lettuce

or sprouts and corn chip garnishes. A favorite is the H.T.OLE’ layers

of turkey breast and jack cheese with mild green chilies and olives

served hot or cold, as are several selections. Hot pastrami is

healthfully made from turkey breast and is sandwiched with Swiss

cheese on rye. Water-packed tuna is tossed with chopped olives,

celery and red onion. Teriyaki chicken slices come with jack cheese

and pineapple on an open face bun. There is imitation crab salad with

cheddar and honey smoked ham with three cheeses. For the same $5.85

price, you may create your own sandwich with any or all of the above


Gourmet salads, also $5.85, are another source of pride at Deb’s,

notably the D & H South West arrangement of chicken morsels, shredded

cheddar, black beans and olives topped with guacamole, sour cream and

a side of Terwilliger’s “secret” smoky sauce studded with tomato


Chinese chicken salad boasts a toss of cashews, water chestnuts,

crispy noodles, bean sprouts and sesame dressing. Crab salad is mixed

with celery, onion and mayo on a lettuce bed with egg, olives, tomato

and cheddar. Most deliciously tantalizing is the fabulous fruit

bounty of seasonal melons, berries, kiwi and bananas, a $5 bargain,

with a mountain whipped cream or frozen yogurt 75 cents more.

Eight hot dog varieties start at $2.50, a vegetable wrap and

garden burger are each less than $6. Deli wraps of flat bread with

assorted fillings are $5.85, as is one of the big hits: the hefty

half sandwich half salad combo.

* GLORI FICKLING is a longtime Laguna Beach resident who has

written restaurant news and views columns since 1966. She may be reached at 494-4710 or by e-mail at