Food at the Outlaws baseball games is putting a different taste in fans’ mouths.
The Outlaws organization has contracted with non-local sources for some of its ballpark food. Former fans of the Chico Heat, who relished fresh Caesar salads and tri-tip sandwiches, will be greeted with garlic fries by Gordon Biersch and other food from out-of-town sources.
“We were very disappointed, of course, because we had two good years out there,” said Jim Williams, owner of Pommes Frites in downtown Chico.
“Gordon Biersch is a major sponsor for the league,” said Bob Linscheid, Outlaws general manager. But even so, he said it was not a league requirement to go with them, and he decided against Pommes Frites because they wanted a bigger cut of sales.
Gordon Biersch makes a tasty fry, but Williams said he’d pit his fries against GB’s any day. “I think ours are as good as anywhere in the world. We use a special twice-cooked process that’s fairly greaseless.”
In the past, the concessions were run by Don Slater, now with CSU, Chico, and at other times by Bob Pinocchio, the former owner and chef of Geppetto’s in downtown Chico.
Linscheid said that he, along with Director of Operations Becca Hoffer, is running the concessions, formally Diamond Concessions, a subsidiary of Golden League Baseball. The league has its own food service expert.
Linscheid agreed that “some of the food is not up to the standards we would have liked.” Fans told him so at last weekend’s first home stand. “We’re making some improvements,” he said.
Bustolini’s, the popular Italian delicatessen at 800 Broadway, is in the process of being sold.
The new owners are Lori and Stanley Lentz of Vacaville.
John and Dara McKinley have had two children since opening Bustolini’s in 2001. “There’s just not enough time for the kids,” John McKinley said, adding that the deal “should be done by the end of June, if all goes well.”
The Lentzes own a construction company, and their daughter and son-in-law, Chico residents, plan to run the deli, which will have a slightly new name: Bustolini’s Deli and Coffee House.
Catering to go
After 30 years in the business, David Guzzetti is retiring and selling his catering company.
“That’s a long time to be in the food business,” he said. “But it’s a hard decision. I have such a loyal following.” Guzzetti, 56, is looking forward to doing volunteer work, including catering for nonprofits. “I’m hoping to do a cookbook, which will be kind of a memoir.”
He’s still taking appointments for catering jobs.
Guzzetti, who was one of a group of liberals to be elected to the Chico City Council in 1981 (he went on to serve through the mid-1990s), has long suffered from a serious liver disease. He was diagnosed 12 years ago and given a 50-50 chance of living five years.
“I’m still holding my own and doing fine under care and maintenance and pharmaceuticals,” Guzzetti said, although a recent health scare “almost killed” him and didn’t even move him up on the liver transplant list.
According to an online ad, the asking price is $150,000. The buyer would assume the lease on the old Chico Bread Works building at 117 W. 14th St., which is huge at 2,000 square feet, fully equipped and includes subleases that make up much of the monthly payment.