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Wishing Sorci's Italian Café's owner would adopt me

Benevolent Barnes

Nichole and David Barnes, owners of Sorci's Italian Café in Sumner

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You go a measly two weeks without feeding the Weekly Volcano office dog and all of a sudden you are labeled as "unreliable."  Punishment ensues. No funny, meaningless columns for you, Steph DeRosa. Stick me with the boring food column, Pappi Swarner, whatever. I'll show you. And guess what, Pappi, it's not a dog. It's called a ferret, and no one wants it around the office, so I actually did you all a favor. Uh, YOU'RE WELCOME.

Here's your so-called "food column."  Enjoy.

This week I met a stand-up guy, responsible, a family man - David Barnes. Loves God, loves his family, and loves his restaurant - Sorci's Italian Café in Sumner. As a human being with a surprisingly warm (and beating!) heart, I simply could not bring myself to sprinkle him with my snarky sarcasm dust this week. 

There is no doubt in my mind that if I were to act as my usual insolent self, David Barnes would ban me from his restaurant - and that would be the purest, most brutal form of food torture I could ever encounter. Because let me tell ya, Sorci's has some good grub. Really good. Plus, to be honest, there's really nothing I can pick on Barnes about. He's a real-life nice guy.

I'm going to go ahead and stick with the descriptive word "good" when it comes to Sorci's food. The food is actually way, WAY better than "good," but I really don't want the whole world knowing about this place. It's a hidden gem, and I'm too selfish to use this column for promotion of his restaurant. It's more about me, retaliation, and Pappi Swarner's dead ferret. 

I will tell you one secret, though, but don't tell anyone: my all-time favorite Sorci's food item, and it's not even on the menu. Listen to me, and listen closely: If you ask your server for the stuffed avocado, you will experience a euphoria like no other. Two avocado halves are filled with handmade olive tapenade, then warmed in an oven and served with grilled Italian bread. DO IT. Trust me.

David Barnes and his wife, Nichole, have owned Sorci's Italian Café, which serves savory, mouth-watering food and wine (lots of wine), for about two years. In that time, the Barnes family has taken a tiny Italian café and made it a true pillar of the Sumner community. With three daughters attending Sumner schools, Barnes looked at owning Sorci's as a way to get involved in the village that was helping raise his children.

"I didn't buy the restaurant to make money," he said. "I wanted to set an example for the kids and this community."

Barnes sets the example of what it truly means to give by not only involving himself in church, Rotary and parades, but also by closing his restaurant numerous times and feeding the Sumner football players and swim/dive team. No, he doesn't take their money, nor does he do this to get anything in return.

Regardless of why Barnes does what he does for the Sumner community, he's been officially recognized a plethora of times for his positive involvement.

"It's been humbling, to say the least," he said, while attributing Sorci's true success to God, Chef Alejandro, and an amazing staff whom he treats like family.

After verifying Barnes' truly kind heart with this staff (they lovehim), I've decided to ask if Barnes would adopt me. I could totally live in Sumner and eat stuffed avocados all day!  Hmmmm ... I wonder if he has ferrets.

SORCI'S ITALIAN CAFÉ, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, 1012 Ryan Ave., Sumner, 253.891.8400

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