Lots of pop-ups in Santa Cruz this weekend

Lemon rice is one of the dishes Monsoon Kitchen will be preparing at Midtown Friday, May 20. Credit: Midtown Facebook page

Lemon rice is one of the dishes Monsoon Kitchen will be preparing at Midtown Friday, May 20. Credit: Midtown Facebook page

These days, Santa Cruz is often buzzing with popup energy—and this weekend, May 20-21, there are quite a few food popups. Here are some highlights.

Friday: My Mom’s Mole at Popup
On Friday, My Mom’s Mole is featuring “enmoladas” (enchiladas with mole) for dinner at POPUP from 5 to 9:30 p.m. — or earlier if the food sells out. They are also offering mole tacos, and cactus/kale salad. Taco/enmolada filling choices are roasted chicken, slow-cooked pork, or roasted veggies (Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, potatoes, green beans, and pasilla peppers with cilantro). Sauce choices are traditional My Mom’s Mole, vegan My Mom’s mole, or gluten-free mole verde.
Location: POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave.

Friday: Monsoon Kitchen at Midtown
On Friday, Monsoon Kitchen will be in residence at Midtown Cafe from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Menu items will include egg curry, lemon rice, naan, kabobs, and mango pie, and they recommend pairing these with Discretion Brewing beer (on tap at Midtown) or a glass of wine (also available at Midtown).
Location: Midtown Cafe, 1121 Soquel Ave.

Friday: Cider & Sliders at Food Lounge
The Food Lounge is hosting “Cider & Sliders: Take 2” from 5 to 9 p.m. Chef Andrea and her partners held the first “Cider/Sliders” night a few weeks back, and were surprised by the extremely large crowd that showed up, so they sold out before everyone had a chance to partake. This time, they are ready! They promise “cider flights, food made and paired with cider, and mouth-watering sliders.”
Location: Food Lounge, 1001 Center St.

Saturday: Indian pop-up benefiting animals at Food Lounge
Karma Khana will be cooking at an Indian cuisine dinner pop-up at the Food Lounge from 5 to 9 p.m. A percentage of proceeds will benefit the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter. Dishes available will include several vegan options like chundal (chickpeas, coconut and turmeric), vegetable biriyani, and Gobi Manchurian (fire-roasted cauliflower breaded in chickpea flour, served with tangy garlic-ginger-soy sauce). Non-vegan options include kofta curry meatballs made with a choice of locally sourced turkey or grass-fed lamb.
Location: Food Lounge, 1001 Center St.

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Watsonville food truck event benefits soccer field renovation

Food Trucks on the Field is in Watsonville on May 15

Food Trucks on the Field is in Watsonville on May 15

“Food Trucks on the Field” is Sunday, May 15 from 2-7 p.m. at Ramsay Park’s Sotomayor Field (near Target), and proceeds will benefit renovation of Ramsay Park’s soccer field. The event is serving as the kickoff for the “Play it Forward” renovation campaign.

The Friends of Watsonville Parks and Community Services is presenting the celebration, and at least eight food trucks are participating:

Admission is free. For added entertainment, soccer players and coaches will be leading soccer drills and teaching skills and techniques, and DJ Mikey is providing music.

Location: 1301 Main St., Watsonville

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Hula’s lanai celebration, artisan food market, & other Santa Cruz events Friday

New lanai at Hula’s Island Grill & Tiki Room

New lanai at Hula’s Island Grill & Tiki Room

There are many food events occurring Friday, May 13 in the Santa Cruz area, including a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of a lanai at Hula’s in downtown Santa Cruz.


Hula’s: Ribbon cutting
Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room is proud to announce that its new lanai—an outdoor dining space in front of the restaurant—is the first parklet in downtown Santa Cruz. Hula’s and the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz are co-sponsoring a celebratory event from 4 to 5 p.m., with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:30. Happy hour is from 2-6 p.m. with several tiki drinks and pupus at special prices. For more information, call (831) 426-HULA.
Location: 221 Cathcart St., Santa Cruz

Food Lounge: Artisan Food Market
From 4-8 p.m., the Food Lounge is the site of the Artisan Food Market, described as ‘farmers market meets cocktail hour.’ There will be several local food artisans and pop-up vendors plus local wine, beer, and cocktails. Vendors will include My Mom’s Mole, Kickin Chicken, Tanglewood, and new participants such as Big Wave BBQ, Twins Kitchen and Santa Cruz Bakes (pizza to order). The Artisan Market series, which began last June, is held the second Friday of each month.
Location: 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

Food Trucks a Go Go: Dinner & A Movie
Food Trucks A Go Go is hosting dinner & a movie at Skypark in Scotts Valley, with dinner and drinks being served from 4:30-8 p.m. and the movie Inside Out airing at 8:30. Attendees can choose from eight local trucks, and there are picnic tables at the park. Participating food trucks are Ate3One, Zameen Mediterranean, The Choke Coach, Aunt LaLi’s Mobile Café, Carmona’s BBQ, Zocalo Tamales, G’s Tacos #2 and India Gourmet.
Location: 361 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley

Popup: Banh Mi
Third Coast Chef, a group of restaurant-trained chefs, will be selling Banh Mi sandwiches at Pop Up (next to Assembly) from 5 to 10 p.m. Banh Mi is a traditional sandwich from Vietnam. Third Coast’s version will include choice of filling (pork/pate, chicken or tofu) plus pickled daikon and carrots, jalapeno, cilantro, and mint. Green papaya salad and Vietnamese iced coffee will also be sold, and there will be an encore day Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: 1108 Pacific Ave.

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Restaurants reward bicyclists during Spring Bike Week in Santa Cruz

BIke to Work Santa Cruz: May 6-13, 2016

BIke to Work Santa Cruz: May 6-13, 2016

It’s time for the 29th annual Spring Bike to Work program, which includes Bike Week from May 6-13, and several restaurants and food/drink vendors are offering participants a variety of rewards and fun activities. Here are some highlights.

Monday, May 9: Bike-In Movie Night is from 7-9 p.m. at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing (402 Ingalls St.). This family-friendly evening will feature “Goonies” and include snacks.

Tuesday, May 10: Cycle & Dine — A number of restaurants and breweries have partnered with Santa Cruz’s Ecology Action, host of the annual Santa Cruz County Bike to Work program, to provide cyclists with meal discounts. Customers need to ride their bikes to the venue and be prepared to show their helmet to each location’s servers.
Lupulo Craft Beer House: 15% off select beers and sandwiches
Village Grill & Creamery: 15% discount on all grill items (excluding ice cream)
Chocolate: 15% discount
Saturn Cafe: 20% discount
Charlie Hong Kong: 10% off signature bowls
Silver Spur: 20% discount
Discretion Brewing: 20% off all pints of beer and 15% off snacks, morsels and the Ploughman’s Lunch courtesy of The Kitchen

Thursday, May 12: Bike to Work/School Day is being celebrated from 6:30-9:30 a.m., with free breakfast for cyclists at 13 breakfast sites for the general public and more than 45 school sites. Locations include Aptos, Capitola, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Soquel, and UCSC. Selected sites will include free massages and basic bike maintenance. Participants also have the chance to win a Blix electric bike. One public site is Downtown SC on Pacific Ave. between Water St. and Locust St. In addition to breakfast, there will be treats from Companion Bakeshop (bacon cheddar biscuits, gluten-free almond cakes and more) and coffee from Verve. Here is the full breakfast site list with details.

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Mother’s Day brunch possibilities from Whole Foods Market

A few flower bouquets from the bounty available at Whole Foods Market in Capitola

A few flower bouquets from the bounty available at Whole Foods Market in Capitola

Did Mother’s Day sneak up on you? Perhaps it’s time to organize a Mother’s Day brunch at home, in which case Whole Foods Market has a few ideas to help. And at WFM locations in Northern California—including the local Santa Cruz and Capitola stores—several delicious, brunch-friendly cheeses are currently on sale.

First, the cheese: speaking as just one representative mom, I think that fancy, tasty cheese is always welcome at brunch (or really, any meal…). Here are a few recommended soft-ripened cheeses:

  • Guffanti-Robiola Langhe Two-milk: this rich, earthy cheese is made with cow’s and sheep’s milk. It’s currently on sale for $23.99/lb., discounted from $29.99/lb. WFM Northern California Regional Cheese Buyer Francesca di Donato suggests pairing with items like orange jam, pumpkin-ginger jam, fresh fruit, and/or walnut bread.
  • Cowgirl Creamery – St. Pat: St. Pat is the Creamery’s seasonal cheese. The green rind commemorates the arrival of spring. These creamy wheels are wrapped in wild nettle leaves, which di Donato explains impart a smoky artichoke flavor. It’s currently on sale for $23.99/lb., discounted from $29.99/lb. di Donato recommends pairing with dry wine or an Irish-style lager.
  • Marin French – Supreme Extra Creme Brie: With a smooth texture and slightly sweet flavor, this delectable cheese lives up to the “lush and buttery” description promised on its label. It utilizes high quality milk from neighboring Marin County dairies.  This brie comes in a wheel, and is currently on sale for $23.99, discounted from $29.99. di Donato recommends pairing with California sparkling wine, Petit Syrah, or IPA. I enjoyed trying it with a small serving of “figs and olives” from the Capitola store’s olive bar.
  • Mitica- Cana de Cabra: This creamy goat milk log hails from Murcia in the southeastern part of Spain. The flavor is mild, yet satisfying, with citrus notes. It’s currently on sale for $13.99/lb., discounted from $16.99/lb. Di Donato’s pairing ideas: for drinks, a lean white wine (Albarino, or an unoaked Sauvignon Blanc) and for food, almonds and/or fig spread.

If you like cheese but want something more “brunch-traditional,” how about some quiche? WFM offers several ready-to-eat varieties in small ($5.99) and large ($14.99) sizes. I recently sampled a four-cheese quiche (Gouda, Parmesan, Swiss, and feta), and it was very good.

On a budget for Sunday brunch? I found this frittata recipe while browsing the “budget-friendly recipe” section on the WFM blog. You can incorporate leftovers in it, too.

If you have kids that like cooking, here are two recipes from the WFM blog that look easy, even for young ones:
Gluten-free Baked Berry French Toast (for breakfast at home)
or Berry Oatmeal in a Jar (for bringing a small breakfast somewhere else)

Last but not least, don’t forget to include flowers when developing your brunch plan. They are always a wonderful way to make a woman feel appreciated and Whole Foods carries lots of great arrangements. When I was at the Capitola location yesterday, I saw many vibrant bouquets, and most of them were made from flowers grown locally. Some of them are also fair trade. These are called “Whole Trade” flowers, and when purchased they donate funds to local community organizations that support flower farm workers.

“Whole Trade provides more money to producers, ensures better wages and working conditions for workers, and cares for the environment,” says Lily Hussey, Marketing and Community Relations Lead for Whole Foods Market, Northern California & Reno. “Also, they donate 1% of sales to Whole Planet Foundation.” Learn more about Whole Trade.

No matter what you decide to do for your Mother’s Day food, I hope it’s a very happy day for you!

Local Store Details
Whole Foods Market Santa Cruz is located at 911 Soquel Ave. Call (831) 426-9901 for more information.
Whole Foods Market Capitola is located at 1710 41st Ave. Call (831) 464-2900 for more information.

For more Whole Foods Market locations, see the store locator.

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Bay Area restaurants for Mother’s Day: Santa Cruz area and Los Gatos

A dish from a past Sunday brunch at Hult’s (not part of their Mother’s Day brunch): pulled pork eggs Benedict with cheddar, slaw & bbq sauce

A dish from a past Sunday brunch at Hult’s (not part of their Mother’s Day brunch): pulled pork eggs Benedict with cheddar, slaw & bbq sauce

Dining out on Mother’s Day is a popular plan, so if you haven’t made reservations yet, better hurry: here are a few restaurant highlights for Santa Cruz and the surrounding areas and Los Gatos, plus a Manresa Bread box (pre-order for breakfast at home).

Also see:

Santa Cruz Area

Popular with locals and tourists alike, the usually-dinner-only Shadowbrook will open its doors at 11:30 a.m. on Mother’s Day. Reservations are available until 8:30 p.m. and customers must call 831-475-1511 (no online reservations accepted). The dinner menu will be served all day, and Mother’s Day specials will include spinach/gruyere quiche,  chicken Marsala, and 14 oz. Angus ribeye with lobster Bernaise.
1750 Wharf Rd., Capitola

The Chaminade offers its annual Mother’s Day brunch buffet from 9am-3pm; the price is $64.95 (adults), $18.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. Mother’s Day is the restaurant’s busiest day of the year; it always sells out. New executive chef Nicholas Church has created an extravagant menu including a savory seafood bar (including Dungeness crab legs), bourbon glazed honey ham with Jack Daniels glaze, prime rib, omelets made to order, and Belgian waffles with apple compote and fresh berries. Additional highlights: fresh fruit and vegetable medleys, chocolate fondue, and a sundae bar. The kids’ buffet features chicken strips and fries, mini pancakes, and mac and cheese. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Sanderlings at Seascape Resort has a brunch buffet from 10 am to 2:30 pm; the price is $47.95 for adults (with a mimosa or a glass of champagne or sparkling cider) and $21.95 for kids 12 and under. Selections include a prime rib carving station; a fresh seafood bar; a salad assortment; fresh fruit; and baked breads. There will be special entrees for kids. Call (831) 662-7120 or visit opentable.com for reservations.
One Seascape Resort Drive, Aptos

Hollins House
Hollins House at Pasatiempo has a brunch buffet from 10 am to 2 pm; the price is $65 (includes a glass of champagne). The menu will include made-to-order omelets; Applewood smoked bacon; a carving station with prime rib; Skuna Bay salmon; French toast bread pudding; a meat and chees board; and several gourmet salads. Desserts include crème brulee and carrot cake. Their more casual restaurant next door, MacKenzie Bar & Grill, will be serving an a la carte menu with brunch selections for adults (corned beef hash, eggs benedict, burgers, etc.) and kids (including eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches).
Call (831) 459-9177 or visit opentable.com for reservations.
20 Clubhouse Road, Santa Cruz

Los Gatos

Manresa Bread Mother’s Day Box
Pre-order breakfast for mom this Mother’s Day at Manresa Bread. The Mother’s Day Box includes two kale parmesan scones, two monkey breads, one bag of Manresa Bread almond granola, a 4 oz. jar of Big Sur marmalade, and an optional bag of Verve Street Level coffee. The Mother’s Day Box is available for pre-order on the Manresa Bread web site to pick up at Manresa Bread in Los Gatos. Pricing is $27 without coffee, $40 with coffee. The last day to pre-order is May 5.
276 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos

Campo di Bocce
Campo di Bocce will offer a brunch buffet from 10 am to 2 pm; due to the popularity of the restaurant’s brunches, table reservations are limited to one hour. Food selections will include made-to-order omelets, a prime rib carving station, waffles and pancakes, sausage and bacon, fruit, pasta, salads, and strawberry crepes pastries. There are two prices: one for brunch only, and one for brunch and playing an hour of bocce. Adults are $34.95 without bocce and $47.45 with bocce; kids under 12 are $17.95 without bocce and $30.45 with bocce. Call (408) 395-7650 for reservations.
565 University Ave., Los Gatos

Dio Deka
Mediterranean/Greek restaurant Dio Deka will offer a special a la carte brunch menu. Selections will include Eggs Benedict, Strapatsada (baked eggs with tomato sauce, greens, chickpeas and Greek spices), Paithakia (mesquite-grilled boneless lamb-loin chops), and caramelized “Greek” toast with citrus-marinated strawberries. Call (408) 354-7700 or visit opentable.com for reservations.
210 E. Main St., Los Gatos

Hult’s Restaurant
Hult’s is serving a prix fixe brunch for $49, with reservations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Customers can select from two to five selections for each course. First course options include Swedish pancakes; main courses include chicken and waffles (sous vide fried chicken and cinnamon waffles plus bacon hash) and Eggs Benedict. Desserts include raspberry sorbet. Call (408) 354-3434 or visit opentable.com for reservations.
165 Los Gatos-Saratoga Rd., Los Gatos

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Bay Area restaurants for Mother’s Day: San Francisco, Napa, Albany and more

Food at La Mar Cebichería Peruana in San Francisco

Food at La Mar Cebichería Peruana in San Francisco

We are one week away from Mother’s Day so if you’re planning to dine in San Francisco or nearby cities, here are a few restaurants to consider.

Also see:
Mother’s Day highlights/menus for Monterey, Carmel, Pebble Beach and more

San Francisco
Roka Akor

There will be an extravagant brunch at Roka Akor (801 Montgomery Street) with unlimited sparkling wine, Bellinis and sake, and an assortment of signature Japanese-inspired dishes. Designed by Executive Chef Roman Petry, Roka Akor will offer an impressive buffet of fresh oysters, sushi, Maki rolls and appetizers, as well as an entrée choice between a succulent robata grilled steak or fresh grilled seafood. Families and friends will top off the celebratory feast with a colorful dessert platter with exotic fruit and house-made sweets for the entire table to share. Served between 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., the brunch menu with unlimited sparkling wine, bellini or sake is priced at $118 per person and the brunch menu without alcohol is priced at $98 per person. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made by calling 415-362-8887.

La Mar
Celebrate mom on the waterfront with a Peruvian feast at La Mar Cebichería Peruana. Alongside panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay, La Mar will offer a unique Mother’s Day buffet brunch with both traditional and innovative Peruvian dishes from Chef and Peruvian-Native Victoriano Lopez. Offering colorful and fresh fare, the buffet will be offered at $78 per person for adults and $30 for children 12 years and under. Vibrant appetizer stations will take over the restaurant showcasing large-format versions of La Mar’s beloved Bandejas – or platters – inspired by the true Peruvian spirit. The stations will boast La Mar’s greatest hits including cebiche selections, causitas, tiraditos, nigiri, empanadas, and Anticuchos, to name a few. Guests will also choose between four main entrées served tableside with a dessert platter to follow. The first 100 moms will also receive a surprise gift. Brunch will be offered from 10am-3pm and reservations can be made on OpenTable or by calling 415-397-8880.

Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins
Celebrate mom over brunch at Top of the Mark this Mother’s Day. From 10am – 2pm, the iconic destination features a decadent brunch buffet by Chef Nenad Stefanovic with unobstructed views of the San Francisco Bay and entertainment by Michael Athans on piano. Menu highlights include a raw bar, salads, antipasto, a selection of small plates including Shrimp ceviche shooter with Early Girl tomato broth and smoked duck, orange, and basil oil, and entrees such as Ricotta Ravioli with tomato cream and lobster morsels and assorted dim sum. Top of the Mark also offers a full selection of breakfast items and dessert bar including a strawberry dipping station. Brunch is $125 per adult and $59 per child, ages 4 – 12; pricing excludes tax and gratuity. Reservations are required at 415-616-6940.

Foreign Cinema
Celebrate this Mother’s Day at Foreign Cinema and treat Mom to elegant yet approachable dishes from chef/owners Gayle Pirie and John Clark. Indulge in delights such as the infamous Organic Seasonal Pop Tarts, Caramel Pecan Sticky Bun, Champagne Omelet, and Balsamic Fried Eggs. Dine with loved ones inside or outside on the airy and spacious covered patio. Brunch is served every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Reservations are highly recommended at foreigncinema.com or call 415-648-7600.

Presidio Social Club
Celebrate Mother’s Day at Presidio Social Club with a number of special dishes available throughout the weekend. For brunch, PSC will have Soft Shell Crab Po Boys with Asian Slaw & Mixed Greens; Soft Poached Eggs with Artichoke Hearts, Creamed Spinach & Hollandaise Sauce; as well as Slow Roasted Devil’s Gulch Pork Leg with Soft Poached Egg, Fried Potatoes and Salsa Verde and classic brunch cocktails such as Mimosas, Bellinis and Spritzers.

PSC will also have new spring menu items available to order, including Presidio Scramble (an asparagus and herb scramble with a house made biscuit from Pastry Chef Rene Cruz); Chicken Arugula Salad with Candied Pecans & Avocado Vinaigrette; and Chickpea Hash with Roasted Pork, Poached Eggs & Harissa Yogurt. Call 415-885-1888 to make a reservation.

Michelin-starred restaurant Luce invites guests to celebrate mom over a brunch buffet from 11am–2pm. Brunch is $85 per person and $45 per child ages 4–12 years. For reservations, visit Luce on OpenTable.

Ca’ Momi
Ca’ Momi is celebrating La Festa Della Mamma on Sunday May 8th at their downtown Napa Osteria with two-for-one Sangue Italiano, an Organic San Marzano DOP Tomato Bloody Mary and Ca’ Secco Bellini from 11:30am to 5pm. They’ll also be offering a $35 four-course prix fix menu from brunch through dinner service that includes a Burrata & Verdure plate to start, followed by Ca’ Momi’s signature Pizza Margherita or Pizza Veneta and an Insalata Mista before ending sweetly with a decadent Millefoglie Alle Fragole.

At Ca’ Momi Enoteca located within the Oxbow Public Market, moms who dine in will receive $5 glasses of sparkling wine, Ca’ Secco or Ca’ Rosa, and two complimentary sweet bignes. The whole family can enjoy any pizza & glass of Bianco or Rosso di Ca’ Momi for $22. If you’re throwing a Mother’s day bash at home, they’re also offering a take-out options with a bottle of Ca’ Secco or Ca’ Rosa plus 6 bigne for $30.

FARM at The Carneros Inn
Treat mom to a Wine Country celebration and leave the pampering up to FARM at The Carneros Inn (4048 Sonoma Hwy in Napa) with their lavish Mother’s Day brunch. Designed by Executive Chef Aaron Meneghelli, the family-style brunch will include a spread of seasonal dishes such as Warm Asparagus Salad with trumpet mushroom bacon, soft poached egg and frisee; Local Halibut with crushed fava beans and salsa verde; and Rosemary Honey Glazed Caggiano Ham with Carolina Gold rice, toasted cipollini onions, and English pea shoot, among others. The grand finale will conclude with a dessert platter that includes Chocolate Raspberry Tart, Cheesecake Pop, and Vanilla Panna Cotta with fruit compote. FARM will be open for brunch from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. The adult menu is priced at $85 per person and the children’s menu is $40 (ages 4-12). Brunch is by reservation only and can be made by calling 707-299-4880 or visiting the web site.

East Bay – Albany
Café Eugene

With the recent unveiling of daily brunch, Albany’s newest restaurant Café Eugene will serve special Pacific Northwest-inspired treats this Mother’s Day. Mirrored after owner Ryan Murff’s favorite Mother’s Day tradition, Waffles with Strawberries and Whipped Cream will be on special in addition to floral cocktails made just for the holiday. In Oregon fashion, moms will be sent home with special wildflowers. Brunch will run from 9am-3pm and reservations can be made online or by calling 510-647-9999.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Bay Area restaurants for Mother’s Day: Monterey, Carmel, Pebble Beach and more

A dish at Restaurant 1833 in February: corned beef meatballs with potato dumplings, fermented butternut squash, red cabbage, pickled mustard seed, and caramelized whey. Mother’s day is a rare exception to Restaurant 1833’s dinner-only hours

A dish at Restaurant 1833 in February: corned beef meatballs with potato dumplings, fermented butternut squash, red cabbage, pickled mustard seed, and caramelized whey. Mother’s day is a rare exception to Restaurant 1833’s dinner-only hours

It’s Mother’s Day, one of the busiest restaurant days of the year — here are some Bay Area restaurant highlights, with several in the Monterey and Carmel areas.


Restaurant 1833
At celebrated Restaurant 1833 in Monterey’s historic Stokes Adobe House, the usually-dinner-only venue will open its doors for a special brunch from 10am-3pm. Under the direction of Executive Chef Jason Franey, an à la carte brunch menu will be offered alongside $18.33 Bottomless Mimosas. Celebrated Pastry Chef Ben Spungin will also offer special Orange Sherbet, Raspberry Sorbet, Strawberry Sorbet, and Peach Sorbet Mimosas at $15 each. Moms can enjoy the unique brunch offerings such as spinach-ricotta-caramelized onion quiche, cornmeal waffles with bourbon maple whipped cream, crispy artichokes with cannelloni bean deap, the signature 1833 burger, and sides such as latkes or Brussels sprouts. Kids’ selections include grilled cheese sandwiches and chicken tenders. Reservations can be made through OpenTable or at 831-643-1833.
500 Hartnell St.

The C
The C at Intercontinental The Clement Monterey is hosting two events on Sunday, May 8: a “classic breakfast buffet” from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and a “sumptuous brunch buffet” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Both events will feature cuisine from chef Matt Bolton and sous chef Michelle Lee. The breakfast buffet cost is $34 for adults and $17 for kids ages 5-12. A limited a la carte breakfast menu will also be available until 10:30 a.m. For brunch, cost is $64 for adults (includes one glass of sparkling wine) and $24 for kids ages 5-12. There will be live music during brunch, and all mothers will receive a red rose. Brunch selections will include Maine lobster eggs benedict, wild mushroom soup with bacon, Swank Farms grilled asparagus salad, free range chicken with goat cheese polenta and smoked tomato coulis and a carving station with roasted tenderloin and honey roasted ham. Desserts will include strawberries and cream cupcakes and chocolate cake pops. Reservations are required at 831-375-4800. See web site for more information.
750 Cannery Row

TusCA Ristorante
TusCA at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa is featuring a Mother’s Day brunch buffet from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cost is $60 for adults (includes sparkling wine and mimosas) and $20 for kids 5 and older. Reservations are required at 831-657-6675. Brunch selections will include omelet and carving stations (includes all-natural prime rib), Alaskan king crab legs, grilled asparagus and artichokes and several salads and a cheese assortment. Desserts include chocolate-dipped strawberries and cream puffs. Visit the web site for more information.
1 Old Golf Course Road

Montrio Bistro
For Mother’s Day, Montrio Bistro is expanding half-price wine night to include all champagne and sparkling wine including half bottles and by-the-glass selections. Moms who dine that night will also receive a complimentary small-bite dessert. Reservations are recommended at 831-648-8880.
414 Calle Principal

Estéban at Monterey hotel Casa Munras is expanding its traditional breakfast hours on Sunday, May 8, and will serve from 7 a.m. to noon. Chef Tom Snyder’s specials will include house cured salmon benedict with cream cheese biscuit and dill hollandaise and Wayne’s almond and bacon crusted French toast with honey dark rum butter and Vermont maple syrup. Drink specials will include blackberry Bellinis made with fresh fruit. Reservations are recommended at 831-324-6773.
700 Munras Ave.

Sardine Factory
The restaurant  is serving a three-course $39 prix fixe menu, with seatings from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m and 4 to 8 p.m., plus a selection of specialties from the regular menu. For the prix fixe, guests receive a choice of starter (selections include Maine lobster or Castroville artichoke bisque) and entrees (such as filet mignon brochettes or house-made Maine lobster ravioli). Call 831-373-3775 for reservations.
701 Wave St.

Pebble Beach
Porter’s in the Forest

The restaurant at Poppy Hills Golf Course is serving a few Mother’s Day brunch specials. These will be available until 3 p.m. and include blueberry and ricotta pancakes with lemon curd and eggs benedict with smoked salmon, avocado, caviar, and kale. For reservations call 831-622-8240. Visit the web site for more information.
3200 Lopez Rd.

Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel is hosting brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Executive chef Justin Cogley and executive pastry chef Ron Mendoza will prepare a special menu. Cost is $110. Reservations are required at 831-624-8578.
Monte Verde Street at Seventh Avenue

Carmel Valley
Pacific’s Edge

Pacific’s Edge at Hyatt Carmel Highlands is hosting a brunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Selections include an omelet station, maple glazed bacon, basil ricotta ravioli with yellow tomato coulee and crispy opal basil, California sea bass, slow roasted grass-fed prime rib salads. Desserts will include warm crepes, strawberry shortcakes and chocolate peanut crunch bars. Cost is $79 for adults and $39 for kids 12 and under. Items will also be available a la carte. Reservations are required at 831-622-5445.
120 Highlands Drive.

Pacific Grove

Fandango is offering a prix fixe brunch from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The cost is $39.75 for adults and $18.75 for kids 12 and under. The menu includes Caesar salad; entrée choices such as shrimp scampi spaghetti or leg of lamb Provencal with Pinot Noir demi-glace sauce; and very berry shortcake or chocolate profiteroles filled with cappuccino ice cream. Call 831-372-3456 for reservations.
223 17th St.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz food truck roundup & panel discussion from Event Santa Cruz

Aunt LaLi & Ate3One food trucks at a past Food Trucks A Go Go event

Aunt LaLi & Ate3One food trucks at a past Food Trucks A Go Go event

Event Santa Cruz is partnering with Food Trucks A Go Go to present The Food Truck RoundUp, which aims to highlight the area’s local food scene and will offer a short panel dialogue featuring a few of Santa Cruz’s event producers. The event will be held on Friday, April 29 at 5 p.m. at The Delaware Addition (2120 Delaware Ave).

Admission is free for kids and $3 for adults. Food from some of the area’s popular local vendors and craft beer from Humble Sea Brewery will be available for purchase. The food vendors are offering “small plate” menus so that guests can sample lots of different items; see below for highlights.

Event Santa Cruz’s Matthew Swinnerton will moderate a short panel discussion at 6:45 p.m. Panelists include David Dennis (Ventana Surfboards & Supplies), Doug Erickson (Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup), Sally Kane (Santa Cruz Food Lounge), Monica Karst (Santa Cruz Socialites) and LaLi Kates (Food Trucks A Go Go).

Food vendors & menu highlights

Ate3One, Santa Cruz & Monterey County – A truck with delicious “modern street food” by a husband and wife team. Friday’s food will include:

  • Mini Poke “Nachos”
  • Mini Naughty Fries (I’m not sure if they’re the same every time, but last fall I had this at a Food Trucks A Go Go event and it included bacon, garlic confit, Parmesan and cheddar cheese, sour cream, house aioli and scallions)
  • “CBC-P” Corralitos Brewing Co. draft beer-braised Pork Sando
  • Bavarian Cream Stuffed Churro

Aunt Lali’s Mobile Cafe, Scotts Valley – A fabulous ice cream truck. Friday’s food will include:

  • organic espresso drinks
  • affogatos
  • scooped ice cream
  • your fave ice cream truck treats
  • ‘Nawlins-style organic iced coffee
  • made-to-order ice cream sandwiches

Tacos Las Varas Nayarit, Watsonville – It’s been described as a “gigantic taco truck” and I haven’t had the opportunity to try their food yet. Friday’s food will include:

  • tacos
  • tortas
  • quesadillas
  • plates with rice, beans, salad
  • meat choices: asada, pastor, carnitas, pollo, chile verde & birria

Kickin Chicken, Santa Cruz – This local business first got famous for their scrumptious fried chicken and waffles. Friday’s food will include:

  • Fried chicken sandwiches
  • Strawberry snap pea salad
  • Succotash

Event Santa Cruz produces monthly events that showcase thriving local businesses and the people behind them.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz PopUp Dungeness Crab Feed from Ocean2Table

Ocean2Table lingcod that was dry cured, then cooked to perfection, with asparagus and Parmesan/bean salad at a July 2015 Pescetarian PopUp

Ocean2Table lingcod that was dry cured, then cooked to perfection, with asparagus and Parmesan/bean salad at a July 2015 Pescetarian PopUp

We’ve all been waiting patiently (okay, maybe impatiently!) for Dungeness crab season, and Santa Cruz-based Ocean2table has created an event to celebrate its arrival.

On Sunday, April 24, at the Food Lounge (link) in downtown Santa Cruz (1001 Center St.), Ocean2table is hosting the latest in its series of Pescetarian PopUp Dinners: a Dungeness crab feed. Tickets are $60 and must be purchased in advance, online. See end of article for the menu, which includes local, organic vegetables plus some burn morels that Charlie Lambert and Ian Cole foraged this week. As always, the seafood will be local, wild and sustainable.

Lambert and Cole are the founders/operators of seafood company Ocean2table. I went to one of their popup dinners last year and it was absolutely wonderful—for a visual example, see photo above. Local companies they are utilizing for the April 24 dinner include Companion Bakeshop, Rodoni Farms, Pinnacle and Swanton Berry Farm.

Whether or not you can make this event, you should know that Ocean2table is a great place to get very fresh seafood via pick-up or delivery. Subscribers to their email list (fresh catch “fish alerts”) get notified the day before local fresh fish is available. Customers must place half- or full-share orders by the announced deadline. There is no obligation to make a certain number of purchases; you can remain on the email list and buy seafood as infrequently or frequently as you choose.

For more information on the event or their seafood alerts, visit getocean2table.com.

April 24 Dinner Menu

Main course:

  • Dungeness crab in the shell, caught in the Monterey Bay, served with garlic butter and homemade cocktail sauce


  • Rosemary-infused Companion Bakeshop sourdough boules
  • Wild morel, Brussels sprout and potato salad including wild King fire burn morels and creamy tarragon dressing
  • Kale and Parmesan salad featuring Pinnacle kale


  • Strawberry crisp featuring Swanton Berry Farm berries

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.