12 Days of Christmas Giveaway Day 12: Seabright Deli

Castle Beach (brisket) & Grotto (snapper) sandwiches, photo courtesy of Seabright Deli

Thank you, dear readers, for enthusiastically participating in my “12 Days of Christmas Giveaway” over the last few days; it’s been a joy to receive your emails and to reward those of you that won gift cards and other treats. The last prize is a $50 gift card from popular Seabright Deli in Santa Cruz. Read below for how to win. Best wishes for a happy new year!

Santa Cruz residents Gary and Marilee Powers opened Seabright Deli in 2019 and quickly attracted lots of fans—people of all ages, some taking their food home to enjoy, others enjoying their savory lunch in the spacious deli setting. These days, the choices are to-go food (especially popular during the winter months) or outdoor dining on the deli’s covered patio, which Gary and Marilee added during the pandemic.

If you’re a Seabright Deli newbie, let me tell you about their house specialty sandwiches to start. First, the many meat and seafood options: the Yacht Club contains 8-hour house-smoked chicken, cheddar, bacon, heirloom tomatoes, arugula, sun-dried tomato aioli, and mayo on a toasted Francese roll. Yes, it’s as good as it sounds. The Grotto features local fresh snapper which they blacken on-site, plus Chimichurri tomatoes, jalapeno/lime citrus slaw, arugula, and tarragon-basil aioli on a Francese roll. Note that I have tried to buy a Grotto later in the day and they do sell out; go early or call ahead to ensure getting one!

Seabright Deli is also renowned for their pastrami which comes from New York; you can get it on a Seabright (with Swiss cheese and coriander-mustard aioli on Marble Rye) or Beach Bum (with housemade Thousand Island, Swiss, sauerkraut on Rye). Finally, they make a super-tender brisket which they smoke for 10 hours. Choices include the fan favorite Castle Beach with a half-pound of this meat plus rosemary-garlic aioli, smoked cheddar, pickled onions, and tomatillo-Hatch chili salsa on a toasted French roll. Any sandwich can be turned into a salad, served on top of a bed of arugula instead of on bread.

Don’t fret if you’re a vegetarian or vegan—they have sandwiches, wraps, and salads to meet your needs. Even though I do eat meat, after I tried their vegetarian Route 1 wrap, I have a hard time ordering anything else. It’s an excellent combination of ingredients, creating amazing flavors. A spinach tortilla-type wrap encases roasted vegetables (butternut squash, cauliflower, and broccoli), marinated tomatoes, arugula, Brie cheese, citrus basil mayo, and herb sauce.

By the way, they make all their aiolis and sauces from scratch.

Other yummy items to be aware of: on Saturday and Sunday they serve homemade clam chowder, which sells out every weekend. Exceptional desserts include the Everything Brownie (dark chocolate brownie topped with brownie cubes, toasted pecan nuts, and caramel ganache). Drinks include local canned craft beer and sodas such as small-batch craft Boylan bottles.

For future gift-giving occasions, Seabright Deli offers gift cards in any amount.

Regular hours: Closed Mon & Tues, Open Wed-Sun 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Holiday changes: Closed Dec. 24-28, regular hours after that (including open both New Year’s Eve AND New Year’s Day)

Information: seabrightdeli.com, IG @seabrightdeli, 415 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz, 831-515-7484



One lucky reader will win a $50 gift card to Seabright Deli.

To enter, email your name to tara@santacruzfoodie.com by Saturday Dec. 25 at 7 p.m. with the words “Seabright Deli” in the subject line. The winner will be notified via email.

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