Santa Cruz weekend highlights including Church Street Fair

Food from G’s Tacos, one of the vendors at Church Street Fair this weekend. Photo credit: G’s Tacos Facebook page

The summertime bounty of events in Santa Cruz continues; here are a few highlights for the weekend of Aug. 5-6, 2017, including refreshment options at the annual Church Street Fair.

 

Saturday & Sunday, Aug. 5-6: Church Street Fair

The Church Street Fair is part of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, which lasts until Aug. 12. As usual, there will be music, dance, art, food, and wine. Participating breweries and wineries include Corralitos Brewing (noon-3:30 p.m. Saturday), New Bohemia Brewing Co. (4-7 p.m. Saturday), Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing (noon-3:30 p.m. Sunday), Uncommon Brewers (4-7 p.m. Saturday), Storrs Winery, Odonata Wines, Soquel Vineyards, Rexford Winery, Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery and Birichino WinesVinocruz—which is opening in Soquel soon—will be pouring the wine both days. Falafel of Santa Cruz, the chefs from Prophet Elias Orthodox Church who put on the annual Greek festivals, food truck G’s Tacos, and Efi’s Dutch-Indo will sell food on both fair days. Food truck Ate3One will participate on Sunday.

Event organizers promise that “non-stop performances from global traditions will keep your spirits high as you select from a variety of local food purveyors, vintners and brewers, and explore the work of dozens of regional artists and craftspeople” (see site for entire performance schedule, which includes Flor de Cana and Broken English Saturday & Watsonville Taiko Sunday).

Location: Church Street between Chestnut & Cedar

 

Other highlights:

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Cornucopia of collaborations at Event Santa Cruz Paradox party

From Awe Shucks Oysters, a “new raw, dressed style called tomato relish” available at the July 21 event (Photo courtesy of Awe Shucks Facebook page)

Event Santa Cruz is hosting “ Collaboration on the Lot” this Friday night at Hotel Paradox’s front parking lot (611 Ocean St.), where several collaborations by local businesses can be viewed and consumed. These products include “Bombshell Oysters” (Awe Shucks Oysters teaming up with MJA Vineyards); a cherry bomb ice cream float (Marianne’s Ice Cream and NuBo); and a signature Event Santa Cruz cocktail (Hotel Paradox’s Solaire Restaurant & Bar is creating this by partnering with local Venus Spirits).

 

Admission to the 5:30-9pm event is free but attendees need to pre-register at collabonthelot.eventbrite.com. There will be lots of food and drinks to purchase and to sample. Note there is no parking in the Paradox parking lot. They’re asking people to park in the County Bldg. lot after 5pm. There will also be a valet parking option at the hotel ($15) at the entrance on Ocean St.

 

Featured vendors include:
Agency
Ate3One
Awe Shucks Oysters in collaboration with MJA Vineyards
Drunk Monkeys Food Truck
Flora and Fauna
Friends In Cheeses Jam Company
Gordo Gustavo’s BBQ in partnership with Humble Sea Brewing Co.
In the Redwoods collaborating with Yarn Shop Santa Cruz
Kinderwood Farms
MÄKSĒ BAR
Marianne’s Ice Cream produced with New Bohemia Brewing Co.
Monterey Bay Murals in partnership with The Ville
Mountainside Jewelry
Saucey’z
Solaire Restaurant + Bar in partnership with Venus Spirits
Stripe
This Tiny Ocean collaborating with Davenport Sea Glass

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Food Trucks A Go Go hosts Santa Cruz summer events

A fried chicken taco and pork taco from February made by Saucey’z, a vendor at the June 30 event. Photo credit: Tara Fatemi Walker

Food Trucks A Go Go is hosting a variety of summer events including June 30 in Santa Cruz and weekly Taco Tuesdays at Soquel’s Blue Ball Park (officially named Anna Jean Cummings Park).

FOOD TRUCK FRIDAYS

June 30’s event, at Santa Cruz’s San Lorenzo Park (137 Dakota Ave.), has free admission. There will be a beer and wine garden with refreshments from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing and Bargetto. Food truck participants will include Ate3One, G’s Tacos, Saucey’z, and Lindsey’s Palate Pleasures. Dinner and drinks will be available from 5 to 8 p.m. At the family-friendly event, there is lots of space for groups to enjoy the evening. There will be a bluegrass theme and lawn games. People are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets, and there will be tables and chairs available for seating. The City of Santa Cruz, FOPAR (Friends of Parks and Recreation) and Food Trucks A Go Go are collaborating to put on this event.

 

This is the first of four Food Truck Fridays at San Lorenzo Park: the remaining dates are July 28, August 18 and September 29.

TACO TUESDAYS

Food Trucks A Go Go is also hosting weekly Taco Tuesdays at Soquel’s Blue Ball Park (461 Old San Jose Rd). Every Tuesday from 5-7:30 p.m., except July 4th when they’re taking the week off, there are at least two trucks selling food and drinks. The trucks vary from week to week; past ones have included Holopono and G’s Tacos. There are picnic tables, and people are welcome to bring blankets to picnic on the grass.

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Tickets available for Saturday’s Colectivo Felix farm dinner with Garden Variety Cheese and Beauregard Vineyards

Baby beet and carrot escabeche with seared sweetbreads and fried garbanzos from a May 13, 2017 Colectivo Felix dinner in Soquel. Photo credit: Tara Walker

Colectivo Felix, led by chef Diego Felix and his wife Sanra Ritten, is doing an on-farm dinner this Saturday, June 24, at Monkeyflower Ranch in Royal Oaks (near Watsonville). The meal will feature dairy and meat from Garden Variety Cheese and Monkeyflower Ranch, plus produce from Tomatero Farms and wine from Beauregard Vineyards. See menu below.

It’s part of a farm dinner series featuring local organic farms and pairings with local ciders and wines. Online tickets are $75 for food only and $100 with wine.

Diego, Sanra and their kids moved to Santa Cruz County last fall to help with the opening of HOME. Sanra’s sister is Linda Ritten, Home chef Brad Briske’s wife. Colectivo Felix utilizes HOME’s kitchen and garden for some of their events. Diego is originally from Argentina. Occasionally, HOME’s menu selections reflect South American influences (including a beef tongue empanada with green tomato chimichurri and plum chutney that I enjoyed during a December visit).

In May Colectivo Felix began a four-month dining tour (unique dinner parties in Washington, D.C., New York, SF and Santa Cruz/Soquel). I had the pleasure of attending a Colectivo Felix pop-up dinner at Soquel’s HOME Restaurant in May and meeting Diego and Sanra, who are gracious, humble and warm. The prix fixe meal was exquisite; chef Diego really knows his flavors. Highlights included goat cheese and peach filled torta fritas; baby beet and carrot escabeche with seared sweetbreads and fried garbanzos (an indescribably wonderful combination); and lamb empanadas with chimichurri aioli.

When Diego talks about how much he loves creating good food, his whole face lights up and his passion is contagious, making the dining experience even better. I hope to enjoy another Colectivo Felix meal in the not-too-distant future!

June 24 Farm Dinner Menu (Garden Variety Cheese/Colectivo Felix at Monkeyflower Ranch)

Welcome Drink

Yerba mate infused cachaça with citrus and muddled herbs

Passed appetizer

Ricotta + carrot & peach escabeche over quinoa bread

 

First

Aguachile (cold soup): lettuce + pinapple + cilantro + tomatillo + fish crudo + yam + California seaweed + cancha

Pinot Gris, Beauregard Vineyards 2014

 

Second

Tomatero spring greens + smoked hard goat cheese + aguaribay & strawberry vinaigrette + cauliflower and brazil nuts

Rose of Pinot Noir, Coast Grade Vineyard Estate 2015

 

Main

Monkeyflower Ranch goat + red chimichurri + roasted roots + kale salsa verde

The Lost Weekend, Beauregard Vineyards

 

Dessert

Panqueques: Baked strawberry + pistachios + lavender yogurt helado

 

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Dads & Grads gifts: Gilroy Premium Outlets, Santa Cruz restaurants & cookies

Selections from Le Creuset at Gilroy Premium Outlets. Photo credit: Le Creuset

Waited ‘til the last minute to buy the dad or grad in your life a gift for this weekend? If they like to cook or are a candy fan, see below for a few gift ideas at Gilroy Premium Outlets. Remember that the outlets feature nearly 150 stores, incorporating a range of tastes. For the dad not particularly interested in food, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th has a great selection of clothing and ties, plus designer sunglasses and wallets. And Bose is a good option for the dad that loves music or television.

Outlet hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.

 

Also, if you are shopping for a Santa Cruz foodie or are interested in purchasing a gift with a Santa Cruz theme, see end of article for more ideas.

Gilroy Outlets Food and Cooking Gift Ideas

    • Gift possibilities include grilling skillets, tongs, basting brushes and panini sets for Dad
    • Personalized gift boxes for dads and grads
    • Unique flavors including draft beer
    • Kitchen gadgets, cutlery, small appliances, BBQ accessories

 

Gilroy Outlets restaurants or cafes to purchase gift cards

  • Erik’s Deli Café
  • Starbucks

 

For refreshments while shopping, in addition to the aforementioned Starbucks and Erik’s Deli (the Sandwiches with Character at the latter are always popular), three options are:

  • All Natural Carts  (fresh fruit parfaits you can eat on the go)
  • Auntie Anne’s Pretzels
  • Gilroy Market Place (specialty coffees, pizza, garlic fries, sandwiches and more)

 

Santa Cruz Gifts/Gift Cards

Lots of folks appreciate restaurant gift cards; one idea is a card from The Glass Jar, which owns Assembly, The Picnic Basket and The Penny Ice Creamery. Purchase a card at any of these three, and your recipient can choose which venue to redeem it at. Same with Soif and La Posta, you can purchase gift cards at either restaurant, and they are good at both.

 

Last but not least, Pacific Cookie Company has options if you want to mail a gift. These include what they refer to as “dad-inspired cookie gifts” like Executive Sweet Pack (15 cookies, currently on sale for $23.50 from $26.50). Graduation-themed gifts include Congratulations Cookie Gift Tower (a dozen cookies, $21.95).

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Monthly Santa Cruz Night Market continues June 10 at the Food Lounge

Kutsara is a participant at the Food Lounge’s Santa Cruz Night Market June 10
Photo credit: Kutsara Facebook page

It’s time for the popular and very delicious Santa Cruz Night Market. Held the second Friday of each month at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge, it’s a popup event with food, craft cocktails and live music. For the June 9, 2017 event, there will be several local vendors selling ready-to-eat food or take-home food products. These include Fogline Farm, Tanglewood Catering (chef Rachel Hughes), Rogue Pies (formerly Artisan Hand Pies), My Mom’s Mole, and the vendors listed below.

 

You can stop by anytime between 4-9 p.m., although the earlier you go, the more food options there are.

 

  • Hanloh Thai will have five gluten-free dishes ranging from $5-10 each. These include “A Very Big Spring Roll” with green gem, quick pickled carrot & daikon, sweet chili sauce, vermicelli noodles, mint, cilantro and tofu or Vietnamese sausage (made with Fogline Farm pork belly); and deep-fried curried catfish “Tod Mun Pla” with housemade curry paste, cucumber relish and sweet & sour sauce
  • Efi’s Dutch-Indo is doing three small plates at $6 each: Satay, Rissoles, and bitterballen (mini croquettes)
  • Kutsara with chef Clarissa Flores is serving Smoked Duck Banh Mi and Tocino Chicken Bao with Homemade Green Papaya and Korean Daikon Pickles

 

Location: Santa Cruz Food Lounge, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

Contact Info: www.scfoodlounge.com, info@scfoodlounge.com

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San Jose’s Whole Foods Market hosts brewery re-opening Friday

A brewery/taproom at Whole Foods in San Jose is the site of a party June 2

Floodcraft Brewing Company is the new name for the brewery and taproom located inside Whole Foods Market on The Alameda in San Jose. To celebrate the re-naming, it’s having events all weekend long with special activities at the store beginning Friday, June 2.

Friday’s event is 6-8 p.m. The party is free and open to the public; you must be at least 21 years old.

 

If you RSVP ahead of time at Eventbrite, you receive a free Floodcraft beer koozie. For more information, call (408) 207-1126.

The party will include:

  • A breaking bread ceremony (actually, a pretzel — as the organizers point out, it’s a craft beer event after all!)
  • The first tapping of Floodcraft kegs
  • The opportunity to meet head brewmaster Guy Cameron
  • Floodcraft’s 19 rotating taps of craft beer – including 4 to 6 exclusive in-house beers, plus wines and cider on draft
  • A food popup

 

Details

Whole Foods Market is at 777 The Alameda, San Jose.

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Lots of popups this weekend in Santa Cruz & Scotts Valley

Mole nachos from My Mom’s Mole.
Photo credit: My Mom’s Mole Facebook page

There are many pop-up dining opportunities this weekend, May 26-27, 2017, in the Santa Cruz area–here are details for a few including two at local breweries.

 

Friday night: My Mom’s Mole at POPUP

My Mom’s Mole is hosting dinner at POPUP from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday (or earlier if the food sells out). There will be mole nachos (chicken and veggie options) made with My Mom’s Mole homemade tortilla chips plus their signature cactus and kale salad.

POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave. (next to Assembly), Santa Cruz

 

Friday night: La Sofrita at Steel Bonnet Brewing Co.

La Sofrita is doing dinner at Steel Bonnet Brewing Co. from 4-9 p.m. Friday. Dishes available will include empanadas; Puerto Rican achiote rice and pink beans, stewed with ham and sweet potatoes; mango-cucumber salad; and yuca fries served with garlic-mojo dipping sauce. Buck N The Odds will play live music.

Steel Bonnet Brewing Co., 20 Victor Square, Scotts Valley

 

Saturday night: Homeless Garden Project at POPUP

Homeless Garden Project is holding its first “farm to table pop-up” at Assembly’s POPUP, from 5:30-9 p.m. Saturday. Angie Smith is preparing the food. Menu selections will be beet sliders with pickled radishes and creamy green goddess dressing; Southern style barbecue chicken sliders; grilled potato salad with arugula and lemon mustard vinaigrette; summer chopped salad; and strawberries, angel food cake waffles and honeyed whipped cream.

POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave. (next to Assembly), Santa Cruz

 

Saturday night: Hanloh at East Cliff Brewing Co.

Hanloh Thai Food will be at East Cliff Brewing Co. from 5-9 p.m. Saturday. Their menu will include vegan and gluten-free options. There will be live music by Take One from 7-9 p.m.

East Cliff Brewing Co., 21517 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz

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Santa Cruz Farmers’ Markets Pop-Up tickets selling fast

Farm-fresh grilled zucchini, sweet corn, beans and aioli from chef Kendra Baker at a summer 2016 farmers’ market pop-up breakfast. Photo credit: Tara Fatemi Walker

Tickets are on sale for the 2017 season of pop-up breakfasts with guest chefs at the Westside Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley farmers’ markets. The first event (the morning of Saturday, June 3 at the Westside market with chef Erin Lampel of Companion Bakeshop) is sold out, and limited tickets remain for the other three events. Cost is $38 and tickets are available for purchase online and at the markets. See below for more details. I attended a pop-up breakfast with chef Kendra Baker last summer, and it was a very unique, enjoyable experience with delicious food and drinks!

 

In other market news, there is a May promotion that greatly helps low-income Santa Cruz County residents. Traditionally, the Live Oak and Felton markets offer customers with CalFresh (EBT/SNAP) cards a dollar-for-dollar match up to ten dollars. For example, if a CalFresh customer swipes their EBT card for $10 of EBT tokens, they receive an additional $10 in Market Match tokens at no charge. A $7 swipe equals a $7 match. These matching dollars can be used to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits only. During the month of May, in recognition of CalFresh Awareness Month, the Felton and Live Oak markets are offering a DOUBLE MATCH program. Customers receive two Market Match tokens for every EBT token up to $10. So $10 dollars of EBT becomes $30 at the Felton and Live Oak markets. However, funds are going fast and might not last through the end of the month (chances are you can still utilize the promotion May 21 at Live Oak market, and possibly May 23 at Felton market, but not the following week).

2017 Pop-Up Breakfast Dates and Chefs with tickets still available as of May 19

(for full menus, visit the web site):

 

Scotts Valley market

  • July 8 – chef Brad Briske of Home

 

Westside market

  • August 5 – chef Katherine Stern of La Posta
  • Aug 26 – chefs Kendra Baker and Jessica Yarr of Assembly, The Penny Ice Creamery, and The Picnic Basket

Different local chefs are featured at each event. For each dish at these multi-course meals, nearly 100% of the ingredients are sourced from farms at the markets. Event proceeds benefit the markets’ public educational programs including the Foodshed Project. This year for the first time there will be a raffle at each event to raise additional funds for the educational and outreach programs. The prize is a $50 farmers market gift certificate.

 

Attendees choose their seats by placing their own plates and silverware at spaces along u-shaped, family-style tables beginning at 9:30 a.m. Selections made with ingredients sourced from the markets begin rolling out around 10 a.m. As the guests eat and visit, farmers and chefs share their knowledge and perspectives regarding agriculture, community and consumer choice within the food system. There is also live local music.

 

The first summer series occurred in 2013, and the farm-to-table breakfasts continue to draw sell-out crowds. For more information call 831-325-4294 or email education@santacruzfarmersmarket.org.

 

 

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New Leaf’s May offerings include classes celebrating gluten-free month

Celebrate gluten-free month by making veggie quiche at a GF cooking class.
Photo credit: New Leaf

New Leaf Community Markets has several events this month, including ones to celebrate May being “gluten-free awareness month” and free movie showings. Here are some highlights; these are all at the Westside Santa Cruz location at 1101 Fair Ave. (831-426-1306).

Preregistration is required at newleaf.com/events.

 

Classes

 

Friday, May 19

Gluten-free beer & cheese pairing

Attendees will learn about, and taste, several beer and cheese pairings with Groundbreaker Brewery and Snowdonia Cheese Co. Oregon-based Groundbreaker is a dedicated, gluten-free brewery. Locally sourced chestnuts and hops make for a unique, naturally gluten-free (and vegan) beer. Snowdonia, based in North Wales, is renowned for an “innovative and colorful approach to hand crafting their distinct range of cheeses.” In January 2017, Fine Food Digest released their “Best Brand Guide” and the Snowdonia flagship—Black Bomber—was awarded “Best British Cheese” (a distinction it has received two of the last three years).

Time & Cost: 6–8pm, $10

Register at:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beer-cheese-pairing-with-groundbreaker-brewing-snowdonia-cheese-tickets-33406626118

 

Wednesday, May 24

Gluten-free cooking class: Summer treats

Join Chef Amy Fothergill for a hands-on cooking class where you will make fresh veggie quiche, rosemary prosciutto bread with fresh mozzarella, summer fruit crisp, waffles with berries, and luscious lemon tarts.

Time & Cost: 6–8:30pm, $40/Two for $70

Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gluten-free-summer-cooking-tickets-33293088524

 

Free films & talks

 

Tuesday, May 9

Gluten-Free on a Budget: Nutrition Talk & Store Tour
Join Nutrition Consultant Madia Jamgochian and learn how a gluten-free lifestyle could benefit you, and how to save money when shopping for a gluten-free diet. Sample some of the products discussed in class and expand your gluten-free repertoire.
Time & Cost: 1–2pm, Free
Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gluten-free-on-a-budget-nutrition-talk-store-tour-tickets-33316279890


Tuesday, May 9

Movie Night: Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret
This 2014 documentary uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today—animal agriculture—and investigates “why the world’s leading environmental organizations are afraid to talk about it.” With host Sandi Rechenmacher, Nutrition Consultant and educator. Free popcorn.
Time & Cost: 6pm-8pm, Free
Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/movie-night-cowspiracy-the-sustainability-secret-tickets-33260473973
Wednesday, May 10

Movie Night: What the Health
Feature length documentary “What the Health” follows the journey of film writer/director Kip Andersen as he uncovers “the impacts of highly processed industrial animal foods on our personal health and greater community.” The movie has local roots: Santa Cruz producer Bill Meade is behind it. This is a rare opportunity to see an acclaimed film for free; it will be shown at the Nickelodeon later this month. With host Sandi Rechenmacher, and free popcorn.
Time & Cost: 6pm-8pm, Free
Register at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/movie-night-what-the-health-tickets-33260560231

 

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