Tag Archives: Back Porch

Santa Cruz and nearby restaurant news highlights, Part 2 of 2

Jamaican food from The Jerk House

Jamaican food from The Jerk House

Here is some restaurant news for Santa Cruz and other local areas. I published Part 1 of this two-part series a few days ago.

Openings

Perfectly Pressed Juice Bar opened a Pleasure Point location in October at 3617B Portola Dr. next to Coffeetopia. The store sells many cold-pressed organic juices made with fruits and/or vegetables. I recently had the opportunity to sample three varieties. They were all delicious and refreshing, but my favorite was Green Dream with cucumber, spinach, kale, romaine, celery, apple, lemon and ginger. Green Dream happens to be one of their top sellers. Perfectly Pressed has locations in Salinas, Seaside, Marina and Prunedale and will open a Watsonville location next month. Santa Cruz hours are M-F 6-6, Sat 8-2, and Sun 10-2. Call (831) 331-4041.

The Jerk House opened in Santa Cruz in October. The restaurant serves Jamaican cuisine. Read my preview article to learn more about food and drink selections. I haven’t had the opportunity to dine there yet, but I look forward to it. The Jerk House is at 2525 Soquel Drive, (831) 316-7575. Hours are 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tues-Thurs and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri-Sun.

Ruyi Dim Sum opened in Capitola in July. The restaurant, which is in the same 41st Ave. complex as New Leaf, serves Chinese food and dim sum. Selections include shrimp dumplings, steamed buns (BBQ pork, chicken, and more), Mongolian beef or chicken, mu shu with meat, fish, or veggies, chow mein, and fried rice. Ruyi Dim Sum is at 1200 41st Ave. Suite C, (831) 475-3688. Hours are approximately 11 a.m.- 9 p.m. daily.

Opening in the Future

El Salchichero and Uncommon Brewers are collaborating to create a very large (2,700 square foot!) bar and restaurant on River Street near the Old Sash Mill. They plan to open sometime in 2016, hopefully by April or May. The bar/lounge will be called The Oasis and will serve six to eight Uncommon Brewers draft beer plus cider and local wines. Food selections will include sausage sandwiches and cheese and charcuterie plates. There will also be a salumi-curing room for el Salchichero and space for Uncommon to expand its oak barrel-aging program. The location will be 415A River St.

East End Gastropub is opening in Capitola in late January or early February, in the former location of Tony and Alba’s next to the Cinelux Theater. The folks behind West End Tap & Kitchen are opening the pub on 41st Avenue adjacent to Cinelux Theater in late January or early February. The restaurant will feature a menu similar to West End, with wood-fired pizzas, appetizers, sharing plates, and craft beer and keg wine. East End Gastropub will be at 1501 41st Ave.

Cafe Brasil announced in November that they are going to open a location at UC Santa Cruz. They will take over management of the Global Village Cafe (formerly managed by Hoffman’s) in the lobby of McHenry Library. The menu will be based on Cafe Brasil’s Capitola offshoot, Amazon Juices, which includes juices, smoothies, acai bowls, sandwiches, egg burritos, salads and rice bowls. Cafe Brasil will also serve Brazilian coffee and Kelly’s French Bakery pastries. They hope to open later this month with a limited menu and expand to a full menu in January.

Juicy Sweet, a juice bar that will also feature smoothies, Straus organic soft serve ice cream, and frozen yogurt, will open in Aptos in the future. The location will be in the Aptos Center at 7500 Soquel Drive.

Closings
Camellia Tea House in Capitola has closed.

Changes
Lillian’s no longer serves lunch. Also, it’s expanding into a much larger space just a few doors down from the current location at 1116 Soquel Ave. They hope to begin serving food in this new spot (the former site of Jerry’s Sports) in March.

Back Porch in Soquel Village is now open on Saturdays. In September they started selling their food out of a mobile food trailer Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. In late November, they added Saturdays, same hours. Their menu includes tacos, banh mi, and lamb sliders. The trailer is located at the corner of Soquel & Daubenbiss, at the Christmas tree lot.  Call (831) 332-3401.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Santa Cruz area food events: A Taste of Soquel, Charlie Hong Kong kids festival

Charlie Hong Kong (used with permission)

Charlie Hong Kong
(used with permission)

I want to share the news about two fun food events tomorrow: A Taste of Soquel and Charlie Hong Kong’s Kids Food Festival. More details are below.

A Taste of Soquel: Saturday, Sept. 26, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
The seventh annual “A Taste of Soquel,” benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank, takes place in the courtyard of the Congregational Church of Soquel (4951 Soquel Drive). For the past seven years the event has provided over 28,000 healthy meals to families in need. Tickets are $25 for adults (includes music, food, wine) and $10 for youth 12-20 (includes music, food). Kids under 12 are free. Call 831-475-2867 for details. Advance tickets are available at the church or online.

Attendees can enjoy food from restaurants and vendors such as Back Porch, Café Cruz, La Gioconda, Surf City Sandwich, Fogline Farm, Jeff Walls’ Family Honey, The Fish Lady, Aldo’s Bakery, and Sawasdee Thai Cuisine. There will be beer and wine from Discretion Brewing, Soquel Vineyards, Bargetto Winery, Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery, Vino Cruz, Wargin Wines and Poetic Cellars. There will be lots of live music, including Nina Gerber & Chris Webster and the B Movie Kings.

There will be coffee from the Ugly Mug, plus tea, lemonade, water, and more from The Bagelry and Donut Station. A kids’ area will feature free activities such as singing with Music Together, drumming with local musician Ibou, and crafts. More than 50 local businesses participate in the raffle, featuring prizes such as store and restaurant gift certificates.
Charlie Hong Kong Kids Fest: Saturday, Sept. 26, Noon-1:30 p.m.

Charlie Hong Kong is hosting a kids festival at its restaurant (1141 Soquel Ave.). There will be face painting, cooking, photo opportunities, music, art projects, jugglers, prizes, and a special buffet lunch. The cost is $5 and you have to be accompanied by a child in order to attend.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

Event Santa Cruz hosts PopUp Santa Cruz Night

Food by Lionfish Supper Club, a participant at Event Santa Cruz: PopUp

Food by Lionfish Supper Club, a participant at Event Santa Cruz: PopUp

Matthew Swinnerton has done it again: he started Event Santa Cruz in September 2013 to tell stories about local businesses and the people behind them, and he’s been bringing our community fantastic monthly events—always sell-outs—ever since. The next one, “PopUp Santa Cruz Night,” is June 25 with eight speakers. Warning to all you foodies out there: tickets are almost gone.

The setting is An Epicurious Lifestyle, owned by Adrienne Megora and Marci Prolo—themselves speakers in last November’s ‘Edible Santa Cruz’ program from Event Santa Cruz. As Swinnerton has announced on the eventsantacruz.com site, Megora and Prolo are welcoming attendees into their kitchen “to sample delicious PopUps from all over Santa Cruz” before listening to the speakers, who are all part of the burgeoning Santa Cruz PopUp movement.

Scheduled speakers, in alphabetical order:

  • Matthew Armstrong – Mutari Chocolate
  • Elizabeth Birnbaum – Slow Food Santa Cruz
  • Austin Kaye – Back Porch
  • Charles Lambert – Ocean2Table
  • Zachary Mazi – Lionfish Supper Club
  • Noah Kopito – Mortal Dumpling
  • Ty Pearce – Ty’s Eatery
  • Justin Williams – Kickin Chicken

Lionfish’s Zachary Mazi recently came across some intriguing statistics from Eventbrite: “In 2014, PopUp dining events enjoyed the largest growth of any type of ticketed event, with an 82% increase in attendance and sales,” Mazi shares. “Following closely on the heels and coming in second on growth was Communal Dining events, at around 64% growth.” One reason Mazi cites for his excitement about participating in Event Santa Cruz: PopUp: “…we are riding a national wave of the changing face of dining, and it feels like Santa Cruz really has a lead on this particular growing industry.”

Mazi likes being able to have a dialogue with the local foodie community. “Foodies should know that connecting back to the source of our food is the most important step anyone can take in their eating habits,” he says. “For me, that includes growing your own food, foraging, understanding your local food history and your current agricultural surroundings.  LionFish strives to bring these factors to full attention with every meal we craft.”

Ty Pearce is very enthusiastic about the June 25 event. “It brings exposure to a lot of great PopUps, and gives each of us the opportunity to explain why we are going on this journey in the PopUp world.” I met Pearce a few weeks ago when I ate his delicious food at the weekly Wednesday night Food Lounge PopUp, and it’s obvious how much care goes into his creations. “I take the time to source organic wholesome ingredients that make delicious comfort food that is sold at a fair price,” he says. “My menu can be completely customized to each individual’s lifestyle needs.”

Speaker Justin Williams, chef and co-owner of Kickin Chicken, is looking forward to the event. “This is a great opportunity to talk about how late-night food doesn’t have to be subpar,” says Williams. “We strive to deliver the undeliverable!”

Back Porch owner/chef Austin Kaye is honored that he was included in this program. “I enjoy being part of an event that explores the pop-up scene in Santa Cruz, with an emphasis on community and collaboration, rather than competition,” shares Kaye. “I can’t wait to talk about something that I care so much about!” Back Porch has just acquired a food trailer, and on the evening of June 25 Kaye will be revealing its menu and its late summer locations.

Matthew Armstrong, Mutari Chocolate co-founder, also looks forward to speaking to local food fans June 25. “The way we make and deliver our chocolate has always been something exciting to speak about,” says Armstrong. “We are doing something both new and traditional, that also carries my own personal adventure. Armstrong is very excited to hear from “others in the community who have their own stories of inspiration.”

Slow Food Santa Cruz Board Chair Elizabeth Birnbaum is thrilled to be included in Event Santa Cruz’s PopUp Night. “I am the only woman in the speaker line-up, and the only non-chef/food producer. I am also the only non-business-owner of the group, but I am always creating food-based projects and am presently working to build a business.” Birnbaum has collaborated with some of the other speakers—including Mutari, LionFish, and Mortal Dumpling. “They are all awesome and I am inspired by working with them!”

“Being the only non-chef, I have an interesting opportunity to cross over between the chefs and food producers, and help support them all by creating events,” Birnbaum adds. “I consider myself an event producer and community organizer. I especially love creating space for food literacy education. I have been able to do this for work and for fun, which is really incredible.”

Tickets are only $15; purchase tickets online at eventsantacruz.com. There are only 38 tickets left as of Sunday morning, June 14.  There are also a limited number of “annual passes” available for $75. This grants pass-holders admission to 12 consecutive months of events, through June 2016.

For more information call 831-332-8677. Ian Janco is the evening’s musical guest.

Details:

Thursday, June 25, 2015
6 p.m. doors open, and food will be served from most of the speakers
7 p.m. speakers begin

Location: An Epicurious Lifestyle, 104 Bronson St. Suite 13, Santa Cruz

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.