Tag Archives: barbecue

Two weekend events: Assembly adds brunch service & Hop N’ Barley Fest expands

Bread pudding from Assembly’s new brunch menu

Assembly Serving Brunch

Popular downtown restaurant Assembly is launching weekend brunch service beginning Saturday, June 28. The restaurant will open at 9am and, according to co-owner Zach Davis, “feature a menu of seasonally inspired bunch favorites including house baked pastries and breads.” Choices include savory bread pudding with broccoli, Gruyère, hollandaise and a poached egg; see photo above. Can’t wait to try the newest creations from Chef Carlo Espinas!

And there’s more: To celebrate the new brunch menu, this weekend Assembly is featuring guest Verve Coffee Roasters baristas crafting complimentary Verve espresso drinks for diners.
1108 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, http://assembleforfood.com

Hop N’ Barley Fest

Also on June 28, it’s the 5th annual Hop N’ Barley beer and bbq festival. Most events are on Saturday at Sky Park in Scotts Valley, but this year the festival has expanded from one day to two. There are approximately 60 breweries participating, and there will be live music. Saturday is the main event with beer and barbecue, with gates opening at 10 a.m. and beer starting at noon. The gates close at 5 p.m.

On Sunday, there is a morning disc golf tournament at DeLaveaga and an afternoon craft and home brew competition. Tickets range from $25-80, but it’s free for non-beer-drinkers including kids – event organizers emphasize that “kids and dogs are welcome.” The Hop N’ Barley beer and bbq festival benefits non-profit Community Housing Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.

Skypark, 361 Kings Village Rd, Scotts Valley, hopnbarley.org

If you’re on Twitter, follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Celebrate Independence Day 2013 with a poolside barbecue at Santa Cruz’s Solaire

Cooking it up at Solaire in Santa Cruz

Cooking it up at Solaire in Santa Cruz

Celebrate Independence Day 2013 at Santa Cruz’s Hotel Paradox, which boasts the fabulous Solaire Restaurant and Bar.


Solaire is hosting an all-American barbecue from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 4th. It’s $25 for a “day pool pass” with a full plate of BBQ plus a chocolate brownie sundae, or $80 for a family 4-pack with pool passes & BBQ plates/desserts. Food will be served all day There will also be $4 draft beers, and DJ Magic Touch spinning on the Pool Deck from 12 -3:30 p.m. From 4 -8 p.m. there will be live music by West Coast Soul Band.


Here are more details on food & beer:

Food Menu

  • Field Greens Salad With Assorted Dressings
  • Napa Cabbage Coleslaw
  • Paradox Potato Salad
  • Grilled Corn On The Cob
  • Barbeque Baked Beans
  • Grilled Summer Vegetables
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich
  • House Ground Hamburger
  • Herb-Mustard Grilled Chicken
  • Chocolate Brownie Sundae


$4 Draft Beers

  • Santa Cruz Mountains Pale Ale
  • Santa Cruz Ale Works IPA
  • Firestone Solace
  • Scrimshaw
  • 21st Amendment Black in Black
  • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale


On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.



Inexpensive BBQ at Whole Foods Capitola benefits Easter Seals Central California

Easter Seals Ambassadors at Walk With Me Monterey Bay 2011

Visit Whole Foods Market’s Capitola location on Friday, August 24 for an inexpensive barbecue dinner and benefit local children and adults with disabilities served by Easter Seals Central California. This event is co-sponsored by Whole Foods Market and CVS, and one of its goals is to raise awareness for the upcoming “Walk With Me Monterey Bay.”

Event Details: On Friday, August 24 from 3-7 p.m. you can purchase a BBQ plate for the price of $5 or $6 depending on your entree. Each plate comes with your choice of a Whole Foods Market burger ($6) or Wellshire hot dog ($5), plus chips and beverage (soda or water). The barbecue location is at the parking lot in front of Whole Foods Market Capitola & CVS, 41st and Capitola Road. There will also be a raffle at the event. Proceeds from food and raffle ticket sales benefit Easter Seals Central California.

Walk With Me Monterey Bay is an annual 1.5-mile, family-friendly activity, plus – new this year – there are 5K and 10K fun runs! Walk With Me events are held so that vital programs for kids and adults with disabilities – and the families that love them – can continue via Easter Seals Central California (ESCC). Walk With Me MB takes place at San Carlos Beach Park in Monterey on Saturday, October 20th at 8:30 a.m. For more info visit www.walkwithme.org/monterey.

ESCC provides the following local services:

• Autism Services: ESCC’s Early Intervention Autism Program (EIAP) givies parents crucial early intervention strategies to address behaviors and strengthen relationships. Behavior specialists provide school/home support, parent mentors, trainings and support groups.

• Camp Harmon: This fully accessible, residential summer camp is for children and adults with disabilities, ages 8-65. Camp includes arts and crafts activities, a swimming pool, horseback riding, a putting green, an archery range and an athletic field.

• Education Services: ESCC provides classroom aides, school nurses, Braille teachers, sign language interpreters, adaptive PE teachers, 1:1 behavioral staff, and home teaching assistants.

• Respite Services: Specially trained staff provides in-home assistance that allows time off for primary caregivers of family members with disabilities.

• Wide Awakes Club: Professionally staffed, this provides monthly community-building social and recreational opportunities for young adults with physical and developmental disabilities

Event location details:
Whole Foods in Capitola: http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/capitola/
1710 41st Ave, Capitola 95010 (831) 464-2900

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie

Chef Brad Briske & butcher Chris LaVeque at Santa Cruz Downtown Farmers’ Market July 4

A vendor at the downtown Santa Cruz Farmers' Market

Local chef Brad Briske, whose experience includes cooking at Gabriella Café and Main Street Garden & Café, will be at a special event at the Santa Cruz Downtown Farmers’ Market on July 4, 2012.

The Farmers’ Market recently started a monthly food/farm education series called The Foodshed Project, and this Wednesday is the second event (Next month’s theme is Peach Party). Beginning at 3pm, Briske and butcher Chris LaVeque (of el Salchichero) will be presenting. The event includes grilled grass-fed mini burgers, and provides information on the importance of pasture-raised meats and eggs.

Briske currently teaches classes at Let’s Cook!, a cooking school in Soquel. These include Sausage Making 101 (using organic pork from local Fogline Farms), Succulent Steaks, and Chicken 101. Read my recent article on Let’s Cook! LaVeque’s background includes a degree from San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy, an apprenticeship with Severino’s Community Butcher, an internship at renowned Los Gatos restaurant Manresa, and positions at local restaurants Cellar Door (now Le Cigare Volant) and Gabriella Cafe.

This Wednesday’s hours are 1:30-6:30 p.m. (summer hours for the market). The expanded hours usually last until Thanksgiving week. Between Thanksgiving and the week after Daylight Savings Time, hours are shortened to 1:30-5:30 p.m.

The Details
Santa Cruz Downtown Farmers’ Market special food/farm event
Wednesday, July 4, 2012, 3 p.m.
Cedar & Lincoln Streets (one block off Pacific, behind Logos/Toadal Fitness)

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie

Scotts Valley Hop N’ Barley Fest with food, beer, and kids’ activities

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing is one of several local breweries participating in the Hop N' Barley Fest Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing is one of several local breweries participating in the Hop N' Barley Fest. Photo courtesy of SCMB web site

On June 30, Sky Park in Scotts Valley hosts the 3nd annual Hop N’ Barley festival with many selections plus food — think lots of barbecue! — and kids’ activities. Hop N’ Barley festival organizers proudly state that this event is the “only beer festival in Santa Cruz County organized by a non-profit AND benefiting a non-profit.” Read details about the beneficiary non-profit, Community Housing Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, at the Land Trust web site. The organization is “…dedicated to providing a broad range of housing opportunities, with emphasis on ownership, that will remain affordable in perpetuity to very low, low and moderate-income residents of Santa Cruz County.”

More than 25 breweries are participating. There will be a kids area, skate park, free parking, bocci ball, four local bands performing live music, and it’s a dog-friendly event. Plus, there will be home-brewing demonstrations.

Food will be available to purchase from vendors including el Salchichero, Heavenly Café, Bruno’s Barbecue, and Cowboy Bar and Grill.

Gates open at 11:30 a.m., and tasting is from noon to 4:30 p.m. Music lasts from noon to 5 p.m. For those drinking beer, admission is $30 in advance/$35 at the door and includes a souvenir glass. There is also one ticket category which includes both beer and barbecue. The event has free admission for kids, designated drivers, and anyone else not drinking alcohol. Buy tickets online http://www.hopnbarley.org/tickets at http://www.hopnbarley.org/tickets.

Breweries offering tastings include local Santa Cruz Ale Works, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Boulder Creek Brewing, Corralitos Brewing, and Seabright Brewery. Others include Gordon Biersch, Tied House, Kona Brewing, Full Sail, and North Coast.

Skypark is located at 361 Kings Village Rd, Scotts Valley, CA 95066

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie

Santa Cruz barbecue festival with free admission, music, guests including MasterChef Jake Gandolfo

This weekend in Santa Cruz, there is an outdoor barbecue festival with free admission, free music, and guests including MasterChef finalist Jake Gandolfo.

The 1st annual Backyard BBQ Festival takes place on Saturday, August 28 and Sunday August 29 from 11am-6pm in San Lorenzo Park. The festival is presented by Bobby’s Can Cookin’ Smoked Barbecue. Available at the event: beer and wine, arts and crafts, and plenty of barbecue – plus children’s games on Saturday. Bobby’s makes all kinds of meats, including chicken, tri-tip, and hot links. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Cruz.

At Backyard BBQ, there will be ribs cook-off competitions in professional and individual categories. Contestants include Live Oak Smokers, Carmen’s Taqueria, and Jake Gandolfo, currently a finalist on Gordon Ramsay’s newest TV hit, MasterChef. During the latest MasterChef episode (aired Wednesday, August 25), local Santa Cruz chef Jake made it into the top 10 after winning the Cat Cora challenge: Iron Chef Cat Cora demonstrated how to cook a particular halibut dish, then 11 finalists replicated the entree without using a recipe. Jake’s version was deemed best by judges. Read more about Jake and MasterChef.

The Backyard BBQ festival promises lots of great music emceed by two KUSP DJs: Johnny Simmons and Brett Taylor. Saturday’s line-up includes Wild Rovers from 1:30-2:30pm and the Mike Renwick Horn Band from 3-4pm. Sunday’s music is a concert put on by Kuumbwa for its 35th Anniversary. It includes performances by Real Time, a band led by Kuumbwa’s artistic director Tim Jackson (Real Time performs “Latin- and groove-oriented material”), and Frequency Jones (“old-school funk”).

No smoking or dogs are allowed at this festival. Also, Backyard BBQ is a green, “zero waste” event.

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The Details

Backyard BBQ Festival

Sat Aug 28 & Sun Aug 29 11am-6pm

San Lorenzo Park, Santa Cruz

Free admission