Tag Archives: First Friday Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz First Friday food highlights for March 4

For First Friday, HGP’s Angie Smith is making sweet potato and kale boxty with gingered applesauce

For First Friday, HGP’s Angie Smith is making sweet potato and kale boxty with gingered applesauce

Friday, March 4 is the next “First Friday Art Tour” in Santa Cruz; that night there are lots of related events with good food plus a couple unrelated events with delicious food that happen to be the same day. Here are a few highlights. FYI, the free First Friday tour happens every month, rain or shine, at different venues including restaurants, cafes, wineries and galleries.

Santa Cruz’s Homeless Garden Project (HGP) is hosting an event at its downtown shop to coincide with First Friday. Retail store and product manager Angie Smith will be cooking up tasty treats for attendees: sweet potato and kale boxty (latkes) with gingered applesauce (vegan and gluten-free), and vegan chocolate Stout cupcakes (plus some non-alcoholic chocolate cupcakes). There will also be “Sasquatch Red” wine (a blend from Humboldt County). There will be a special exhibit by Jessie Case, “Volunteers Giving While Getting Back,” which is a photo essay. Jessie photographed and interviewed some of Homeless Garden Project’s volunteers. The theme of the night is “Celebrating our Growing Community.” In 2015, nearly 2,500 people volunteered their time at HGP. “It’s also National Social Work Month so we are celebrating the Social Work interns that work with our trainees,” says Smith. “Since it’s March, we are having an Irish band and Irish themed appetizers.”

The HGP store stocks items including culinary products made in its training program from herbs and flowers grown at its organic farm. Income from sales helps provide job training and transitional employment for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and volunteer and educational opportunities for community members who want to learn about and practice sustainable agriculture and social justice.
Location: 110 Cooper St.

The Art Bar at the Tannery Art Center is having a grand opening celebration during First Friday with paella and more. Chef Antonette Wood is cooking up Spanish seafood paella for 100 (!) in the Art Bar’s patio using a traditional paellara. Read more about The Art Bar and its current offerings in my Feb. 27 restaurant news article. Ian McRae of Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room has taken over as sole proprietor of The Art Bar. On First Friday, The Great Morgani will perform from 7-8 p.m., and Kirby Scudder will be creating a 6 x 8 ft. live action painting of “a prominent politician… he won’t say who,” says McRae. “I think it will be Trump.” As usual, there will be lots of Tannery artists participating in First Friday; people are encouraged to visit the surrounding studios at 1050 and 1060 River St.
Location of The Art Bar: 1060 River St. #112 in the Tannery Arts Center

My Mom’s Mole will be at POPUP for dinner on Friday, March 4. The menu, which will include items from $3-10, will feature their signature mole sauce AND a new mole verde (green mole) served with chicken, pork and veggie tostadas paired with a locally sourced cactus and kale salad. I have tasted the signature mole several times—including at last week’s wonderful Event Watsonville night at the Commercial Kitchen Incubator—and can vouch that it’s delectable!

Here is a description of the food from Cesario Ruiz, who created the My Mom’s Mole recipe after watching his mother make mole and seeing all of the different ingredients she used: “My Mom’s Mole was named Best Mole, People’s Choice at the 2015 Mole & Mariachi Festival at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park. The signature recipe is in the Guanajuato style and is more savory with a bit of heat at the back of the palate…our mole verde, also known as pipián, has a subtle, yet rich & fresh flavor to it. We are excited to share it with you; it may be our next product in stores so we can’t wait for you to try it!” There will be vegetarian/vegan (Guanajuato style) and gluten-free (verde) options available.
Location: POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave.

LionFish SupperClub is having its grand opening celebration and Santa Cruz Chamber ribbon cutting at the MOTIV upstairs bar/kitchen starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The menu that night will include chili-carmel brussels sprouts, rosemary-parmesan fries, French onion soup, smoked duck carnitas tacos, foraged mushroom ragout, candy cap souffle cheesecake, and caramel creme brulee. Read more about LionFish in my March 2 restaurant news article.
Location: 1209 Pacific Ave.

Mutari Chocolate is hosting a First Friday popup café and shop at Front Street Kitchen from 5 to 9 p.m. accompanied by the art of Randy Cardona. Mutari will be serving up a full menu of hot chocolates and sipping chocolates. Bean-to-bar, single origin chocolate bars will also be available. During First Friday, customers will receive 10% off any in-store retail purchases. For more news on Mutari changes, see March 2 restaurant news article.
Location: 504A Front St.

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Santa Cruz & Monterey food & wine events this weekend

Wine from Comanche Cellars and bread from Carmel Valley Country Bread, featured at Terranova Saturday

Wine from Comanche Cellars and bread from Carmel Valley Country Bread, featured at Terranova Saturday

There are many food and wine events occurring this weekend in Santa Cruz and Monterey. Below are details for three programs on Saturday and/or Sunday, June 7-8, 2014.

Other events include:

  • First Friday Santa Cruz — See firstfridaysantacruz.com for exhibits, and note there are usually several venues offering delicious refreshments to accompany art-viewing
  • Opening night of the Chaminade’s annual Farm to Table Wine Dinner series — read schedule and details at www.chaminade.com/santacruz_restaurants/farmtotable

Santa Cruz Saturday: Strawberry Festival benefiting women’s center
At the Strawberry Festival June 7, which benefits the Walnut Avenue Women’s Center, you can win dinner for 2 at 12 Santa Cruz restaurants. That’s the grand prize of the event’s raffle which has 100 prizes. It’s an annual festival for WAWC (Walnut Avenue Women’s Center), which has worked to improve the quality of life for women, children, and families for more than 75 years. Read more at the WAWC web site at wawc.org. The festival raises funds for youth development services including mentoring, teen pregnancy prevention, teen dating violence awareness, educational workshops, and support groups.

Strawberry Festival 2014 will be held at 303 Walnut Avenue in Santa Cruz from 11 a.m.–4 p.m.  Admission is free, and there will be food available for purchase including BBQ, strawberry shortcake, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and strawberry lemonade. There will also be carnival games, a bounce house, and live music.

Monterey Saturday: Taste wine and cheer for a horse
Terranova Fine Wines welcomes wine and horse racing fans to watch the Belmont Stakes at its Cannery Row store from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 7. The post time for the Belmont Stakes is 3:52 p.m., and Terranova invites guests to help cheer on California Chrome. There will be Comanche Cellars wine tasting, olive oil and balsamic tasting with The Quail & Olive, and bread samples from Carmel Valley Country Bread. The tasting fee will be $10 per person and includes a sample of each wine, along with cheese and bread pairings. A la carte glasses of wine will be $10 each. Samples of olive oils and balsamics are complimentary. Bread, bottles of wine, olive oils, and balsamics will be available for purchase. There will also be a drawing for a signed magnum of Comanche Cellars wine (must be present to win).
315 Calle Principal, Monterey, www.terranovafinewines.com

Santa Cruz Saturday & Sunday: Loma Prieta Winery event
Loma Prieta Winery is having a Pinotage Club Pick-Up Party all weekend, noon to 5 p.m. each day. There will be live guitar music, appetizers, and oysters from local favorite Bill The Oyster Man. Oysters will be $1 each; please bring cash. Painter Jude Bischoff will be exhibiting his nature portraits at the winery on Sun. June 8.
26985 Loma Prieta Way, Los Gatos, www.lomaprietawinery.com

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Santa Cruz First Friday Art Tour Food/Restaurant Highlights include food trucks

Attendees at First Friday Santa Cruz enjoying dinner from a food truck

Attendees at First Friday Santa Cruz enjoying dinner from a food truck

Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 in Santa Cruz is the next “First Friday Art Tour,” and there are events, exhibits and food choices to satisfy people with a variety of tastes. Here are a couple highlights.

Mission Hill Creamery is hosting artist Jamie Taylor on Fri Aug. 2. He will be at the delicious ice cream shop from 6-9 p.m. to show and discuss his work. Taylor comments about his art: “It is exciting to me to be utilizing a broader range of my aesthetic sensibilities to make my paintings, so that they continue to present different possibilities of comprehension, resulting in the creation of something both mysterious and concrete.” Check out the art and taste some wonderful sweet treats at the same time. Mission Hill Creamery owner Dave Kumec utilizes organic ingredients in his artisan ice cream like Straus milk and cream, Windmill Farm strawberries, and Lone Oak Farms apricots.
Location: 1101B Pacific (next to Taqueria Vallarta)

The True Olive Connection hosts painter Hannah Dalbey, who will be at the shop from 6-8:30 p.m. Her work will be on display until September 4. Dalbey says: “Painting has been my creative expression for over 35 years…My objective has been to bring out the spirit of the subject. I learned that color, shape, value, line and texture are the underlying essence of painting.  It is always the same whether I am painting a face, a body, an animal, a landscape or a still life.  Abstract and non-objective art has become an exciting way to work with just the essential components of painting.   Having the freedom to experiment with creativity in its myriad forms has been a great joy!” The True Olive Connection is known for its great First Friday spreads which include free bread and olive oil, olives, wine, and other goodies. The shop sells many oils, nearly 20 balsamic vinegars, plus mustards, hot sauces, and more.
Location: 106 Lincoln St (just off Pacific), Santa Cruz

It’s been announced that food trucks will be at the August 2 First Friday Santa Cruz, at the Wrigley Building. Past First Fridays have featured The Truck Stop and Low N Slow Mobile Cuisine.
Location: 2809 Mission St (in Westside SC)

The free First Friday tour happens every month, rain or shine, at different venues including restaurants, cafes, wineries and galleries. It was founded by the Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.