Tag Archives: Scotts Valley

Thanksgiving highlights for Santa Cruz & Scotts Valley

The dining room at 1440 Multiversity in Scotts Valley
Credit: 1440 Multiversity

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and there are lots of offerings you can choose from—including a unique day at Scotts Valley’s 1440 Multiversity, restaurants with lunch or dinner, and caterers and personal chefs that have prepared food options. Here are a few highlights.

 

1440 Multiversity is offering an inclusive day of Thanksgiving programming. The cost is $125; this includes breakfast (8-9 a.m.), lunch (noon-1:30 p.m.) plus Thanksgiving dinner (4:30-6:30 p.m.). Tickets must be purchased by 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. The dinner menu includes Oven Roasted Turkey, Cranberry Confit, Turkey Gravy (vegetarian entrée available); Roasted Brussels Sprout Apple Hash, Chive Gremolata, Fresh Horseradish; and Green Bean Casserole, Wild Mushroom, and Oven Dried Shallot. For the day, attendees will have full access to the campus including workshops, hiking trails, movement classes such as yoga, and an infinity tub soak at the Healing Arts center (participants also receive a $20 discount on any healing treatment of 50 minutes or longer, including massage). A kirtan concert follows dinner. Buy tickets and see full schedule online.

800 Bethany Dr., Scotts Valley, 1440.org

 

Vegetarian Thanksgiving to go: organic prepared food business The Open Hearth is offering a to-go Thanksgiving menu. All orders must be placed by Friday, Nov. 17 and will be ready for pick up Wednesday, Nov. 22 after 4:30 p.m. Selections are Winter Squash Apple Bisque; Pomegranate Persimmon Spinach Salad w/ Goat Cheese & Pomegranate Vinaigrette; Baked Tofu Strips (with Wildwood sprouted firm tofu); Garlic Mashed Potatoes; Portobello Mushroom Gravy; Roasted Brussels Sprouts (with Rodoni Farms sprouts); Cashew Carrot Spread; Jumbo Cornbread Muffins; and Cranberry Apple Crisp. Founder/chef Beth Freewomon has been offering ready-made meals made from organically grown, gluten-free, plant-based and whole unprocessed foods to the local community for more than 10 years. Visit IAmTheOpenHearth.com or contact 831-471-9677 or bethfreewomon@yahoo.com

 

Whole Foods Market has many take-out and catering options available in Santa Cruz and Capitola. All orders must be placed by Tuesday, Nov. 21; WFM recommends ordering as soon as possible, as some selections will sell out. WFM partnered with Philadelphia-based fine dining vegan restaurant Vedge to create a Vegan Meal for Two ($39.99), which includes lentil-mushroom stuffing, mustard-glazed cauliflower, a chocolate toffee mini cake and more. A la carte vegan dishes include roasted butternut squash. Gluten-free selections include several pie varieties from the company Natural Decadence. A traditional turkey dinner for eight for $119.99 contains a fully cooked 10-lb. oven-roasted turkey, herb stuffing, mashed potatoes, organic turkey gravy, and two pounds each of organic cranberry orange sauce and green beans with crispy garlic and parsley (the latter two selections are vegan). For a similar dinner for eight with an organic turkey and slightly different selections, the cost is $159.99. You can place your Thanksgiving dinner orders in person or online at wholefoodsmarket.com/online-ordering. They also have a comprehensive online holiday guide which includes lots of tips and recipes.

911 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz (831) 426-9901

1710 41st Ave., Capitola, (831) 464-2900

 

Chaminade has a Thanksgiving buffet from noon to 6 p.m. The cost is $60 for adults, $20 for kids 6-12, and free for kids under 6. Selections include roast turkey with warm orange-cranberry compote, roasted Dijon-crusted lamb leg with mint jelly, apple cider braised pork loin with dried cherry bordelaise and crispy prosciutto, butternut squash ravioli with porcini crème and roast vegetable bruschetta, a Greek display (dolmas, falafel, tzatziki, hummus and more), several salads, and winter squash soup with toasted pepita seeds.

One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz (831) 475-5600

 

Aquarius at the Dream Inn is offering a buffet from 1:30-7 p.m. Cost is $64 for adults and $29 for kids 12 and under. Selections include Diestel free range turkey and prime rib carved to order; butternut squash bisque; a salad bar; cheese and charcuterie including Cypress Grove Bermuda Triangle, Marcona almonds, honeycomb, prosciutto, smoked duck breast, assorted pates and seafood and vegetable terrines; and traditional Thanksgiving sides like Yukon gold mashed potatoes and glazed sweet candied yams. Desserts include pumpkin pie, Kentucky bourbon pecan pie, mini pastries and cupcakes.

175 West Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz (831) 426-4330

 

Severino’s Bar & Grill is offering a buffet from noon to 4:30 p.m. Cost is $42 for adults and $17 for kids 5-10; ages 4 and under are free. Selections include turkey, Angus prime rib of beef, honey-baked country ham and leg of lamb carved to order; traditional stuffing and Yukon mashed potatoes; Caesar salad; clam chowder; fish of the day; and vegetarian ravioli. Desserts include pumpkin pie, pecan pie and vanilla crème brulee.

7500 Old Dominion Court, Aptos (831) 688-8987

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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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St. Patrick’s Day food and drink highlights for Santa Cruz County & nearby

My Mom’s Mole, Elkhorn Slough Brewing & The Green Waffle are collaborating for St. Patrick’s Day. Photo credit: My Mom’s Mole Facebook page

My Mom’s Mole, Elkhorn Slough Brewing & The Green Waffle are collaborating for St. Patrick’s Day. Photo credit: My Mom’s Mole Facebook page

There are many enticing foods and events for St. Patrick’s Day 2017 in Santa Cruz and nearby areas. Here are a few highlights.

My Mom’s Mole is hosting an event at Elkhorn Slough Brewing Co. in Watsonville on Friday, March 17, from 4-8 p.m. There will be taco and green waffle options with shredded chicken and/or roasted root vegetables and mole sauce (My Mom’s Mole signature sauce and/or mole verde). A side of My Mom’s Mole signature cactus & kale salad accompanies each dish. The waffles are courtesy of The Green Waffle LLC and El Nopalito Produce is providing the nopales (cactus).

My Mom’s Mole, The Green Waffle, and El Nopalito Produce are three of the 30-plus locally owned businesses that operate out of Watsonville’s El Pájaro CDC Commercial Kitchen Incubator. Elkhorn Slough Brewing Co. opened in 2016 and focuses on wild ales made with locally harvested yeast and other locally sourced ingredients.

Elkhorn Slough co-founder Julie Rienhardt said,“When locals come together to make great food and drink from the ingredients all around us, it takes delicious to a whole new level. We are proud to be serving our beer with My Mom’s Mole to the wonderful Watsonville community for a festive St. Patrick’s Day celebration.”

Location: 65 Hangar Way, Watsonville

La Sofrita is doing a “We’re all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day” popup from 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, at POPUP next to Assembly. Chef Anna says “while staying true to Puerto Rican classics and flavors, we will pay homage to the Irish.” The menu will include rellenos de papa, a classic Puerto Rican dish of mashed potatoes stuffed with savory beef picadillo, then gently fried; corned beef empanadas (plus a few of La Sofrita’s other empanada varieties) served with curtido, a lightly pickled cabbage slaw; and Puerto Rican chicken stew flavored with sofrito and adobo, served with Puerto Rican rice. Beer will also be available.

 

Location: 1108 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz

 

Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticceria is offering corned beef and cabbage dinner for $15.95. This includes potatoes, carrots, onions, horseradish cream and a slice of Irish soda bread. Dinners will be available Thursday and Friday, March 16-17, starting at 9 a.m. (cold) and noon (hot) for take-out service. Cost is $15.95. The restaurant has also created Guinness stout chocolate cake, Bailey’s Irish cream cheesecake and iced shamrock cookies. Gayle’s is at Learn more:

Location: 504 Bay Ave., Capitola

 

Ella’s at the Airport  is serving corned beef and cabbage for lunch and dinner. There will also be Irish-inspired drinks.

Location: 100 Aviation Way, Watsonville

 

Malone’s is offering what it calls “traditional St. Patrick’s Day food specials” plus Irish style beers and special cocktails, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Friday. There will be live music in the evening.

Location: 4402 Scotts Valley Dr., Scotts Valley

 

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Trifecta of food events in Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley Friday, Oct. 28

Food from vendors  in the Oct. 28 Food Trucks A Go Go event: Choke Coach carne asada fries, Ate3One poke nachos, G's Mexican Tacos taco plate, Aunt LaLi's sundae

Food from vendors in the Oct. 28 Food Trucks A Go Go event: Choke Coach carne asada fries, Ate3One poke nachos, G’s Mexican Tacos taco plate, Aunt LaLi’s sundae

There are several food- and wine-related events in the Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley areas this weekend; here are three going on tonight, Friday Oct. 28 — actually they all start in the late afternoon, at 4 or 4:30 p.m., depending on the specific event.

Scotts Valley Dinner & Movie with Food Trucks A Go Go

Food Trucks A Go Go has organized dinner & a movie at Scotts Valley Community Center. The original venue was the outdoor Skypark one block away, but that was changed due to the rain forecast. Dinner service is from 4:30-7:30 pm. The movie, Transylvania 2, begins at 6:30pm. Valley Churches United is hosting a Beer & Wine Garden and is also collecting canned goods. People who come dressed in a Halloween costume and who make a canned good donation will receive a treat. The food truck line-up is Ate3One, G’s Mexican Tacos, Aunt LaLi’s and Choke Coach.

Location: Scotts Valley Community Center, 360 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley

 

Tanglewood Halloween Popup at MJA

Chef Rachel Hughes of Tanglewood Catering is collaborating with MJA Vineyards for Pop Up in the Cellar: Halloween by Tanglewood at the Westside Santa Cruz wine tasting room. The menu is influenced by Halloween and the wines of MJA. Food will be available from 4 p.m. until it’s sold out; items are sold individually. The menu is Carrot Ginger Soup with a Sour Cream Web ($5), Meatballs in a Red Sauce with Alfredo ($8), Green-eyed Deviled Eggs with Red veins ($6), Bleeding Panna Cotta ($7) and Medusa Chocolate Mousse Cake ($7). There will be a costume contest as well.

Location: MJA, 328 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz

 

My Mom’s Mole at Food Lounge

My Mom’s Mole is doing a “Dia de los Muertos” night of dining and dancing at the Food Lounge.  Costumes are encouraged. It starts with Happy Hour from 4-6 with dinner service from 5 to 9 pm (or until sold out). There will be rueda de casino (Cuban-style salsa) dance throughout the night. Beverages (beer, wine, cider & cocktails) will be available from the bar. The food choices will be roasted chicken, pulled pork, roasted root vegetables, and wild rice & butternut squash with fall herbs, all served with My Mom’s Mole (vegan), Mole Poblano (Gluten Free), or Mole Verde (Gluten Free).

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

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Food Trucks A Go Go expands with weekly Westside Santa Cruz, Soquel & Scotts Valley offerings

 

An example of a poke dish from Pono Hawaiian Grill, whose food truck Holopono will be at local events July 26 and July 29. Photo credit: Pono Facebook page

An example of a poke dish from Pono Hawaiian Grill, whose food truck Holopono will be at local events July 26 and July 29. Photo credit: Pono Facebook page

 

Great news for local food truck fans: starting this week, Food Trucks A Go Go is going to operate weekly events in Westside Santa Cruz, Soquel and Scotts Valley.

 

First, the Westside SC details:

Starting July 26, there will be food truck lunch service every Tuesday and Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at the Delaware Addition parking lot. This week, G’s Tacos and Zameen Mediterranean Food Truck will be featured.

Location: 2120 Delaware Ave.

Next, Soquel details:

Taco Tuesdays at Blue Ball Park (the nickname for Soquel’s Anna Jean Cummings Park) start July 26. Every Tuesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m., customers can buy special taco selections from local food trucks in addition to each truck’s signature dishes from their regular menus. This Tuesday, G’s Tacos and Holopono are confirmed. Pono Hawaiian Grill operates Holopono; there will be Hawaiian-style tacos plus nachos, salads, poke and more.

Location: 461 Soquel-San Jose Rd.

Finally, Scotts Valley:

Starting July 25, there will be lunches for sale on Mondays and Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at the Boys & Girls Club parking lot. This week, G’s Tacos and Zameen Mediterranean will appear.

Location: 5060 Scotts Valley Drive

After LaLi Kates of Aunt LaLi’s Mobile Cafe formed the business Food Trucks A Go Go last year, she launched a monthly food truck event at Scotts Valley’s Skypark. The community response was even better than she had imagined, and she was soon organizing a variety of events, sometimes on Friday nights and sometimes during Sunday brunch.

“We are so excited to be launching these new locations and present the unique and delicious food from our local food trucks,” shared Kates. “The food trucks will rotate to offer a variety of food options at each of the locations.”

At the end of this week, on Friday July 29, Food Trucks A Go Go is partnering with Event Santa Cruz for “Summer Nights & Edible Delights” 5-9 p.m. at the Delaware Addition. Admission is $3. The line-up includes: Holopono, Ate3One, G’s Tacos, Saucey’z, Conscious Creations, Humble Sea Brewing Company and Stockwell Cellars.

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Hop N’ Barley Beer Festival and Strawberry Festival slated for Saturday

Coming soon: Strawberry Festival in Santa Cruz

Coming soon: Strawberry Festival in Santa Cruz

There are many food, beer, and wine-related events this weekend: here are details on two happening Saturday, June 25: the Hop N’ Barley beer festival and the Women’s Center strawberry festival. If you missed my article on the Pleasure Point Street Fair the same day, click here.

Scotts Valley: Hop N’ Barley Beer Festival
There will be 60 craft breweries and 10 ciders pouring, plus food for sale, beer games, two stages of live music, and more. It takes place from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Skypark (361 Kings Village Road). Breweries, which will each serve two three styles, include Ballast Point, Discretion, Alvarado Street Brewing, New Bohemia, Peter B’s Brewpub and Humble Sea Brewing Co. See full list here. This is the second year for craft cider tastings. The gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. and beer starts flowing at noon. The festival offers live music occurring on two stages.

General admission is $20 and this includes beer and a commemorative glass; buy tickets here. Kids under 10 are free, and adults who are not drinking beer get in for a reduced price of $5. The Hop N’ Barley beer and BBQ festival benefits non-profit Community Housing Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.

Santa Cruz: Strawberry Festival
The annual Walnut Avenue Women’s Center (WAWC) Strawberry Festival, a benefit, takes place from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. outside of the center (303 Walnut). WAWC has provided support and services for women, children, and families for more than 80 years. Read more at the WAWC web site. The Strawberry Festival raises funds for programs including youth development, parenting, advocacy and domestic violence awareness and prevention.

Admission is free, and there will be food for sale from food trucks plus fresh strawberries and strawberry-related items like shortcake, strawberry lemonade and. There will also be a homemade jam contest, a plant sale, kids’ games, a bounce house and arts and crafts. Live music will include Coffee Zombie Collective and Dan P. and the Bricks. For more information on the festival, call (831) 426-3062.

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Scotts Valley Beatles-themed Sunday brunch with Food Trucks A Go Go

Acai Cup by Aunt LaLi, a featured item at Sunday’s Beatles Brunch

Acai Cup by Aunt LaLi, a featured item at Sunday’s Beatles Brunch

Food Trucks A Go Go is hosting a Beatles Brunch on Sunday, Jan. 10 at Skypark in Scotts Valley. It’s the latest installment for the fun monthly food truck series that LaLi Kates of Aunt LaLi’s Mobile Cafe launched in September. Save the date for February’s event—it’s going to be Sunday brunch on Feb. 21 at Skypark. Details will be announced soon.

On Sunday, Jan. 10, brunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Food vendors include Aunt LaLi’s Mobile Café, Ate3One, G’s Tacos, and India Gourmet. In case of rain, the event will be canceled and rescheduled.

When asked what her inspiration was for creating this month’s new theme, Aunt LaLi replied, “I wanted to create a twist (and shout) for this month’s Go Go Brunch and pairing Beatles music with delicious brunch items seemed like a good fit!” She says that the food vendors are excited and are creating unique items for Sunday. Want a preview? How about cold poached salmon with champagne dill sauce, cucumber, local mixed greens and a buttermilk biscuit; a Huevos Rancheros sandwich; breakfast burritos; a bacon-eggs-pancake combo; samosa sliders; a large selection of naan (garlic, onion, and more) served with garbanzo beans and chutney; chai tea, and mango lassis.

Aunt LaLi’s will be selling espresso drinks, affogatos, and acai cups (see photo above). Aunt LaLi says these cups contain strawberries and bananas mixed with acai (from delicious Brazilian Amazon fruits packed with powerful antioxidants and healthy omegas), then topped with strawberries, bananas and granola.

There will be lots of seating available at picnic tables throughout Skypark. Attendees can enjoy Beatles music while they dine. LaLi says the playlist with “classics” will include Loaf Me Do, Lucy in the Fries with Diamonds, I Wanna Hold Your Ham, Lettuce Be, and Ate Days A Week.

Location: Skypark, 361 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley

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This weekend’s food and wine events in Santa Cruz

Food by Ocean2table at a previous Food Lounge event (Pescetarian pop-up 11/8/15)

Food by Ocean2table at a previous Food Lounge event (Pescetarian pop-up 11/8/15)

There are many food and wine events occurring this weekend in Santa Cruz county. Below are details for a few of them.

Friday, Nov. 13: Food Lounge’s “Artisan Food Market”
From 4-9 p.m., the Food Lounge is the site of the Artisan Food Market, described as ‘farmers market meets cocktail hour.’ There will be many local food artisans and pop-up vendors, plus local wine and beer available for purchase and live music. Vendors include Mutari Hot Chocolate, Ocean2table, Notso Hot Sauce, and Makse Bars. The first of these monthly events was held in June; read details.
Location: 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

Friday, Nov. 13: Food Trucks A Go Go event
Food truck event company Food Trucks A Go Go is hosting its third consecutive monthly food truck event at Skypark in Scotts Valley. They are offering a first-time beer and wine garden, including beer from Steel Bonnet Brewing Company, whose proceeds will benefit the Scotts Valley Education Foundation. Food vendors include Zameen Mediterranean, Aunt LaLi’s Mobile Café, Carmona’s BBQ, G’s Tacos, and India Gourmet. The event is 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Location: Skypark, 361 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley

Sunday, Nov. 15: Downtown Santa Cruz Wine Walk
The 3-6 p.m. event features the opportunity to taste wine from a dozen Santa Cruz Mountains wineries while browsing downtown Santa Cruz shops. Attendees check in at Abbott Square for their pass, glass, and pouring location map. It costs $30 online or at the “Downtown Santa Cruz” info kiosk (1134 Pacific Ave.). Participating wineries include Bargetto, Dancing Creek, Trout Gulch, Roudon Smith, Bonny Doon, and Pelican Ranch.
Location: Abbott Square, Cooper Street (next to Lulu’s at the Octagon), Santa Cruz

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Food truck/family film event & Jamaican restaurant opening in Scotts Valley & Santa Cruz

Made to order ice cream sandwich from Aunt LaLi's

Made to order ice cream sandwich from Aunt LaLi’s

Here are details on a couple restaurant events occurring Friday, Oct. 23: a Scotts Valley food-truck-and-film event and a Jamaican restaurant opening in Santa Cruz.

Dinner and Movie in the Park
After a very successful debut event in September with 400-500 attendees, food truck event company Food Trucks A Go Go is hosting its second food truck event at Skypark in Scotts Valley Friday night. This time, it’s even bigger: there will be seven food trucks instead of four, and a free family-friendly movie—Monsters, Inc.—will be shown! The film will be aired on the big outdoor screen via Scotts Valley Recreation, who is partnering with Food Trucks A Go Go this time. Participating food trucks are Ate3One, Zameen Mediterranean, and Aunt LaLi’s Mobile Café (these three were all at last month’s “a Go Go”), plus event newcomers Carmona’s BBQ, G’s Tacos, Mariscos San Juanito, and Zocalo Tamales.

Ate3One really enjoyed participating in the September event. “We felt honored to be invited and share our food with so many of the folks that attended,” says co-owner Jonathan Smith. “It was great to see the excitement on people’s faces as their food came out.” When asked what they’d be selling at the Oct. 23 event, Ate3One replied that they will have staples such as Philly cheesesteaks and garlic shrimp tacos plus a few additions. “We will also be featuring some new menu items that will highlight locally harvested, seasonal produce,” said Smith. “ These include the ‘harvest hog sandwich’ with slow roasted pork tenderloin and a veggie salad featuring roasted butternut squash, apples, and pomegranate,” she added.  Smith looks forward to seeing “another great turn out of awesome foodies and their families.”

Aunt LaLi’s owner, LaLi Kates, is the Food Trucks A Go Go founder. She’s thrilled that the community has embraced these events. I asked her to tell readers a few of the things her truck will be stocked with on Oct. 23. “Our signature Nawlins’-style organic iced coffee, which has become quite popular…our Affogatos, which have a strong following: double shot of organic espresso poured over ice cream, with whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle …made-to-order ice cream sandwiches…cones/cups of scooped ice cream…and hand-crafted Italian sodas,” shared Kates. Remember to save the date for the next Go Go Gathering: Friday, Nov. 13.

Date/Hours: Friday, Oct. 23, trucks start selling at 4:30 & film starts at 6:30 p.m. Trucks will stop selling at 7:30 (or earlier if they sell out)
Location: Skypark, 361 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley

Restaurant Opening: The Jerk House
Jamaican restaurant The Jerk House is officially open for business as of Oct. 23, 2015 — they had a soft opening on Wed., Oct. 21. One of their specialties is grilled dishes. The menu’s “small plates” include tacos with choice of shrimp or tofu; Jerk burger; and roasted root salad featuring roasted yam, onion, carrot, potato, turnip, and beets; glazed walnuts; spinach; and cilantro-lime vinaigrette. “Big plates” include spicy jerk chicken (slow-cooked organic Mary’s chicken); Caribbean chicken; hibiscus-glazed ribs; blackened snapper (from local Stagnaro’s) with mango salsa; pineapple yellow curry (vegan); and shrimp skewers. Big plates come with beans, rice, cucumber salad, and sweet fried plantains. The restaurant serves beer on tap from local breweries such as Santa Cruz Ale Works and Discretion Brewing, and bottled beer including Red Stripe. Visit The Jerk House’s Facebook site for the most current information.

Location: 2525 Soquel Drive (near Upper Crust Pizza), Santa Cruz, 831-316-7575

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Food truck, Homeless Garden Project events in Scotts Valley & Santa Cruz

Salad at a previous HGP Sustain dinner. Credit: Crystal Birns

Salad at a previous HGP Sustain dinner. Credit: Crystal Birns

There are many food events occurring this weekend in local cities such as Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley—here are details for a first-time Scotts Valley food truck event Friday and a benefit feast with star chefs at Homeless Garden Project Saturday.

Friday, Sept. 18: Food Trucks a Go Go
Food Trucks A Go Go, a food truck event company, is hosting its first food truck event at Skypark in Scotts Valley Friday night. Attendees can choose from four local trucks, and there are picnic tables at the park. Participating food trucks are Ate3One (Philly cheesesteak, tacos & more), Zameen Mediterranean (falafel, gyros, etc.), The Choke Coach (menu includes artichokes a la carte and as ingredients in other dishes), and Aunt LaLi’s Mobile Café (ice cream and sweets).

Aunt LaLi’s owner, LaLi Kates, has been bringing her treats to the local community for years, and she is the founder of Food Trucks A Go Go.  Kates says that for years, both she and her customers have been wanting food trucks in the area, and that the timing is now right to make this happen. Save the date for the next Go Go Gathering: Friday, Oct. 23, same time and place.

Date/Hours: Friday, Sept. 18, 4:30-7:30 p.m.
Location: Skypark, 361 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley

Saturday, Sept. 19: Homeless Garden Project benefit dinner
Santa Cruz’s Homeless Garden Project (HGP) is holding an organic benefit dinner at its farm, the latest in its Sustain Farm Dinner series. Sustain is a seasonal gourmet dinner series featuring organic produce from the farm, wine pairings, and guest speakers discussing sustainable topics. The admission fee, $125, benefits HGP; the prices are higher this season because HGP is celebrating its 25th anniversary so the dinners are more extensive and the speakers are nationally known. The dinner held in August featured Greens Restaurant founder Deborah Madison, and Catherine Sneed is Saturday’s keynote speaker. Sneed began the horticulture program at the SF County Jail in 1982. Read more and purchase tickets online.

A different chef will prepare each of the four courses. David Morgan, chef for David Kinch’s soon-to-open The Bywater in Los Gatos (read more in my recent article) will prepare a first course duo: fried green tomatoes, bagna cauda and ricotta cheese; and smoked pork boudin with mustard and pickles. The Food Lounge’s Andrea Mollenauer will prepare a salad for the second course, while Soif’s Mark Denham will create an entrée of tea smoked quail, quinoa & kale “fried rice,” spiced eggplant, blistered padrons, and chimichurri  (vegetarian and vegan options are available if ordered ahead). Renowned Aubergine pastry chef Ron Mendoza is providing dessert: Japanese cheesecake with carrot and cilantro. There will also be live classical music performed by a quartet comprised of musicians from the Santa Cruz Symphony.

Date/Hours: Saturday, Sept. 19, 4-7:30 p.m.
Location: HGP Farm, Shaffer Road at Delaware Avenue, Santa Cruz

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