Tag Archives: Tortilla Flats

“Dining in” at Santa Cruz County restaurants, June 19, 2020

Bacon & egg croissant from Gayle’s Bakery & Rosticerria
Photo courtesy of Gayle’s

So much has changed since my last article at the end of May, with restaurants now being allowed to open for dine-in service if they follow restrictions and social distancing guidelines. Here are some highlights of places that are open for onsite dining, whether that’s on an outdoor patio, in a dining room with limited seating, or both. Many of them are also still doing food to-go. I will try to publish an update in a few days.

Most of these are “listings only” but first, I wanted to share more details for a few local businesses:

Seabright Social, in the former location of Seabright Brewery (519 Seabright Ave., seabrightsocial.com) opened June 12 and features lots of outdoor seating plus some indoor seating. Hours are 11:30am-11:30pm daily (closed on June 22 for one day only). Reservations are recommended at 831-426-2739. After buying the brewpub and restaurant in 2019, local residents/co-owners Jason and Keiki McKay (who run Aptos-based Cantine Winepub in Aptos) and Jon Bates have done renovations to the building and the menu. Food includes salmon ceviche and a street taco trio with chicken mole, pork carnitas, and beef asada. Drinks include several Seabright Brewery draft beers, local wine, and a full bar.

Scrumptious Fish & Chips recently restarted its popups. Upcoming appearances include Steel Bonnet Brewery in Scotts Valley (5-8 p.m. on several Friday nights), the Scotts Valley (Saturday) and Live Oak (Sunday) farmers markets, and Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing in Westside SC. Visit https://www.scrumptiousfc.com/find-us for complete schedule.

The Palm Deli has its patio open again, with tables spaced appropriately, at 3000 Valencia Ave. They have returned to regular hours, opening at 7am every day, closing at 6pm weekdays and 5pm Sat-Sun. Visit https://www.thepalmdeli.com.

Hula’s Island Grill at 221 Cathcart St. offers the choice of dining indoors or on the lanai deck out front (takeout is also still available). They open at 2pm every day, and close at 8pm Sun-Thurs and 9pm Fri-Sat. Visit https://www.hulastiki.com/

Gayle’s Bakery at 504 Bay Ave. has newly extended hours of 7am-7pm daily and is now allowing socially distanced sit-down dining. Also, with online orders there is now next-day pick up (shorter wait time—when they first reopened, it was a two-day wait). Visit https://www.gaylesbakery.com.

May’s Sushi closed its 1800 Soquel Ave. location on June 1, and is now operating out of Sesame Korean Grill at 435 Front St. Both cuisines are still available, as the restaurants have the same owners. In addition, the owners announced they will be opening a new restaurant called Crazy Crab, adjacent to Sesame, which will feature seafood boils. Visit https://www.sesame-koreangrill.com/ or call 831-454-8355.

Vim at 2238 Mission St. reopened its dining room and patio on June 17, and it’s open 5-8pm Wednesday-Saturday and 10 am-1pm Sunday (Vim started doing Sunday brunch during shelter in place, and it was popular so they’re continuing now that they’re open for onsite dining). Visit https://www.vimsantacruz.com.

Mentone at 174 Aptos Village Way now offers first-come-first-serve tables outside in the parking lot on the weekend, from 3:30-7pm Fridays and 12-6ish Saturdays and Sundays. There is beer, wine, cocktails, pizzas, salad, and a variety of snacks.  Takeout pizza is available Wednesdays and Thursdays. Visit https://www.mentonerestaurant.com or call 831-708-1174.

Madrone Kitchen, a meal delivery business from chefs Reeny Marquez and Sean Adams, is doing Friday popups at Aldo’s (790 Mariner Park Way) from 5 p.m. to sellout. They sell food items while Aldo’s offers beer, wine and cocktails for sale.  Sample popup menu offerings include Mojo Shrimp Skewers with citrus garlic herb sauce, Cuban-style black beans, rice, and fried plantains. Madrone Kitchen also does weekly Sunday dinner delivery. Visit madronekitchen.com.

Although not yet open for “dining in,” Soif Restaurant and Wine Shop (831-423-2020, http://www.soifwine.com/) now has curbside pickup for food and wine from 4-8 pm  Wednesday-Saturday. They had stopped doing takeout in early April. Also, the May/June issue of California Bountiful, the magazine for the California Farm Bureau Federation, featured an article about Soif’s executive Chef Tom McNary with several recipes. Sister restaurant La Posta (831-457-2782, https://www.lapostarestaurant.com), formerly open Friday-Sunday, is doing pickup 4-8pm Thursday through Sunday. Also, there is a Thursday special: pizza or pasta with salad for one person, for $20.

Colectivo Felix now offers delivery Friday through Sunday to local residents (formerly only Fri-Sat). Empanadas are available by the half dozen or dozen, and they create a rotating variety of salads, soups, and desserts. Also, customers can now order a seasonal Ridge to Reef Organics produce box. Visit https://colectivofelix.square.site/ to order, or email info@colectivofelix.com with questions.

As always, please email tara@santacruzfoodie.com if you have information to share, or corrections, for future articles.

Open for “dine-in” service

Alderwood (831-588-3238 or 831-888-6901, https://www.alderwoodsantacruz.com)

Auntie Mame’s Café (831-438-1840, https://auntiemamescafe.co)

Belly Goat Craft Burgers (at Abbott Square Market on Front St., https://www.bellygoatburgers.com)

Bittersweet Bistro (831-662-9799, http://bittersweetbistro.com)

Blaze Pizza (831-607-2030, https://www.blazepizza.com)

Blue Bunny Tacos (at Abbott Square Market, https://www.instagram.com/bluebunnytacos)

Britannia Arms (831-464-2683, https://www.facebook.com/britanniaarmscapitola/)

Café Iveta (Westside and campus locations, iveta.com)

Café Mare (831-458-1212, http://www.cafemare.com)

Café Rio (831-688-8917, https://www.caferioaptos.com)

California Grill (831-722-8052, www.californiagrillrestaurant.com)

Chaminade’s “The View, A Treeside Restaurant” (831-475-5600, www.chaminade.com/santa_cruz_restaurants)

Chocolate (831-427-9900, https://chocolatesantacruz.com)

Coffeetopia (http://www.coffeetopia.com)

The Crepe Place (831-429-6994, https://thecrepeplace.com)

The Crow’s Nest (831-476-4560, https://crowsnest-santacruz.com)

Daisuki Octagon Sushi (831-316-5464, at Octagon by Abbott Square, http://daisukioctagonsushi.com/)

Dharma’s (831-462-1717, www.dharmasrestaurant.com)

East End Gastropub (831-475-8010, http://eastendpub.com/)

El Jardín (831-477-9384, https://www.eljardinrestaurant.net/)

El Palomar (831-425-7575, https://elpalomarsantacruz.com)

The Farm House (831-536-5363, https://www.farmhousewatsonville.com)

Firefish Grill (831-423-5200, http://www.firefishgrill.net/)

Gabriella Café (831-457-1677, http://gabriellacafe.com)

Holy Smokes Country BBQ (831-471-8787, https://www.holysmokescountrybbqandcatering.com)

HOME Soquel (831-431-6131, http://www.homesoquel.com)

Hula’s Island Grill (831-426-4852, https://www.hulastiki.com)

Jalisco’s (https://www.jaliscorestaurant.com)

Jeffery’s Restaurant (831-425-1485, https://www.facebook.com/Jefferys-Restaurant-2348536278713065/)

Kianti’s Pizza & Pasta Bar (831-469-4400, https://www.kiantis.com/)

The Kitchen at Discretion (831-316-0662, https://www.discretionbrewing.com)

Lago di Como (831-454-8257, http://lagodicomoristorante.com/)

Laili Resaturant (831-423-4545, www.lailirestaurant.com)

Lillian’s Italian Kitchen (831-425-2288, https://www.lilliansitaliankitchen.com)

Michael’s on Main (831-479-9777, www.michaelsonmain.com)

Mission Hill Creamery (831-508-0774, http://missionhillcreamery.com)

Mutari Chocolate (http://www.mutarichocolate.com)

Oasis Tasting Room & Kitchen (831-621-8040, oasissantacruz.com)

Olive Garden (831-462-0120, https://www.olivegarden.com)

Oswald (831-423-7427, http://www.oswaldrestaurant.com)

Oyunaa’s Mongolian Cuisine (831-469-9900, http://www.oyunaas.com)

Palm Deli (831-688-3354, https://www.thepalmdeli.com)

Pizza My Heart (https://www.pizzamyheart.com)

Pizzeria La Bufala (831-999-0301, at Abbott Square Market, https://www.pizzerialabufala.com)

Pleasure Pizza—East Side Eatery (831-6058, https://www.pleasurepizzasc.com)

Pono Hawaiian Kitchen & Tap (831-476-7458, ponohawaiiangrill.com)

Rosie McCann’s (831-426-9930, https://rosiemccanns.com/santacruz)

Roux Dat (at Octagon by Abbott Square, https://rouxdatcajuncreole.com)

Sanderlings at Seascape Resort (831-662-7120, https://www.sanderlingsrestaurant.com/menus)

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing (831-425-4900, https://www.scmbrew.com)

Scopazzi’s (831-338-6441, www.scopazzisrestaurant.com)

Tortilla Flats (831-476-1754, https://www.tortillaflatstogo.com)

Tramonti (831-426-7248, http://tramontisantacruz.com)

Veg on the Edge (831-423-3000, at Abbott Square Market, https://vegontheedge.com)

Vino Locale Wine Bar & Tapas (https://www.vinolocalesantacruz.com)

Vinocruz Winebar & Kitchen (https://vinocruz.com, 831-426-8466)

Woodies Café (https://www.facebook.com/woodiescafeca).

Woodstock’s Pizza (831-427-4444, https://woodstockscruz.com)

Zachary’s (831-427-0646, http://www.zacharyssantacruz.com)

Zelda’s (831-475-4900, http://zeldasonthebeach.com)

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Santa Cruz County food/drink closures & changes, as of March 21, 2020

Truffles at Chocolate Restaurant
photo by Liz Birnbaum of The Curated Feast

As I mentioned in my post Thursday, I am doing what I can to share information during the Coronavirus pandemic. Hoping this helps those of you who are either buying groceries or ready-to-eat food and drinks, and also helps the local business owners. Unfortunately I’ve already heard of one closing because of the health crisis: the restaurant/pub 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall announced Thursday it would be closing for good because they wouldn’t be able to survive this.

I wanted to also mention, for staying healthy, that Capitola’s The Vitamin Center is taking phone orders and offering curbside pickup. Call 831-462-4697 after 10 a.m. daily except Sunday.

Please forgive any mistakes in these listings, as it’s a constantly changing situation. Email me at tara@santacruzfoodie.com if you have information to share, that I can add to future articles. I’ll provide more listings in a couple days.

Grocery stores (listed alphabetically)

  • Costco: hours are 9 a.m.-8:30 p.m., seniors and vulnerable customers can shop Tues & Thurs 8-9 a.m., https://www.costco.com/
  • Grocery Outlet: hoursare8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, https://groceryoutlet.com/store-locator
  • New Leaf Community Markets: reduced hours 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, https://www.newleaf.com/
  • Shopper’s Corner: as of March 21, they had not reduced hours (still 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.). For seniors and vulnerable guests, they will take your order via email (shoppers.statements@gmail.com) and shop for you Monday-Friday, & call when ready to pick up—when you email your list, include your name & phone #. http://www.shopperscorner.com/
  • Staff of Life: reduced hours 9 a.m.-8 p.m., seniors 60 & older can shop at 8 a.m. from Monday-Friday, https://www.staffoflifemarket.com
  • Target: reduced hours at stores including Capitola & Watsonville (8 a.m.-9 p.m.): https://www.target.com/store-locator/find-stores
  • Trader Joe’s: reduced hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, https://www.traderjoes.com/
  • Safeway: reduced hours depending on location, https://www.safeway.com/
  • Whole Foods: reduced hours 9 a.m.-8 p.m., seniors 60 & older can shop at 8 a.m. https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores

Farmer’s Markets – these are currently open:

  • Downtown Santa Cruz Wednesday
  • Aptos/Cabrillo College Saturday
  • Westside SC Saturday
  • Live Oak Sunday

Restaurants & other food vendors

  • Alderwood: reopening March 24 with takeout and delivery menu, alderwoodsantacruz.com
  • Bad Animal Books: Wednesday, Friday, & Sunday from 4-7 p.m., take-out “family meals” with curbside pick up. Emergency first responders get a 50% discount. Order at badanimalbooks.com.
  • Bagelry: closed for the foreseeable future
  • Bittersweet Bistro: open Wednesday-Sunday noon-7 pm for take-out, curbside pickup, and delivery (to Aptos on orders over $100), bittersweetbistro.com.
  • Blue Bunny Tacos: closed until further notice
  • Café Mare: takeout/curbside and delivery, 831-458-1212, http://www.cafemare.com/
  • Charlie Hong Kong: noon-9 p.m., takeout (curbside pickup). They will cater & deliver to serve first responders, medical/hospital staff & government workers, charliehongkong.com
  • Chocolate: takeout/delivery daily 4-8pm. They use DoorDash for delivery — menu is updated on DoorDash every day at noon, and there are daily specials Delivery info is at https://www.doordash.com/store/chocolate-santa-cruz-284767/ & pickup info is at https://chocolatesantacruz.com/wine-list/
  • Colectivo Felix: Friday and Saturday empanada delivery to Santa Cruz residents, possibly adding soup next week (check site Monday), https://colectivofelix.square.site/
  • Crow’s Nest: takeout daily with curbside pickup 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m., also Beach Market next door 9 a.m.-8 p.m., http://www.crowsnest-santacruz.com/
  • Dharma’s: closed for the foreseeable future
  • East Side Eatery from Pleasure Pizza: 11 a.m.-8 p.m., takeout/delivery only, with curbside pickup for online orders, pleasurepizzasc.com
  • Full Steam Dumpling: Thursday-Sunday noon-5 p.m., takeout with curbside pickup (at Santa Cruz Food Lounge), (626) 549-5574
  • Home: takeout with curbside pickup, taking phone orders between 1-6pm, 831-431-6131, homesoquel.com
  • Ideal Bar & Grill: Daily noon-6 p.m., takeout food plus brewed coffee and espresso drinks, are available. Orders can be placed in person at café or at 831-423-5271. Only 2 guests at a time will be allowed in Ideal for pickup. www.idealbarandgrill.com
    Kianti’s: takeout with curbside pickup, or delivery, https://www.kiantis.com/
  • La Posta: takeout with curbside pickup, lapostarestaurant.com
  • Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria: takeout/delivery including free delivery to limited areas, menu with family-size options through April 7, lagodicomoristorante.com
  • Laili: takeout/delivery, lailirestaurant.com
  • Linda’s Sea Breeze: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., takeout, cash (ATM available) or check, 831-427-9713
  • Nick the Greek: takeout/delivery, nickthegreeksj.com/locations
  • Olive Garden: doing takeout and delivery,https://www.olivegarden.com/order-togo
  • Panda Express: takeout and delivery, pandaexpress.com
  • Pasatiempo Golf Course: MacKenzie Bar & Grill is closed until further notice; Hollins House is doing take-out dinner. thehollinshouse.com/restaurant
  • Persephone: take-out menu available Fridays and Saturdays (may expand in future). Menu will change week to week, see https://www.toasttab.com/potter/v3
  • Pono Hawaiian Grill: closing downtown location for the foreseeable future
  • Pretty Good Advice: takeout daily 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Shadowbrook: closing until at least April 7.
  • Soif: takeout with curbside pickup, Tues-Sat 4-8 p.m., soifwine.com
  • Surf City Sandwich: 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., takeout or delivery, see surfcitysandwich.com.
  • Tortilla Flats: closed until further notice
  • Tramonti: takeout and delivery, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., 831-426-7248, http://www.tramontisantacruz.com
  • Vim Dining & Desserts: closed until further notice
  • Zameen: all branches will be closed through at least March 22.

Get info for more downtown SC restaurants, & other downtown SC food/drink venues, at https://downtownsantacruz.com/downtown-delivered

Breweries & wineries

  • Big Basin Vineyards closed the Boulder Creek and Saratoga tasting rooms until further notice.
  • Humble Sea Brewing Co. is to-go only.” Hours are Monday-Thursday 2-7 p.m. and Friday-Sunday noon to 7 p.m.  Visit humblesea.com.
  • Sante Adairius is offering to-go sales, from noon to 6 p.m. daily. Visit rusticales.com.

Follow me on:

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Instagram @tarafatemiwalker

Facebook @santacruzfoodieexaminer

Santa Cruz County food/drink closures & changes, as of March 19, 2020

Appetizer at HOME
photo courtesy of HOME web site

Hi everyone – I wanted to help share some information in this unprecedented environment. As this is constantly evolving and I don’t have the time or resources to gather everything at once, I am starting with one list today & including hours where I have them.

I will add a second list soon, with more in each of these categories, and try to do revised and/or additional lists in the days to come. I wish you all continued good health.

Please email me at tara@santacruzfoodie.com if you have information to share, that I can add to future lists/articles (I have some more ready to share but if I keep typing I will never finish & be able to share these).

Grocery stores

  • New Leaf Community Markets reduced hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, newleaf.com
  • Trader Joe’s reduced hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, traderjoes.com
  • Safeway: reduced hours depending on location, safeway.com/

Farmer’s Marketsthese are currently open:

Downtown Santa Cruz Wednesday

Aptos/Cabrillo College Saturday

Westside SC Saturday

Live Oak Sunday

Restaurants

Alderwood: reopening Tuesday with takeout and delivery menu, alderwoodsantacruz.com

Bad Animal Books: Wednesday, Friday, & Sunday from 4-7 p.m., take-out “family meals” with curbside pick up. Emergency first responders get a 50% discount. Order at badanimalbooks.com.

Blue Bunny Tacos: closed until further notice

Charlie Hong Kong: noon-9 p.m., takeout (curbside pickup). They will cater & deliver to serve first responders, medical/hospital staff & government workers, charliehongkong.com

Dharma’s: closed for the foreseeable future.

East Side Eatery from Pleasure Pizza: 11 a.m.-8 p.m., takeout/delivery only, with curbside pickup for online orders, pleasurepizzasc.com

Home: takeout with curbside pickup, taking phone orders between 1-6pm, 831-431-6131, homesoquel.com

La Posta: takeout with curbside pickup, lapostarestaurant.com

Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria: takeout/delivery including free delivery to limited areas, menu with family-size options through April 7, lagodicomoristorante.com

Laili: takeout/delivery, lailirestaurant.com

Nick the Greek: takeout/delivery, nickthegreeksj.com/locations

Panda Express: takeout and delivery, pandaexpress.com

Pasatiempo Golf Course: MacKenzie Bar & Grill is closed until further notice; Hollins House is doing take-out dinner. thehollinshouse.com/restaurant

Pono Hawaiian Grill: closing downtown location for the foreseeable future

Shadowbrook: closing until at least April 7.

Soif: takeout with curbside pickup, soifwine.com

Surf City Sandwich: 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., takeout or delivery, see surfcitysandwich.com.

Tortilla Flats: closed until further notice

Vim Dining & Desserts: closed until further notice

Zameen: all branches will be closed through at least Sunday.

Breweries & wineries

  • Big Basin Vineyards closed the Boulder Creek and Saratoga tasting rooms until further notice.
  • Humble Sea Brewing Co. is to-go only.” Hours are Monday-Thursday 2-7 p.m. and Friday-Sunday noon to 7 p.m.  Visit humblesea.com.
  • Sante Adairius is offering to-go sales, from noon to 6 p.m. daily. Visit rusticales.com.

Follow me on:

Twitter @santacruzfoodie

Instagram @tarafatemiwalker

Facebook @santacruzfoodieexaminer

Mother’s Day Bay Area restaurants Part 2 — Santa Cruz, San Jose & Monterey

Pastry elements for Cupcake Garden of Sweet Finale course at Restaurant 1833 for Mother's Day, courtesy of restaurant's Facebook page

Pastry elements for Cupcake Garden of Sweet Finale course at Restaurant 1833 for Mother’s Day, courtesy of restaurant’s Facebook page

Here are some more Bay Area Mother’s Day restaurant highlights — if you missed the roundup for San Francisco, Oakland, Palo Alto, and Napa, click here.

Santa Cruz & Soquel Restaurants

Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria
Santa Cruz restaurant Lago di Como is serving brunch and dinner on Mother’s Day. Brunch starts at 10 a.m. Call (831) 454-8257 for reservations.
2-1490 East Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz

Johnny’s Harborside
Santa Cruz restaurant Johnny’s Harborside is offering special dishes for both brunch (10 a.m.-2 p.m.) and dinner (4-8:30 p.m.) in addition to its regular menu. Mother’s Day brunch specials include rock shrimp, asparagus, and prosciutto omelet with choice of potato hash, fruit, or polenta ($14), quiche lorraine ($13), and crab cake benedict ($16). Call (831) 479-3430 for reservations.
493 Lake Avenue, Santa Cruz

Tortilla Flats
Soquel restaurant Tortilla Flats is serving a few specials during Mother’s Day weekend. On Mother’s Day the restaurant opens at 11:30 a.m. Call 476-1754. Selections include Relleno Poblano (Roasted poblano chile filled with chorizo, goat cheese and green onions), Wild Caught Halibut served with Santa Fe Green Sauce, and Crepas Del Mar (Aji Limo crepes filled with lobster and prawns).
4616 Soquel Drive, Soquel

The Chaminade
The Chaminade offers its annual Mother’s Day brunch buffet from 9 a.m.-3 p.m; the price is $50.95 (adults), $17.95 (kids 6-12), and free for kids under 6. The menu includes a savory seafood bar, roast prime rib of beef, honey glazed ham and roast turkey breast, omelet bar, an array of traditional brunch favorites, fresh fruit and vegetable medleys, and a delectable selection of pastries and desserts.  Children’s favorites include chicken strips and fries, miniature pancakes and macaroni and cheese. There will also be face painting and balloon figures for kids. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations. Also related to Mother’s Day, there’s a special May promotion: Book overnight accommodations for two in the month of May and receive a $50 resort credit to be used toward the spa, breakfast, brunch or dinner, in addition to a scented spa candle and signature body lotion just for Mom!  Call 800-283-6569 for reservations or visit www.chaminade.com for further information.
One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Hollins House
The Pasatiempo Golf Club’s Hollins House is serving a brunch buffet from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The price is $55 (adults) and $20 for kids. Selections include Beet and goat cheese salad with fresh strawberries, Omlette bar with Bacon, Ham, Pasilla Chiles, Tomatoes, Cheese, Scallion, Italian Sausage, Spinach, Egg Whites and Mushrooms, Glazed Pit Ham with Orange Anise Sauce, Carved NY Steak, Horseradish Cream, Au Jus, and Mushroom Ravioli with Basil Pesto and Feta. Call (831) 459-9177 for reservations.
20 Clubhouse Rd, Santa Cruz

San Jose
Fogo de Chao

On May 11, Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse in San Jose will offer lively dining that will satisfy the whole family. Plus, moms who dine on Mother’s Day (May 11), will receive a special card — while supplies last — good for a complimentary lunch or dinner on their next visit. The Mother’s Day menu will feature the restaurant’s extensive variety of fire-roasted meats that are specially carved to each guest’s preference. Diners can enjoy selections such as the house specialty picanha sirloin, filet mignon, ribeye, lamb chops, chicken wrapped in bacon, and pork ribs, to name a few, or try the newly-introduced lighter seafood selection. Additionally, Fogo offers a colorful gourmet salad and sides bar with an abundance of fresh and seasonal choices, and Southern Brazilian side dishes such as pão de queijo (warm cheese bread), crispy hot polenta, and caramelized bananas are served family style. A tempting dessert menu, creative and classic cocktails, and an award-winning wine list complement the dining experience. Pricing is $51.50 per person and Mother’s Day is being celebrated from 11:30am – 9:00pm. Special pricing is available for children 12 and under. Call 408-244-7001.
The Fairmont San Jose

The Fairmont is serving a special Mother’s Day Buffet from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The cost is $59 per adult and $29 per child 5-12, plus tax and  gratuity. Kids under 5 are free. Buffet highlights: a selection of salads such as shaved fennel, artichoke, arugula, citrus with saffron vinaigrette; hot options such as honey baked ham, herb-roasted leg of lamb, and dill-roasted salmon with tomato-olive fondue, and an omelet station with farm fresh eggs.
170 South Market St, San Jose, (408) 998-3960
Monterey
Restaurant 1833

On Sunday, May 11, Restaurant 1833 will open early and host a special Mother’s Day Brunch with a three-course menu for $55. Located in the historic California landmark, the Stokes Adobe house, guests can enjoy dishes from New Executive Chef Abby Burk with selections such as Asparagus and Leek Quiche with gruyere, goat cheese and chives; Booker’s Bourbon and Vanilla French Toast topped with marinated white peaches, whipped crème fraiche, and toasted almonds; The Fried Chicken served with cornbread and rosemary waffles, chicories and roasted grape jus, and a Stroll Through the Cupcake Garden for a sweet ending with an assortment of cupcake flavors including carrot cake, vanilla bean, strawberry & chocolate cream, and lemon meringue . As always, available for a $6 add on are sides such as 1833’s signature Bacon Biscuits served with a sausage gravy. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 831-643-1833.
TusCA Ristorante at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa (1 Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, 657-6675) is serving a buffet: $56 adults, $25 kids 6-12, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Entrees include lavender-glazed pork loin with Point Reyes studded blue cheese.

Tarpy’s Roadhouse (2999 Salinas Highway, Monterey, 647-1444) is serving a la carte brunch dishes ranging from $4.95-$48 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Entrees include Maine lobster and avocado benedict on griddled brioche with citrus-chive hollandaise, herb salad, and potatoes.

Jack’s Restaurant at the Portola Hotel & Spa (2 Portola Plaza, Monterey, 649-2698) has a buffet: $39.95 adults, $34.95 seniors, $19.95 kids 6-12. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

Two family-friendly & delicious Santa Cruz benefits this weekend: Mole fest & Oktoberfest

Family-friendly, Santa Cruz, Sample mole from eight local restaurants and chefs on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Miller Maxfield Inc.

Sample mole from eight local restaurants and chefs on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Miller Maxfield Inc.

There are many fun food-related activities this weekend in Santa Cruz, including two benefits that are family-friendly: the first annual Mole & Mariachi Festival Sat Oct 5, and Oktoberfest on Sunday, Oct 6. Below you’ll find details on both events.

Mole & Mariachi Festival Saturday Oct 5, 2013
The event is from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Santa Cruz Mission Adobe State Historic Park, and it’s full of fabulous food—and not just mole! In addition to lots of local food, wine, beer, and other beverages, guests can enjoy music and dance performances, kids’ activities (such as tortilla making, giant bubble making, a piñata, and paper flowers) and a silent auction. Eight local restaurants and chefs will prepare 10 different moles. Mole dishes will be judged by festival attendees and by a panel of local celebrity judges. If you want to participate in the judging, you’ll pay a $10 fee to enter a separate, roped-off area, taste samples of the competing moles, and then vote. For non-mole-competition food/drink items, tickets will be sold for $1 each and different vendors will decide how many tickets their respective items cost. A list of mole competitors and other vendors is below. If you’re not familiar with mole, it’s a wonderful and hearty traditional Mexican sauce, sometimes made using chocolate.

Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks Executive Director Bonny Hawley is very excited about the festival. “The Mole & Mariachi Festival marks the first time in many years that the Mission has hosted a heritage-themed event,” Hawley shared. “It is especially important to us since this downtown Santa Cruz State Park was slated for closure in 2012, but Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks was determined to save it and that’s what we did. The festival is a celebration of what our community has been able to accomplish saving this wonderful park and making it into a vibrant cultural event venue.”

There are 75 silent auction items including a week at a beachfront vacation home in Mexico, 3 nights in the beautiful artisan-rich city of Guanajuato, Mexico, multiple “staycations” (Costanoa and Hotel Paradox, for example), Disneyland and Boardwalk tickets, and certificates for all kinds of activities (such as golf, pilates, climbing, surfing, sailing, kayaking) plus restaurants and salons.

Event proceeds benefit Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks in support of Mission restoration projects, educational programming for school children and community cultural events at the park.

For more information visit the event Facebook page.

Location: Santa Cruz Mission Adobe State Historic Park, 144 School Street near downtown Santa Cruz

Mole competitors:
Cafe Carlos Mexican Restaurant (Scotts Valley)
El Chipotle Restaurant (Soquel)
El Jardin Restaurant (Santa Cruz)
El Palomar (Santa Cruz)
La Cabana Taqueria (Soquel)
Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant (Aptos)
My Mom’s Mole (Watsonville)
Tortilla Flats (Soquel)

Food & drink for sale:
Ceviche tostadas from H&H Fresh Fish
Garbanzo beans & roasted peanuts from R. Magdalena Produce
Mexican dishes from Café Carlos
Mexican dishes from El Chipotle
Hot dogs from Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks’ Snack Shack
Churros from Jesus Lopez (he usually sells churros at places such as “…the Corralitos town center, and Watsonville fruit stands/busy corner markets”)
Fruit cups from Antojitos Pepitos
Pumpkin bread & apple pie from Beckmann’s Old World Bakery
Cookies from Pacific Cookie Company
Ice cream from Mission Hill Creamery
Icy fruit drinks from Tejuinos Guadalajara
Wine from Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard
Beer from Discretion Brewing
30th Annual Oktoberfest Sunday Oct 6, 2013
Family-friendly event raises funds for local hospice programs
This event is Oct. 6 from 12-4 p.m. Proceeds benefit Hospice of Santa Cruz County. Admission is free. Lunch is available for purchase from 12-2:30 p.m. Items include kielbasa, sauerkraut, potato salad, and apple strudel prepared by Five Star Catering. Beverages available will include soft drinks, beer, wine, and cocktails.

The program includes live accordion music and both silent and live auctions; the silent one is from 12-3:30 p.m. and the live one begins at 2:45 p.m. Also, tickets will be sold for a drawing with cash prizes (and you don’t need to be present to win). Auction items include vacations and weekend getaways to places such as Hawaii, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe and Palm Desert; a fantastic TiVo package; fine wines, tickets to sports events and area shows; jewelry; artwork; and restaurant and business gift certificates. “This is a wonderful event,” said Lorraine Margon, Friends of Hospice member and volunteer. “The food is really tasty and there are plenty of great items to bid on, many of which are fantastic bargains, and all for a worthy cause.”

If bidding for prizes isn’t your cup of tea, you can peruse the “cash and carry” tables and purchase products including holiday items as well as vintage and re-purposed items, and browse the large assortment of garden items such as flowering plants and ornamentals. For more info call (831) 430-3000.

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Mother’s Day in Santa Cruz & nearby including Los Gatos and San Francisco: Restaurants part 2

Dessert at Los Gatos restaurant Dio Deka, one of many Bay Area restaurants with special Mother’s Day menus

Dessert at Los Gatos restaurant Dio Deka, one of many Bay Area restaurants with special Mother’s Day menus

Dining out on Mother’s Day is a great way to honor the mom in your life, and Santa Cruz and the Bay Area have many restaurants offering special menus this Sunday. See Part 1 for more restaurants in the Santa Cruz area plus one in Monterey, and see below for the second and final group of restaurants I am highlighting. Happy Mother’s Day!
Santa Cruz & Soquel

Chocolate
For Mother’s Day, downtown Santa Cruz restaurant Chocolate is offering all-day brunch specials such as Crab Cream Puffs, Roast Duck Crepes, & Creme Brulee French Toast. Call (831) 427-9900 for reservations.
1522 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz
Main Street Garden & Café
Soquel restaurant Main Street Garden & Cafe is doing a prix fixe lunch for Mother’s Day from 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. The cost is $40 and includes a mimosa which you can enjoy on the restaurant’s outdoor patio. Call (831) 477-9265 for reservations.
3101 N. Main St., Soquel

Tortilla Flats
Soquel restaurant Tortilla Flats is serving a special menu all weekend, including Mother’s Day. Savory selections include Aji Limo Crepes with lobster and prawns, Jalapeno honey ribs, and Crab Enchiladas, and desserts include Strawberry Mango Mousse and Raspberry Tarts. On Mother’s Day Tortilla Flats opens at 11:30 a.m. Contact the restaurant at (831) 476-1754.
4615 Soquel Dr., Soquel

Los Gatos

Dio Deka
Michelin-starred Los Gatos restaurant Dio Deka offers “a Mother’s Day filled with traditional Greek favorites seasoned with California technique.” The patio will be open with limited seating outside and a complimentary rose will be presented to all mothers. The a la carte menu will feature dishes such as Dio Deka Steak & Eggs with grilled prime filet mignon, poached eggs and sauce béarnaise; Keftethakia lamb meatballs, blistered grapes, Kalamansi yogurt and a light herb-broth; Zambonopita – a crispy puff-pastry stuffed with Virginia smoked ham, green onion, feta, Kasseri and ricotta cheeses; Plevrakia – slow-cooked pork ribs rubbed with Greek spices, Attiki honey and lemon glaze, and sour cherries with ouzo; and Cinnamon “Greek” Toast with whipped vanilla butter and maple syrup. Brunch will be available from 10:30am – 2:30pm and entrees range from $8-$46. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (408) 354-7700. Regular dinner service will resume that evening.
210 E. Main Street, Los Gatos

San Francisco Restaurants (see restaurant web sites for individual addresses)

A16
Located in San Francisco’s Marina District, A16 focuses on Southern Italian cuisine from regions including Campania and Naples. Known for its wood-fired pizza, A16 boasts a certified pizzaiolo, Chef Christopher Thompson who has made a mark on crafting this specialty from Naples. A16 will celebrate Mother’s Day with extended dinner hours from 4:00 – 10:00 p.m. and Executive Chef Christopher Thompson will prepare a special dinner menu featuring dishes such as Zuppa di zucca with spring squash, house made ricotta and herbs, Olive oil poached local halibut with mussels, baby octopus, tomato, peppercress, white wine and bread crumbs and Limoncello Tiramisu with blueberries and genoise. A16 will also offer a special Mother’s Day beverage of Sgroppino alla fragola, Prosecco with homemade strawberry sorbetto and each mother will be sent home with a bag of A16 cookies. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (415) 771-2216.

Absinthe Brasserie & Bar
At Absinthe in the Hayes Valley neighborhood, Executive Chef Adam Keough will be offering a new Mother’s Day Special in addition to the regular menu. The intriguing Baked Salmon Wellington will be served with peas and favas, wild mushrooms, and a caramelized potato speck ham broth. Brunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservations for Mother’s Day can be made by calling (415) 551-1590.

Chambers Eat + Drink
Chambers Eat + Drink boasts that it has San Francisco’s only poolside patio. Executive Chef Trevor Ogden offers innovative California cuisine and guests can choose from dishes such as Japanese Omelet “Tamago” with house-smoked chorizo, sweet potato, cana de oveja, and scallions; Eggs Royale with two sous vide eggs, crispy hash browns, cold smoked salmon, mandarin hollandaise, caviar, chive, and dill; Tofu Hash with Brussels sprouts, oyster mushrooms, red onions, garlic confit, farro, and almond; or the classic Egg in a Hole with two eggs in brioche toast, house smoked bacon, seasonal greens, champagne vinaigrette. The restaurant is also known for its Bloody Marys mixed with housemade sambal. Reservations can be made by calling (415) 829-2316.

CHAYA Brasserie San Francisco

CHAYA Brasserie is known for its beautiful views as well as cuisine that blends European and Asian flavors. CHAYA celebrates Mother’s Day with a special brunch menu created by Executive Chef Yuko Kajino. The three-course Chef’s Menu will include dishes such as Crispy Goat Cheese & Pickled Beets with red watercress, marcona almonds and cabernet vinaigrette; Buttermilk Fried Organic Chicken Breast with jalapeno bacon cornbread, maple syrup and Sriracha ketchup; and a Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream Sandwich rolled in oatmeal and currants. Brunch will be served from 11 am – 2 pm for $42; bottomless mimosas will also be available. There will be a young adult menu for $15. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling (415) 777-8688. Regular dinner service will resume that evening.

Luce
At Michelin-starred Luce in the InterContinental San Francisco, mothers will receive complimentary roses for their special day. Dish highlights include Niman Ranch Short Ribs Hash with organic poached egg, root vegetable, and Weiser Farm fingerling potatoes; and Smoked Salmon Benedict with spinach, hollandaise sauce, and cucumber fennel salad with Weiser Farm fingerling potatoes. For reservations, call (415) 616-6560.

One Market Restaurant
One Market Restaurant has received a 3 ½ star review from Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle, and has consistently been on the Chronicle’s “Top 100” list. Acclaimed chef Mark Dommen’s menu of farm-fresh American cuisine changes daily, depending on the best available ingredients and highlighting the best of local purveyors. His Mother’s Day a la carte brunch menu served from 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. will be no exception. Dishes will include Bay Shrimp Tacos with jalapeno and shiso; Savory Cheese Doughnuts with bacon aioli; Grass Fed Steak Tartare with quail egg yolk, parsley, and country bread; and Spit Roasted Prime Rib with horseradish, spinach, and potato puree. For reservations, call (415) 777-5577.

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie.

35th Anniversary specials at Mexican restaurant Tortilla Flats in Soquel through Sunday

Food from Tortilla Flats' traditional menu

Food from Tortilla Flats’ traditional menu

Soquel-based Mexican restaurant Tortilla Flats started serving a special menu today, Thursday, April 18, to celebrate being open for 35 years. The 35th Anniversary menu, available through Sunday April 21, features two favorite dishes from each of the many special events Tortilla Flats hosts throughout the year. During all of these events, the restaurant offers special menus but the regular menu is also available with savory dishes like Green Corn Tamales and Red Pepper Enchiladas.

Here are some excerpts from the April 18-21, 2013 menu; not all selections are available each day.

FRIDA’S FAVORITES
Frida’s peanut mole with chicken
Scallops and pescado in scallop shells with lobster, habanero saffron sauce

CACTUS
Nopales rellenos: tender cactus pads with fluffy egg batter and melted cheese
Cactus chile verde

YUCATAN
Basa cocohu’ut: Mild white fish baked in a coconut, lemongrass habanero sauce
Cochinita pibil: Pork carnitas with annatto sauce steamed in a banana leaf

HOT TAMALE
Tamales salmone: Fresh wild caught salmon served in corn husks
Tamale Oaxaca: Pork carnitas served in a banana leaf with mole poblano

CREPAS
White truffle crepes filled with shitake, oyster and huitlacoche mushrooms
Crepas del Mar: Buttery handmade crepes filled with lobster and prawns

OLE MOLE
Mole Manchemantales: Fragrant dark mole drawing its sweetness from plantains, raisins, pineapple, mango and rum
Mole Mirasol: A blending of two rare chiles from Oaxaca and Peru, served with chicken

 

If you’re a party of six or more, make reservations at (831) 476-1754.

Hours: 11:30 a.m.- 9 p.m. Mon-Fri and 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Sat-Sun.

Location: 4616 Soquel Drive, Soquel

 

Follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.

 

Santa Cruz and San Jose restaurants open on New Year’s Eve 2012, Part 2 of 2

Left Bank Brasserie in San Jose

Yesterday I published details on many Santa Cruz area restaurants— plus a couple in San Jose — offering dinner on New Year’s Eve 2012. Here are a few more.

Santa Cruz Area

Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room

Hula’s is closed on New Year’s Day and open on New Year’s Eve serving its regular menu. Plus, there are two drink specials that night: $3 champagne and $3 mimosas. Reservations are available for parties of six or more and are recommended; call (831) 426-HULA.

221 Cathcart St., Santa Cruz

 

Bittersweet Bistro

The Aptos restaurant will be open on New Year’s Eve for dinner starting at 5:00pm; the last seating is at 10pm. The regular menu plus specials will be available. The café is open from on New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Day, the restaurant is open with regular hours and menu, and the café is open from 8 a.m. – 2: 30 p.m. Call (831) 662-9799 for reservations.

787 Rio Del Mar Blvd, Aptos

Michael’s on Main

The Soquel restaurant is serving a fixed-price four-course dinner with seatings at 5:30, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Call (831) 479-9777 for reservations. At 5:30, the price is $45. At 7 and 9:30 it’s $55 and includes party favors and a glass of champagne. Live music begins at 9:30. Appetizer choices include Corralitos sausage and blue cheese stuffed mushrooms; second course choices include lobster bisque. Entrees include salmon wellington and desserts include cheesecake infused with late harvest moscato.

2591 Main St., Soquel

Sanderlings at Seascape Resort

The Aptos restaurant will offer a special New Year’s Eve buffet dinner for $99 per person plus tax (tip included). For the special event, doors open at 6:30 p.m., dinner is from 7 – 9 p.m., and dancing occurs from 8:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. with live music by Mike Hadley and the Groove and a midnight champagne toast. Call (831) 662-7141 for event reservations. The menu includes a lavish dessert buffet. On New Year’s Day, Sanderlings is serving a brunch buffet (includes coffee or tea) for $19.95 (adults) or $10.95 (kids 2-12). Brunch entrees include eggs benedict, ham and cheese omelet, sauteed beef tenderloin with mushrooms on garlic mashed potatoes and red wine sauce/ Salads include Caesar with sundried tomatoes, anchovies, and Parmesan cheese.

One Seascape Resort, Aptos

Chaminade

Chaminade is offering a celebration from 6 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. that includes a unique “strolling dinner experience” with themed, interactive chef stations and an open bar from 7 p.m. – midnight. DJ service will be provided by Music Now. The cost is $100 per person. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations. On New Year’s Day, the Sunset Restaurant at Chaminade is open from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. for breakfast.

1 Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

Other Santa Cruz area restaurants serving dinner on New Year’s Eve include:

  • Hoffman’s
  • Tortilla Flats (including special tapas selections plus the regular menu)
  • Main Street Garden & Café ($60 per person, 5 courses, 5:30 or 8:30 p.m. seating)
  • Zelda’s
  • Paradise Beach Grille
  • Soif ($75 prix fixe menu and $35 optional wine pairings; choices include Maine lobster soup and Peking duck breast with baby turnips)
  • Margaritaville
  • Ideal Bar & Grill

San Jose

Left Bank Brasserie

The Parisian-style restaurant is offering service on New Year’s Eve from 11:30 a.m. onward; the last seating is at 11 p.m. For dinner, there will be a la carte options in addition to a four-course prix fixe $64.50 menu. Entrée choices include Butter Poached Lobster Tail with vanilla and honey roasted butternut squash ravioli, Swiss chard and pomegranate red wine emulsion. Call (408) 984-3500 for reservations.

377 Santana Row #1100, San Jose

Also open on New Year’s Eve:

  • Lark Creek Blue on Santana Row – call (408) 244-1244 for reservations. 378 Santana Row #1100, San Jose
  • Bella Mia – Choose a 4-course prix fixe $45 menu or order a la carte. Call (408) 280-1993 for reservations. 58 South 1st Street, San Jose

Yucatan specials at Soquel restaurant Tortilla Flats through Sunday

A savory Mexican dish at Tortilla Flats in Soquel

Soquel restaurant Tortilla Flats started serving a special Yucatan menu today — Thursday, August 16 — and it’s available through Sunday August 19. Tortilla Flats offers a variety of annual events with special menus; during these times the regular restaurant menu is also available with savory dishes like Green Corn Tamales, Tilapia Poblano, and Chile Relleno.

Here is the menu for August 16-19, 2012; not all selections are available each day.

Tikin xic Tacos
Yucatan-style mahi mahi tacos spiced with achiote and orange

Nac cum de mere
Spiced baked fish served in banana leaf with azteca sauce — served with rice and tsi anchek bi bu’uc (black beans)

Camarones Yucatecos

Gulf Prawns marinated in seville orange and served with an achiote sauce of honey and lime

Crepas de Jaiba

Delicious handmade crepes filled with lightly seasoned fresh wild caught crab claw meat, served with spicy ahi limo sauce

Pollo Pibil

Chicken thighs marinated in achiote seasonings and baked, served with black beans and fried plantains

Cochita Pibil
Tender pork baked with annatto seed sauce, steamed in a banana leaf. Served with black beans, butternut squash and fried plantains

Costillas Yucateca

Pork spareribs slow baked in adobo–honey sauce served with black beans, plantains and ton luc (butternut squash and corn)

If you’re a party of six or more, make reservations at (831) 476-1754.

Hours are 11:30 a.m.- 9 p.m. Mon-Fri and 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Sat-Sun.
Location: 4616 Soquel Drive, Soquel

On Twitter? Follow me @santacruzfoodie

A Taste of Soquel: Restaurants and wineries benefit Second Harvest Food Bank

Food booths from A Taste of Soquel in 2009. Photo credit: Hillary Nicholson

The third annual “A Taste of Soquel,” with plenty of food from local restaurants plus wine and music, will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. Last year’s Taste of Soquel raised enough money to provide meals for over 20,000 children in Santa Cruz County.

The event is Saturday, September 24 from 11am-4pm at the Congregational Church of Soquel. Local restaurants, wineries, and musicians are joining together for a very worthy cause. Adults pay $20 and receive a souvenir glass as well as food and wine tastings at all festival booths. Attendees ages 12-20 pay $10 and receive food booth tastings (there will be complimentary kids’ beverages). Kids under 12 are free. There will also be live music all day. For more information see event web site.

You can buy tickets at the door or in advance via the church (4951 Soquel Drive, Soquel, (831) 475-2867). There will be a raffle with more than 50 prizes from local businesses– these tickets will only be sold at the event. Prizes include gift certificates to Safeway, Little People’s Store, Aldo’s Bakery, and Home Depot and items from businesses such as Starbucks and Everett Family Farms.

Participating Soquel restaurants are Aldo’s, Carpo’s, El Chipotle, D’Anna’s Deli, The Fish Lady, Main Street Garden & Café, Sawasdee, Michael’s on Main and Tortilla Flats. Soquel’s Fogline Farm will also provide food. Participating local wineries are Bargetto Winery, Hunter Hill, Poetic Cellars, and Soquel Vineyards.

KPIG DJ Ralph Anybody is emceeing the live musicians: Celina and the C Monkeys, Farmer’s Market String Band, Brian Quinn Group, and Bryn Loosley & the Back Pages.

There will be children’s activities such as supervised games and crafts, face painting, and music. You’ll also want to stop by the hospitality table – it offers complimentary coffee, tea, lemonade, ice water, and food from the Bagelry and Donut Station.

The Details

A Taste of Soquel

Saturday September 24, 11am-4pm

Congregational Church of Soquel, 4951 Soquel Dr, Soquel, 95073 (in the courtyard – and there’s free parking)

$20 Adults, $10 Kids 12-20, under 12 free

Please follow me on Twitter @santacruzfoodie.