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Sep 22nd
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Dining

Restaurant dining and wine reviews for Santa Cruz County >
Menu Guide for Santa Cruz area.

Wine Reviews

Cinnabar Winery

Cinnabar Winery

Mercury Rising 2009

Cowden Center Street Grill has started up its Thursday night wine flights for the spring and summer months. Before having dinner at this lovely restaurant recently, I enjoyed a tasting of Cinnabar wines.

 

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Dining Reviews

The Pork Club

The Pork Club

El Salchichero delivers a passionate mix of meaty, mouthwatering adventures

The first rule of Pork Club is: you do not talk about Pork Club, at least not to your vegetarian friends. Held after dark at one end of the Westside Swift Street Courtyard complex, the classes at El Salchichero have the feeling of clandestine meetings.

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Wine Reviews

Copious Winery

Copious Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2010

By Josie Cowden Right next door to the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz is the Backstage Lounge—and this place is doing some fun stuff these days. An event I attended recently at this cozy little restaurant was a dinner put on by Moveable Feast. Marisa Johnston, personal chef and catering expert, organized a sumptuous spread of three courses—all perfectly prepared in Backstage’s compact kitchen. As the guests mingled and munched on delicious appetizers, my friend and I enjoyed a pouring of Copious Sauvignon Blanc that I had taken along to have with dinner. Checking out the menu online ahead of time, my friend and I both selected fish as a main course, and the Sauvignon Blanc was a perfect pairing.

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Dining Reviews

Picnic Season

Picnic Season

Tucked into a corner of the red clay-roofed East Cliff Village Shopping Center is a little cafe called Deli-Delicious. The building may be aging, the interior floors may be covered with heirloom linoleum topped with generations of paint, but the sandwiches are new, fresh, and uncommon.

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Dining Reviews

Oodles of Noodles and More

Oodles of Noodles and More

Kao Sook brings mild to spicy versions of Thai specialties to Scotts Valley

A second Thai restaurant has opened on Scotts Valley's Mt. Hermon Road. Kao Sook recently took the place of Bruno's BBQ's previous home in the Safeway shopping center, and after a nice refurbishment, Thai food is served all day at this little sister of Sabieng.

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Wine Reviews

Dancing Creek Winery & Wine Events

Dancing Creek Winery & Wine Events

Late for the Dance – Zinfandel Dessert Wine 2009

Don’t you love the name “Late for the Dance”! A couple, pictured in silhouette on Dancing Creek’s distinctive label, conjures up a picture of having dinner out, some nice wine – and then finishing off the evening with a voluptuous touch of sweet Zinfandel.  With a tooth for all things dulce, I love to end a meal with something sweet, and a dessert wine gives one that little honey-in-the-mouth fix. Dancing Creek Winery owners, Jim and Robin Boyle, have made a lovely wine here in Late for the Dance. It has just the right amount of sweetness without being cloying. And with a piece of chocolate, it’s just divine.

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Dining Reviews

A Trip to My Land

 A Trip to My Land

The flavors at Freedom's Taqueria Mi Tiera are worth the ride

On a busy section of Freedom Boulevard, a Taco Bell and Wendy's are intermixed with an auto repair business and strip malls. It's a changing neighborhood, a mixture of old and new. Across the street from Taqueria mi Tiera, which has been open for 20 years, sits the historic Pioneer Cemetery. Next door is La Mana Panaderia, while further down the block a shiny Mi Puebla grocery store offers its own baked goods.

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Dining Reviews

Accidental Tourists

Accidental Tourists

Mix together one part doctorate in cancer biology, one part high-tech strategist and two parts foodie, and, serendipitously, you get tofu misozuke, an ancient Japanese fermented tofu which is traditionally enjoyed in small tastes with a glass of sake.

The husband and wife team of Dang Vu and Oanh Nguyen developed their passion for food from the traditional dishes prepared by their families. Their company, Rau Om, is named for an herb that grows in Southeast Asian rice paddies and is used in their Vietnamese cuisine.

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Wine Reviews

Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards

Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards

Pinot Noir 2009

Spencer’s Restaurant in Palm Springs is a very popular dining destination—with four-star American cuisine and a “French Pacific Rim” influence. Friends had told us about it, so we headed there for dinner last month when we were staying close by in the California desert for a few days. I took along a bottle of Savannah-Chanelle Pinot Noir 2009 to write about—and because I love to introduce wines from our Santa Cruz Mountains appellation to out-of-town restaurants.

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Dining Reviews

Any Given Sunday

Any Given Sunday

Clouds Downtown now serves a creative combination of Sunday brunch dishes, as well as three day-long happy hours

Heading downtown for brunch on a Sunday morning has always been a pleasant treat. And now you can enjoy it on Church Street, where Clouds' Sunday brunch is served with a four-piece jazz ensemble.

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Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
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Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.