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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.

Dining Reviews

Hopping Happy

Hopping HappyBoulder Creek Brewery and Cafe has an expanded beer selection and a delightfully flavored menu to go with it

About a year and a half ago, Executive Chef Judd Anthony took the kitchen's helm at Boulder Creek Brewery and Cafe. Their Facebook page is constantly updated with specials, the latest brews, and key market finds that would soon find their way to the table.
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Dining Reviews

Surf and Turf in Rio Del Mar

Surf and Turf in Rio Del MarWhether it's the calories burned riding icy waves, or crisp air that awakens the senses, there's something about a day at the beach that brings on a fierce appetite. In Rio Del Mar, the little Pixie Deli stands ready to assuage pangs of hunger with a concise, yet creative menu in which details matter.
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Wine Reviews

Pelican Ranch Winery

Pelican Ranch WineryChardonnay 2008

Lindwood’s Bar & Grill at Chaminade puts on a great Happy Hour. Meeting up with friends at this lovely resort is always a pleasure—especially in the more casual setting of Linwood’s. Happy Hour features all drinks for $5. And the good news is that Daylight Saving Time starts on March 11 so we can now enjoy longer days on the outdoor terrace of Chaminade.
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Dining Reviews

Touring Italy

Touring ItalyFrom simple to exotic, the fresh flavors and house-made sauces at Cafe Mare are memorable 

Cafe Mare at lunchtime is brightly lit by a sea of white tablecloths reflecting light from the expansive arc of windows. It wasn't busy mid-week, with a few people at the bar eating or enjoying cups of espresso.

The menu has an incredible amount of choices. Salads ($7 to $10) include arugula with truffle oil, roasted pancetta and goat cheese, with choice of prawns, chicken or salmon (add $4).
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Dining Reviews

Let's be Friends

Let's be FriendsIn the car, I munched on a slender French-style baguette. The flavor and crispy crust took me back to a breakfast table in Montbéliard, where family members tore off sections of fresh loaves, smeared them with unsalted butter and strawberry preserves, and dipped them in bowls of milk-laced tea.
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Wine Reviews

The Organic Wine Works

The Organic Wine WorksBountiful Blush 2010

With spring just around the corner, it’s time to bring out the picnic wines. And by that I mean the fruity Rosés, Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs. As the weather warms up, people tend to gravitate more toward Rosés and white wines than the heavier reds.
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Dining Reviews

What Freedom Brings

What Freedom BringsFreedom's El Azteca has plenty of surprises on its menu, including healthy ones

We headed into the hills above Freedom Boulevard in need of some amazingly delicious honey from Pacific Crest Apiaries. Hungry as well, we noticed a stack of business cards for El Azteca, located just down the road, and asked co-owner Dana Mumm about it. She gushed about the family and the food, and suggested we try grilled shrimp soft tacos, which aren't on the menu.
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Dining Reviews

Fill Me Up

Fill Me UpThe owners of the Chevron gas station on the corner of Park Avenue and Soquel Drive have taken the notion of a quick stop to the next echelon.

A recent remodel added a car wash and a delightful Victorian-inspired building which houses AJ's Market and Natural Foods.
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Wine Reviews

Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery

Hunter Hill Vineyard & WineryBarbera 2010 and Center Street Grill  

With our bottle of Hunter Hill Barbera in hand, we head to Center Street Grill for dinner. I often take my own wine to restaurants—especially if I have one I really want to try—and pay the corkage fee. Center Street Grill is a restaurant we visit on a regular basis. I lived in Greece for 13 years, so I particularly love the Mediterranean-influenced food prepared by owner Danny Voutos. Voutos is of Greek descent, so he grew up appreciating olive oil-based cuisine, and flavoring food with fresh herbs and spices.
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Dining Reviews

Ancient Maize

Ancient MaizeA pre-Colombian soup of Mesoamerican shelled corn continues to nourish and warm us centuries later

The Aztec and other ancient cultures in Mesoamerica gave us many things. For instance, the words chocolate and avocado originated in the Nahuatl language, as did pozole [poh-soh-ley].
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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.