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Jun 30th
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Food & Drink

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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Dining Reviews

Holy Calzone!

Holy Calzone!

Aptos Pizza is now serving weekday lunches. Located on busy Soquel Drive, oaks and redwoods of The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park create a calming view through the windows at the rear of the tiny restaurant. 

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I Was a Teenage Deadhead

Memories of life on tour, plus the truth about that legendary Santa Cruz Acid Test

 

I Build a Lighted House and Therein Dwell

Wednesday, June 24, Chiron turns stationary retrograde (we turn inward) at 21.33 degrees Pisces. We usually speak of “retrograde” when referring to Mercury. But all planets retrograde. Next month in July, Venus retrogrades. What is Chiron retrograde? Chiron represents the wound within all of us. Wounds have purpose. They sensitize us; make us aware of pain and suffering. Through our wounds we develop compassion. Through compassion we become whole (holy) again. Chiron helps develop these states of consciousness. Everyone carries a wound. Everyone carries family wounds (family astrology tracks the astrological “DNA” through generations). Chiron wounds are deep within. We’re often not aware of them until Chiron retrogrades. Then the wounds (through pain, hurt, sadness, suffering) become apparent. They seem to break us open emotionally, psychologically. Painful events from the past are remembered. They are brought to the present for healing. Through experiencing, talking about and deeply feeling what is hurting us, healing takes place. We begin to understand and bring healing to others. All week, Jupiter and Venus move closer together in the sky. They meet in Leo at the full moon, Cancer solar festival, on Wednesday, July 1. The Cancer keynote is, “I build a lighted house and therein dwell.” The soul’s light has finally penetrated the “womb” of matter. The New Group of World Servers is to radiate this light. At the end of each sign are keywords to use and remember during the Chiron retrograde.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Kickin' Chicken

Local kitchen alchemist Justin Williams is fast becoming a cult flavor master. His late-night wizardry, which began last fall delivering mainly to starving UCSC students, is catching on with taste buds beyond campus. Kickin’ Chicken delivers its spicy-sweet fried chicken and waffles to Westside residents between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. nightly. Or you can catch him and his brother and sister, Candice and Danny Mendoza, serving it up at their “Sunday Mass” at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge at 1001 Center St. in Santa Cruz. Using sous vide, a French method of cooking chicken in a water bath at a tightly controlled temperature, they then flash fry it for an amazingly crispy coat. Candice Mendoza spoke to GT about Kickin’ Chicken’s rise.

 

What’s a creative new approach to addressing summer beach litter?

Robotic dogs, with duct tape on their paws, that walk around picking up litter wherever they go. Joaquin Heinz, Santa Cruz, Barista

 

Pelican Ranch Winery

The most popular red wines found on store shelves are also those most commonly known, such as Pinot, Zinfandel and Merlot. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Pelican Ranch Winery’s Cinsault ($19), it opens up a whole new world. Cinsault is a grape that can tolerate heat, so it is found in countries with warmer climes such as Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, and France. It’s rare in California but grows well in places like Lodi—Silvaspoons Vineyard in this particular case—where it’s hot and dry. Often used as a blending grape, the silky Cinsault is just fine on its own.

 

Open Wide

Soif’s soft reboot leads to expanded menu, plus the ‘thinking woman’s ketchup’