Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 10th
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Food & Drink

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.
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.
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.
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].
Dining Reviews

Deals on Meals

Deals on MealsIt's a one-man-band in the kitchen at Chubby's in Scotts Valley. Owner and Chef Dino Saabedra took the small skillet in hand, and with a deft flick of his wrist my eggs were airborne to achieve over-easy perfection.
Wine Reviews

Byington Vineyard & Winery

Byington Vineyard & Winery2010 Rosé Saignee

High in the Los Gatos hills and along the winding Bear Creek Road is Byington Winery. I have been there many times and always find it a pleasurable experience. The occasion this time was a picnic organized by a friend, which included wine tasting and a guided tour of the vineyard and very interesting cellar where events are held.
Dining Reviews

Emerald Isle

Emerald IsleDe Laveaga, the Golden Gate Park of Santa Cruz, offers hearty, fresh meals with its recreational opportunities

The familiar road wound past weathered cacti, fir trees and the sixth fairway where five young deer grazed. I approached the green, seven iron in hand. It had been four months since I last felt its smooth metal brush the damp grass. My hip had been broken and subsequently replaced, but finally crutch-free, I had come to celebrate with breakfast at De Laveaga Restaurant, home to the only sport I am still permitted to play.
Wine Reviews

Loma Prieta Winery

Loma Prieta WineryPetite Sirah 2008

Last week I wrote about a red blend for Valentine’s Day, but as the year’s most romantic day approaches and you’re still looking for something downright voluptuous, then Loma Prieta’s Petit Sirah fits the bill.
Dining Reviews

Burgers Your Way

Burgers Your WayThere are plenty of options at Seabright Brewery besides award-winning beers 

It was the first brewery I had been at in Santa Cruz when it opened more than two decades ago. There have been occasional changes to the menu since then, the addition of a full bar, and on my recent visit, most of the servers wore name tags.
Dining Reviews

Diggin' It

Diggin' It February's garden features an abundance of root vegetables, greens, citrus and pears. When it comes to eating with the seasons, this bountiful selection is perfect for a Valentine's month salad.

Beginning with beets, which as a child I encountered only as pickled, crimson disks on Italian salads, there are more tasty ways to eat them, including raw.

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Hot in Here

This ain’t no Burning Man—the MAH’s GLOW festival flames on


Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


The New Tech Nexus

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


Film, Times & Events: Week of October 9

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Seoul Food

Santa Cruz’s new Sesame Korean is a great introduction to an ancient culinary tradition


Is there evil in the world?

Yes, some people don’t think right because they have been treated badly. Milo Robbins, Scotts Valley, Second Grade


Dos Aguilas Olive Oil

Aptos company is letting locals pick their own olives in October


What’s your biggest pet peeve?

When people say they’re “going down” somewhere, and they’re actually traveling north. Julia Ragen, Santa Cruz, Psychologist