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Sep 02nd
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Dining Reviews

Dining - Dining Reviews

Garden Party

Garden Party

Main Street Garden & Café now features Italian countryside cuisine

Farm to table doesn't get much closer than at Main Street Garden & Café. Kiwi vines shade the patio, and what's ripe on the vines in the restaurant's cheery organic garden is featured on the menu. Guests are even encouraged to wander amongst the plants.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Putting Up: Part 2

Putting Up: Part 2

They say if it can be grown, it can be canned, or "put up.” In a cabinet under my mother's stove, there was a covered pan that contained solid paraffin. Each year, she would reheat it, add some more, and use it to seal the jars of jellies made from the fruit of our trees. I later learned the simpler and more reliable hot canning method.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Mid-day Multi-course Feast

Mid-day Multi-course Feast

Surround yourself in Thai culture at Bangkok West

At Bangkok West, Thai cuisine is waiting to fuel a reasonably priced weekday lunch. It's like wandering into another world, from the meandering walkway to the ornately appointed interior with bejeweled gilded carvings, statuary, and Kalaga tapestries.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Putting Up: Part 1

Putting Up: Part 1

Pesto pasta was a quick dinner when my kids were growing up. The sauce latched nicely into the ridges of radiatore pasta, to which I added some steamed vegetables and leftover bits of meat.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

The Spice is Right

The Spice is Right

Downtown’s Laili celebrates the flavors of the Mediterranean

The final weeks of summer sift through my crossed fingers as I hope for another beautiful fall. It is the time of year when I most appreciate al fresco dining, I thought, as I relaxed on the patio of Laili, whose restaurant celebrates Silk Road flavors.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Jazzing up Church Street

Jazzing up Church Street

 Louie's Cajun Kitchen and Bourbon Bar serves Southern Favorites with a twist 

When I enjoyed the new brunch at Cloud's Downtown last April, I had no idea that the Southern-themed menu was a foreshadowing of the makeover that was revealed this month.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Munching On The Mediterranean

Munching On The Mediterranean

At Vasili's, home-style Greek classics continue to fill the house  

The annual Greek Festival from Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church is just around the corner (Sept. 14-16). I thought I'd get an early start on the celebration since home-style Greek food is available year-round at Vasili's.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

A Real Deal

A Real Deal

Conveniently located at the corner of River and Water streets, Taqueria los Pericos is a tasty respite between running errands at Probuild and whatever improvement project awaits at home.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Movin' on Up

Movin' on Up

Ristorante Avanti's focus on local, sustainable ingredients continues to shine at its new location

With its move a few blocks up Mission Street, Santa Cruz’s revered Ristorante Avanti gains 30 additional seats and a full bar. Even with the extra capacity, it still took three tries to get a coveted weeknight reservation. You can’t blame the place for being so popular.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Variety, the Spice of Life

Variety, the Spice of Life

Hearty servings, stir-fries with still-crisp produce, and a friendly atmosphere make Canton Chinese a comforting destination

It's been about five years since Canton Chinese Restaurant moved slightly up 41st Avenue to a shiny new mustard-colored stand-alone building. And just recently, the restaurant, run for years by various members of the Leung family, obtained a full liquor license.

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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Himalayan Kitchen

Chef Purna Regmi on the secrets of Nepalese cooking

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

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

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.