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Aug 22nd
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Dining Reviews

Dining - Dining Reviews

Dock Days of Summer

Dock Days of Summer

Aldo’s dishes up old-school Italian and fashionable California fare

I usually go to Aldo’s for sunny summer morning breakfasts. There is plenty of activity to behold from its tables on the dock. Fishing boats and kayaks drift by, while cormorants and seals dive for their sustenance. My favorite meal is the pesto, sour cream and Swiss cheese omelet ($10.75) with raisin fugasa toast, and the best hash browns I’ve found anywhere.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Pierogi Party

Pierogi Party

Recently, friends invited us over to make pierogies; butter-fried, empanada-like peasant food stuffed with potatoes, onions, and cheese. It became an opportunity to connect with my lost heritage. 

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Satay at the House

Satay at the House

A large selection of mild Thai flavors awaits you at Thai House

On the way to our daughter’s apartment, we stopped in L.A.’s Thai Town. Although there is now much diversity, we did find an Oriental market that had all of the ingredients I was looking for. We had prior plans for lunch and I’ve been craving Thai food ever since. Aside from some worn upholstered booths, Santa Cruz’s Thai House redecorated a former ice cream shop with live plants, elaborate carvings, and Burmese architectural elements, offering diners an elegant sojourn.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Pins and Needles

Pins and Needles

Ever eat a cactus? Many parts are edible. Learn how to cook this plant, and taste entries from the cactus cook-off at Santa Cruz’s Festival del Nopal in the street in front of the downtown library on Sunday, July 22.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Cuisine With A View

Cuisine With A View

Nearby—and perfect for a staycation getaway—the Carmel Hyatt Highlands charms with its world-class food, wine and more 

Situated in a magical spot on the California coast overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the stunning Carmel Hyatt Highlands offers the guest much more than simply an upscale place to stay.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Finger Food

Finger Food

Small plates at Bonny Doon Vineyard's restaurant are big on fresh flavors

It may have been April Fool's day, but it was no joke. Randall Grahm, winemaker and self-proclaimed "President-for-Life" of Bonny Doon Vineyard, announced the renaming of his Cellar Door Restaurant and Tasting Room. It is now called Le Cigare Volant, in honor of his winery's flagship wine, first released in 1984.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Freshly Baked and Gluten-free

Freshly Baked and Gluten-free

One of my favorite places downtown is the sidewalk that passes in front of Pacific Cookie Company. The sugary aroma of cookies baking draws me through the doorway, and after choosing one of my favorite flavors I head back onto that sidewalk and slowly savor its comforting crumbliness.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Doing The Diner

Doing The Diner

Variety and accessibility make Santa Cruz Diner a popular destination

A yellow banner hangs from the roof at the Santa Cruz Diner announcing that "Guy ate here." This would be a reference to Guy Fieri, host of Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Clearly, this give owners Chip and Kim Kirchner something to cheer about.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Hopping Happy

Hopping Happy

Last weekend we were in San Francisco and stumbled across one of the five locations of Pizza Orgasmica. Besides wolfing down a pretty tasty salami, sausage and mushroom pizza, we really enjoyed sampling their craft beers.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

White House Dining

White House Dining

Casablanca Bistro offers inviting fare and stunning views

Located on the site of the enormous turreted, Victorian Sea Beach Hotel, which burned to the ground in 1912, the historic Casablanca Inn and Bistro was once the secluded private residence of Marcel Cerf. From our window seat in the multi-level Casablanca Room we admired the fog bank hugging the horizon at the edge of the sapphire bay. On Main Beach below, volleyball players frolicked under the spring day's final hour of sun.

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Trending Now

Whether you live by the Vogue bible or choose to go into your day wearing what you slept in, odds are you wear clothes.

 

The Thought Form of Solution

It’s our last week of Leo before the sun enters Virgo (next Friday/Saturday). The planets this week make complex patterns and relationships (vibrational cadences and rhythms) with the outer planets, mainly Neptune—the planet that veils, obscures, protects and finally refines us. Neptune offers us entrance into a deeply spiritual sense of comfort and solace. Neptune is the personality ruler of Pisces (saviors of the world) and soul ruler of Cancer (world mother). “The fish goddesses who leapt from earth (Virgo) to water (Pisces) unitedly give birth to the Fish God (Christ, the Soul) who introduces the waters of life  (Neptune & Aquarius) into the ocean of substance (matter, mother bringing light to the world. Thus does Neptune work.” (Esoteric Astrology).

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Cultures Collide

No surprises, but lots to savor in foodie film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’
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Foodie File: Kauboi

Japanese-Western themed unites sushi with whiskey and beefgrill

 

How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

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

 

Have Mercy!

Looking for a frisky summer wine at a reasonable price? Look no further than Mercy Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Richly textured “with an exotic flavor profile,” the wine reveals aromas of honeydew melon and honeysuckle, with anise appearing as a star attraction. Smidgeons of pineapple and honeycomb add a touch of sexiness to this well-balanced, easy-drinking wine, which pairs well with a variety of cuisine —especially ceviche, calamari and other not-too-heavy foods.