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Aug 21st
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Dining Reviews

Dining - Dining Reviews

Let's Do Lunch

Let's Do Lunch

Extensive lunch menu at ABC Chinese fills you up without emptying your wallet  

Business is brisk during the lunch hour at ABC Chinese Restaurant in a tidy Scotts Valley business park. More than 40 lunch specials include huge bowls of soup ($5.25) and main courses ($5.45 to $6.45) which are served with the appetizer and soup of the day, and fried or steamed rice.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Fast Food, Santa Cruz-style

Fast Food, Santa Cruz-style

I was on a mission to disprove the theory that advises against entering a grocery store when hungry. I had run out of cereal and was just too starved to cook. Across the street from my parking space at Staff of Life, Burger King unsuccessfully launched a counter-offensive, beckoning me with the promise of Cini-minis with sugary frosting dip.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

A Carnivore’s Dilemma

A Carnivore’s Dilemma

Sid’s Smokehouse and Grill brings dry-rubbed and slow-smoked meats back to Aptos

Sid the bulldog, looking quite dapper in his spiked red collar, glances at you with a fun and mischievous look in his eyes. As the namesake and mascot of Sid’s Smokehouse and Grill, which opened last month where SmoQe previously resided, he probably knows the secret seasonings.

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Bulli for You

Bulli for You

A creative collection of recipes from one of the world's best chefs graces the menu at Haute Enchilada

A visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium offers sightings of a giant Pacific octopus, a new jellyfish exhibit, and seahorses better disguised than Dana Carvey.For me the journey is enhanced by a stop at one of Moss Landing's unique eateries.. Previously a bustling antiques marketplace, the center is now revitalized by the Haute Enchilada Cafe and Galerias, with local artwork on display and an artist's reception on the third Sunday of the month. 

 

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Dining - Dining Reviews

Lemony Sip-it

Lemony Sip-it

In the back yard of my grandparents’ Live Oak home was a lemon tree whose branches bent under the weight of a multitude of huge thick-skinned fruits. Gramma adored her morning glass of ice cold tomato juice with salt, pepper, and plenty of freshly squeezed lemon.

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Dining - 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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Dining - 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 - 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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Dining - 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 - 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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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.