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Jul 23rd
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Dining Reviews

Dining - Dining Reviews

Touring Italy

Touring ItalyFrom simple to exotic, the fresh flavors and house-made sauces at Cafe Mare are memorable 

Cafe Mare at lunchtime is brightly lit by a sea of white tablecloths reflecting light from the expansive arc of windows. It wasn't busy mid-week, with a few people at the bar eating or enjoying cups of espresso.

The menu has an incredible amount of choices. Salads ($7 to $10) include arugula with truffle oil, roasted pancetta and goat cheese, with choice of prawns, chicken or salmon (add $4).
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Dining - Dining Reviews

Let's be Friends

Let's be FriendsIn the car, I munched on a slender French-style baguette. The flavor and crispy crust took me back to a breakfast table in Montbéliard, where family members tore off sections of fresh loaves, smeared them with unsalted butter and strawberry preserves, and dipped them in bowls of milk-laced tea.
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Dining - 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.
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Dining - 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.
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Dining - 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].
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Dining - 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.
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Dining - 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.
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Dining - 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.
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Dining - 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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Dining - Dining Reviews

Tasting Away

Tasting AwayBeautiful inside and out, Margaritaville blends Mexican specialties with Californian originality 

Last year I felt horribly deprived by the relative lack of warm summer days. Earlier this month though, there was enough shirt-sleeve weather to put me in remarkably giddy spirits. After thoroughly enjoying a walk on Capitola's sunny Esplanade in the middle of January, we stopped in at Margaritaville, a restaurant I had not visited in quite some time.
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A Year of Creative Self-Expression

Wednesday, after a year in Cancer’s nourishing waters, Jupiter enters fiery Leo. Next Tuesday, the sun joins Jupiter in Leo. Leo is the sign of the three fires of life, of seeking our individuality, our gifts and talents. Life for the next year will be quite dramatic, expressive, creative and generous. Jupiter, the heart of Aquarius, is the planet of expansion and truth, distributing Ray 2 of Love and Wisdom.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Roger That

The late film critic Robert Ebert profiled in lively doc, ‘Life Itself’

 

The Maestra Returns

Cabrillo Festival’s Marin Alsop is back to ‘rock the boat of tradition’
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Time is Ripe

Local fruit harvests hit markets, Storrs Winery celebrates ‘Best White’, and a salt fix from heaven

 

What is the most outrageous thing you did as a kid?

Santa Cruz | Retired

 

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

 

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.