Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Jul 04th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Fresh and Fired-up

Dinning_CafeEllaWatsonville’s Cafe Ella celebrates the bounty of local produce with homemade recipes
his week thousands of us will travel on East Lake Avenue towards the Santa Cruz County Fair. Huge hogs raised by 4-H kids, rides, carnie games, and exhibits of local artisans are sure to draw crowds. Nevertheless, what if you’re just not a fan of fair food?

Cafe Ella is hidden in a modern two-story office building across East Lake Avenue from historic Tuttle Mansion, a massive, elaborate, barn-red Victorian. With abundant availability of fresh fruits and vegetables, Café Ella’s mission is to provide nutritious, homemade fast food using preservative-free, natural, and local ingredients.

On my first visit, after placing my order at the counter, I chose a table beside a trickling fountain on the shaded patio. Mini Pizzas ($9.50) come with either a half salad or a cup of soup. I waited for mine while sipping a delicious mango-enhanced iced tea. The salad, which I had selected from the list of daily specials, arrived first. Baby spinach leaves, tossed in flavorful chili-lime vinaigrette, were topped with creamy crumbles of French feta, candied almonds, sliced radishes, and sweet fresh white corn kernels. I never imagined that raw corn was so flavorful.


My Margherita pizza passed by on its way to the outdoor wood-fired oven where it would spend just four minutes. Made in the Neapolitan manner with a thin crust, thin coating of tomato sauce and not overly loaded with fresh buffalo mozzarella, it included thin slices of fresh, fat tomatoes and torn fresh sweet basil. Although I would have cooked it hotter or longer to further crisp the center of the pie, I ate every piece.


Another wood-fired oven specialty is the Gooey Gorgonzola Garlic Bread ($3.75). The aroma of warm minced garlic wafted from the slice of multigrain sandwich bread. This time the perfectly crisped bread was topped with browned and bubbly blue cheese and sautéed, sweet onions.


From the wood-fired oven also come chicken wings, open-faced sandwiches, baked pasta and pastrami. The Messy Hot Pastrami ($6.75) lived up to its name. Lean and nicely seasoned beef was layered between toasted multigrain bread with caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, melted Swiss cheese, avocado and Ella’s secret spread, which seemed to include whole grain mustard. It was served with herbed Cole-slaw in a pesto-like dressing.


The ingredients for panini sandwiches can be either served in wraps or pressed and grilled between bread. The Pavo Mia ($6.75) included thin slices of roasted turkey breast, caramelized onions, baby cornichons pickles, Swiss cheese, and organic greens with the Ella spread.


There was a nice selection of desserts, including bread pudding from Ella’s sister restaurant in Hollister, as well as carrot cake from Kelly’s Bakery.
Breakfast entrees include panini, croissant sandwiches, waffles and wraps, with numerous pastries, breads and biscotti to choose from. Beverages include a full selection of smoothies, teas, espresso and coffee drinks as well as freshly squeezed orange and grapefruit juices and fresh lemonade.


Cafe Ella,7334 East Lake Ave. #1, Watsonville, 722-0480. Serving breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Sunday. Visit cafe-ella.com
Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by antonio carerra, November 01, 2010
mmmm manana panini microwaved eggs mmmm

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Boards Are Back in Town

More than a century after a famed trio of Hawaiian princes first surfed in Santa Cruz, their redwood olo surfboards are returning to the Museum of Art & History

 

We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident

Saturday, July 4, is the 239th birthday of the United States, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence (the U.S. astrology chart has Aquarius moon—freedom for its people, by its people). Cancer, a liberating and initiating sign, is the “gate” where Spirit enters matter. Cancer receives and distributes Ray 3 (Divine Intelligence) and Ray 7 (new rules, new rhythms, new free nation under God). Cancer represents an intelligent freethinking humanity that can and must create right economics for the world. This means a policy of sharing, an opportunity for the U.S. when Venus (money, resources, possessions, etc.) retrogrades July and August in Leo (the heart of the matter). The United States has a unique spiritual task for the world: to lead humanity within and toward the light, accomplished by its people who must first awaken to this task, learn discrimination and be directed by the soul to assume the Herculean task of spiritual world leadership. Let us review the first words of our Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.” Let us form that union together. The following is a review of the spiritual tasks for each sign. Read all the signs. They all apply to everyone.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 3

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Lunch is Packed

Picnic basket lunches from Your Place, plus smoked chili peppers, and new owners at Camellia Tea House

 

What would you like the Supreme Court to rule on next?

Raising the minimum wage so that those that are in poverty now can have a higher standard of life. Greanna Smith, Soquel, Nanny

 

Bruzzone Family Vineyards

Bruzzone Family Vineyards is a small operation run by Berna and John Bruzzone. Starting out a few years ago making only Chardonnay, they eventually planted Pinot Noir on their extensive property and now make this varietal as well.

 

Ty’s Eatery

Pop-up hooks up with Santa Cruz Food Lounge for healthy comfort food