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Sep 23rd
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When the Point is Breakfast

dining_thepointThe multifaceted morning menu at The Point Chophouse and Lounge starts the weekend out right

Known for steaks and happy hours, The Point Chophouse opens its doors early for weekend breakfast and lunch where a diverse clientele clusters in the lounge's semicircular overstuffed booths. This room, once dark with light-consuming wood-covered walls, is now painted white with framed pen- and-ink drawings of local scenes adding to its luminescence.

Pints of Bloody Marys ($4) were accessorized with celery, olives, and pepperoncini. An ideal venue for armchair athletes, we gathered up close to the large flat screen to watch the March Madness basketball championship.

The diverse breakfast menu includes quesadillas, Breakfast Skins with fruit ($8.95) and Breakfast Burgers ($10.95) with an egg. I laughed out loud at The Bachelor ($10); six slices of bacon with a 22-ounce draft from Santa Cruz Ale Works. Our server said a few people actually order it.

Most traditional breakfasts are served with hash browns, such as Eggs Benedict ($8.95). Two eggs poached traditionally with firm and lemon-yellow yolks rested upon thick slices of Canadian bacon and English muffin halves. The light Hollandaise was nicely flavored with lemon. The browned potatoes were not oily but bland. I'd substitute fruit next time.

The Ahi Salad ($15.95) was delightful. The fish, rubbed with chili powder and encrusted with black and white sesame seeds, was lightly seared, bringing out the nutty essence of the seeds, and then sliced to reveal its tender reddish-purple interior. The blend of greens below included colorful carrots and cabbage, as well as fresh shoots of sunflower. The light Thai peanut dressing, not over-sweetened, had a bit of a spicy bite and a bright touch of vinegar. Crispy curls of fried noodles crowned the assemblage.

At the bar, with padded perimeter and a black surface that reflects pendant red lampshades, I experienced The Point's Black Angus burger in the form of a trio of Sliders ($8.95). Thick, hand-formed patties with deli pickle slices and a touch of melted cheddar on toasted rolls were cooked through but still moist. I enjoyed them with ketchup and Dijon mustard drizzled playfully on the plate and a happy hour glass of the house red wine ($4).


The Point Chophouse and Lounge, 3326 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz, 476-2733. Full bar. Serving breakfast and lunch 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends, and dinner nightly from 5 p.m. Happy hour on weekdays 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 4 p.m. to close. Visit thepointchophouse.com/


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The Aptos Farmers Market at Cabrillo welcomes the traveling Farm to Table Tour, sponsored by Toyota, on Saturday April 9. Local chefs, preparing recipes using foodstuffs from local farms, will offer free bite-sized tastes to promote the "locavore movement" and demonstrate the important relationships farmers markets facilitate between farmers, chefs and local communities. Get your passport stamped at three tasting stations and take home a complimentary potted herb, or test drive a Toyota hybrid vehicle and receive a John Boos cutting board.


Toyota Farm to Table Tour, Aptos Farmers Market, Saturday April 9 from 8 a.m. to noon at Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos.

 

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