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Apr 16th
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Dining Reviews

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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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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Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.

 

Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
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Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

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

 

Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.