Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 20th
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Spilling the Beans

dining_zizzosI stood facing two portals at Brown Ranch Marketplace. The one on the right read Weight Watchers, the other Zizzo's. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee lured me left.

"Good Friends Great Coffee" seemed to be more than a slogan at Zizzo's, as the steady stream of customers seemed to be all on a first name basis. With 60 hot, cold, and blended espresso, coffee, tea and fruit beverages to choose from, plus the ability to mix and match to create your own gourmet specialty, my choice was not a simple one.

I chose a Mexican Mocha—with nonfat milk and no whipped cream as penance. The steaming twelve-ounce beverage with a shot of espresso was flavored with cinnamon, chocolate, and hazelnut. It tasted as marvelous as Kahlua and Frangelico but totally work-appropriate, and was just sweet enough.

The decor is simple but stunning, with wooden shelving holding travel mugs, coffee gear, and Zizzo's whole bean coffee which is roasted in the city. Surfboards hang as decoration and a large flat screen television plays surfing videos and announces daily specials. The interior is as classy as any highly financed franchised shop, but is locally owned and one of a kind.

Something else that makes Zizzo's special is the selection of food. Sandwiches are by Soquel's D'Anna's Deli, and baked goods are from Heather's Patisserie. Muffins, chocolate croissants, bagels and fruit parfaits were enticing, but I enjoyed a breakfast burrito. The tightly rolled packet of tasty cheese, egg and potato was just the right size.

On another thirsty day, the 20-ounce unsweetened iced tea was just what I needed, but I couldn't resist a large, flaky spinach and feta croissant ($2.95).  | KP

Zizzo's, 3555 Clares St. Ste PP, Capitola, 477-0680. Open Monday through Saturday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit

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