Santa Cruz Good Times

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Apr 20th
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Afternoon Delight

dining_cafesparrowOutside it was gray and drizzly, but to enter Cafe Sparrow at lunchtime was like stepping into spring in Provence. Pastel sponge-painted chairs surrounded tables draped with colorful cloths and lace, protected with glass tops and paper doily placemats.

Sourdough bread with chewy crusts and soft centers was served with fresh butter. The Iced Tea ($3.50) was playfully flavored with black currants.

Two crisply browned Crab Cakes ($11.50), soft and moist in the middles, lusciously fell apart. The delicate crab flavor peeked out between tiny bits of red pepper.

One was topped with an extraordinary tartar sauce that was coarse and tart without the appearance of mayonnaise. The other was dressed with a tart red pepper pesto purée. They were presented with vinaigrette-greens and a sampling of sliced fruit.

Sandwiches are served with home-fried potatoes or salad, and what a side salad it was! Greens in light balsamic dressing were topped with crumbled blue cheese, candied nuts and sweet dried cranberries.

Sandwiched between a large, soft focaccia bun was medium-rare Blackened Ahi ($17.75) with sesame oil-seasoned Asian coleslaw, spicy red onion and wasabi mayonnaise.

The Albacore Cheese Puff ($14.50) was like an open-faced tuna melt on a large, oval slice of sourdough bread spread with spicy Dijon mustard. Underneath a bubbly layer of melted cheddar cheese was moist, white fish and sweet, grilled apples. Both sandwiches were served with fresh fruit.

Feeling the need for a small dessert, the Pot de Crème ($7.50) was irresistible, and by no means tiny. Like a soft fudge, spoonfuls of the dark chocolate-cappuccino blend melted on the tongue. When combined with bites of fresh strawberry, fluffy whipped cream and crème Anglaise, it was sweet heaven in a ramekin.  | KP


Cafe Sparrow, 8042 Soquel Ave., Aptos, 688-6238. Beer and wine. Serving lunch Monday through Friday 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., Sunday brunch 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and dinner nightly from 5:30 p.m. Visit cafesparrow.com

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Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

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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.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
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