Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 20th
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From Peru to You

dining_lamoraquezaWith a remodeled kitchen, a compact healthful menu and Internet access, La Moraqueza Espresso Café has opened its doors in the historic Camp Capitola Superintendent’s office.

The café was one of the stops on this month’s First Friday tour, and still features the art of Heejin Lee and Robert Ernest Quihuis III. However, owner Washington del Aguila proudly pointed out photographs from his Peruvian home town.

Soft ’70s and ’80s rock included ballads by Air Supply, REO Speedwagon and Phil Collins as we sat in what was possibly a parlor in this State Historic Monument.

Breakfast choices ($3.50 to $5) include bagels and toast with eggs. The crusty warm Lox Bagel ($4.50) included thin slices of cured salmon, capers, red onions and mixed greens. The tartar sauce spread gave it a tasty, tangy bite.

The plump breakfast-sized burrito ($5) held soft scrambled eggs, thin pieces of ham, pinto beans and cheddar cheese with a nicely flavored salsa fresca of tomatoes, onions and chilies.

At lunchtime, pumpkin pie spices flavored frothy hot chai. Freshly made salads include Classic Cobb ($7) with bacon, avocado, blue cheese and egg. We enjoyed a simple and healthy plate of Organic Mixed Greens ($5) topped with strips of grilled skinless chicken breast ($7).

A plate of steaming, thickly sliced potatoes was dressed with a slightly tart vinaigrette with whole grain mustard and served with a heart spear of Romaine lettuce.

Warm and pressed sandwiches ($6 to $8) include caramelized sweet onion with Gruyère, and turkey with avocado and bacon. The Tuna Melt ($6) contained a tasty salad between slices of white New York rye bread, which was dotted with caraway seeds. Warm tuna with red onions and crisp celery overflowed onto the plate along with creamy puddles of melted jack cheese.  | KP

La Moraqueza, 201 Monterey Ave. #C, Capitola, 477-9836. Open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily.

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