Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 21st
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Mid-day Milkshake

dining violetteWith Café Violette changing hands again, I wondered if they still served any of the original Middle Eastern plates. It was a sunny afternoon, and surprisingly busy for a mid-week.

This tiny cafe on the corner of the Esplanade and Stockton Avenue in Capitola serves 48 flavors of locally made Polar Bear and Marianne's ice cream. A regular milkshake ($5) made with Marianne's Raspberry Cheesecake was thick and bubble gum pink. I loved the sour cream cheese flavor with sweet raspberry accents.

Breakfast includes burritos ($6.75) with hash browns, egg and cheese with choice of bacon, chorizo, deli turkey or veggie sausage. The breakfast sandwiches, croissants and bagels ($5.50) hold scrambled egg, bacon and cheese.

Coffee and tea drinks ($1.75 to $4) include all the favorites. They also serve Italian sodas, breakfast smoothies with fruit and granola, malts, and floats.

Two tables of high school students were seriously enjoying their single and double one-third pound sirloin burgers. You can also add blue cheese or bacon, an onion ring and BBQ sauce.

Fond of salmon fillets, I thought the amalgamated salmon burgerdining violettewraps ($6.50) patty missed the mark. However, the tomatoes, lettuce and onion were fresh, and the tartar sauce gave it a nice bite.

In the Gyro ($7.25) a generous amount of thinly sliced, barely spiced Middle Eastern meatloaf was rolled into a thick pita along with onions, romaine lettuce and tomatoes. It was dressed with a tasty garlicky tzatziki sauce. Flavorful except for the meat, I will order the chicken version next time.

The Falafel ($6) was stuffed into a flour tortilla burrito-style, making it convenient to eat at the beach. It included the same vegetables as the gyro but was very Americanized with three bright green falafel balls lacking cumin, and tzatziki instead of tahini. | KP

Café Violette, 104 Stockton Ave., Capitola, 479-8888. Open Sunday through Thursday 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday until 7 p.m.
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