Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 24th
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Surf and Turf in Rio Del Mar

dining pixiedeliWhether it's the calories burned riding icy waves, or crisp air that awakens the senses, there's something about a day at the beach that brings on a fierce appetite. In Rio Del Mar, the little Pixie Deli stands ready to assuage pangs of hunger with a concise, yet creative menu in which details matter.

Chicken and tri-tip which are grilled over mesquite daily, plus homemade soups, and numerous flavored mayonnaises are available. We stopped in for breakfast on a morning when all of the outside tables were laden with burritos or bagels, and the neighbors enjoying them.

We sat at the window-facing counter with a serene view of palm trees and the bay. On some walls are hung paintings and photographs of idyllic European street scenes, while others display hundreds of snapshots of smiling, beachwear-clad customers. There are plenty of cold beverages to choose from in the cases.

The hefty Smoked Salmon Burrito ($8.50) in a sturdy herb-flecked flour tortilla was stuffed with scrambled eggs, smoky pieces of fish, green onion, and giant caper buds with cream cheese. The Tri-Tip Burrito ($8.50) included a sauté of onion, tomato and jalapeño with eggs and chunks of meat and two melting cheeses.

The specialty sandwich selection ($6.75 to $8.95) includes grilled wild Alaskan salmon with pesto mayonnaise, homemade meat loaf, and made-to-order deli sandwiches with choice of meat, bread, cheese, and fixings.

The warm Southwest Chicken sandwich ($7.50) in a bulbous, crisp-crusted French roll with pepperjack cheese held pieces of rotisserie chicken and bi-colored cabbage, its mayonnaise dressing spiked with smoky chipotle.

The warm Tuna Wrap ($8.50) in an aromatic onion-garlic tortilla featured a fat fillet of grilled tuna, fiery wasabi mayonnaise, and a colorful salsa of minced cucumber and bell pepper. | KP
Pixie Deli, 111 Venetian Rd., Aptos, 688-1115. Beer and wine. Open Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., and Friday through Sunday 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
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