Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 19th
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Holy Calzone!

dining aptospizzaAptos Pizza is now serving weekday lunches. Located on busy Soquel Drive, oaks and redwoods of The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park create a calming view through the windows at the rear of the tiny restaurant. 

The interior decoration includes surfboards and trophies from the many youth teams the restaurant has sponsored. I perused the neatly arranged remembrances, including weathered window frames holding mirrors instead of glass, and historic photographs. There were photos of the Aptos Cash Store and post office, which now houses Cafe Sparrow, and the flat-roofed Bayview Hotel before the front sidewalk was enclosed as part of the restaurant.

You can build your own pizza beginning with a small, medium, or large cheese pie ($10.99/$14.99/$17.50), and add your choice of toppings (each $.75/$1/$1.50). I selected sausage, pepperoni and mushroom.

I enjoyed a made-to-order spinach salad ($5.25) with tart Italian dressing on the side. The fresh greens were joined by sharp red onion, chopped tomato, thinly sliced mushrooms and excellently flavored crumbles of blue cheese.

The thin crust of the pizza was sturdy enough to hold its load of meats without collapsing. I especially liked the sauce, which was thick, tart, and brimming with oregano flavor. The sausage and pepperoni were plentiful, spicy, and sliced paper thin, as were the mushrooms.

I fell in love with the Calzone ($11.99), which was made lunch-sized for me ($7.50). The crust was so thin, it was crisp throughout, even at the crimped edges. Layers of spicy pepperoni, salami and sausage were tempered by thin slices of salty ham and spread with the wonderful thick sauce. The fillings spread all the way to the edges. Topped with herbs and mozzarella, it plumped to an amazingly airy, yet filling meal. | KP

Aptos Pizza, 7945 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 688-4030. Open for lunch weekdays 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., and dinner nightly from 4 p.m.

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