Capitola Mall Farmers Market Expands
The Capitola Mall Farmers Market, which opened last summer, continues to add more vendors, like one that sells stationery, including cards that are very suitable for the holidays. The market is held in the parking lot facing Avenida 41. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday. Products include fresh produce, ready-to-eat foods (Mexican and Italian selections, fried shrimp, etc.), and beverages such as fresh juices. A new food vendor selling corn and chips will be joining the market in the near future. Craft vendors sell items including jewelry, handmade baby clothes, candles, crystals, resin pieces, and wool artwork. The market hopes to add some live music in the coming months. See wcfma.org/capitola or visit IG @capitolafarmersmarket for more information.
New hours at Pono Hawaiian Grill
Pono Hawaiian Grill (120 Union St., 831-621-7448, ponohawaiian.com/dtsc), which reopened last month, has expanded its hours. They are open from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sundays and Tuesday through Thursday, and from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Friday through Saturday (closed on Mondays). Happy hour, which is from 3-6pm daily and all day Sunday, features drink and food specials. Pono is available to book for large holiday parties “especially on weekdays, including Mondays when we’re closed,” says owner Timmy Hunt. There is live Hawaiian music on Aloha Fridays as well as music on select Saturdays and Sundays.
Also, you can now buy furikake to take home. Made in Thailand by a family-owned company, Pono Hawaiian Foods Nori Komi Furikake brand is gluten-free and free of GMO ingredients and preservatives. Not familiar with furikake? It is a dry condiment seasoning made with sesame seeds, nori seaweed, and more. You can use it on rice, noodles, avocado toast, and other dishes.
Small Business Saturday Presents Golden Envelope Contest
This Saturday, there will be 300 gold envelopes hidden inside shopping bags at stores in downtown Santa Cruz. Once customers finish paying for their purchases, they can check their bag to see if they received an envelope. Some will have a $10 gift card to a downtown retailer, others will have a coupon for free hot cocoa at a local coffee shop, and several will have Downtown Dollars. Great prizes include tickets to the Guerreros de Santa Cruz. Participating businesses include The Penny Ice Creamery, Kianti’s Pizza & Pasta Bar, Pono Hawaiian Grill, Lupulo Craft Beer House and Bookshop Santa Cruz. Visit downtownsantacruz.com/do/the-golden-envelope for more details.
Pleasure Pizza and East Side Eatery support youth arts
Pleasure Pizza (4000 Portola Dr., 831-475-4002, placerpizzasc.com/pleasurepizza/) and East Side Eatery (800 41st Ave., 831-431-6058, placerpizzasc.com/home/) are hosting a fundraiser Giving Tuesday for the Live Oak Educational Foundation (liveoakedfoundation.org) from 11 am to 9 pm on November 29. The restaurants will donate 30% of sales to the foundation; customers must say they are supporting Live Oak’s fundraiser when they order. Dine-in and take-out orders count; delivery orders are not eligible. Proceeds will benefit the Foundation’s support for visual and performing arts programming in Live Oak School District schools.
West Cliff event with food trucks, shopping
There will be a two-day West Cliff Holiday Outdoor Market from 10 am to 4 pm Saturday and Sunday at the Lighthouse and Surfer’s parking lots in West Cliff. This market will feature products from local artisans and businesses, as well as food trucks. Visit brotherspromotions.com/event/west-cliff-holiday-outdoor-market-november-25-26-2022/ for more details.
Dinner with winemaker Persephone plus new schedule
Persephone (7945 Soquel Dr., Aptos, 831-612-6511, persephonerestaurant.com) is hosting a winemakers dinner with Salinas-based micro-bodega Samuel Louis Smith at 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Five course wine pairings include Saffron Mussel Soup with 20 Chardonnay, Spear Vineyard, St. Rita Hills, and Braised Leg of Lamb with Mint Gremolata paired with 21 Gamay Noir, Viña Escolle, St. Lucia Highlands. Tickets are $134 via the website.
Also, the restaurant is open for dinner on Wednesdays starting November 30. It will serve a “fixed-price pasta” menu that includes vegetarian and vegan options.
‘Holigay’ market with LGBTQ+ vendors on tap
The Neighbor’s second annual Holigay Market, featuring more than 20 LGBTQ+ artists and vendors, is from 2-6 p.m. Saturday at Greater Purpose Brewing Co. (21517 East Cliff Drive). Learn more at eventbrite.com/e/the-neighbors-2nd-annual-holigay-market-tickets-466512791317. A donation to The Neighbor seed fund is suggested, but not required, to participate. The Neighbor is envisioned as a queer cafe and pub, giving back to local and global communities. Read more at theneighborspub.org.
Holiday Orders Open at Gayle’s
Gayle’s Bakery (504 Bay Ave., 831-462-1200, gaylesbakery.com) has begun accepting Christmas pre-orders and strongly recommends ordering early as quantities are limited. Selections include traditional turkey dinners, lasagna or tri-tip dinners, and holiday appetizer platters for pick-up on December 23 and 24. Specialty desserts include mini or regular-sized Buche de Noel (Christmas log), “Winter Princess” cake, and cookies like red and green chessboards and festive trees. Many of the sweets and cakes are available from December 1st.
Staff of Life continues wine tasting
Staff of Life Natural Foods (906 E Lake Ave.) continues Wine Down Wednesday through the end of 2022. There is free wine tasting from 5-7 pm every Wednesday. Upcoming events are Quintessential Wines on November 23, Monterey Bay Wines on November 30, Amy Atwood Selections on December 7, “champagne, reds & sparklers” on December 14, Quintessential on December 21 and “sparklers and champagne” December the 28th.
Additionally, the staff is hosting holiday tasting events at their two locations featuring wine, cheese, charcuterie, and cakes; tickets are $25 in advance and benefit the local community. The Watsonville event is December 2 (eventbrite.com/e/holiday-and-entertaining-inspiration-and-tasting-watsonville-tickets-464765685677) and the Santa Cruz event is December 3 (eventbrite.com/e /holiday-and-entertaining-inspiration-and-tasting-santa-cruz-tickets-465325600397.
Coming soon mobile bar affiliated with Mentone
“Drinks by Mentone: A Mobile Bar Truck,” operated by the people behind Mentone Restaurant in Aptos, was offered for the first time at the recent Big Sur Food and Wine Festival. They will begin mobile bar service in spring 2023 and selections will include beer, cocktails, and wine. For more information on renting this for a private event, visit mentonerestaurant.com/drinksbymentone or stay tuned on Instagram @drinksbymentone.
Far West Fungi supports homeless garden project
In honor of Giving Tuesday, a day to help the poor and hungry in their community, mushroom vendor Far West Fungi is donating 5% of all Black Friday sales (since November 25) to the nonprofit for-profit Homeless Garden Project. This includes sales at the Santa Cruz store, as well as at the San Francisco store and online at farwestfungi.com.
Quick Bites, compiled by Tara Fatemi Walker, is your weekly slice of Santa Cruz County restaurant, food and beverage news. Submit articles to [email protected] (Sunday 7pm, that week’s column deadline). Want local food and drink news on the go? Follow the Sentinel food team on Twitter @santacruzfood.