Windmill Cafe
Food & Drink

Breakfast Miracle at Windmill Cafe

Windmill Cafe’s croissant sandwich a hangover cure

Mary Apra, owner of Windmill Cafe, which often sources vegetables right out of their back garden, with a sauteed veggie croissant. PHOTO: CHIP SCHEUER

It’s the morning after St. Paddy’s Day, and my head is as foggy as the coastline. After nights like that, for me, there is only one cure: Windmill Cafe, and the revitalizing Sauteed Veggie Croissant sandwich.

As I enter the cozy cafe, housed inside a historic building shaped like a windmill, an involuntary sigh escapes my lungs. Stands of muffins and gluten-free cookies roost like hens along the entry, and the air is filled with the warm smells of breakfast and coffee. As always, I’m tempted by the chalkboard menu of smoothies, bagels, lunch specials, and breakfast favorites, but today I know what I want before I walk in the door. The waitress rewards my smile with a charming blue ceramic mug hand-painted with the face of an owl.

“We only give this mug to special people,” she says, sweetly.

While I wait, I thaw my brain with sips of honey-sweetened coffee and admire a collection of ceramic windmills and adorable salt and pepper shakers. There’s a peaceful vibe, with Sufjan Stevens playing softly over the methodical kitchen sounds. Windmill Cafe is the kind of place where you find that your phone stays in your pocket and you take the time to sit with your friends, bring a book or read the paper, and relax.

My sandwich arrives, and it’s like the sun comes out. Tender zucchini, broccolini, sweet snap peas, carrots, and slender asparagus spill out of the confines of the toasted croissant. The bright Dijon mustard and dill sauce complements a buttery, golden omelet perfectly, and crumbles of tangy, salty sheep’s milk feta have melted beautifully over the whole shebang. The layers of texture are delightful: soft eggs with still-crunchy vegetables, flaky pastry and melted cheese, all elevated by that zesty, delicious sauce. It’s so tasty, and so unlike any other breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had.

There’s no obligatory pile of homefries, or an out-of-season fruit cup; this meal stands on its own. And after I’ve finished, leaving nothing but croissant shrapnel on my plate, I feel nourished, satisfied, resurrected, and much more ready for the day.

21231 E. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, 464-4698, windmillcafesantacruz.com.

 

Contributor at |

Lily Stoicheff is a freelance writer living in Santa Cruz, California, where she mostly spends her time exploring food culture and telling its stories. A fermentation and craft beer enthusiast and amateur mushroom hunter, her house is overflowing with jars of things that look gross but she swears are delicious.

To Top