With bright sea foam-green Adirondack chairs scattered around the edge of Lighthouse Field, a tide chart hung on the door, and a surfboard rack outside the entrance, the vibe at Steamer Lane Supply is utterly “Santa Cruz.” Located steps away from its aquatic namesake, the cafe’s over-the-counter menu of wholesome and hearty snacks and meals, local Alta Organic coffee, and Ferrell’s donuts has made it the fueling station for surfers and West Cliff wanderers since it opened a year ago.
The quesadillas, in particular, have cultivated a fan following. Nearly as big as a sheet of printer paper, they’re folded and pressed to completely contain the evenly-distributed queso fresco, organic brown rice and additions of kimchi, pulled pork, cumin-spiced kale or albacore tuna salad. I have always placed quesadillas pretty low on the roster of Cal-Mex meals, but Steamer Lane Supply really turns it up to eleven.
Lately I’ve been stretching my lunch break to the max in order to enjoy another discovery: the Rock Cod Roll. Not only is the mild, sweet fish complemented by the tangy, herbal dressing, they also get the texture right too, as soft-on-the-outside and toasted-on-the-inside bun gives way to tender cod and crunchy cabbage. To me, it’s the perfect meal to eat while looking out over the waters where this local fish was caught.
These visits remind me that, although I’ve lived in Santa Cruz long enough to take its incredible beauty for granted sometimes, the view from West Cliff still takes my breath away.
THE BEE IN BEER
Congratulations to New Bohemia Brewing Co, whose Cherry Bomb Imperial Stout won gold for the second year in a row in the National Honey Board Beer Competition. Made with honey from Jeff Walls’ Family Farm in Soquel and hand-picked cherries from Brentwood, NuBo is celebrating their victory with live music, a special menu, and other surprises at an all-day party on Friday, Aug. 11 at the brewery.