Dining Reviews

Second Street Caf

foodie-file-1547Pies and tarts for all tastes—from traditional to adventurous

The holidays are the best time to eat pies. Scratch that—any time is the best time to eat pie, but they are most abundant during the holiday season, so loosen your belt and get busy. In Watsonville, Second Street Café is taking orders for pies. They did their first round of orders already for Thanksgiving, and are taking more orders for Christmas time. We interviewed owner Mackenzie Fullmer about all her delightful holiday treats.

GT: What kind of pies are you offering?

MACKENZIE FULLMER: We like to put a fun spin on the classics. We do a classic pumpkin and lemon meringue pie, along with a sweet potato, and we do a bourbon-pecan pie. Probably our most phenomenal pie would be our butterscotch, curry crust. It’s a little bit different. It takes someone a little adventurous to try it. The crust has a slight curry taste to it, but there’s also a lot of fennel in it. We roast the fennel and then we grind it and add it to the graham cracker crust along with the curry, and it gives it an otherworldly flavor. And the butterscotch we make from scratch. It’s so velvety smooth—it’s my favorite pie. We made it for the first time last year. I couldn’t believe how good it was.

Any other holiday items?

What was surprisingly popular last year, besides the pies, were the tarts: our Baltic chocolate and caramel tart and our espresso tart. People were just raving about those after the holidays were over. For Christmas we like to do homemade candy boxes and really fancy decorated sugar cookies. All year round we have things like French macarons.

How do you normally sell?

We started out with our emphasis being coffee, and then we realized that we needed to expand our menu to include food. We make really fresh, made-to-order salads and paninis, everything from scratch. In Watsonville, it’s hard to get a really fresh-produce kind of a meal. We’ve added muffins and cookies, and I do a lot of specialty cakes, like sculpted 3-D, almost Cake Boss-style cakes. I brought back our bacon cinnamon roll which was really popular. It is so good. We make our regular cinnamon rolls, and we put on a really yummy cream cheese frosting. Before we bake it we add a piece of bacon and we roll it in the cinnamon roll and then when it cooks, the bacon kind of seeps its way into every single bite of the cinnamon roll. It’s to die for.

28 2nd St. #100, Watsonville. 724-7500, secondstcafe.com


LIFE OF PIE Second Street Café’s Mackenzie Fullmer with a pear upside down cake. The cafe is now taking orders for its specialty pies, tarts and cakes. PHOTO: CHIP SCHEUER

Contributor at Good Times |

Aaron is a hard-working freelance writer with a focus on music, art, food, culture and travel. In addition to Good Times, he's a regular contributor to Sacramento News & Review, VIA Magazine and Playboy. When he's not working, he's either backpacking, arguing about music or working on his book about ska. One thing's for sure—he knows more about ska than you.

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