Surf Bistro and Bakery brings eats and treats to lower Seabright
At 415 Seabright Avenue, restaurants have come and gone; recently in quick succession. But Surf Bistro and Bakery has some very unique culinary skills to offer in the building next door to Brady’s Yacht Club.
All I had ever seen of the kitchen is the narrow space where the cook works the grill, griddle and skillets. But it actually stretches back into a much larger workspace where all of the bakery goods and desserts are made. In the morning, glazed cinnamon snails, rugalach and croissants filled the bakery case. Later in the day I found muffins, cookies and blueberry bread. Special occasion cakes can also be ordered. A large brownie, its edges dipped in chocolate, was soft, moist and incredibly chocolaty.
The interior is sparsely decorated, and could use a paint job. But polished wooden tables reflected bright light refracted through the fog, and seasonal pumpkins and fresh flowers offered spots of color.
Breakfast is served daily from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. and the coffee is from Davenport’s Alta Organic. Omelets and scrambles ($7 to $11) include toast and home fries and smaller meals such as pancakes ($5 to $6) and house-made granola ($6) join a white or dark meat chicken and waffle ($10).
The Country Breakfast ($10) comes with two eggs, (my over-medium were exactly that), two pieces of thick, chewy bacon, a fat pair of plump sausages and a thin, flaky oval biscuit. There was plenty of mildly sausage-flavored gravy, which I ordered in a cup on the side.
The morning’s special was a Surf Scramble ($10). Moist eggs were mixed with flavorful, melted pepper jack cheese, green chilies, bacon and tomato. Green onions added a pleasant textural element, and the topping of creamy, sliced avocados additional color. The tender home-fries were nicely seasoned.
On the lunch menu, tapas included a half dozen Fried Polenta Sticks ($6). With crunchy edges, alone they might be considered dry, but to dip them in the smoky, spicy chipotle aioli was pure heaven. If you consider bacon to be a food group, incredible is how I describe the pair of 50-50 sliders. The patty of lean ground beef and meaty bacon in small francese rolls was pure pork pleasure, especially when topped with dill pickle and red onion.
Recommended to me was the California Chicken Sandwich ($10). A generous amount of grilled marinated chicken was placed between slices of soft francese with bacon, pepper jack cheese, avocado, red onions and lettuce. It was served with a small salad. With greens, cucumber, spicy red onion and grape tomatoes, I found the Caesar dressing nontraditional, but still tasty.
Larger salads ($8 to $12) included Baby Spinach ($12), which was topped with grape tomatoes, sliced pear and cranberries, served with a very nice, and not too sharp red wine vinaigrette and toasted crostini.
Taco Tuesday, from 5 to 10 p.m. includes $2 tacos and beers, and $3 ceviche tostadas. Pizzas are celebrated on Thursdays, and cioppino is often available on Wednesdays.
Surf Bistro and Bakery, 415 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz, 600-7787. Beer and wine. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily from 8 a.m. Visit http://surfbistro.net