Fins To The Left

dining cadillaccafeeThe long menu at Watsonville’s Cadillac Café offers sensory satisfaction 

At any time of year, I find visiting the rural landscape rejuvenating. On a recent drive down Freedom Boulevard, cows on a hillside freely grazed on newly greened grass, while bright bundles of persimmon orbs dangled from leafless branches.

We were on our way to Cadillac Café, where the fin end of a pink Cadillac rests on the roof of a small, stuccoed building. Unlike other replications of 1950s diners, with their slick red and white tile and coin-operated jukeboxes, Cadillac Café boasts a neighborly ambiance with friendly servers and XM radio streaming early rock and roll. The rock-filled bathtub, punctuated with pink flamingoes, reveals that the eatery once served as a home. Pink-trimmed gray walls are embellished with photos and prints of classic cars and stars and starlets of bygone eras.

Breakfast is served all day, and most dishes include a choice of hash browns, home fries, or fruit, plus toast.

There is plenty of variety in the omelet menu ($9.50 to $9.95). Enjoy house-made salsa and Ortega chilies on the Spanish omelet and Corralitos Market’s cheesy Bavarian sausage with mushrooms and green onions.

Huevos Rancheros and a Turkey Quesadilla are found in the Classics section ($6.25 to 10.25). We ordered a two egg breakfast ($7.95). The eggs were cooked perfectly over-medium with bacon, which I found a touch crisper than I like, and hash browns, which were crunchy on the surface, and sprinkled with a seasoned mixture.

The warm, house-made cinnamon roll ($2.75), asymmetric in shape and topped with melting butter, was sweetly seasoned with honey and brown sugar.

Ten Special Scrambles ($9.25) incorporate more unique ingredients such as snow peas, zucchini, carrots, and tofu—with or without curry.

From the griddle come waffles ($5.25) and Banana French Toast ($7.50). Strawberries and blueberries were available for the fresh seasonal fruit waffles ($6.95).

There is an additional menu with a baker’s dozen of café specials as well as a whiteboard with daily creations, including a Pesto Artichoke Omelet ($9.50). A bright yellow egg folder cradled still-crisp green bell peppers, tomato, green onion and firm pieces of artichoke hearts. Home fries were nicely diced, hot, tender, and seasoned as were the hash browns.

At lunch, in addition to five meal-size salads ($6.95 to $9.25), sandwiches and burgers ($7.25 to $10.25) range from common clubs to skirt steaks, which are served with fries, salad or fruit. dining cadillaccafe

A large sunflower-colored plate of crisp iceberg lettuce mixed with bits of carrot and purple cabbage was topped with red onion, tomato, and well-herbed and crunchy croutons. The side of creamy blue cheese dressing was tart and chunky.

The Hawaiian Burger arrived open-faced. A light spread of mayonnaise coated the sesame seed-dotted bun’s top. The large hamburger patty with a hint of teriyaki marinade was topped with rings of caramelized onion, chunks of juicy grilled pineapple and a heap of melted Cheddar. The rest of the plate held a large sour pickle spear and a huge amount of lettuce with rings of yellow onion and sliced tomatoes.

Cadillac Café, 2906 Freedom Blvd. (at Corralitos Road), Watsonville, 761-1038. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.

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