Pasatiempo, which means “a relaxed pastime” is a golf course designed by internationally acclaimed Dr. Alister MacKenzie and local Marion Hollins. It is fitting then that the bar and grill that bears his name is perched on a hill overlooking the 9th fairway with a view of Santa Cruz and the bay beyond. Golfers can enjoy an early breakfast, order lunch from the kiosk at the 9th tee or enjoy post round meal and beverages, and the public is welcome. Breakfast ($7 to $10.50) served all day, includes eggs, applewood-smoked bacon, omelets, burritos, oatmeal, yogurt, fresh fruit and Grand Marnier French toast.
Thursdays through Sundays until 2:30 p.m., special brunch entrées ($10 to $13) include eggs Benedict and huevos rancheros. Lunch, which is offered from 10:30 a.m., adds appetizers, soup, salads, burgers, sandwiches, specialties and desserts. Helping ourselves to warm popcorn, we watched golfers approach the 9th green and its encircling sand-filled bunkers in which more than a few players found their balls. Salty pulled pork and crisply fried red onion rings filled a soft egg bread bun ($11), one of the numerous sandwiches sized to eat neatly back on the course. Sweet potato fries were crunchy, airy and dotted with flaked salt. Mixed greens on the huge half-order of Bleu Cobb Salad ($8) were topped with a fan of soft, pastel avocado, hard boiled egg, real bacon, chunks of grilled chicken breast and blue cheese with a side of tart blue cheese dressing. The delicious, smoky Grilled Chicken Piccata ($14) sat on a bed of angel hair pasta with capers, mushrooms and fresh parsley. Interestingly, it was served with a side of mango aioli. Sweet with a pleasant afterburn, it was tasty on the fries, and balanced the saltiness of the bacon and cheese as a Cobb dressing.
MacKenzie Bar and Grill, 20 Clubhouse Road, Santa Cruz, 459-9162. Full bar. Open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. daily, with appetizer menu from 4 p.m. Visit pasatiempo.com. | KP