Midtown Marketplace

dining_consciouscreationsI first met Chef Joshua Server in 2008 at the Live Oak Farmers Market where he was cooking brunch from his Conscious Creations Catering booth. I feasted upon his bright, fruit-topped, muffin-like Coconut-Kahlua Banana Pancakes with natural maple syrup.

In May, the name Conscious Creations Cafe appeared on the door of the old Black China Bakery Cafe on Soquel Avenue, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the chance to sample more of Chef Joshua’s organic specialties.

The patio is furnished with pale blue sofas, and inside, an attractive wraparound service counter with prep and display area has been added. The cafe will double as a market featuring local products. On this day there were beautiful candies from Ashby Confections of Aptos and Fruitful jellies made from central coast produce.

The only menu is on a blackboard which lists the evening’s five-course dinner.

I started with a cool pint of Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing’s wheat beer ($5) while waiting a short time for the first course of the vegetarian meal ($15). The generous bowl of herb-scented Miso Minestrone was full of white and sweet potatoes, pasta, plump peas, and corn.

The main course included a mound of plump brown rice and lightly dressed mixed green salad with minced herbs and vegetables. The potato and black bean enchilada, made with corn tortillas, had a calm spiciness to it and was topped with sour cream.

Dessert was a delicious piece of Kahlua Banana Bread. Moist, dense, with just enough sugar, chocolaty chips, and pieces of coconut, it was topped with rolled oats.

At breakfast I relaxed over a cup of North Coast’s dark roast coffee ($2) with a warm Breakfast Burrito ($6) stuffed with eggs, potatoes and a host of herbs and vegetables. | KP

Conscious Creations Cafe and Bistro, 1121 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz. Beer and wine.

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