Return to the Beach

dining_BeachStCafeIt’s that wonderful time of year when wildly crashing waves put on an energetic winter show. There is also no wait for a table at favorite beachfront restaurants, including Beach Street Cafe, where you can enjoy champagne brunch any day of the week.

In this century-old stucco structure with worn wood floors, an extensive collection of art prints by Maxfield Parrish hang from paneled walls. His illustrations advertised products, graced the covers of magazines such as Hearst and Harpers, and brought life to children’s storybooks. Turning from the art, I looked out large windows to see the tips of the Main Beach waves.

Scrambles and omelettes are served with sautéed potatoes and fresh orange muffins. The Chorizo Scramble ($8.95) is a favorite from the specials board. I’m fond of the moist Smoked Salmon Omelette ($10.95) with softly smoked pink fish. The little ones enjoy pancakes and French toast.

Three Hollandaise-covered brunch dishes ($10.95 to $12.95) are served with orange juice or a mimosa. Eggs Sardou employs an artichoke heart filled with spinach in place of the English muffin.

Cold sandwiches ($6.95 to $7.95) include both BLTs and pastrami. One of the hot sandwiches ($8.95) pairs cheese and Virginia ham. The Mile-High Burger is a thick 1/3 pound of meaty goodness, cooked to specified perfection, and served with all the trimmings.

I was stunned by the size of Stuffed Avocado and Shrimp ($12.95). A mountain of multicolored greens was piled on frilly lettuce leaves, topped with thin circles of sharp red onion, retro alfalfa sprouts, and two halves of soft, ripe avocado overflowing with large, shelled shrimp. The accompanying creamy Louis dressing was loaded with pickles.

Beach Street Cafe, 399 Beach St., Santa Cruz, 426-7621. Beer and wine. Serving breakfast and lunch daily, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit beachstreetcafe.com


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