I admit it, I had never been to Kelly’s Bakery, although I have enjoyed her products for years from a market that stocks a nice variety of locally made loaves. When I first moved here, I playfully called them “designer breads.” This plethora of unique artisan recipes, like those I had tasted in Europe, was nowhere to be found in the suburbia from whence I emigrated.
Last week we finally stopped at Kelly’s for lunch, where unique and artisan also describe the fare. For breakfast, you can run off with a cream cheese bagel ($2.75) or relax on the patio enjoying poached eggs with creamy polenta ($7.50) or smoked salmon and avocado ($10.95) and perhaps a chai ($3) or Café Macchiato ($2.25).
At lunch there is a selection of pressed sandwiches including ham and Gruyère ($7.25) and roasted eggplant ($8.55), as well as burgers and fries. There are heaping plates of baked goat cheese and Parisian salads ($7.90 to $9.35), a number of which were pre-made for a quick getaway. Steaming bowls of soup ($4.50) were served with broiled bread.
We placed our order, which included a couple of glasses of fresh-brewed iced tea, flavored with a delicious hint of mango. Milkshakes ($4) are now also available, prepared with house-made ice cream.
I was craving a simple tuna sandwich ($6.85). The smooth tuna salad, which was not overdressed, contained bits of pickle and red onion. It was served between two huge oval slices of sourdough bread with romaine and rings of vinegar-marinated red onions.
Chicken Durango ($9.25) included seasoned breast meat, avocado and romaine. Both sandwiches were plated with tart tarragon-brined cornichons and a selection of salty olives.
Kelly’s French Bakery, 402 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 423-9059. Open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Saturday through Thursday, and until 8 p.m. on Fridays. Visit kellysfrenchbakery.com.