From The Editor

Editor's Note

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Letters to the Editor

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Santa Cruz Restaurant Week has grown steadily since it started in 2009, but this year it’s hit a whole new level. Not just in the number of restaurants participating—after all, there are only so many places on the local dining scene that can deliver the SCRW experience, combining a special fine-dining menu with an excellent deal, and as of this year most of them are participating.

No, the different feeling around Restaurant Week this year isn’t so much about breadth as it is about depth. This is the first year I’ve noticed the cultural impact SCRW is beginning to have on the way we dine out in Santa Cruz, and the way our favorite restaurants create a culinary experience for us.

GT editors and writers talked to dozens of chefs, owners and managers in preparing our handy pullout guide to what there is to be found in this year’s SCRW. Personally, I marvel at the creative ways they’re using Restaurant Week to convey their culinary visions. Chefs told me they now use SCRW to introduce their fall menus to diners, or test out new dishes they plan to add, or bring back items they had previously dropped, but keep getting requests for. You can see how big this monster of an issue is, but it’d have to be far bigger, even, if we could include every detail we were told about the preparation that went into SCRW at restaurants around Santa Cruz County. What was most incredible was hearing how hard they worked to make their special menus actually special.

That’s why I’m looking forward to dining out in Santa Cruz this week more than ever before. Bon appetite!

Steve Palopoli| Editor-in-Chief



Jacob Pierce, thank you for the “history of the Crepe Place” article (GT, 10/8). I love those guys. They have provided a wonderful venue for food, drink and music.

But the description of those “hippies who came before us” could be a little clearer. I was a founding member of the previous successful restaurant at 1134 Soquel Avenue, known as the Thunder Trading Company and Frontier Deli /Slightly Kosher Irvings. There was an interim restaurant in 1990 called the Blue Parrot. I helped in the kitchen there, but, alas, the owner did not gel with Santa Cruz and it folded.

But I digress.The Thunder Trading Company and Frontier Deli /Slightly Kosher Irvings opened in 1979. Big brunches were our claim to fame. The Plank feast alone served up to 50 guests.

It was also a Native American spiritual community. We all worked for the goal of giving to the community, and our own personal spiritual growth. Folks at higher learning centers at Esalen and Topanga Canyon knew us well. The renowned scientist and personal growth explorer Stanislav Grof, known as the father of L.S.D.; dolphin researcher and isolation tank inventor Dr. John Lilly; death and dying pioneer Elizabeth Kubla Ross, to name a few.

We also sponsored Meta Tantay, a Native American spirtual camp in Carlin Nevada watched over by Rolling Thunder, the Cherokee medicine man whose name graced our banner.

We designed and built the restaurant, patio gardens, seating areas and decks from a backyard space that was void of anything but a cement slab. Lots of love and years of attention have left Santa Cruz with a gem of an oasis to take respite from a busy day.

In 1984, we moved part of our family to Horse Creek in Siskiyou County, bought 500 acres and started the one of the first organic garlic farms in California. We sold the deli in 1989, after deciding to bring to a close a chapter that had given so much to us and needed more attention than we had left. It folded shortly after.

We have always found Santa Cruz a special place. Some of us still live here, others have moved on. Go Crepe Place! You folks uphold a wonderful tradition of good food and great vibes. We love you.

J.J. Smith

For the “Deli family”


Re: Sugar By the Pound

You go, girls! The world needs more bluegrass music! Sorry I missed the Felton gig, but will keep my eyes peeled for future gigs!

— Davo

Re: Beer Bus

Wow, this sounds amazing. Me and my girlfriend (who’s a beer lover too) have to do this. Next time we’re in town for sure. Thanks for breathing a little life back into Santa Cruz.      

— Steve Vogel

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photo contest


EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS The winner of our Santa Cruz Restaurant Week Photo Contest, taken at Main Street Garden Café. Photographer Wai-ling Elizabeth Quist wins an SCRW gift certificate. Congrats, and thanks to everyone who submitted an entry.

good work

Greatly Stately
After getting off to a slow start to the legislative season last year, Assemblymember Mark Stone has had several bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown recently, including three in the past month. One of those bills helps vulnerable pregnant mothers by allowing them to access important social services earlier in their terms. Stone was also named chair of the Legislative Environmental Caucus last month.

good idea

Pour La Saison
This fall, you can taste the deliciousness of the Santa Cruz Mountains, without traversing winding mountain roads, when the Downtown Santa Cruz Wine Walk kicks off at 3 p.m. on Nov. 16. At Abbott Square, tasters can check-in, pick up a wine glass, and grab a map of the tasting locations, which will include wineries like Silver Mountain Vineyards and Bonny Doon Vineyard.


“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” —Ernestine Ulmer

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