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… I have sad news to share from Capitola. Sharon Kay Hadley, the owner of Fish Lady Market, died last week. Known to many as simply the Fish Lady, Sharon has served the culinary community through her boutique for over thirty years, first on South Main Street in Soquel and more recently at the corner of Bay and Capitola Avenues in Capitola. It offered fish, meat, products and other quality and often local groceries. Fish Lady market will continue despite loss of ‘mermaid’, daughter says Lacey Kayunder the helm of Sharon’s husband and “co-captain” Mike Hadley. My deepest condolences to the family and crew of Fish Lady.
… There are over a dozen craft breweries in Santa Cruz County, and I’ve reported quite a few collaboration beers, but never a brewery-barber shop collaboration. Well two years ago Jose Moya, owner of the Get Faded hair salon in Santa Cruz, walked into the dining room of the Buena Vista Brewery across from the old Sash Mill. Him and the brewer Chuck Ornelas hit it off and decided to work together to create a special beer for the hair salon. The result was Bien Faded, a custom hazy IPA that Moya offers customers when they come in for a cut. It was such a success that Ornelas and Moya teamed up again. SoFria, their second collab, is a kettle-sour with kiwi fruit and strawberries, a not too sour fruity thirst quencher that feels very refreshing in this hot weather. The name is a combination of “so fria” – so cold – and the name of Moya’s daughter, Sofia.
This Friday, you’ll have the opportunity to try SoFria, Bien Faded and other Buena Vista beers at a launch party at Cruz Kitchen & Taps on the corner of Laurel and Pacific in downtown Santa Cruz. Co-owner Mia Thorn tells me it’s going to be a real “fiesta” – the Santa Cruz Car Club will park its classic and custom lowriders in the parking lot while the Cali-reggae band Santa Cruda strums inside. After 6 p.m., a DJ will play on the terrace and the chef Damien DeWorken will offer special small plates in addition to its full menu. Anyone who orders a beer will also be entered into a raffle to win prizes from local businesses like Botanic & Luxe and Berdel’s.
While everyone likes to party, Thorn thinks this event is important. She, Ornelas, and Moya are all local Latinx business owners, and through this collaboration, she hopes they help raise awareness in their community. “Joining forces with these guys is so refreshing, because we wonder how can we raise the community together and do it in an authentic way? I feel like I’m part of something I’ve never been part of before. The event runs from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is free.
… Mark your calendars for the first weekend of August – the local festival celebrating the biggest and most profitable harvest in the Pajaro Valley is back. The Watsonville Strawberry Festival is back with a bang, with carnival rides for all ages, treats, local artists and vendors, and a lineup of musical entertainment – and probably a few people dressed as strawberries, because that’s how they roll. This family-friendly event is arguably our finest local festival and is held in the heart of Watsonville, in historic downtown. See you on Friday August 5 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday August 6 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday August 7 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. More info on cityofwatsonville.org.
The My Lily Belli on Food newsletter launched six months ago – that means for six months, timely, critical – and often amusing – reports on your local food and drink scene have arrived in your inbox every week reception. If you enjoyed reading, now is the time to become a member. We are now offering 20% off membership with offer code Lily, or click on the image below. Only members have full access to all of Lookout’s content, including Eaters Digest, published every Friday with restaurant news, reviews and the city’s top foodie events every week. Lookout strives to create a better Santa Cruz County with high-quality, trusted local news and information, and that includes sharing the stories of the people behind our food. Become a member today.
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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Are you looking for wasabi or fresh sea beans? How about a skillfully prepared veggie burger? Looking for your favorite foreign treats and snacks? Check out the summary of Friday Eatersin which I reveal where to find all those hard-to-find items in Santa Cruz County, as well as the two local restaurants and a food truck that made Yelp’s Top 100 list in the Bay Area.
9 — Number of local restaurants, wineries, bars and breweries where you can enjoy boozy slushies, a summer trend that has spread throughout the county. Even restaurants with serious cocktail programs are getting in on the fun with creative, well-designed versions of this childhood drink. Check out my guide to see what’s on the menu.
“What’s it going to hurt?” Either there’s a vacancy there or we’ve got a great little business coming along and thriving. — Capitola Mall Manager Brian Kirkwhich is working to attract local businesses to the mall as the timetable for its eventual reconstruction is pushed back to a later date.
LIFE WITH THE BELLIS
Do you remember a few months ago when my then eight month old son Marco was just starting to explore different foods and seemed to eat whatever I put in front of him? Today, that seems like a distant dream. Now 14 months old and squarely in childhood, he has entered a phase I had hoped to avoid: difficulty eating. Once he approached new foods with curious interest; now he has apparently decided that he has tried everything worth trying and has chosen only “the best” foods to sustain himself. Unfortunately, this is a very short list which includes scrambled eggs, pasta with tomato sauce (which counts as a vegetable, right?), rice, most fruits, yogurt , mozzarella cheese sticks, crackers and Mama’s smoothie (which thank goodness has spinach in it at least). The introduction of any meat is met with utter disdain and he has never knowingly eaten a vegetable. I know his behavior is completely normal for his age and I will continue to introduce these foods to him in a “no pressure” environment until he is ready, although I sometimes fear he will turn into plate of spaghetti. His doctor tells me he is in perfect health, but what really comforts me is this: until the age of 14, I was also a picky eater. New foods intimidated me throughout my childhood until a family trip to Italy opened my mind to new flavors. The dam broke, the dining experiences rushed in, and the rest is history. To other parents who may be struggling as well, I see you. Do not abandon.
THIS WEEK, I LIGHT THE GRILL…
… to test my new kebab skewers. The 24-inch-long, one-inch-wide stainless steel skewers could be more accurately described as swords, which is fitting given the kebab’s legendary origins – Turkish soldiers are said to have used their swords to grill the meat over an open fire. I was inspired by Naz Deravian’s cookbook”The bottom of the jar», a beautiful tribute to Persian home cooking. I don’t know Persian cuisine very well, but I was captivated by the beautiful photos and dishes in the book, and decided to dive in and experience it in my kitchen at home. I thought the kebab is a good place to start. The long, wide skewers will keep meat and vegetables from falling off while allowing my charcoal grill to evenly cook everything to perfection. I’m already salivating. Wish me good luck!
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FOOD NEWS TO READ
➤ Controversial ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ group announces 2022 winners (Enjoy your meal)
➤ Restaurants are understaffed, putting a heavy strain on customers and workers (CNBC)
➤ Find out more about the 2020 Vintage (edible Monterey berry)
Thanks for reading! Eat well, my friends.