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chilaquiles in santa cruz

no i haven't, but i haven't been looking either. I have enjoyed the meals i've had at el chipotle in downtown soquel (shrimp tacos are really great there), and i saw that they have chilaquiles on their menu, but i live on the west side of santa cruz so i don't go down to eat around there too often. how about you? oh, there was one other thing about those chilaquiles at puerto escondido, on the menu it said they came with "bean sauce," and none of us were particularly thrilled by the sounds of that (we assumed it would just be like refried beans or something... but weren't sure?) so we asked for them without the bean sauce. if you did want beans on the side and didn't want 'bean sauce,' i'm sure you could just ask for regular beans.

Mar 14, 2007
blaekwon in California

chilaquiles in santa cruz

so a friend recommended the chilaquiles at cafe puerto escondido (139 water street, santa cruz - corner of water and river, i think) and i went there (for the first time) with a group of 4 a couple of sundays ago. for those who don't know, chilaquiles are tortilla chips drenched in sauce and usually topped with cheese, sour cream, onions, and a type of meat or eggs. (here's a pic and explanation on wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilaquiles) ... so we all love 'em and were eager to try. we got there around 11am on sunday- there was only one other person eating in there and the waitress came over quickly with menus (i think you can just order at the counter too if you know what you want). they brought us chips and salsa, and we all agreed the chips were really good- homemade, crispy and delicious (if a little greasy... but that's how homemade chips tend to be, right?). the salsa was not chunky but it was spicy and delicious. we all ordered coffee, which we weren't sure would be any good, but it was strong and tasted great. 2 of us had chilaquiles verdes (made with a green tomatillo sauce) and the other 2 had the rojos (made with a red sauce) - all with eggs (i think they also offer them with chicken) . they were served in huge, nice-looking square bowls and came topped with onions, sour cream, and eggs scrambled to perfection with cheese (tasted like cheddar). i thought they were really quite good, and for about $6 per order, you can't beat it. no one was able to finish their meal- we all had at least 1/3 of the dish leftover. You could probably split it between 2 people and be satisfied. I ordered the green chilaquiles, and i liked them- a medium spicy sauce- but i found that the red sauce was a little more complex and to my liking. it looks like they have a couple of special weekend dishes that would be worth trying (the chiles rellenos stand out in my mind). it was a nice quiet atmosphere and it seems to be a family-run place that could use a little more business. they have parking too out front, which is nice. if you like chilaquiles - you should definitely give them a try! let me know what you think.

Mar 13, 2007
blaekwon in California

Updated Santa Cruz restaurant reviews/opinions, please!

I went to Sitar the other day- i thought it was ok, but i am definitely not eager to go back. I would describe it as "fast food" indian food... you order at the counter and you get a number and they bring your food to your table... we had an order of samosas and they were not good- they were cold and chewy, not crispy at all- tasted like they had been sitting out for a while. i tried the chicken curry (i forget the indian name) and it was not great- the large chunks of chicken breast were hard and dry. the sauce was unremarkable. partner has the saag paneer (spinach with cheese) which was pretty good. The naan was good- hot and fresh. but the rice that came with the dishes was kind of dry and cold. i also got one of the rice puddings and there was something really funky about it... i took just one bite and called it quits. maybe it was just a bad night? it was really busy there. they also have indian wrap sandwiches which maybe are a better bet? not sure. anyway, to me it was not great, but it definitely smells a lot better than the royal taj...

Mar 13, 2007
blaekwon in California

Updated Santa Cruz restaurant reviews/opinions, please!

Just to weigh in here... I went to the Center Street Grill a few weeks ago, and the dinner was enough to make me never want to go back. I ordered a dish that was something like pasta with large shrimp in a garlic cream sauce... and while the shrimp tasted fine, the sauce was bland and reminded me of the first time i tried to make a cream sauce (when i really didn't know anything about cooking and essentially just poured some cream into a stirfry). My partner had the corned beef sandwich, which was also lackluster- a whole lotta dry corned beef on wheat bread -- with nothing else. no mayonnaise, no lettuce, no tomatoes... nada. the atmosphere also sorta made me fee like i was eating in a hotel lobby.

i have eaten a couple of times at 515 (formerly barossa grill), and i found that the food is a lot like the red room's (same owner?): inconsistent. While I remember enjoying a salmon and lentil dish, my partner ordered a vegetable soup that was bland - like vegetables sitting in water- and a grilled vegetable plate where the veggies were mushy. but i've heard mixed reviews even on those 2 dishes- it seems hit or miss. i liked the atmosphere though, and it's nice to sit out on that deck on a warm evening. i've also dined at the red room a couple times recently- their burgers are a pretty good bet and the fries are always good. i like that mini burger platter they do as well. i've had grilled sandwiches there and have found they are always really greasy. I've also had the pizzas- they are fine but nothing special. They do have a great selection of beers.

I've also been to Hula's and enjoyed it- partner liked the hawaiian style burger- i think it was a special bbq type o' sauce and sauteed onions?? and I once had the ahi tuna burger- it was a patty made with tuna and breadcrumbs and spices- i thought it was good and nicely spiced. burgers come with really yummy sweet potato fries too, which i love. i haven't had any of their drinks, but they seem to have 'fun' cocktails and it seems like it could be a good place to go with a group.

I'm interested in checking out La Posta... looks good.

hope this helps..

Feb 17, 2007
blaekwon in California