FOOD: The Farm
If you’re ever in Aptos looking for a good breakfast or lunch, I recommend The Farm Bakery and Cafe, 6790 Soquel Dr. The fun shop offers great coffee and other hot beverages, as well as easy grab-and-go pastry items. Recently I sat down for brunch, trying the croissant breakfast sandwich with egg, cheese and ham. It was made on a giant croissant—as big as my hand—and the eggs were cooked perfectly. Afterwards I perused their attached gift shop, which sells everything from mugs to scented lotion.
DRINK: Cat & Cloud
I was very excited to hear that Cat & Cloud Coffee has opened a new location in the blossoming Aptos Village Project. The shop is a charming, open space with a very friendly, helpful staff. I had already had too much coffee the day that I visited, so I settled for a tea: white coconut cream tea from The Art of Tea company. While not my favorite flavor, it was still an enjoyable way to warm up. I will definitely be back to try their coffee soon.
FUN: Bird watching
There is a reason Watsonville has become a destination for bird watchers (aka “twitchers”) from across the world. Every year, our town hosts a big portion of the Monterey Bay Birding Festival. But individuals and smaller groups can be seen almost daily hiking out towards Struve or Watsonville Slough for their chance at glimpsing their favorite rare bird. Last year I took a great hike recently with the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, where we even spotted a large barn owl fly out of a tree right in front of us. Let’s bust out those binoculars!
FOOD: El Frijolito
When I think about Watsonville, I think about locally-owned, Mexican restaurants with delicious food. El Frijolito Restaurant on Alexander Street definitely fits the description The food is fresh and filling, and the prices are respectable. I don’t think I’ve gone more than a couple months without stopping for a quick lunch or a sit down dinner. At lunch, their super burrito with carne asada is a savory delight to sink your teeth. For dinner, the flautas plate, which comes with a big side of beans and rice as well as a small salad, takes me back to my grandma’s cooking.
DRINK: Katie’s Coldpress
The quirky combinations available from the traveling juice producer, which works from a commercial kitchen in Watsonville, are a refreshing change of pace from the typical juices found at restaurants and big box stores. Their Heart Beet (carrot, apple, beet and lemon) and Army Greens (kale, parsley, cucumber, apple, romaine and lemon) always give me a shot of crisp jolt of veggies that I admit are usually lacking in my diet. Katie’s Coldpress does not have a brick and mortar location, but they do set up at Old Monterey Farmer’s Market on Alvarado Street on Tuesdays and the Carmel-by-the-Sea Farmer’s Market on Thursdays. They also do home delivery. For info: katiescoldpress.com.
FUN: Toy Story 4
I really shouldn’t have liked Toy Story 4 as much as I did, but I couldn’t help myself. With it already in its fifth week in the theaters, I’m sure many have already seen the third followup to one of my childhood favorites. For those who have not, I highly recommend this swashbuckling journey that, at its heart, is a compelling story of the child-parent relationship wrapped in a hilarious package of fun characters. The addition of Ducky and Bunny, voiced by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, respectively, alone make this flick worth the price of admission.