A weekly column that celebrates local businesses — especially eateries, watering holes, coffee shops and the like.
La Fondita: enchiladas
Having our offices in downtown Watsonville has been a delight for me come lunchtime. So many great restaurants. So little time—and money. I’ve started to warm up to La Fondita, which has a space in the small business complex on E. 5th Street. The Mexican food joint is a hidden gem with quick service and fresh-to-order grub. My favorite dish so far is the enchiladas, which come covered in sour cream and queso fresco—a crumbly cheese used in Mexican cuisine. They remind me of enchiladas mineras, a dish that’s famous in my home state of Guanajuato.
Mr. Z’s Crepes & Teas: avocado smoothie
I’m not a big fan of bubble tea, but I am a big fan of smoothies. Mr. Z’s, the newest addition to The Hangar business hub on Aviation Way, has an avocado smoothie that puts a smile on my face. They have several other smoothie flavors and they give you the ability to mix and match to keep things interesting.
Halloween Maze of Horror
I like getting scared—whether it’s by a spooky and tense horror movie, or a terrifying fright walk—so I am excited to see what the folks at the Watsonville Youth Center have to offer in their Halloween Maze of Horror, set for Oct. 30-31 from 5-8 p.m. It’s only $2 and I’ve heard rave reviews from years past.
If you ever find yourself hungry in the Sunset District of San Francisco, check out Marnee Thai. Consistently voted one of the best places for Thai food in the city, Marnee has two locations, on Irving Street and 9th Avenue. I’ve been to and enjoyed both. Recently I stopped by the one on Irving Street and had a delicious dinner: a moderately-spicy red curry over chicken and vegetables, including perfectly-cooked bamboo shoots, with a pot of sticky rice on the side. The staff was friendly but not pushy, and the price of the meal reasonable for what we got. Learn more at marneethaisf.com.
Mr. Z’s Crepes and Tea: Boba Tea
Mr. Z’s Crepes and Tea opened recently at The Hangar, a burgeoning business complex at Watsonville Municipal Airport. I haven’t tried their crepes, but last week I did order a boba tea. Boba, also known as bubble tea, is a tea-based treat originated in Taiwan. I had a delicious black milk tea with honey, lavender and tapioca “pearls” at the bottom. The drink tasted fresh and was obviously handmade with care. Mr. Z’s might just have the best bubble tea in the county—we’re definitely lucky to have them here in Watsonville.
Crystal Bay Farm
After visiting Crystal Bay Farm to cover a story last week, I found myself going back a few days later to pick out some pumpkins for my front porch. The farm, located on the corner of Zils Road and San Andreas Road, is always bustling this time of the year with its annual pumpkin patch. Each pumpkin and gourd variety are creatively displayed with informational write-ups (they boast some unique heirloom varieties). This, along with the festive Halloween decorations, farm animals and friendly staff really adds to the experience.