Cafe Cruz: Convivially cruising for a decade and a half

Full story: Santa Cruz Sentinel

On my first trip to Italy, an exuberant local guide gave me a whirlwind behind-the-scenes tour of Rome, then announced, "Now we're going to a real populare' restaurant -- for the people." The colorful trattoria where we went was jammed with singing, shouting people, having a joyously boisterous time.

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I miss

Santa Cruz, CA

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#1
Feb 10, 2010
 

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The Grape Steak... :(
CapMom

Castro Valley, CA

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#2
Feb 10, 2010
 
I've never had a bad meal or lousy service at Cafe Cruz. My family has gone there for celebrations for 15 years and for Christmas Eve dinner for 12 - can't be beat - love, love love their appetizers and often order an assortment to share instead of ordering off of the dinner menu. Love love love the calamari!
Todd

Rhinelander, WI

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#3
Feb 10, 2010
 
"My" meal from the beginning has always been the smoked boneless pork chops...and they have never failed me.
41st ave

Daly City, CA

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#4
Feb 10, 2010
 
Pretty average and overrated. Everything they do can easily be duplicated at home. I do admit though the place always has a fun festive feeling. The food? meh
41st ave

Daly City, CA

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#5
Feb 10, 2010
 
I miss wrote:
The Grape Steak...:(
Doesn't Jerry still own this place? It didn't mention his name as one of the owners.
Soquel local

San Ramon, CA

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#6
Feb 10, 2010
 
Quit the wining already. The place is busy and therefore a little loud. Service is the best, given the long time staff. Food is always great. This is one of if not the best all around resturant in the County if not the region. Can't go wrong. Give it up Ann!
grumbler

Hercules, CA

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#7
Feb 10, 2010
 

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Not sure which has the bigger cougar scene, this place or the Crows Nest. I've had good food at Cafe Cruz, but it is not a place to go if there is a vegetarian in your party.
Peking

United States

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#8
Feb 10, 2010
 
41st ave wrote:
Pretty average and overrated. Everything they do can easily be duplicated at home. I do admit though the place always has a fun festive feeling. The food? meh
I totally agree. I think that the draw of this place are the seating options, especially the patio and bar. The food is the same old, same old, definitely uninspired. Restaurants stopped serving blackened anything back in the late 70's, but it's persistent here. The raw garlic comes of out a jar of Christopher Ranch. The problem that Parker had with her steak is not uncommon here.

I too fondly remember the Grape Steak.
CapMom

Castro Valley, CA

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#9
Feb 10, 2010
 
41st ave wrote:
<quoted text>
Doesn't Jerry still own this place? It didn't mention his name as one of the owners.
I read he recently sold it - the grape steak was a hoot.
Jimmy the non-Greek

United States

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#10
Feb 10, 2010
 

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I remember the Grapesteak, too, when I lived in Santa Cruz. It was all right if you wanted to cook your own meal... which never was an attraction for me. I ruined several good steaks before I realized it was better to go to a place where the chef does it in the kitchen.(Now that I'm a chef, my skills have improved a lot.)

As for the undercooked steak, it's better for the chef to go conservative on cooking time. You can always cook longer, but you can't reverse it. Diners may say "medium rare" when they mean "rare" or "medium." A chef doesn't want to be in the business of tossing out an expensive piece of meat because he or she guessed wrong about the customer's intent.

Peking, don't you ever say anything that isn't judgmental? Restaurants stopped blackening in the 70s?? Obviously that's not true. If it's on the menu, diners must be ordering it even if someone else decreed that it isn't fashionable anymore.
41st ave

Daly City, CA

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#11
Feb 10, 2010
 
CapMom wrote:
<quoted text>
I read he recently sold it - the grape steak was a hoot.
Thanks for the update. I didn't hear about him leaving. They are still doing a great business, just not for me. I wish them well, all business owners in this economy deserve a pat on the back.
Richard Saunders

Alameda, CA

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#12
Feb 10, 2010
 
Raw garlic out of a jar?

That is pretty bad sign of laziness on part of the chef.

I don't agree with the blackened bit. I think that trend ended a lot later than the seventies. LOL.
Peking wrote:
<quoted text>
I totally agree. I think that the draw of this place are the seating options, especially the patio and bar. The food is the same old, same old, definitely uninspired. Restaurants stopped serving blackened anything back in the late 70's, but it's persistent here. The raw garlic comes of out a jar of Christopher Ranch. The problem that Parker had with her steak is not uncommon here.
I too fondly remember the Grape Steak.
Someone Else

San Luis Obispo, CA

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#14
Feb 10, 2010
 
Try the Ahi Salad on the starter list, can't miss! I also remember the Grapesteak and the wait person (female) with the really LONG hair.
better be careful

Santa Cruz, CA

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#15
Feb 10, 2010
 
Keep sending your steak back and you know what happens in the kitchen? Chefs hate when people send thier food back.
Hello

Daly City, CA

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#16
Feb 10, 2010
 
better be careful wrote:
Keep sending your steak back and you know what happens in the kitchen? Chefs hate when people send thier food back.
That is a 'myth'. I've worked in the restaurant business for over 40 years and have only seen 1 instance and it wasn't from anyone in the kitchen.
nope

Santa Cruz, CA

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#17
Feb 10, 2010
 
Hello wrote:
<quoted text>
That is a 'myth'. I've worked in the restaurant business for over 40 years and have only seen 1 instance and it wasn't from anyone in the kitchen.
No way!! B.S.
That steak came back a bit slimy...
Laura

Aptos, CA

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#18
Feb 11, 2010
 
Soquel local wrote:
Quit the wining already. The place is busy and therefore a little loud. Service is the best, given the long time staff. Food is always great. This is one of if not the best all around resturant in the County if not the region. Can't go wrong. Give it up Ann!
Noise level is not just a function of how busy a place is, but the acoustics - height of ceilings, whether materials absorb or reflect sound, etc. There was a trend for awhile to actually create restaurants that would magnify the noise on the idea that it makes the place seem active and hip. Note to restaurant owners: the baby boomers are aging, and we often enjoy conversation with our meals!

I have had really good meals at a Cafe Cruz and a couple of mediocre ones. Agree with Todd about the smoked pork chops.
Cruzer

Los Angeles, CA

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#19
Jun 17, 2013
 
Someone Else wrote:
Try the Ahi Salad on the starter list, can't miss! I also remember the Grapesteak and the wait person (female) with the really LONG hair.
Was her name Lynn?

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