SUPPER IN SANTA CRUZ: Visiting a place, and becoming enamored with an eatery or two, is a practice well-known to anyone who has ever taken a repeat road trip to a favorite destination. You try a new café, you nosh on an empanada, and bingo: You're revisiting the spot, and the supper, from now on, period. But branching out in a town you regularly call upon, food-wise, is also a good idea, especially if you want to acquaint yourself with what chefs and brewers and winemakers are up to in the area (beyond your beloved café). How to do that? Find an annual to-do, one that invites several local food honchos down, and beverage artists, and snack around. Before long you may have four or five new favorite spots to visit when you're next at the destination. For example,
GOURMET GRAZING ON THE GREEN... is coming up in Santa Cruz, and even better than becoming acquainted with a variety of local bites (and the people who make them) is this: "Santa Cruz's premier wine and food festival" is a a fundraiser for the "Santa Cruz County Cancer Support Services." Your $65 ticket to the Saturday, Sept. 24 gathering goes help out a number of area organizations who are "dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living with cancer" in the Santa Cruz region, a very worthy and heartfelt cause, indeed.
CAN YOU JOIN IN? It's in the daytime, noon to 4 o'clock, so you can still be home by dinner (or at your Santa Cruz friend's place, if you decide to make a weekend of it). As for restaurants and participants ready to show/cook/pour, look for Niman Ranch, Sid's Smokehouse, Surf City Sandwiches, Loma Prieta Winery, Seabright Brewery, and oodles more. Learn more about the Aptos Village Park to-do now.