Quick Take:

This week, Humble Sea Brewing Co. celebrates pilsner with a packed lineup at its PilsGNAR fest this Saturday, Paradise Beach Grille reopens in Capitola Village and dishes to savor from Vim Dining & Desserts and Alderwood Pacific.

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Welcome to the weekend! Looking for a delicious way to celebrate the end of the workweek? I have some suggestions.

Some good news from Capitola Village — Paradise Beach Grille reopened on Monday, welcoming back customers for lunch and dinner. And this week, I spotlight a sensational salad from the new Alderwood Pacific in downtown Santa Cruz and a seasonal squash and burrata appetizer at Westside favorite Vim Dining & Desserts.

In other news, Blossom’s Farmstore & Coffeeshop in Corralitos is closing and the market is changing hands. And head to Humble Sea Brewing Co. in Santa Cruz on Saturday for PilsGNAR, a celebration of the pilsner style with 17 contributing breweries. On Sunday, Thomas Family Farm is hosting an open house at the farm in Aptos.


Five weeks after closing due to damage sustained from January’s storms, Paradise Beach Grille reopened Monday for lunch and dinner. The restaurant, which was one of the businesses President Joe Biden visited in Capitola Village, is still undergoing some repairs, but is ready to welcome back customers and is open daily starting at 11:30 a.m. Visit paradisebeachgrille.com for more information.

Blossom's Farmstore & Coffeeshop houses a treasure trove of local products.
Blossom’s Farmstore & Coffeeshop houses a treasure trove of local products. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Blossom’s Farmstore & Coffeeshop in Corralitos is changing hands. Owners Carin Fortin and Delmar McComb of Blossom’s Biodynamic Farm are moving on from the cheerful pink stucco store at the end of the month, and the new owners officially take over March 1. Lito’s Community Café and Market will open in the space March 4. The historic building at the intersection of Corralitos Road and Freedom Boulevard will continue to house a coffee shop and offer locally grown produce, gift items and a selection of Blossom’s apothecary and fermented items.

Eat this

Vim Dining & Desserts opened in 2019 on Mission Street in Santa Cruz.
Vim Dining & Desserts opened in 2019 on Mission Street in Santa Cruz. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

My husband, Mike, and I had an incredible meal at Vim Dining & Desserts in Santa Cruz recently, and one dish in particular has stuck in my mind: the burrata with winter squash. The combination of silky burrata with sweet squash caught my eye, and the different textures incorporated into the dish had me dreaming about it for days. Sweet roasted acorn squash and thin, tart ribbons of pickled butternut squash were plated around the creamy cheese, as well as plush cubes of sweet cornbread drizzled with spicy honey. Finally, everything was dusted with crunchy toasted pepitas. It was harmonious, comforting and satisfying — as was the rest of our meal. Discover more about this somewhat hidden gem on the Westside in Friday’s story, and stop in for this dish before the spring menu arrives. More info on Vim at vimsantacruz.com.

The new Alderwood Pacific in downtown Santa Cruz puts mouthwatering burgers, a seafood raw bar and hearty mains like homemade pasta and pork schnitzel at the forefront of its menu, but I walked away from my meal there craving the smoked beet and baby kale salad. The dark, richly hued combination of silky, earthy beets, dense greens and plenty of crunch from bitter radicchio, crispy shallots, radishes and cucumbers, all tossed with a tangy, creamy dressing was just right. Its rich, smoky flavor, boosted by shawarma-inspired spices, gave it an almost meaty edge. There are many dishes on the new menu to explore, but I plan to order that salad as often as I can. Read my full review of Alderwood Pacific, which opened Feb. 3, here.


Santa Cruz’s Humble Sea Brewing Co. might be known for its foggy IPAs, but the team is also passionate about pilsners. This Saturday, cruise by for a sweet lineup of crushable crispies at the second annual PilsGNAR fest. In honor of San Francisco Beer Week, the Humble Sea crew has prepared a lineup of some of the best crisp brews from the Bay Area and beyond. Find pilsners and similar styles from 17 different breweries like Monterey’s Alvarado Street Brewery, Santa Rosa’s Russian River Brewing and Denver’s Bierstadt Lagerhaus. All of the pilsners, plus a few other styles and wine, cider and alcohol-free beverages, will be available when the event starts at 11 a.m. Local food vendors Scrumptious Fish & Chips and Cracked Cookies will be on site, too, with British-style fish and chips and chewy cookies.

Thomas Family Farm, known for its organic flowers, will host an open house at the farm in Aptos on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. Enjoy an afternoon of outdoor, family-friendly fun that includes food-preservation demonstrations, crafting from nature, orange and lemon U-picks, chickens, peacocks and more. Visitors can also get information about the farm’s 2023 season of tours, workshops, activities and celebrations. Admission is $5 per car and tickets are available via Eventbrite.

Lily Belli is the food and drink correspondent at Lookout Santa Cruz. Over the past 15 years since she made Santa Cruz her home, Lily has fallen deeply in love with its rich food culture, vibrant agriculture...