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[whitespace] Eric Conover
Photograph by George Sakkestad

Specialist: Shadowbrook chef Eric Conover helps families find culinary togetherness.

Winter's Bounty

The tourists are gone, and Shadowbrook celebrates with specials for locals

By Janet Blaser

AN ASTROLOGY COLUMN recently advised me that this is the year when I will finally learn to treat myself better than ever before. On the next page was an ad for Shadowbrook's winter specials. Now, I ask you, can the girl put two and two together? You bet she can--and did--and so can you.

You don't have to do anything more than head over to the legendary Capitola restaurant on Monday nights for prime rib, Thursday nights for scampi, fresh salmon and other seafood delights, or Sundays for the very special Family Dinners, a variety of comforting chicken, beef or pork entrees. On each of these evenings, the aforementioned dinners cost only $9.95. No hidden costs, no coupons, just straight-forward good food at good prices.

Owner Ted Burke explained this is Shadowbrook's way of giving back to all its local friends and neighbors; a chance to enjoy what the restaurant has to offer without the tourist factor. This is the fifth year of these specials, and Burke said he's grown used to the frantic calls that start about now as people realize that the time is almost up.

The Sunday dinners are especially significant to Burke; a dad himself, he's a firm believer in the value of families eating together, and on Sundays a special kid's menu offers entrees from $6.95 that all include an ice cream sundae. Although none of the adult meals include ice cream (no fair), on Mondays you do get buttermilk mashed potatoes with your dinner. Reservations aren't necessary during the week, but I'd definitely recommend them for Sunday nights. And make 'em soon, as these prices are only good till the end of February. Where's Shadowbrook, you say? Please--on the hill overlooking Capitola Village, with its own parking lot, no less. Call 475.1511 for directions, reservations or more info.

Sol Food

Being a creature of habit, I've become more and more aware of what happens when, indeed, change occurs and I'm not expecting it. And if that change involves a favorite eating place, suffice it to say that I'm often so flustered that all I can do is throw myself at the mercy of the employees.

And so I ask you food-service people to be patient with us as we attempt to adjust to a new menu, the loss of a favorite item or merely its new placement on a formerly familiar menu. We're trying, really we are, each of us in our own, possibly pitiful, ways. And that brings me to the point: if you haven't been to Cafe del Sol for a month or so, watch out. Consider this a warning: changes have happened. A new manager, a new look up on the board and some additions, including hearty, homemade breakfasts.

Served every day from 8 to 10:45am, the compact but compete morning menu offers a good selection of both sweet and savory items. Choose from scrambled eggs or tofu scramble (both served with potatoes), pancakes, French toast, omelets and a breakfast burrito made with your choice of eggs or tofu and "fake" sausage or bacon. Side orders offer the choice to have something smaller in the morning, if, like me, your tender tummy isn't ready to deal with a whole meal first thing. And you can get hot oatmeal for a mere $1.75--with or without cinnamon and raisins. Yum.

You'll find changes on the lunch menu, too--more items to choose from, and clear explanations on the printed menus. Note the new grilled eggplant and grilled portobello subs, full of goodies like grilled onions, basil/walnut pesto and roasted red peppers. All the cafe's "sol food" is available from 11am to 8pm seven days a week. The dining room is light and spacious, and everything is available to go, too. Cafe del Sol is run by and right next to Staff of Life at 1315 Water St., Santa Cruz (423.8041).

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From the January 12-19, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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