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[whitespace] Cake Tangled Up in Red, White and Blue: Joan Colonna's new coconut cakes come tied up with patriotic-themed ribbons, and the proceeds go to the New York Firefighters' 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund.

Patriot Cakes

Bite back! and other advice for generating good and solid vibes during the current millennial speed bump

By Christina Waters

LOCAL BAKING QUEEN Joan Colonna has found a delicious way to deal with all the negative stuff that's been rocking our world since Sept. 11. The result is an idea whose time has definitely arrived. The world's greatest coconut cake is now available with a mouth-watering new patriotic look.

"It's the same delicious, beautiful cake," Joan explained to me, "but now it's got red, white and blue sugar stars on top, and it's tied with a red, white and blue ribbon." Sinful, yet so downright patriotically correct that it cries out to be ordered.

Cakes by Joan is still ready to send out that rich, handmade-from-scratch coconut cake to any and all of your friends and family. "Right now, 10 percent of all cake sales will go to the New York Firefighters' 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund. It's my way of giving back to those heroes," Colonna explained.

Not too many things in this world are as nurturing as freshly baked layer cakes. We could all use a little nurturing right about now--and so could just about everyone you know. The Metro Santa Cruz staff recently enjoyed one of Joan's fabuloso coconut cakes and is still gushing about this ultimate dessert experience. Think rich, moist, satisfying. Imagine those red, white and blue sugar stars atop a field of freshly grated coconut.

If you feel that you need some old-fashioned comfort--or would like to send something sweet and lovingly made to someone you care about, Joan Colonna is your woman. Find out about shipping (all over the country), prices (on target) and everything else about Cakes by Joan at the website, www.cakesbyjoan.com.

CIAO MARCO: The closure of Convivio Trattoria last week should serve as a wake-up call to all of us patrons--and restaurant owners--that nothing can any longer be taken for granted. Marco Verduzco worked his brains out to create his dream restaurant at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Capitola Road, providing many of us with well-made, delicious meals and plenty of ambience.

The venture was clearly too costly, the economy too dicey and after what was to have been a temporary closure for renovations, the colorful Italian restaurant was served with an eviction notice from the city. So much talent, hard work and ambition down the drain. It's a shame.

A BETTER BREAKFAST: Next time you're having blood work done over at Unilab--after which you are hungry enough to eat three Taliban toadies--head on over to the Silver Spur, where the breakfast of champions truly awaits.

Jack and I were blown away by the Western theme diner's combo breakfast, which gives you two enormous slabs of multigrain French toast, two large slices of lean bacon and two eggs done your way (mine is over medium, and they were perfect) for $5.95. Great coffee, too.

Why does this breakfast succeed when so many others taste, frankly, lame and uninspired? It's gotta be fresh, top-quality ingredients. The French toast was chewy and eggy, and came basted with a huge nugget of butter, a pitcher of maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar. Lord have mercy, and other American folk expressions. Silver Spur: 2650 Soquel Dr., Santa Cruz; 475.2725. Breakfast begins at 6am!

King and I Thai Cuisine is one of the new establishments decorating Pacific Avenue with colorful curtains, soothing interior decor and generous prices. This place serves huge portions--and a very user-friendly buffet lunch with is absolutely perfect for impecunious (look it up) students in need of well-spiced caloric fuel.

It's on the far end (some might say the far side) of Pacific Avenue--1108-A Pacific Ave. to be exact (459.THAI). We like the tropical motif carpeting and deep plum upholstery. It's run by the folks who brought you Thai House Restaurant at Soquel and Ocean--a well-seasoned group.

Those luscious, intensely flavored Molino Creek dry-farm tomatoes are at their peak and need your culinary attention immediately. Tomato season doesn't last forever, you know. So you can count on a few more weeks, max, for the real thing. At enlightened natural foods stores.

Quick and make plans to be at Blacks Beach Cafe on Nov. 13 for a five-course dinner to benefit the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden. Make your reservations by calling 459.3240. More details next week!

Feliz dia de los muertos!

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From the October 31-November 7, 2001 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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