Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day After Christmas

Finding all of our friends sleeping through the scheduled brunch we'd intended on joining, my Santa Cruz compatriot Peter and I decided a little Tower Cafe breakfast was in order. We made our very cold way down 16th on foot, appreciating the graffiti on the way.
After a medium wait (which Peter spent pointing at passing cars and declaring, "And you get a puppy, and you get a puppy...") we were seated inside. One of the great pleasures of Tower Cafe is there is always something to look at, like a deranged Easter Bunny went through and hid candy skulls everywhere.
I ordered an apricot tea, and the Carnitas Rojas Con Huevos, which Dad ordered the last time we'd visited. Peter ordered a mimosa and the Fruit Crepe. The mimosa was tasty, but when you can get an equally tasty bottomless mimosa for about the same price elsewhere, it's tough to make the commitment. The tea had a surprisingly strong apricot flavor, which paired better than I expected with my breakfast. The carnitas come in a red tortilla cup, along with eggs, three tiny flour tortillas, and the Tower potatoes. The carnitas were excellent, and the little carnitas-and-egg soft tacos made with the tortillas definitely hit the spot; even the emptied tortilla cup was a good snack, soaked in delicious, salty meatjuice. Peter's crepe was a little different than he expected; it was a sweet cheese crepe, essentially surrounded by a fruitplate. I've found this indicative of most of the "fruit" related items on Tower's breakfast menu, that they don't seem to include the fruit so much as accessorize with it. Still, it seemed very enjoyable, and he ate the melon despite his allergic reaction to it.

Tower has a great atmosphere, and it was a great way to spend a relaxed day-after-Christmas, chatting and people watching. There formed quite an impressive restroom line on our way out, but -- and whether or not this is shrewd design or happy coincidence -- even the bathroom line benefits from the dense, eclectic design sense of the building, as multiple awards and articles line the hallway.

Order: Apricot Tea, Carnitas Rojas Con Huevos
Price: $11.95
Rating: ****

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Post CIM

Good Morning and Welcome!

Tower Cafe is pretty much everything I like in a breakfast destination; a large and varied menu, including seasonal items, excellent (and generally attractive) service, and an awesome decor.
This morning felt like a Greek Omelette sorta day, paired with some Cinnamon Orange tea. The tea, while a little light on the orange, went very well with the tang of the feta and kalamata olives. The cheese also tasted excellent with Tower's specialty potatoes. The potatoes are the perfect mix of crispy skin and mushy insides, like a sunburned Twinkie. The tots can usually use a little more of the onions and bell peppers that are conservatively sprinkled throughout, as they add a nice counterpoint to the potato texture. The omelette was large enough to be completely filling alongside the potatoes and a small slice of cantaloupe.
My dad joined me, and we had just finished our annual tradition of calling mile times of the California International Marathon. He ordered the Carnitas Rojas, which he enjoyed. He mentioned that the carnitas were not too dry, as he often finds at other restaurants, and they were served in a bright-red tortilla cup. The plate also contained the potatoes, eggs, and small flour tortillas. He also sprang for a couple mudslide cookies; chocolate cookies filled with a gooey fudge. These also went very well with my cinnamon tea, although it is biologically imperative that I consume milk with anything that chocolatey. All in all, a very tastey and invigorating way to start the day!