Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria in Capitola
Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria in Capitola (10 minutes south of Santa Cruz) is a don't-miss destination for any foodie visiting the area and the local favorite for cakes, baked goods, sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, and blue plate dinners. If, like me, you often find yourself disappointed by expensive and mediocre deli food, this is the place for you.
Gayle's is a busy place! When you enter, take a number (a machine by the patio door) and then let your eyes feast on the glass cases in anticipatory delight as you make your selections. For our lunchtime visit, the staff were incredibly helpful and friendly and communicated a calm personal focus on my food choices amidst a buzzing and, at times, almost frenetic level of people and activity. There are lots of helpful staff serving, which adds to the buzz. I hadn't noticed that all the salads were individually priced and ordered four different salads on a single plate. This involved the person serving me having to weigh the plate after each addition and calculate the cost.
Here are the four salads I chose:
Clockwise from the top, Beets with Ginger and Baby Spinach, Wasabe Potato Salad, Green Beans with Artichokes, and Mac & Cheese with Buttermilk dressing.
The beets with ginger were delicious and the baby spinach was incredibly flavorful, lightly sauteed I'm guessing. There were actual pieces of sweetened ginger in the vinaigrette and it produced a very fresh tasting salad. The Wasabe Potato Salad was
to die for! Why didn't I think of this? I have Wasabe mayo in the fridge and will be trying my own version of this - it's a great combination! The green beans were the perfect level of firmness for this salad and in a very mild lemon vinaigrette and the mac and cheese with buttermilk dressing was nice take on a classic, tasty, without being too rich. We had our lunch at an umbrella-shaded table on the outdoor patio. (There's also seating inside). Mum and I shared the salads, along with a pan baguette. The kids had fresh croissants and a big plate of fresh fruit salad.
As it was the last day of our seaside mini-break, I treated the kids to a Gayle's dessert:
Yum! The seaweed was edible (the fish weren't!)
Mum's a Gayle's regular and headed home with a sliced wholewheat sandwich loaf. I chose a rustic baguette which was the best baguette I've tasted in ages.
You'll find Gayle's at 504 Bay Avenue in Capitola. Check out their website and the menu - you'll be impressed!