All you could want: The everything bagel from H&H
H&H Bagels, made famous by 'Seinfeld,' come to Santa Cruz.
By Amber Turpin
A Bit of Pudding
TEA TIME The estate hidden at the very end of Hillside Avenue in Ben Lomond--described as a "money pit" by local Realtors due to its sloping structure, squatter population and forested location--was just waiting for the right people to come along. Dennis and Zeda Dowell found the 1903 mansion in a mistaken web search two years ago and couldn't get it out of their minds. Since then, after replacing the foundation, restoring the redwood interior and furnishing it with a rare antique collection, they have opened one of the three stories to the public as an intimate tearoom. Think The Shining meets an SLV-style Neverland Ranch (there's even a mini train system). Teatime at Chateau Chansons d'Amour begins with a tour of the intricately themed rooms, including the music room that has hundreds of records lining the walls (Dennis, a true collector of all things, takes requests to suit your tea-sipping fancy). The menu has over 25 varieties of tea to choose from; the goods arrive in a full-size pot at the beginning of the "Princess Beatrice" tea. Sweets and savories are always on offer; we began with a minestrone soup, then moved on to classic, crustless tea sandwiches on soft white bread. Warm scones with clotted cream, lemon curd and red currant jelly arrived next, followed by mini amaretto cheesecake from France and chocolate-dipped strawberries. A lighter "Teddy Bear" tea is also available. About 20 percent of each bill goes to charity. Reservations are available Friday through Sunday at 1 and 3pm; 831.336.9632.
There are times when a dedicated locavore might slip in the face of something really exquisite and commit a serious food miles-related transgression. The H&H bagels at Staff of Life provide as good a reason as any to sin. "People who know it, know it," states deli worker Mary, who's responsible for the local availability of this New York institution (known to Seinfeld fans as the place where Kramer worked before going on strike for 12 years). The H&H bagels we are now blessed with (in two flavors, "everything" and pumpernickel) are kettled, baked and then immediately frozen and shipped. For optimum freshness, keep them in the freezer, then thaw and toast as desired. Obviously, this method is second best to actually visiting the original H&H on the corner of 80th and Broadway and tearing into a hot and fresh bagel right there on the corner in front of God and everyone; however, slathered with some Gina Marie Old Fashioned cream cheese (also available at Staff of Life), they'll be, in the words of the website, "almost as good as fresh from the oven." Pure poetry.
LET IT FLOW
The 12th annual Rivers of Chocolate is taking place April 27 at the Adobe Lodge and Mission Gardens at Santa Clara University. This event is put on every year to benefit EHC Lifebuilders, a nonprofit organization that seeks to end homelessness through support programs and outreach. The food, wine and music extravaganza is known to be "the premier chocolate-tasting event in Northern California" and features Chocolate Visions, Burrell School Vineyard, Cooper-Garrod, Equinox Champagne, Savannah-Chanelle, Silver Mountain and Thomas Fogarty. For tickets and information, visit www.ehclifebuilders.org.
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