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05.21.08

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Photograph by Amber Turpin
Where's The Bean?: Soy milk would be a welcome addition at Cereality.

Dish

You can't get your Kix at Cereality in downtown Santa Cruz, but you can get just about everything else.

By Amber Turpin


Toon In
Curiosity and an unabashed weakness for Kix brought me into the newest addition to downtown. Cereality is a small chain of cereal cafes, mostly located on college campuses. According to USA Today, the concept "is so absurdly simple, self-indulgent and reflective of one's inner child that, well, how can it fail?" A menu of house-invented hot and cold concoctions is on offer, as well as a long list of very familiar breakfast brands, fruits, nuts and toppings to create your own special cereal bowl. As someone who only got sugar cereal once a year on camping trips, this concept seems almost as decadent as a sundae bar. Sadly, out of the fully stocked cupboard packed as tight as Jerry Seinfeld's there were no Kix or Corn Pops to be found. Instead, my "regular"-size takeout-style box was custom-filled with Cinnamon Life, Special K, sliced almonds and blueberries. A milk dispenser has skim, 2 percent and whole, which may be fine for the other four locations, but the Cereality owners may want to consider dairy-free alternatives and organic items if they want to settle into Santa Cruz. Still, my little morning visit, perched at a large communal table watching cartoons with all age groups, put a skip in my step all day long. (www.cereality.com)

Market Treats
Last Saturday brought a joyous occasion at the Westside farmers market as the first sweet red cherries seductively displayed themselves at the Twin Girl Farms table. Over at H&H, we picked up some fresh sardines for pennies compared to the rising price per pound of the rest of this season's catch. Simply grilled on the hibachi with rosemary, sliced Meyer lemon and kosher salt, then drizzled with olive oil and mounted onto a crusty Kelly's baguette, this local fish became a lovely alfresco dinner packing a hearty dose of omegas.Border Baroness There are some cookbooks that are tattered with use, go-to guides that hold your most basic and cherished recipes. Then there are some that may never get splattered with batter or even make it near the kitchen, but offer the enticement of photographic beauty and culture. Diana Kennedy writes cookbooks in which the two types collide; her Art of Mexican Cooking offers well-worn recipes as well as fascinating histories and vibrant visuals. Known for unearthing and cultivating the diverse cuisine of her adopted Mexico and bringing it to the rest of the world in print, Kennedy is arriving in Santa Cruz at the end of May. The rerelease of her great cookbook, first published in 1989, is the reason for her visit and gives us three opportunities to bask in her presence. On Friday, May 30, 6-8pm, Alma Gifts & Culture (1705 Mission St.; 831.425.2562) will have an intimate booksigning and reception. Saturday, May 31, 9am, Kennedy will be speaking and signing books again at the Aptos farmers market (Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Dr.). And to cap off the whirlwind weekend, she will be at the Capitola Book Café (1475 41st Ave.; www.capitolabookcafe.com) on Sunday, June 1, 5:30pm, along with a sampling of dishes created from recipes out of the book.


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