"Try This" is a weekly column that celebrates local businesses — especially eateries, watering holes, coffee shops and the like.
Food: Fat Boy Burgers
I was very pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the food at Fat Boy Burgers and Grill, which recently opened at 1467 Freedom Blvd. — the long-vacant location next to Hong Kong Express that most recently housed Chicken Express. I went with the No. 10 Combo, which for roughly $10 included a bacon and cheese burger, a mess of crinkle-cut fries and a 20-ounce soda. The restaurant is still in its early days, so the wait was a bit long, but the burger was solid. I’m excited to go back and try something else.
I typically don’t drink many specialized coffee drinks, although you might find me enjoying a nice foamy cappuccino at the end of a delicious dinner out on the town. For me, a rich, dark coffee that reaches my hand in a jiff is perfection. Coffeeville in Watsonville’s East Lake Shopping Center meets this mark every time. They also offer a bevy specialty drinks if you’re in the mood for that, and their customer service has always been friendly, sometimes matching my dry humor tit-for-tat.
I almost feel wrong putting “Mindhunter” in the fun category. The Netflix show based on the FBI’s study of serial killers from the late 1970s and early ‘80s can be a bit unsettling at times. But the pacing and writing are both dynamic, and the performances from Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany are top-notch. It could have been very easy to whittle this show down to a throw-away true crime drama, but it is far from that — It has David Fincher’s fingerprints all over it in the best ways. Season 2 recently debuted, and I inhaled it in a matter of days. I might start the entire series over again.
Food: Sushi on the go
One of my favorite places to pick up a quick lunch to-go is Nob Hill on Main Street in Watsonville. They have tasty sandwiches, wraps and salads—but I also recommend their sushi. While I do love sitting down at one of Watsonville’s delicious Japanese restaurants such as Imura’s or Miyuki, the sushi at Nob Hill is fantastic, and there is usually an attendant who can create your roll with specific ingredients. Add a bottle of Ito En Oi Ocha Green tea to make a great lunch.
Drink: Hidden Fortress Coffee Roasting
This wonderful little coffee shop is tucked away at the very end of the business complex at 125 Hangar Way. The shop’s staff knows that it’s hard to find—they actually sell shirts that read: “Hidden Fortress Coffee… I found it!” I usually order an Americano; their espresso is delicious. You can also get a number of food items and bags of whole beans. Hidden Fortress is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
Fun: Seacliff Visitor’s Center
I may be a little bias with my love of Seacliff State Beach. I have fond memories of school trips and friends having birthday parties there. I even remember when you could walk out onto the Cement Ship (yes, I know its actually concrete). The Seacliff Visitor’s Center is another great thing about the beach. They have historical displays, tanks with various sea creatures, a short film to watch and a fun store to browse.