"Try This" is a weekly column that celebrates local businesses — especially eateries, watering holes, coffee shops and the like
Food: Kettle Pop
I love to visit the Watsonville Farmers’ Market on Fridays when I can. In addition to produce and cut flowers, there is also prepared food and drinks to enjoy. Sometimes I pick up a bag of fresh kettle corn from Kettle Pop’s booth. You can get the treat in three sizes; I usually get the medium for $8. It’s the perfect salty-sweet snack to enjoy as you walk through the rest of the market and then bring home for a movie night later.
Drink: Beer Mule
Finally, months after its grand opening, I made it to Beer Mule at the Watsonville Airport. Some of my colleagues have already mentioned the new pour house, but I wanted to try it for myself. An offshoot of Beer Thirty in Soquel, the business offers a large selection of beers on tap, in bottles and canned. I highly enjoyed a pint of Altamont Beer Works’ “Berry White” beer, made with cranberry and raspberry wheat.
Fun: Green Valley Cinema
Just a reminder that Watsonville’s own Green Valley Cinema offers a special ticket price every Tuesday, dubbed “Fiesta Tuesday.” You can get a ticket for any movie at any time for just $6.50. (Some films and legal holidays excluded.) The theater is also hosting Free Kids Summer Movie Series on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays at 10 a.m. Visit greenvalleycinema.com for a full schedule of films and details.
Food: Akira Sushi
Akira restaurant, a popular sushi spot, has two locations: 1222 Soquel Ave. in Santa Cruz and 105 Post Office Drive in Aptos. My wife and I have consistently had good food and great service there. Though it can get noisy with their high, echoey ceiling, the atmosphere and food make it worth it. They feature a happy hour that ends at 6 p.m., which means pretty good prices on selected items. These shrimp sticks were served sizzling hot off they grill and were packed with flavor. Their pork gyozas and Soquel Avenue rolls are superb.
Drink: Tea Time
If getting to sleep is an issue with you and you’re not into trying a bunch of weird pills and chemicals, give this natural tea a chance: Sleepytime Extra from Celestial Seasonings. My wife and I have found that the herbal supplement tea, with no caffeine, offers a gentle and calming avenue to the bed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a knock-out drug; I don’t need that anyway. Sleepytime is a relaxing, good-tasting tea that’s full of all kinds of herbs. It’s easy to find, even at the large supermarkets like Safeway or Nob Hill. Look for the sleepy bear wearing a red night cap on the box.
Fun: Chardonnay sailing
For a very different take on the beauty of the Monterey Bay think about a two-hour journey on the Monterey Bay aboard the Chardonnay sailboat. They launch from the Santa Cruz Harbor near the Murry Street Bridge several times a day. The price includes beer or wine and a variety of foods, determined by which cruise you select. Charters include themes such as pizza, Taste of Santa Cruz, sushi, Hawaiian, Brewmaster, Wine Master and the Champagne Brunch. Visit chardonnay.com for information.