The sun is out and shining, so here’s your next off-campus trip
April 25, 2019
Thoreau went to the woods because he wished to live deliberately.
I just wanted brunch.
And what a brunch it was. Hurtling down the winding, verdant roads of Scotts Valley, it’s easy to miss Heavenly Roadside Café. Nestled amongst the towering walls of giant California redwoods, with an unassuming exterior, this small cafe is a haven of all things breakfast. Behind its wood-laden pastel orange walls lies a temple which worships the holy trinity of eggs, bacon and toast.
If you manage to slow down in time to park in its gravel pit of a parking lot, this breakfast nook is one of legend. After passing its homey outdoor garden area and through the restaurant’s heavy, glass-paneled door, the ebullient staff hurries you to a table without pause.
The first notable quirk of this spot is its actual size. Outside, its boarded facade makes it appear diminutive—with only enough space to fit a bar and some seating at best. But after being ushered to your seat, it becomes clear that the restaurant is large—and labyrinthine at that.
Upon being seated, the overwhelming charm of the whole milieu sets in. The wait staffers are charming. The first word that comes to mind in terms of the setting is “quaint.” However that term pales as it brings to mind the thoughts of something old-fashioned. More fittingly, the dining room is at once deliberate and homey with a tinge of Santa Cruz-ian funk.
The menu is just the same. Excitingly fresh reimaginations of classic breakfast items seem to spill on page after page.
With great excitement, I ordered the “Baja Especial” scramble, and my dining partner, the “Green Goddess” benedict.
Our server was exceedingly kind and was happy to welcome us to the restaurant for the first time.
It was a small note, but her enthusiasm about the job made me even more impatient for the meal to come.
We waited with coffee and tea on the table for our eggs to finish cooking and people-watched as we sipped away. The guests were a happy crowd to dine with, even indirectly. Families, couples and single diners alike all were packed to the gills in there. Even the people eating alone were with company as the wait staff took every chance to entertain them with some quiet morning conversation.
After our short, caffeinated wait, our food was brought over on a bevy of bright, notably cheap plates—the only apparent failing of the restaurant.
But the disappointment in the dining ware was short lived.
For the next 20 minutes of my meal, I was engrossed in a flurry of flavors which seemed to amplify every other part of the restaurant.
My scramble was stuffed with peppers, onions and spices which all stood out very brightly even with the chicken sausage I ordered alongside it.
However, my dish was trumped quite strongly by my dining partner’s.
The restaurant’s benedicts, as we found out, are their claim to fame—for good reason.
On two toasted english muffins and smothered in the thickest holendaise known to man, it was a joy both to see and taste.
Sure, Bill’s Café is down the road and Sarah’s Kitchen is a consistent classic, but Heavenly Roadside Café is a joyful, local breakfast adventure to take you off campus, if only for one morning.
Contact Noah Sonnenburg at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.