The Walnut Avenue Cafe is in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz. On Sundays it opens at 8 am and we were outside with half a dozen other hungry customers just before 8 waiting for it to open. Outside there are a few tables with bright red and white plastic tablecloths under red umbrellas. The doors opened just after 8 and we all trooped inside. Normally you have to wait to be seated but we could all sit where we wanted to. We chose a booth and almost immediately a menu was brought to us.
Tom was served his coffee almost before we opened our menus. He took a sip and immedieately proclaimed that it was good. When I opened the menu, the first thing that lept out at me was the fact that not only did they offer oatmeal but it was homemade steel-cut oatmeal – definitely my sort of place. It came with bananas, walnuts and raisins for $5.95. Tom couldn’t decide between French toast or a Benedict. In the end he plumped for the Blackened Ahi Benedict for $10.95. We gave our order to the server, Michelle, who was excellent because she was friendly, helpful and efficient.
The Walnut Avenue Cafe is well laid out with both booths and tables. The interior is bright and cheerful which is helped by the original paintings hanging on the walls. They were all very colorful. The one right next to my shoulder was done by Cale Broz and depicted a table, chairs, vase and pears; the main colors being red, orange and yellow. All the paintings nearby were painted by different people.
We didn’t have long to wait for our food and were impressed with the presentation. Really enjoyed my oatmeal. The only criticism I would make is that it could have been a bit hotter. Tom’s Blakened Ahi Benedict was really good. When I asked him at the end what he thought he just smacked and lips and smiled. I might just add that he had three cups of coffee because it was so good.
The final test is always the restroom. There were two unisex restrooms with a small lobby outside. The actual restroom was perfectly adequate but the one I used didn’t have anything of particular interest to mention. There was, though, a large colorful poster in the lobby of two Mexican ladies washing their hair in a bucket of water in front of huge sunflowers. It was called Des Mujeres and the artist was Simon Silva.
The Walnut Avenue Cafe
106 Walnut Avenue
Santa Cruz, Ca 95060