VEGAN SUCCESS… Park Row Cafe opened amid the pandemic in 2020 and has managed, against the odds, to blossom into something special. The buzz around this place focuses on their pastries, as well as (plot twist!) their vegan Cali Dawg breakfast sandwich, featuring a Cali Dawg-produced vegan patty, vegan cheddar, spinach, tomato and house-made vegan mayo on an English muffin. They also have specialty horchatas and coffee drinks, including their cinnamon-sugar blend Cafe De Olla. Find them from 7am-5:30pm Tue-Sat, at 962 Park Row, Salinas.
CLOSING UP SHOP… Monterey is losing Cult Taco, the taco-centric child of Cultura Comida y Bebida. Management says it’s due to the impacts of Covid-19. Don’t despair just yet, though, because the mothership is still trucking. Drop by to support them, with outdoor dining 5-9pm Tues-Sun, at Dolores Street between Fifth and Sixth in Carmel. 250-7005, culturacarmel.com.
CAFFEINATION STATION… In Salinas and in need of a caffeine fix? Here are two up-and-coming coffee roasters you should know about. The folks at Aventura pride themselves on their El Chacal dark roast and a decaf blend they say takes the coffee cake. Order online (instagram.com/aventura_coffee). Or hit up Jacob’s Bear Coffee Roastery. The husband-and-wife team behind the grind source beans from all over the world and have many offerings, including their dark roast blend Midnight Campfire. Find them online (jacobsbearcoffeeroastery.com) and at local farmers markets.
JOIN A CHEESY CLUB… If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I should try more new varieties of cheese, perhaps delivered to my doorstep every month,” then look no further than The Cheese Shop in Carmel. For $39.95 a month (plus shipping), you can get three specialty cheeses dropped on your doorstep. Subscribe at thecheeseshopinc.com, or stop by the shop at Ocean and Junipero Street, Carmel. 652-2272.
SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM… Foster’s Freeze is expanding for the first time in over 30 years, and the new location will be right here on the Central Coast. Father and son franchisees Jared and Bruce Abbot are opening up in North Salinas near Lowe’s, and it will be built from the ground up into a Foster’s Freeze prototype with a brand-new design. They hope to have it open by the end of 2021.