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  • The Quail & Thistle Tea Room

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    Wow; what a great way to spend May Day! This was my second experience at The Quail and Thistle, and they’re still doing it up right in this lovely country tea room in the gorgeous Santa Cruz Mountains. Owners Cindy and Danny, and their staff, were a pleasure to chat with as I ordered the Omnivore’s Delight and lingered with them over pots of Organic Mountain Copper Oolong. The tea room is dotted with a myriad of teacups, saucers and teapots and I found myself unable to stay seated as I wandered about, inspecting the china and pottery. The organic red pepper and tomato soup, served of course in a teacup and saucer, was truly a tantalizing and visually stimulating preview of things to come. The second, savory course was the heart and soul of my outing. These morsels were sheer heaven compared to many Bay Area tea room offerings. At any number of tea rooms I’ve been to, the sandwiches/savories are simply the boring standards; not so here. The cucumber sandwich with its mint tea compound butter was a delicate and subtle enchantment; a great take on a classic standard. The crostini with warm sun-dried tomato spread was a perfectly dreamy combination of melt-in-your-mouth and crunchy textures and flavors. Even their herb-roasted chicken salad sandwich was vibrant, moist and tasty - far beyond the usual chicken-and-mayo affair of other establishments. Plus the roast beef with horseradish, the kalamata olive tapenade sandwich, topped off with the luscious homemade lemon curd atop the perfectly baked scones made this course satisfyingly memorable. Then, just to crown the meal, there was an exquisite array of sweets for the third course - delicate little anise cookies, lemon tea cookies, carrot cupcakes and chocolate strawberries that satisfied but did not overindulge my sweet tooth. And, while The Quail and Thistle has plenty of “cute and adorable” ambiance that the ladies and children find attractive, the country farm and the solid portions here make it well worth any guys who want to stop on by and get their fill. (The free Wi-Fi doesn’t hurt, either...) This tea room is clearly not just a place for special occasions - it’s for any weekend afternoon!