Coffee at Cruz & Congrats (Lulu Carpenter's - Santa Cruz, CA)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

This last Saturday, I got to play the part of the proud older brother as I went to Santa Cruz to see my little brother, Brandon, graduate from UCSC with a major in Communications. I also got to see my mom, and meet my little bro's new boyfriend and a bunch of his friends.

After waking up at 4:00 am and driving there to be on time for the ceremony, Brandon offered me a microwave dinner of processed meat-like hockey pucks in brown gravy (?) and noodles. Totally gross. Sadly, Brandon doesn't know shallot from shellfish, which hurts me and makes me want to teach him if he only lived closer.

He does have the artistic talent that the rest of us in the family lack, like the mural posted here. If you are at Porter college in the large courtyard with the totem pole, you can find it there.

Anywhose, based on cooking not being an option we decided to grab a quick bite before our dinner later. Where we ended up was Lulu Carpenter's, a cute little coffee house that feels like an old time bar (which it used to be I am told). Deep red brick walls, exposed brick, and the use of antiqued wood have a bohemian feel that so many Santa Cruz students are known to outfit themselves in, like radical attire found in the grown flower child's attic. The white glow of apple laptops lit the room, and a fragrance of various teas and grounds allows you to become one of them, if just for a moment.

The apple turnover was light and fluffy, unlike many American pastries, this one reminded all of us of our times in the bakeries of Vienna and Paris. All this of course is due to their in-house bakery in the basement. They also served a variety of sammiches and other treats, but we had to save our appetite.

The cool cat (frappuccino) I had was a little lacking in flavor, the chocolate was too sweet and lacked any sort of bitterness I prefer. Brandon's honey and chai cool cat however screamed with the flavors it boasted. If Starbucks opened in Myanmar, this is the only thing they would serve.

You'll also find local artists' work on the wall, and since it is a coffee house, you may have to fight for a table at peak hours, but most students are willing to share their tables. Lulu's also has late hours so feel free to drop in after your tour one of the towns main financial streets, it's a perfect little ragtag rest stop.

Lulu Carpenter's
1545 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA


  1. Ahhh UCSC. I got into that college too but decided on UCSB because UCSC was too close to Monterey for my likings. LOL!! I haven't been there in years!

  2. Oh. My. God. Brandon is your brother? If I am thinking of the same Brandon, which I am pretty sure I am, I know him!!! We lived on the same floor freshman year, and my (once) best friend helped him pain that mural! You must have been at my graduation. I'm so excited! What a small world.

  3. I stumbled upon your site through (exact link on their blog grinder I went to UCSC and I loved it! I miss Santa Cruz a lot, and I'm glad you had a post about UCSC, Santa Cruz, and Lulu's! Great blog! - Thanh-Thuy

  4. "The white glow of apple laptops lit the room" hahhaha...Garrett, you crack me up. :)

    Congrats to your bro!

  5. Jennifer - I went to UCD. Santa Cruz was just too hippy for me to live there. LOL.

    Molly - Then congrats on your graduating!!! Small world indeed!

    T-Thuy - Glad you found me!

    Trupti - It's wierd, there wasn;t a single non-Apple computer there. O.o

  6. My daughter is Molly's (once) best friend and Brandon was part of team (that includes Lilah) that worked on that mural. :-)

  7. Hi Garrett, just started reading your blog.

    If you ever go back to Santa Cruz for whatever reason, you must go to Ciao! Bella! in Ben Lomond, just up Hwy 9 from campus. I know you're not huge into Italian but the food is amazing. Plus, that place is just crazy--it's definitely a "Santa Cruzian" experience (in a good way). ;) I am a UCSC alum, and there are SO many good places to eat in Santa Cruz. Too bad I was college poor during that time! haha

    Take care,


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