.41st Ocean Breakfast and Grill

A diner classic serving up breakfast favorites

MADE FROM SCRATCH 41st Ocean’s chicken fried steak. Photo: Tarmo Hannula

A family-run diner located on the north end of its namesake avenue, 41st Ocean Breakfast and Grill opened six months ago captained by general manager Gil Mendoza.

Mendoza’s uncle, a general contractor, leased the space and built it out; Mendoza’s task was to get the place off the ground, leaning on his 12-year industry experience. Mendoza says he combines vintage diner feel with beachy décor and a menu of traditional American breakfasts with Italian and Mexican-influenced lunches.

Breakfasts feature classic omelets, as well as biscuits and gravy, eggs benedict and chicken fried steak. Specials include menudo and breakfast burritos. For lunch, the burgers are juicy and customizable, and some of the best sandwiches are the BLT, barbecue chicken and calamari steak. There is also  ravioli with red meat sauce and pesto and calamari. Open every day from 8am-2pm; dinner service is just beginning with options like Saturday night tacos.

Tell me about your industry journey?

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GIL MENDOZA: I’m a typical Santa Cruz kid. My first job was at the Boardwalk, and I became a store lead at 16. After that, I worked at a pizza place and worked my way up to manager and eventually multi-store manager. I’ve also worked at multiple large-chain coffee retailers. All this experience has taught me time management as well as how to work with and manage a team. And most importantly, keep my cool and not go crazy when problems arise, which they always do in the industry.

What’s next for the restaurant?

GM: We are currently working on changing our lunch menu by adding more burger and sandwich options, as well as some new pasta dishes. We are also planning to add some new items to our breakfast menu such as a veggie benedict. And some customers from Texas gave us the idea to add cheese and grilled onions to our potatoes, which they say is a big thing there.

2623 41st Avenue, Soquel, 831-316-7021; 41stoceangrill.com


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