A dining fixture on Pacific Avenue in the heart of downtown, Zachary’s has been holding down the breakfast and lunch game since 1985.
Family-owned, they are open Tuesday-Sunday from 7am-2:30pm for limited indoor seating, outdoor patio dining and takeout. Manager Charlie Watson has run the place for the last six years, and his parents Tom and Cathy are the owners. He says they pride themselves on no-frills comfort food and hospitality that makes guests feel welcome, comfortable and satisfied. He recently spoke to GT about their standout menu that has kept people coming in—and coming back—for so long.
What breakfast dishes are you known for?
CHARLIE WATSON: We’re best known for Mike’s Mess, which is three eggs scrambled with our home fries, bacon, mushrooms, sour cream, tomatoes, green onions and cheese. It’s all scrambled together—even the home fries, too—into almost like an open-faced omelet. It’s a satisfying comfort food kind of breakfast that has been a local favorite since we opened. We are also known for our sourdough pancakes; they’re unique and really popular. We’ve used the same sourdough starter since the earthquake in 1989, and the pancakes come out light and thin with that little bit of the sourdough tang—they’re really delicious. One of our newer offerings is our breakfast sandwich; it’s great for takeout and grab-and-go. It has scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, green onions and cheese and is served on our homemade oatmeal molasses bread. We can sub avocado for bacon to make it vegetarian, and guests can customize it further to their liking. It comes with our housemade chipotle sauce, which adds a little kick of spice.
What are the highlights on the lunch menu?
Our burgers are great; they are 1/3 pound patties that come on a homemade sourdough bun. They come with all the fixings, and we have a gourmet version with avocado, bacon and cheese. The ahi tuna melt is also very popular, and comes on grilled homemade rye bread with swiss cheese and red onions. Both come with our home fries on the side or a fresh fruit cup. The home fries themselves are something we’re known for, too—we have our own take on breakfast spuds. What sets them apart is that they’re grilled with garlic, onions and a special house seasoning. They are the best home fries I’ve ever had, and they are the best home fries you’ll ever have, too.
819 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. 831-427-0646, zacharyssantacruz.com.