Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria, Capitola - 30yrs in business. Must stop it's GOOD!
I love Gayle's Bakery. First time to Gayle's Bakery and had a good time. Everything looks good in there.
Get a number as soon as you walk in - service is fast & friendly. Look around at all the yummy desserts & ready made sandwiches, try samples of the soups they have for the day, sample dips w/ bread if they have any.
They have a rotisserie spinning whole chickens. They have an area to get coffees & quick pastries. They sell day old pastries & breads 1/2 off.
Ficelle sandwich w/ mozzarella, tomato, & basil on a small baguette $6.50 - it was nice, enjoyed it.
slice of Princess Cake - tasty. Cake, jam, whipped cream, marzipan - all good.
Cup of spicy carrot lentil soup $3.65 for 8oz - tasty, little bit of spice, not too much.
Anahola chocolate chip cookie w/ walnuts 95c - really good.
Total was a bit over $15. Credit cards taken.
Many tables in their patio and inside in the back.
What a disappointment! The quarter oak roasted dark meat chicken (leg including tail) for $3.75 was dry and stringy, one of the worst pieces of chicken I've been served. Brownie, $2.95, was more like chocolate cake made from a boxed mix. It was so spongey in texture and non-chocolatey, beats me how it can be called a brownie which should deliver some notion of fudgy, dense, chewy, and/or chocolate-y. The small key lime pie, $8.50, had more whipped cream than key lime filling and hardly tasted like limes. And, we bought a day-old sesame challah loaf, $1.98, which had no eggy flavor or richness at all. What makes it challah besides being braided?
Not only poor quality, but severely overpriced on all items we purchased. I do agree that service is very good here. But we will not be returning.
Gayle's Bakery & Rosticceria
504 Bay Ave, Capitola, CA 95010
I would not worry about this. Gayle and Joe Ortiz have been here for years. It's a bakery. I would not suggest going there for lunch. This is for the tourists. The breads and cakes are very good. Remember when Joe Ortiz appeared on the Julia Child show and made wonderful bread. Go early for the bakery, and before the tourist's.
Believe me, plenty of locals, including me, go to Gayles for lunch, as well as breakfast and dinner. We join the hordes of tourists every day.
There are lots of wonderful savory things to eat. There is a large selection, and sometimes it's a little hit and miss, but on the whole I think it's consistently great. It can also be expensive if you're not careful.
I find the baked goods consistently good, although I do have my favorites, which do not include the key lime pie or the brownies, although they have a great tiramisu brownie out this week. I like all of their cookies, but some of the cakes are too rich for me, and I prefer the Buttery cakes. Their pies and tartes are always seasonal and wonderful; they have pumpkin and ollalieberry pie now, and a great pear/almond tarte. All of their French breads, sweet, sour,olive, and francese are really good, and I love their Jewish rye bread and cinnamon raisin bread. With that said, I don't get their day-old bread since I find it gets stale fast. Their coffee and related drinks are fantastic too.
Everyone should give Gayles a few chances; you're sure to find something you love.
A friend who lives in Boulder Creek picked up a loaf of Gayle's francese from Shoppers Corner (as well as Kelly's Epicurean bread) to bring to the beach house to accompany cheeses. The francese was pretty good, especially the moist, open crumb that managed to be dense yet not heavy at the same time. The crust was chewy and not crisp but maybe that is the style. The odd part is that it had little flavor. We also had a ciabatta loaf from Acme alongside courtesy of another guest, a similar style. The Acme bread was much more yeasty and flavorful on its own.
Gayle's does have a sign by the pile of day-old breads to refrigerate them. We had purchased the challah as day-old as I like to use leftover challah for toast or to make bread pudding. I wasn't expecting it to taste/feel like fresh, but I thought it would have some challah character. I've had some bad challah before, but Gayle's was a new low in the flavor department.
I'm glad to hear that you've found favorites at Gayle's. So far it's 1 for 5 for me, due to the acceptable francese or it would have been a complete zero, and that's a pretty bad ratio for a place that charges at a premium.
622 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, CA
Kelly's French Bakery
402 Ingalls St, Santa Cruz, CA