I don’t go to the restaurants at the Santa Cruz Wharf very often because they tend to seem like tourist traps. However, there is an abundance of seafood and you do get a pretty nice view, even if the restaurants veer toward the pricier side. Most of the cheaper places on the Wharf appear to specialize in various fried seafood dishes, which I would just love to indulge in with a cold drink if I could.
Nonetheless, there are some GF options too. I’d noticed a few weeks back that Olitas Cantina and Grille, a Mexican-style restaurant, had a little note on their menu about offering gluten-free selections. So one Friday night, too beat from the week to want to cook, BK and I set off for the Wharf to try Olitas.
We ordered too much food, despite only ordering one entree and two appetizers.
The ceviche, a fresh mix of squid, rock shrimp and scallops with tomato, onion and pepper in a nice lime-y brine, was quite tasty. And for $9.95, it was a good-sized portion. I’d definitely have this again.
When asked about other gluten-free items, our waiter also suggested the seared ahi tuna tostada stack with a black bean and papaya salad, accompanied by mixed greens and an avocado vinaigrette. This was very good but pretty messy, which made it a bit difficult to eat.
The least exciting dish we had was the entree: pan-fried shrimp sauteed in a chipotle tomato butter, served with red chile risotto and asparagus. The shrimp was well-cooked, but it just wasn’t really anything special and the risotto was just not good. It reminded me of one of those pre-packaged rice pilaf mixes.
Overall, nothing was actually bad here. I just probably wouldn’t get an entree if I went back. A couple of appetizers and a pair of margaritas would have been more than enough food and a little friendlier on my wallet. Still, I’m happy to know that there are gluten-free options available at the Wharf. And as promised, the view really is pretty spectacular.
|seared ahi tuna tostada stack|