I stumbled upon Charlie Hong Kong’s in Santa Cruz by accident. I was caring for a sick friend who was in need of some good, hot soup. In my search for a cheap Chinese restaurant where I could pick up some hot and sour soup, I found Charlie Hong Kong’s.
Charlie Hong Kong’s is located at 1141 Soquel Avenue, at the corner of Soquel and Seabright, in Santa Cruz. Its a very small place with limited indoor seating, and a few more tables under the covered outdoor patio. It does have that perfect Santa Cruz casual atmosphere feel that I like, but its probably better for take out then for a nice sit-down dinner. The surprise for me was this is not your typical Chinese fast food restaurant. No hot and sour soup to be found. In looking over the menu, I found none of the typical fried rice dishes. This was all healthy food! They offer lots of vegan and vegetarian meals, though chicken, beef, pork and fish are on the menu as well.
Charlie Hong Kong’s specialties include the Signature Rice Bowls. You choose your bowl, such as Charlie’s Chow Mein with eggless wheat noodles, organic greens and mushrooms, stir-fried with fresh ginger and garlic in a sesame black bean sauce, garnished with bean sprouts, carrots & scallions. Then, you choose your topping from a variety of delicious and healthy toppings like wild salmon marinated in teriyaki sauce or organic sweet garlic tofu. The menu also includes a variety of salads and Vietnamese sandwiches. A mushroom medley sandwich and a cup of soup is only $6.65. I found all of the prices to be very reasonable for such delicious, healthy and organic food. With all of the choices I had, it took me quite awhile to decide which to choose. I ordered a large cup of the chicken noodle soup for my sick friend, the Goddess of Springtime Salad (organic baby spinach, red leaf lettuce and carrots with Tahini lime dressing) and a teriyaki salmon sandwich for myself. The total was less than $20 and I only had to wait for about 10 minutes – time I spent watching some of the eclectic Santa Cruz people walk by.
The chicken noodle soup saved the day, hot and homemade tasting, perfect for my sick friend. I fell in love with the teriyaki salmon sandwich, but it was so big I had to save some for later. The salad was really yummy, and when I was finished eating, I felt healthy and satisfied, quite unlike the typical Chinese fast food I was used to. I can’t wait to experience more of Charlie Hong Kong’s menu!
To take a look at Charlie Hong Kong’s full menu, go to http://www.charliehongkong.com/menu.html. Its so much easier to eat healthy in the Santa Cruz, California area with the many excellent restaurant options we have here.