There is a tiny little corner restaurant in Capitola, California (where I had my very first apartment when I was 18) called Cafe Violette. Right off the Esplanade, a curved sweeping drive that mimics the curve of the Monterrey Bay, lies this little wedge-shaped cafe. Through one small door, you can get Polar Bear ice cream, some of the best stuff on earth. (Honey and almond is my favorite, followed closely by Olollieberry) and through the other painted door is a small counter and two table where you can get best felafels in California and a divine concoction called Roasted Lemon Chicken.
After work, David and I used to walk down to get an order of Lemon Chicken, make our way through the hilly streets, and up a steep little brush-thick path to the top of the railroad trestle. We would sit on the trestle with our Lemon Chicken and felafel’s and watch the sunset over the Pacific. I don’t know if this is really the best lemon chicken on earth, but it’s colored with sweet memories of an idyllic time long gone, and for me, it’s manna from Heaven. It’s really simple and really yummy. Give it a try…
Cafe Violette Lemon Chicken
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- lemon pepper
- lemon juice and zest from 2 lemons
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
- salt and pepper
- Shredded lettuce
- lemon wedge
- sliced fresh tomato and/or cucumber
- 4 pita pocket breads
- Dice chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes, about 1 inch.
- Toss with juice and zest of one lemon, and a healthy dose of lemon pepper.
- Broil in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through and browned, but still moist.
- While chicken is broiling, in a bowl combine mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice to taste. Shred lettuce, and warm pita bread.
- Toss cooked, hot chicken pieces in mayonnaise sauce.
- Serve either as a salad topped with the chicken, or stuff the pita with the chicken and lettuce, accompanied by the lemon wedge and tomato.
- Find a train trestle, climb it and look toward the ocean. Or, find a nice high spot and appreciate wherever it is you live.