We live in a city divided. It’s so vast and sprawling that we all tend to nosh in our hoods. The 405 is the great divide, and a telling benchmark: is it worth crossing over (and potentially battling an hour of traffic with hungry littles) just for a meal? Often, the answer is a resounding NO. But then, Pedalers Fork flew open its glorious doors…
Stop the music, stop the car, turn it around, plug this place into your GPS and rally to the valley, STAT. Sound the culinary siren; we’ve got a new favorite family restaurant alert. Why this place hasn’t interrupted our regularly scheduled programming is way beyond us. Wait people. Wait. . .
Old McGrath he had a farm.
And so did The Underwood Family, Whitney Ranch, Coleman Farms . . .Tangerine Man. Why is everything we eat here popping with a vernal vibrancy that can only come from farm fresh produce? Because everything is made with farm fresh produce and identified by the farm it comes from. Everything. How do you unite a community? Open a restaurant that supports all the Great Growers in the immediate periphery. Check out their laundry list of suppliers. It’s a lesson in celebrating the seasonally driven.
But as much as we appreciate a good broccoli sprout . . .
We’ve got our little alfalfas to think about. And for all intents and purposes, the under 12 menu is enough to put them on the map. For babies? Seasonal baby food purees. Right!!?? Behold the joy in dining without the jar of Earth’s Best and the disposable spoon. It’s so cool, we have to say it again – you can order from the menu for even your tiny babe. For toddlers, blends of golden beets, sweet peas, and mangos provide such a dear departure from the mac-n-cheese stand-by, but if it’s mac-n-cheese they want, this one’s got kabocha squash béchamel blended into the white cheddar. Turkey meatloaf is served cupcake style, complete with purple mashed potato frosting. Cupcakes, purple frosted, protein-packed cupcakes for lunch.
They had us at purple mashed potato frosting.
But what about breakfast? We had to check, so we braved the 405 to the 101 for more than one meal here. And when you see your kid go to work on a plate of Whitney Ranch Blueberry Johnny Cakes (served fully loaded with chia seed, flaxseed, quinoa, bee pollen, toasted coconut and walnut), served atop a bead of edible blooms, it’s visual poetry of the parenting kind. Feel free to call them pancakes. That’s a lot of virtue to metabolize.
Eat your heart out, Kermit.
While kids go to town on the Johnny Cakes, you may wish to sample the Green Omelet. Kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, English peas, and feta. Kermit, when you go green that way, it actually is pretty easy.
Speaking of pretty, it’s just so pretty here!
Colossal ceilings sun wash the open air flow between indoors and out. Decorative bicycles dangle from diagonal beams, fastening the windowed rooftops, fascinating kids who tilt their heads and drop their jaws Fourth of July fireworks style. Eucalyptus trees climb out from the creek, cradling the glorious patio, welcoming dogs, families, and cyclists who enjoy both the café and the attached bike shop.
Why Did the Children Cross The Road?
To hold the flags that anchors the crosswalk to get to the other side, naturally. Parking across the street is ample and easy. But the bucket of green flags bookending either side of the sweet cobbled road, so that the kids can hold one up and assist in stopping traffic? If they ask to return for no other reason, they will ask for this. Who knew flag bearing bore such empowerment? Kids.
And on Saturdays . . .
The back door leads right into a sprawling Farmers Market worthy of whiling away your afternoon. Farm to table is all the more comprehensible when you literally move from table to farm. And education is so much easier to digest when it’s literally digestable. So between the teams of bicyclists, the numerous dogs joining them for breakfast, the bikes dangling from the ceiling and the creek trickling on the west end, kids won’t even have time to make good on the word search and crayons they were given. It’s a good day when you can have your greens and enjoy them too. And it’s a great day, when your kids have done the same.
So if you like . . .
Your Saturdays with a side of Farmers Market meandering and a family full of farm to table happiness, pedaler to the metal people. Calabasas is calling.
Written and photographed by Jolie Loeb
23504 Calabasas Road
Calabasas, Ca 91302
What’s your favorite farm to table spot that perfect for families?