(Editor's note: This article corrects a story in today's newspaper, "California Grill landing at the airport soon." The restaurant is not leaving the Freedom Center.)
WATSONVILLE — The California Grill at the Freedom Center on Freedom Boulevard is thinking local first.
The restaurant, currently undergoing a face-lift, will put the spotlight on local products and seasonal, organic produce with new owners Dick Peixoto and daughter Ashley Peixoto at the helm. Founders of Lakeside Organics, the Peixoto family know all about fresh, local fruits and vegetables.
“We will be featuring a lot of vegetables with character,” said Dick Peixoto. “Some of the specialty products we want to introduce are baby broccoli, rainbow carrots and rainbow chard.”
Unlike other restaurants that don’t have the benefit of having an entire agricultural business at their disposal, diners at the revamped California Grill will have the opportunity to eat a leafy green at lunch that was harvested that very morning.
In addition to local, organic produce, the revamped menu will include culinary delights from neighborhood producers -– meats and sausages from Corralitos Market and Sausage Co. and Freedom Meat Lockers, pies and juice from Gizdich Ranch, cakes from Freedom Bakery and Golden Sheaf bread. The new menu will feature Central Coast wines, healthy options for those who want the taste but not the after-dinner guilt and an improved kids menu that will make dining out special for the little ones as well.
“Kids have their own tastes that we wanted to accommodate, as well as creating healthy options for them,” said Peixoto.
The local theme extends to interior decorating. The California Grill is working with the Pajaro Valley Historical Society to showcase a rotating roster of images that highlight the unique history of the Pajaro Valley.
The restaurant's grand re-opening will be Saturday, with a special Easter dinner on Sunday. Hours will be 7 a.m. to 9p.m., seven days a week. Breakfast is served until 3 p.m.
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California Grill, Watsonville, restaurant