Pop-up spot attracts paleo crowd with locally sourced low-carb meals
Since early February, Front Street Kitchen has hosted Thursday night pop-up dinners, allowing Santa Cruz to get a taste of all kinds of food. Front Street Kitchen started as a commercial kitchen for different caterers, but they’ve all gone their separate ways—except for Denna Myers (Local Harvest Catering), who has taken over with her partner Ty Pearce, in the hopes of turning the space into a permanent restaurant called Local Harvest Eatery. In the meantime, folks can get a sample of the locally sourced, low-carb foods they plan to sell every Thursday night between 5 and 9 p.m.
What have the pop-ups been like?
DENNA MYERS: We’ve had lines out the door. People are getting to know us. And we’re getting a feel for what the community wants. They want healthy food. They want choices. They want to support local farmers. People get to come in and choose the main course, and they get to choose their sides. It doesn’t matter if they’re on the paleo diet, or just trying to eat healthy, you can come in and just build your own plate, which is kind of unique.
What kind of food do you serve?
It’s kind of California cuisine. We just call it healthy comfort food. It’s just very simple. All our produce comes from local farms. Our chicken is organic. Our meats are all natural. It’s not necessarily low calorie health food. It’s healthy in the sense that it’s not processed.
What’s been popular so far?
We do a smoked pulled pork that we smoke for 10 hours. It has a very simple dry roast on it. We also have a sauce bar that changes. Ty has an amazing barbecue sauce that we have every week. You can play around with the sauces. There’s also a flank steak that’s been really popular. The fish wasn’t so popular, so we decided to take it off and just add a vegetarian main, which a lot of people were requesting. All of these little things are good to know so that when we open—we’re ready.
How do people know about your pop ups?
It’s been a lot of word of mouth through friends. CrossFit has actually been a huge support for us. There really aren’t a lot of places in town, if you are on the paleo diet, where you can go and eat, so CrossFit has been promoting us.
Are you a paleo restaurant?
No. We just don’t have a lot of carbs on our menu. We don’t have a lot of dairy. It complements their diet. We weren’t envisioning going in that direction, that’s just the way that we eat. We want to be able to provide a different experience when people come out, so that they know that they can go to a place and no matter what they get, it’s going to be healthy food.
PHOTO: Denna Myers and Ty Pearce making smoked pulled pork for their Front Street Kitchen. CHIP SCHEUER