A new farm-to-table restaurant, The Good Plow, has officially opened in Carpinteria, offering locally sourced, organic meals in what is perhaps the beachside city’s healthiest restaurant.
The Good Plow, located at 5205 Carpinteria Ave., celebrated its grand opening just over two weeks ago. The new business replaced the long-standing Fosters Freeze establishment, which closed in Aug. 2020.
Using all locally sourced, organic ingredients, the restaurant offers a menu of mainly vegetarian options, with the exception of its popular fish tacos, Lox Bowl and “The Real Burger,” which sources grass-fed beef from San Julian Ranch in Lompoc. Other menu offerings include hearty bowls, sandwiches and salads that are stuffed with vegetables and Asian-inspired flavors and seasonings.
Since opening two weeks ago, the restaurant has been full of customers, Katie Lesh, the owner of The Good Plow, told the News-Press Saturday. She and her husband, Jason, own the restaurant and Farm Cart Organics in Carpinteria.
With deep ties to the local farming community, Ms. Lesh said her goal for this restaurant is to use locally sourced ingredients to create a healthy and affordable dining option in the beachside city.
“I saw what Carp needed,” Ms. Lesh said. “I could see personally what (the city) needed and heard what people wanted, and it was always healthier food options in a fast-paced environment. Somewhere you can go get a salad or go get a sandwich, and somewhere you can bring your kids that it’s just casual.”
“I just tried to build around that vision,” she added.
Ms. Lesh and her husband got to work making that vision a reality when the couple began renovating the building last September after Fosters Freeze closed in August. The renovation effort continued through this year and was completed through a crowdsourcing effort on Kickstarter, where community members raised over $50,000 for the construction of the restaurant’s outdoor patio and inventory.
Now that the restaurant is open, Ms. Lesh and her husband are offering a menu of healthy meals in the heart of Carpinteria. By partnering with numerous local farmers to provide ingredients for the restaurant’s menu, Ms. Lesh estimates that customers are enjoying meals that are made from 95% organic ingredients. Even the oil that the food is cooked in is made from organic sunflower oil, she said.
While the new restaurant has a vastly different menu than the Fosters Freeze that once occupied the location, the owners decided to pay tribute to the old establishment by installing an ice cream window off the side of the entrance. Customers can order organic ice cream served on chocolate-dipped cones.
“When people first heard that Foster Freeze was closing, they were so angry because it was this, like, childhood memory for them,” Ms. Lesh said. “So we tried to offer a similar thing.”
Customers to the store also have the option to purchase fresh local produce on the spot right inside the restaurant. Currently, the store is selling an assortment of local fruits and vegetables, as well as various kitchen utensils and goods.
Looking toward the future, Ms. Lesh said she’s hoping to open additional Good Plow locations in the region, perhaps in Santa Barbara or Ventura. She said through the restaurant, she hopes to reach a new demographic of people and introduce them to affordable, healthy menu options.
“I’m really trying to reach a different demographic with our prices, and I really want to create a space where everyone feels welcome,” Ms. Lesh said. “Like the middle schoolers who come here every day because the school is just right down the street. That’s what I’m really trying to capture — just a community space where everybody feels important and welcome.”