Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 24th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Midwestern Hospitality

dining peachwoodssPeachwood's arranges happy marriages between local produce, Kansas City beef and Omaha pork

On Sunday mornings at brunch you may find David Smith, chef-proprietor of Peachwood's Steakhouse, manning the carving station dressed regally in whites and a tall, pleated toque. Once a Midwest college chemistry professor, Smith owned a Kansas City-style steakhouse and in 1991 brought his recipes and relationships with family ranchers to Santa Cruz.

Celebrating 21 years, there is more to Peachwood's than Sunday brunch. Of course it's an idyllic location for weddings, and dinner entrées are served lavishly as multi-course meals which include soup and salad, locally grown vegetables with choice of starch, plus a couple of elegant surprises.
Appetizers ($9) include traditional escargots, sautéed calamari, and grilled scallops. Dinner-sized salads ($13 to $15) feature an Italian combination of beans, mozzarella, salami and pepperoncini, and a chopped salad of smoked chicken, blue cheese, bacon and avocado.
Seafood choices range from fresh catch of the day, to salmon and Ahi tuna.
Peachwood's tender baby back ribs hail from Omaha, Neb., and are smoked slowly over peach wood for eight hours. They serve a 22-ounce porterhouse, a filet, and rib eye steak, as well as pork tenderloin, and New Zealand lamb.
With such a tempting menu to review, we relaxed with a couple of Peachwood's specialty martinis. A tender wedge of canned peach embellished the refreshing Peach Pit Martini ($8) made with peach-flavored vodka and Schnapps. An old-school stainless steel shaker held an icy second serving. The vodka-based Appletini ($8) with tart, smoky apple liqueur was served with a perfect cherry.
The lounge next door was busy and cheerful on this finally-a-Friday evening. A special event in the brunch area was hardly noticeable from the dining room with sliding doors and curtains efficiently muffling the noise. We instead enjoyed the sound of chimes from the numerous beautiful clocks. One featured do-re-mi and dancing Von Trapp children, another, a familiar Disney song. Whimsical framed drawings featuring chefs helped create a homey atmosphere in the neat and comfortable room, as did the numerous friendly servers that attended to our table.
The appetizer, a large Grilled Pasilla ($9) with blackened skin, like a naked chile relleno, oozed melted Jack cheese into the creamy and slightly piquant red bell pepper cream sauce, which was so delectable we wiped the plate clean with pieces of warm, crusty bread.
Just before the soup arrived, we quickly devoured the peach fritters; crisply fried balls of sweet, airy dough, sprinkled with powdered sugar. In the dark broth of the soup floated strips of sweet Walla Walla onions.
The small mixed greens salad arrived with three types of dressings to choose from. I had upgraded to a sizeable Iceberg Wedge ($3.50) with black olives, crumbled blue cheese and shredded carrot. I liked both the chunky blue cheese and pickle-riddled Thousand Island dressings with the fresh crunchy lettuce.
Just prior to the entrance of the entrées, palate-cleansing dollops of strawberry sherbet were served in tiny torch-shaped cones.
Peachwood's midwestern steaks are aged 21 days and cooked over mildly flavored peach wood, which is abundant in California. The Heart of America Kansas City Strip ($26) was tender, a perfect medium-rare and served with creamy garlic mashed potatoes and a medley of bright al dente vegetables.
The Buffalo Platter ($30) was served on a cast iron fajita-type skillet.  The grill-marked bison top sirloin steak was well-seasoned and juicy with vinegar-based BBQ sauce on the side. The plump baked potato was dressed at the table with sour cream and green onions. The platter also included vegetables and black beans.
The house-made desserts are irresistible. Steaming caramel sauce puddled around warm, homey, Peach Bread Pudding ($7) which was topped with whipped cream and served with slices of tart green apple.dining peachwoods
A spider web of raspberry and chocolate syrups decorated the plate of the elegant airy cheesecake ($7) which was topped with whipped cream.
Peachwood's is open for business 365 days each year. The limited menu for Christmas Eve includes appetizers ($9) of artichoke cakes and cashew chicken egg rolls, and entrées with soup and salad which range from a half lamb rack ($28.95), shrimp or ahi Caesar salad ($16.50), layered Crown Salmon ($24.95) and grilled vegetables layered onto garlic mashed potatoes ($24.95).
Peachwood's serves a traditional family dinner ($34) on Christmas Day which includes corn chowder, Caesar salad, and main courses such as sage roasted turkey, wild flower honey glazed ham, and grilled Atlantic salmon. Dessert choices (included) will be Pumpkin or Pecan Pie, and Cranberry Cheesecake.
If you'd rather be home for the holidays, Peachwood's heat-and-serve dinners leave you more time with your company. The Thanksgiving feast featured roast turkey, corn chowder, potatoes and gravy, salad, vegetables, rolls, and a pie ($100 for 4 people or $60 for two). Call for an Internet order form, or to place a phone order.

Peachwood's at the Inn at Pasatiempo, 555 Highway 17, Santa Cruz, 426-6333. Full bar. Serving lunch from 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., dinner: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Monday – Saturday), 5:00 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Sunday), Lounge: 2:00 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Monday – Friday), 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m. (Saturday - Sunday), and Sunday Brunch: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Visit


Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.


Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.


Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.


Film, Times & Events: Week of April 24

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments


Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.


Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.


Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.


How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management