Now in its 20th year, Moab’s Peace Tree Café prides itself on using fresh, light, and healthful ingredients in its menu.
“We don’t have any fried foods, and everything is fresh, not frozen,” says owner Karen Whipple, who started the restaurant in downtown Moab in June 1998. For much of 2010, the restaurant was closed while renovations were made to expand the business into the building next door. Since its expansion, the Peace Tree, with its outdoor patio area, now seats up to 120 customers.
Peace Tree’s other location is in Whipple’s hometown of Monticello, about 50 miles south of Moab. Approximately 30 employees work at the Moab store (half of which are full-time), while another 20 work at the Monticello location, which has slightly fewer food and beverage options.
Whipple says many of her employees have worked there for several years without the high degree of turnover experienced by many other area businesses. “We’re like a family,” she says.
Manzana Springs Vegetable Farm in nearby Spanish Valley has supplied garlic, chard, cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, beets, carrots, and spinach to the Peace Tree regularly for the past six years. The farm’s freshly picked vegetables are used in omelets, salads, juices, smoothies, and burger toppings. Whipple said the restaurant also plans to start buying beets, kale, and other vegetables from another local supplier, Castle Valley Farms, in the near future.
“We’ve bought from other local farms in the past, but some of them are no longer in business,” Whipple said, adding, “If anyone comes to us and is willing to bring us produce consistently, we are willing to work with them.”
Although the Peace Tree started out as a juice and smoothie outlet, it now offers a wide range of menu options. Breakfast choices include omelets, bagels, whole-grain pancakes, and smothered burritos. Lunch and dinner options include salads, wraps, burgers, and pasta dishes. Entrees include beef steak, salmon, pork and chicken dishes, all of which are served with baci rolls, side salad, brussels sprouts and choice of mashed potatoes, and rice pilaf or baked potato.
The meat used in the hamburgers is grass-fed beef, without antibiotics. Numerous vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options are found throughout the café’s diverse menu.
The quinoa salad features green peppers, red onions, tomatoes, and black beans embedded in a mound of quinoa and served over spinach leaves, surrounded by cucumber and tomato slices, sprouts, and Parmesan crisps. Dressing options include ranch, blue cheese, or one of three vinaigrettes.
A variety of healthy smoothies are available, the most popular being Jolly Green, a blend of almond milk, spinach, avocado, mango, pineapple, chai seeds, and protein powder. Other drinks include mixed-vegetable juices, coffee, cappuccino, and non-fat yogurt shakes.
Peace Tree Café is located at 20 South Main, Moab, and 516 North Main, Monticello.
Both locations open 7am to 10pm 7 days a week.