Pedalers Fork is more than just a business. It’s a community.

Written by STEPHANIE SUMELL  Photos courtesy of GIDEON KLEINMAN, Pedalers Fork

 F riends and business partners Tim Retelle and Robbie Schaeffer opened the restaurant, coffeehouse and full-service bike shop in April 2013 to provide a home away from home for their customers.

Fruit CobblerNow a popular hangout for cyclists passing through town, the establishment in the heart of Calabasas caters to health-conscious individuals who enjoy good food, good company and the great outdoors.

No bike? No problem, Retelle says.

“When we first opened, I saw a woman dressed in normal street clothes walk out to the patio to meet her husband dressed in full cycling gear. . . . There’s something here for everybody.”

The restaurant on Calabasas Road aims to help change the way the food industry operates by eliminating as many steps as possible between where food is produced and where it’s consumed. The Pedalers Fork van travels up and down the coast, gathering food from farmers, ranchers and artisans who follow sustainable, organic practices.

Retelle“We want people to experience what real food tastes like,” Retelle says. “Our carrots come in with dirt on them because they were just picked that morning.”

SchaefferThe 36-year-old says Pedalers Fork has put hundreds of thousands of dollars back into the community. The restaurant even purchases fresh herbs and vegetables grown by students at Muse School, a private school in Calabasas with an environmental focus.

“People who come here are investing in their own backyard,” Retelle says. “You’re not only eating the best-quality food you are going to find, you are supporting the local growers in your area. . . . It’s all about doing the right thing.”

And doing the right thing never tasted so good.

Dan Murray, the restaurant’s executive chef, changes the menu seasonally to offer patrons the freshest ingredients possible.

“Pedalers Fork has become a place where the vegan and the carnivore can sit down together and be happy,” Murray says.

Murray says the quinoa burger, a tasty vegetarian patty, is a favorite among the restaurant’s regulars.

Murray“The recipe has undergone many revisions,” he says. “It really gives you that satisfaction of eating a burger without the guilt to go along with it.”

The blueberry johnnycakes, miniature pancakes inspired by a Revolutionary War-era recipe, are also a hit.

“It’s easy to enrich food with butter,” Murray says. “Here, we try to find ways to make things as fresh and exciting as we can without the extra fat.”

The chef says he’s always trying something new. He offers two to three specials a day.

“We like to have fun with it,” Murray says.

Pedalers Fork’s contemporary design is  comfy and inviting. The restaurant is in  the heart of Old Town Calabasas.

Pedalers Fork’s contemporary design is
comfy and inviting. The restaurant is in
the heart of Old Town Calabasas.

Guests can dine inside or outside on the restaurant’s spacious patio,

which overlooks a natural creek. Light, bright and airy, the building—constructed largely out of recycled lumber—is rustic yet modern.

Gideon Kleinman, Pedalers’ marketing director, says the setting’s “warm and welcoming aesthetic,” which includes a display of vintage bicycles, lends itself to a variety of functions.

“If you come in with a suit and tie and you want to have a five-course meal, you can,” Kleinman says. “If you want to ride up here covered in mud after a mountain-bike ride, that works too.”

The coffeehouse at the back of the restaurant serves freshly brewed 10 Speed Coffee and baked goods made on site. The cold brew Yama coffee takes up to 18 hours to make.

The coffee shop opens at 6 a.m., so folks visiting the Calabasas farmers’ market in the Pedalers Fork parking lot on Saturday mornings can enjoy piping hot artisan coffees before the market opens at 8.

There’s also a full-service bike shop overlooking the dining patio and a bulletin board announcing organized rides through the area.

Retelle says Pedalers Fork continues to evolve.

So far, he says, it’s been the ride of his life.

“Robbie and I came into this thing with different backgrounds but the same goal,” he says. “I think it’s become bigger than any of us could have ever imagined.”

Menu

Banana Blueberry Johnnycakes • Quinoa Burger • Blood Orange, Wonton & Almond Salad • Green Flatbread • Devils on Horseback • Lamb Meatballs with • Xocopilli Sauce • Filet Mignon • Cast Iron Skillet Fruit Cobbler • Old Fashion Cocktail

 

Banana Blueberry Johnnycakes

Serves 4-6

Banana Blueberry Johnnycakes½ cup red quinoa, cooked
½ cup brown rice flour
1 Tbsp. turbinado sugar
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
dash salt
¼ cup coconut, toasted
¼ cup red walnuts
2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp. bee pollen
¼ cup hemp seed, ground
¼ cup chia seeds

1 banana, roasted
¾ cup coconut milk
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. flax seed, ground and mixed
with water
3 Tbsp. water
½ cup blueberries

TOPPING
¼ cup blueberries
1 Tbsp. bee pollen
½ oz. edible flowers
maple syrup (optional)

Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Let cool at least 20 minutes.
Put dry ingredients in a bowl, mix. Add all wet ingredients except quinoa. Mix well.
Add quinoa and blueberries. Mix and let rest for about 1 hour.
Add other dried fruits and nuts if desired.
Portion johnnycakes with an ice cream scoop onto a preheated griddle and cook until browned on both sides (about 1-2 minutes).
Serve 4 johnny cakes per plate. Garnish with fresh blueberries, banana slices, bee pollen and flowers. Top with maple syrup if desired.

Quinoa Burgers

Makes 4

Quinoa Burger½ cup red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup chopped carrot
1 Tbsp. canola oil
½ pinch ground cumin, to taste
½ pinch chili flakes, to taste
¼ cup hummus
1 cup mixed quinoa, cooked
⅓ cup textured vegetable protein *
¼ tsp. lemon juice

4 hamburger buns
½ cup hummus
½ cup raita sauce
½ cup feta cheese
1 small Persian cucumber, sliced
⅓ cup pickled red onion
¼ cup baby arugula

Puree vegetables in a food processor.
Heat a saucepan over medium heat; add oil to warm.
In the saucepan, sweat vegetable puree until tender with cumin, chili flakes and a pinch of salt.
Spread and cool to room temperature.
Put cooled vegetable paste and remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Cook quinoa patties on both sides until lightly browned and warmed through, about 1-2 minutes. Patties should be crispy on the outside.
Toast the buns, then spread hummus on the bottom and raita sauce on top.
Assemble from bottom to top with quinoa patty, feta cheese, cucumber, pickled red onion, and arugula.

*Vegetable protein can be found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores.

 

Blood Orange, Wonton & Almond Salad

Serves 4-6

Blood Orange, Wonton & Almond Salad

Blood Orange, Wonton & Almond Salad

2 cups butter lettuce mix or baby mixed
greens, washed
1 cup savoy cabbage, shredded
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1½ cups rainbow carrots, julienned
½ cup red onion, julienned
2 cups blood orange, peeled and cut into
rounds ¼” thick
1¼ cup sliced almonds
½ cup green onion, chopped to ¼” pieces
2 cups wontons, julienned and fried
until crisp*
3 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
salt and pepper to taste
1½ cups miso-ginger vinaigrette
(or vinaigrette dressing of your choice)

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, setting aside half of the fried wontons and sesame seeds. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Toss with miso-ginger vinaigrette.
Garnish salad with remaining fried wontons and sesame seeds.

*Wonton skins can be purchased at most grocery stores.

 

Green Flatbread

Makes 4

Green Flatbread

Green Flatbread

4 pieces (about 4” x 12”) pizza dough
½ cup herb pistou (or pesto)
1 heaping cup shredded mozzarella or fresh mozzarella curds
1 heaping cup asparagus, cut in
1” pieces
1 cup baby artichoke hearts, cleaned and
cut in half
1 cup broccoli florets
6 leaves baby kale, washed
½ cup burrata cheese

Spread pizza dough on a sheet tray. Spread pistou on the pizza dough, covering the whole surface.
Layer mozzarella, then vegetables, and top with 3 dollops of burrata.
Cook in 450o oven for 10-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and the bottom crust is lightly browned. Serve hot.

 

Devils on Horseback

Makes 12

Devils on Horseback12 medjool dates
½ cup blue cheese crumbles
6 pieces bacon, halved
toothpicks

Slice dates partially through lengthwise and remove the pit.
Stuff each date with about 1 tsp. blue cheese crumbles.
Wrap each date with a half-slice of bacon and secure with toothpick.
Deep fry at 350o for about 6 minutes, or bake in oven at 350o for 30-40 minutes or until bacon is crisp.

Lamb Meatballs with Xocopilli Sauce

Serves 4-6

1 lb. ground lamb
½ cup onion, chopped
½ cup carrot, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
½ Tbsp. black pepper, ground
½ Tbsp. cumin seed, toasted and ground
2 cage-free eggs
3-4 cups vegetable stock (as needed)

2 cups cooked couscous, prepared according
to package instructions
2 cups Xocopilli sauce*
parsley and chives as needed to garnish

Mix together lamb, onion, carrot, celery, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, cumin seed and eggs in a bowl.
Portion 16-20 meatballs using 1-oz. scoop, about the size of ping-pong balls. Place on a sheet pan and let rest 30 minutes in refrigerator.
In a saucepan, bring cooking stock to a simmer and pour half into a roasting pan.
Place meatballs in stock. Meatballs should be about half-submerged in the liquid. Cover with foil and bake at 375o for 20-25 minutes to an internal temperature of 150o.
Remove cover.
(Meatballs can be made 3-5 days ahead if refrigerated in airtight container.)
For individual servings: In a bowl, scoop ½ cup couscous, top with 4-5 meatballs and drizzle with Xocopilli sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley and chives. Serve hot.
To serve family style: Mound couscous in casserole or serving platter, top with meatballs, drizzle with Xocopilli sauce.

* Available at most grocery stores.

 

Filet Mignon

Serves 4

4 8-oz. filets mignons
salt and black pepper to taste
olive oil as needed
2 Tbsp. shallots, minced
1 cup black rice, cooked
¼ cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. chives, chopped
½ lb. broccoli di cicco
4 cippolini onions, roasted whole
¾ cup black garlic shitaki sauce or other steak sauce

Season steaks with salt and pepper on both sides. Cook on preheated grill or pan to desired doneness.
To make black rice risotto, heat oil in a saute pan, sauté shallots, add black rice, then stock, and continue to cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender (per package instructions). Finish with lemon juice and chopped herbs.
On grill or in cast iron skillet, char the broccoli until cooked through.
Season everything to taste with salt and pepper.
Place a mound of black rice risotto in the center of each plate. Add charred broccoli and filet and top with a roasted cippolini onion. Drizzle steak sauce around plate.

 

Cast Iron Skillet Fruit Cobbler

Makes 6-8 individual servings

Fruit CobblerFRUIT MIXTURE
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. orange juice
4 Tbsp. water
1 Fuji apple, cut in slices
1 cup blueberries
10 strawberries, quartered

Combine sugar, cornstarch, orange juice and water in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until mixture thickens. Stir in fruit. Set aside.

STREUSEL TOPPING
½ stick butter, cold
1½ cups granulated sugar
2 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp. almond flour
¼ tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. ground cinnamon

Mix together all dry ingredients. Cut in the cold butter. Add vanilla extract and cinnamon. Stir until mixed.
Evenly portion fruit mixture into individual cast iron skillets or ramekins; top each with streusel topping, completely covering fruit.
Bake in 350o oven until golden brown and fruit begins to bubble, about 15-20 minutes.
Serve hot.

 

Old Fashion Cocktail

Old Fashion CocktailMakes 1

1 white sugar cube
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 oz. bourbon*
3 large ice cubes
1 orange peel

In Old Fashion glass, muddle (crush) sugar cubes with Angostura bitters. Add bourbon and ice cubes, give full stir.
Garnish with orange peel.

* Pedalers Fork uses Buffalo Trace.