Demonstrating the ultimate commitment to farm-fresh produce, the Parkway Grill
planted its own organic vegetable and herb garden behind the restaurant,
which continues to thrive on a piece of prime real estate in the heart of Pasadena.
While a growing number of restaurants are now interested in local and organic produce, Parkway Grill was a pioneer in this endeavor that began over 25 years ago. Bob and Gregg Smith, owners of the Parkway Grill saw the potential for the piece of land attached to the restaurant property, and put every effort into transforming the plot into a prolific garden.
The year-round harvest from the garden includes: heirloom tomatoes, rare squash varietals, beans, berries, lettuces, exotic herbs, passion fruit, and more. The garden has been organic since day-one, placing value on using alternative gardening methods that speak to the increasing concerns over pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals used in traditional gardening.
In a 1990 article in the Los Angeles Times: "Getting Fresh" , writer Daniel P. Puzo quotes: “Smith says that the restaurant has made a long-term commitment to the garden” and he calls the garden a “Culinary and environmental showcase, a tranquil garden amid the roar of traffic from the Arroyo Parkway” (Puzo, Daniel P. "Getting Fresh." Editorial. Los Angeles Times 21 June 1990). Over 25 years later—Smith continues to make good on that commitment.
Throughout the years, Parkway’s chefs have showcased the fresh herbs and vegetables from the garden in ingredient-driven dishes in keeping with the fine dining restaurant’s Regional American Cuisine. The emphasis that Parkway has placed on fresh, locally-sourced, and farmers market produce is best represented in its dedication to the onsite garden, and as a result, the restaurant is considered one of the best farm-to-table dining experiences in Pasadena and Los Angeles.