Love of good food and the community provided motivation for the Castle and Battista families to open the Peekaboo Wood Fired Kitchen, located at 233 West Center Street in Kanab.

Co-owner Francis Battista said the idea came from the many conversations with residents and visitors about the need for a variety of dining choices. “We wanted to introduce tasty vegetarian and vegan food. And, if you want to see change added to the community, sometimes you have to do it,” said Battista.

Kanab has long been a gateway to three national parks; and increasingly, its lesser-known attractions like the Peekaboo slot canyon are being discovered. The families wanted to have the new Peekaboo Canyon Wood Fired Kitchen as a welcoming eatery that is one of a new wave of restaurants transforming Kanab into a foodie hot spot.

“We recognize that other people are beginning to discover Kanab,” said co-owner Julie Castle. “A big part of opening Peekaboo is to promote all of the qualities of Kanab that we love: authentic, unique, memorable!”

Peekaboo Canyon opened in September, and will have a grand opening later this month. Chef Michael Cooper is already raising the bar on creating tasty vegetarian and vegan food to southern Utah. Battista believes the chef’s talents will please palettes without compromise. Chef Cooper’s background is impressive, including working at the Mirage in Las Vegas, and doing makeovers on family restaurants.

Peekaboo Wood Fired Kitchen is the only true vegetarian/vegan restaurant between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, and features a casual atmosphere. There are walnut and solid sandstone tables, patio dining, and an Anasazi-inspired wood-fired oven.

“We’re trying to source locally,” said Battista, of ingredients for food served at Peekaboo. He said that while the vegetable offerings might not always be available here, they are trying to identify local folks with greenhouses to produce ingredients for Peekaboo.

“There is a growing community of vegans who want a more healthy, plant-centered diet,” Battista added. “And then there are those who do an ethical commitment to this mindset as well. We are serving vegan food that will not be sacrificing for taste!”

But, the final question in anyone’s dining experience is, ‘what’s for dinner’?

You can get single or sharable portions of appetizers – for instance, what about a quinoa stuffed avocado? It includes heirloom tomato and roast corn salsa with lime-cilantro dressing. Maybe you want a pizza. There are eight different offerings! From ‘Peekaboo Pear,’ which has pear, sage and mozzarella with arugula, tossed in champagne vinaigrette and gorgonzola; to ‘It’s a Butte,’ that contains wild mushroom, balsamic, red onions and goat cheese.

There are six Canyon Specialties, which include a BBQ Portobello Burger to a Veggie Panini, which consists of spinach, eggplant, red onions and gouda on a ciabatta roll with sweet potato fries or side salad! Salads, sides, desserts, and a kid’s’ menu are also available.

Great breakfast is something we all dream about, but don’t want to cook! Have them make you cream cheese stuffed French toast, or eggs Benedict with a twist, served on an artichoke bottom, with hollandaise sauce and braised fingerling potatoes. What about choosing one of three different types of omelets, pumpkin flapjacks, breakfast pizza, or flatbread?

Lunch offerings include three pizzas, four panini (Italian sandwich served with small salad or sweet potato fries) choices, and salads as well.

Craft cocktails are also offered. Unique wines and signature cocktails designed by their mixologist Casey Young are also offered. Peekaboo also boasts the largest selection of draft beers for 50 miles, including their own signature Peekaboo Lager designed by Zion Brewery.

“Our restaurant is about the love of real food, without all the fluff and stuff around dishes these days – especially pizza. Real, simple, highest quality, honest, artisan food,” said Castle. “Our desire is to provide a place for friends to gather, enjoy a memorable meal, and discuss life over a drink without going broke.”

Peekaboo Kitchen is located in the Flagstone Boutique Inn & Suites, and is open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. for breakfast, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, and from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. for dinner. To see a menu, visit www.peekabookitchen.com. To make a reservation, call 435-689-1959.

“We want to serve people good food that they enjoy, while making it fun,” said Battista.