Appleton Grill co-owner Abe Novin isn’t telling what’s in Abe’s Secret Recipe.

Abe and Zohre Novin opened the Appleton Grill as a full-service pizza restaurant this year. But so far, their burgers are getting more attention than they expected. The Novins, both natives of Iran, are getting ready for a grand opening party onSaturday Dec. 28

SANTA CRUZ WEEKLY: What’s Saturday’s party going to be like?

ZOHRE NOVIN: It’s going to be from 7 to midnight. After having soft openings for four or five months, we decided it’s going be time to have our grand opening. And I’d like to invite everybody to join us for a night of dance with $10 cover charge per person. And we’ll serve all kinds of appetizers and hors d'oeuvres and soft drinks.

Isn’t five months a long time to wait for a grand opening?

Abe Novin: It’s not that long because the first two months we were not open for business—just set up the menu and come up with the food; cook the food for the people to come and check it. For another three months, we tried to get perfection with the food, so I think it’s the right time to make a grand opening.

Is this building old?

AN: 102 years old. It was built in 1911. The place was called Appleton Hotel.Very historical.

Where do you get your bread?

AN: Sumano’s is the manufacturer. It just opened a block from here. Basically they make whatever we want. They design it especially for us, on a daily basis. We don’t need to order so much. We are not rushing to make a big menu. We practice the food. We put it on a special. We want to make sure everything’s okay before we put it on the permanent menu.

How do you like your pizza?

ZH: I prefer chicken pesto, but the veggie pizza’s also great. The chicken pesto is a win-win combination.

Are you a perfectionist?

ZH: I am, unfortunately, and that makes it hard, but in the restaurant business it does help if you have attention to detail.

What’s your favorite burger?

ZN: Abe’s Secret Recipe, of course, with mushroom and avocado—and Appleton Sliders, the mini version of that.

But what is Abe’s Secret rub. I gotta know!

ZH: That’s a secret. I cannot tell you. It’s a combination of Persian spices that gives a different taste that everyone likes.