Spring, Texas – August 29th, 2015: Patsy’s began as a 1940’s mechanic shop/service station that has since been turned in to a quaint restaurant serving an eclectic menu of sandwiches, pasta, salads, homemade soups and coffee, along with southern comfort food and made-from-scratch desserts. Breakfast is served from 8am-11am and lunch is served 11am- 4:30pm; currently there is no dinner service. The true star of Patsy’s is their wood-fired Pizza, fire baked with oak wood in a brick oven imported from Milan, Italy. Patsy’s pizza is the best kept secret in Tomball, TX.
Patsy’s got it’s start as a place called “South Texas Coffee”, serving coffee, biscotti, cold sandwiches and desserts. Named after the original owner, Patsy, who eventually sold it to the current owners, her son and daughter-in-law Curtis & Tracey Morris, about 3 years ago. Daughter Rene and Curtis’s Mother Patsy all contribute to making the restaurant a success. In the earlier years even their sons Curtis Jr. & Chris helped to make it a success, Curtis Sr., who has been in the restaurant business for over 20 years, handles the operations. Patsy’s used to have a little sign with removable letters to let you know where they are, but the City of Tomball made them take it down. If you blink you just might miss it; they are at the corner of 425 W Main St. and S. Pine St.
I had a chance to sit down with Tracey and ask her some questions about Patsy’s:
-What inspired you to add Wood Fired Pizzas to the menu? We thought it would offer more of a variety to our customers and, down the road, give us the possibility of having future menu items cooked or finished off in the oven. We are testing some new menu items that will, hopefully, be coming soon.
-Why did you choose to get a wood fired pizza oven imported in from Milan? My husband was in the restaurant industry for many years and he knew the owner of Antoine’s, who did a great deal of import/export. We wanted this oven because of the quality and the fact that this oven is totally wood fired. We did not want a gas start oven because that changes the flavor of the pizza. Wood gives the pizza a better, more authentic taste. We also use a five-cheese blend on our pizza (two kinds of Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan and Romano). My son Curtis created our recipe for the pizza dough, which is made from scratch daily, and our house-made sauce uses a blend of fresh herbs and the highest quality tomatoes.
How does your food reflect you and your family? Well, many of our recipes have been in our family for many generations, but there are many new innovations also. The chicken salad recipe had been handed down and has not been changed in two generations. The quality of the food is a reflection of us, and is an act of love. My mother-in-law, husband and kids work here or have previously worked here. We put our love, sweat and tears into this restaurant every day. We would never serve anything we would not eat ourselves, which is why everything is made to order and cooked from scratch.
What inspired you to become a restaurant owner? Baking was my forte, and my husband used to do restaurant startups. We had a chef friend who helped us move forward with the concept. He and my husband developed the menu for Patsy’s (named after my mother-in-law). A lot of the more recent aspects (especially during the first years), have been brought to fruition by my son Curtis. Each family member has their strong suit in different positions of the restaurant, which makes it work well.
What are your and the staff’s favorite pizzas? BBQ Chicken with Jalapenos is mine. Curtis, Jr. loves the Mediterranean Veggie (with Chicken added), and my husband’s favorite is the Meat (with Jalapenos added).
Besides Pizza, if you had to eat one food everyday on the Patsy’s menu, what would it be and why? Fish Tacos, because they come two ways, grilled or fried, and would be light enough to eat daily.
What are the most popular menu items at Patsy’s? Besides the wood fired pizzas, the Fiesta Tilapia, Pesto Shrimp Pasta and our homemade Tomato Basil Soup, which is featured daily. That soup has a huge following with our regular customers. The Frips (thick fried potato chips) are pretty popular here. Also, our pies are a big hit for dessert.
Since baking is your forte, what is your signature dessert at Patsy’s? My Coconut Cream Pie. It is hard to keep it in the case and we often sell out. Also, the Fudge Covered Brownie. All our pies and dessert are made from scratch.
What would you want to tell somebody about Patsy’s if they have never been here? This is a place where people feel comfortable; the customers are an extension of our family. We love when our customers give us feedback. Our business is all done by word of mouth, and we have never done any advertising. Also, that we have an open kitchen so we obviously have nothing to hide.
I have had your coffee; what sets yours apart from the national chains? I buy our beans green and roast them in house at least every two days so as to keep them fresh. I drives to the Port to pick up the coffee that is shipped directly from the farmers. We use different blends and varieties, but only the best beans are used. Our coffee isn’t meant to compete with the national chains, but we offer the best gourmet coffee at a comparable price to our patrons.
What do you and your husband have planned for Patsy’s future? We are eventually going to build out toward the street. Currently we can seat about 30-32 people, but after expanding we will be able to seat 90+. We will keep the original building and garage doors from the service station, because, amazingly, we still have customers that worked or were patrons of the original shop from the 40’s.
I heard you all opened a new restaurant, tell me a little bit about it?
Yes, we also just opened a new restaurant in mid-October of last year called the Hedgehog Grill in Waller, TX. We have a great chef, Loren Solis. Texas beer and wines, great speciality burgers, flat iron steaks, chicken fried steaks to name a few dishes.
5 Words that describes Patsy’s? Quality, Family Atmosphere, Southern Charm, Hometown & Eclectic.
25 W Main St (@ S. Pine), Tomball, TX 77375
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am- 4:30pm | Saturday 8am- 4:00pm | Sunday Closed
40100 U.S. Business 290, Waller, TX 77484
Hours: Mon-Thu 11am- 9pm | Fri – Sat 11am- 10pm | Sunday Closed
Article by: Nick “Spring Foodie” Rama
Photo Credit: John Wade