Home Cooking in Novice, Texas
In 2014, Lloyd and Sue Garrett were driving down Highway 195 from Idabel when they stopped in Novice to get a soda. As they approached the gas station, they noticed it was closed down at the time. After checking around to see who owned the store, the Garrets decided to buy it give it some new life. Having bought and sold many businesses over the years, this seemed like the perfect time to settle down in a quiet community.
The Garrett’s now own and work together at The Novice Store and Cafe. Sue is the cook and occasional dishwasher and has been serving some of the best home-cooked meals around, according to her customers.
The experiencing of dining there was wonderful-almost like traveling back to the sixties with the soda fountain furniture and booths. Sue says that her banana pudding disappears real fast. I asked the Garretts what the daily menu was on their buffet. Sue said, “whatever I feel look cooking that day”. This particular day, she had fried butterfly shrimp, chicken-fried chicken, green beans, broccoli, new potatoes, candied baby carrots, french fries, smoked sausage and cabbage and many choices on her salad bar.
I had the green pea salad which was delicious! Some of the other patrons started telling me their favorite meals that Sue cooks for them (and she knows her customers all by name). Everyone actually visits with each other while they are eating. The majority love her chicken fried steak and of course, the banana pudding. I asked that she bring a bowl of that pudding the next time she comes to Paris.
After living in McCurtain County for twenty-five years, the Garretts just went for a casual drive and ended up in Novice, Texas. “Buying the store just felt like the thing we needed to do,” Mr. Garret said. Lloyd proudly asked me how old I thought he was, I answered and he corrected me by admitting he is 87 as he was busy wiping down tables in his water-stained shirt. Sue, on the other hand, is 80 and proud of it. Sue has flashy red hair, beautiful smile, and works in her white lace up knee-high boots. They are full of energy and love for all that stop by and visit, and they have some stories to tell if you have time.
Lloyd and Sue open the store at 5 a.m. and close between 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. They serve quick breakfast items and offer a lunch buffet daily. After that, they close for the evening and relax before doing it again the next day.
Stop in and enjoy a hot cooked-from-scratch lunch buffet with the Garretts, located at the four-way stop in Novice, Texas across from Novice Baptist Church. You will leave with a full stomach and a warm feeling in your heart and you just might be lucky enough to get some of that famous banana pudding.
The phone number at the store is 903-785-3881 if you want to see what’s on the menu for the day.
Article by: Kim Ledbetter
Since the date the above article was written, this place has since put listed on the market. Click here to view the listing.
The Garretts are keeping the doors open until it’s sold.