By David Stoltz,
You can get comfortable in Grandma’s Café.
Even the name is soothing.
From the cake pans and old-fashioned kitchen utensils on the wall to the vintage-style lace tablecloths, it’s like being at grandma’s again.
“I want it to feel like you’re back at Grandma’s house on a Sunday morning,” said owner Linda Underwood, who owns Grandma’s Café in Branson with her husband, Larry. “I have fond memories of going to my grandma’s Saturdays and Sundays for breakfast.”
And everything is cooked “from scratch. Everything is cooked as ordered,” she said. “It’s not pre-cooked and sitting underneath a heat lamp.”
Grandma’s Café offers a full breakfast and lunch menu, and there’s a daily lunch special. A specialty is their signature homemade cinnamon rolls.
“Even if it’s your first time, we want to treat you like family,” Underwood said. “And the servers and staff, I want them to be upbeat, and already in this year’s time we have a lot of regulars. Some of them come in; they don’t bother to wait to be seated. They have their special seats and they just go sit down and the servers know what to get them because they’ve already been coming in.”
The coronavirus pandemic forced the café to close for about 2 ½ months, but Grandma’s Cafe reopened again the week before Memorial Day. “We’re slowly coming back from the Covid-19 pandemic,” Linda said.
The Underwoods have been married 36 years. They bought Grandma’s Café in January 2019. Linda grew up working in her parents’ grocery store in Raiford, Florida. “I guess I learned to cook from my dad,” she said. “He was a very, very good cook.” She’s also worked extensively in Branson food service at the former BT Bones, then at the Rib Crib, where she was general manager from 2011-2017.
She strives for consistency in the kitchen. “(Dad) used to tell me “Put a little bit of this or a little bit of that in.’ He never measured anything,” she said. “Here, I have to do it differently. I want everything to taste the same, every time.”
“Because I’m from the south I try to give it that southern hospitality and charm that I grew up with all my life,” she said. “Treat people the way you’re supposed to, and be courteous and nice.”
Larry’s favorite part of the business is “enjoying the people. We try to do it the old-fashioned way and keep everything right.”
They work where needed. “We have no problem getting out here waiting tables, taking orders, seating people, cooking or dishes,” she said. “We come here together and we go home together.” Although Larry’s more mechanically-minded, “So anything I manage to tear up he’s really good about fixing it.”
Grandma’s Café also offers catering services, and has a full banquet room for groups. If groups use their food there’s no charge for the room, she said.
And the answer to the obvious question is, “Yes.” They have three granddaughters and two grandsons, who have lent their names to items on the Grandma’s Café menu.
Grandma’s Café at 9 Treasure Lake Drive is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.