I remember hearing somewhere that you can dine around the world without ever leaving Killeen, and I am beginning to understand that statement. Every month, Tex Appeal looks for a unique, family-owned and operated restaurant that can take you away from the norm of everyday food and introduce you to an international world of cuisine. Such was our discovery at Glendora’s Guyanese Caribbean & American Cuisine in Killeen.
Story by CATHERINE HOSMAN
Two-and-a-half years ago, Brian and Isabel Lahmann opened Big LL’s BBQ in Killeen. Located on the south end of a strip center off Fort Hood Street, this storefront eatery offers “slow cooked tender meats and sides of comfort food.”
Drive south on Stan Schlueter Loop until it dead-ends into State Highway 201, turn left and then make an immediate right into a three-storefront center that houses Killeen’s newest Italian eatery, the Italian Cuisine Restaurant.
For a taste of Thailand, visit Narunya’s restaurant in Belton. Family owned and operated, Chef Narunya prepares from scratch curry dishes from her native Surat-Thani, Thailand, and a fusion of other Thai recipes. Everything on the menu, except for the noodles, is homemade. That includes her mango sorbet she uses in her Sticky Rice with Mango Sorbet dessert.
Housed in a historic building in downtown Belton, the Sarsaparilla Saloon and Café offers diners a unique lunch menu that is ever-changing. Owned and operated by Belton native Tammy Wilson, since 2008, she said she was inspired by her friends to open her own restaurant because she was such a good cook.
Benny Ismaili is no stranger to the restaurant business. Born in Italy and raised in the former Yugoslavia, owning a restaurant was an extended family tradition.
So Natural Organic Restaurant and Market in Harker Heights offers its customers a healthy choice for dining out. Owned and operated by Luvina and Jameel Sabree, it is a family-owned and operated restaurant that serves locally raised grass-fed organic beef and locally sourced organic vegetables, along with a side of whole foods education. Luvina’s six children, ranging in age from 7 to 17, also work at the eatery and all of them have their after-school assignments.
Geechie’s Southern Style Restaurant brings a taste of the coastal Sea Islands of South Carolina to Killeen. It’s family-owned and operated by retired U.S. Army veteran Jerry Lewis Moore Sr., executive chef and CEO, and his wife, Latanya White-Moore, COO. His three daughters also pitch in to help at the restaurant when they are not in school.
Ambrosia Tea Room in Salado offers its guests an atmosphere of geniality with its vintage décor that is reminiscent of a turn of the 19th century cafe.
Yummy Rummy’s in Belton is a family-owned and operated restaurant that offers a variety of yogurts, candy, home baked goodies and meals, including summer salads, cowboy bowls and baked potatoes, to name a few.
Killeen has been touted as a town where residents don’t have to leave the area to taste the flavors of the world. There are many ethnic restaurants and Thai Kitchen is one of them.
The first image that comes to Monica Macy’s mind when she thinks of her “Nonna,” Italian for grandmother, is her hands. “I remember Nonna Maria’s hands covered with flour working the dough for making pasta. For her, cooking was showing love,” Macy said in her Harker Heights home.
One of Temple’s newest restaurants, LaRiv Italian Cuisine, is a culinary visit to the Tuscan region of Italy. Owned by Viral Chudasma, also the proprietor of Nolan Creek Winery in Belton, LaRiv (Viral spelled backwards) offers an Italian-inspired dining room and a rustic menu with wild boar as the center of attention.
Story by Gail Dillon