Food to Feed the Soul
Sometimes, dessert should come first. A mini pumpkin-apple cinnamon muffin awaits every customer, rather than the traditional bread. And afterwards, it’s nearly impossible to choose a favorite from the extensive dessert menu, which includes red velvet cake, carrot cake, coconut cake, lemon chiffon cake, triple lemon pie, chocolate cream pie, banana split pie and a luscious layered fruit dessert. All made from scratch, every day.
If the food makes you feel at home, then the atmosphere will too. With its quaint, country-style décor (including authentic family photos on the walls), and friendly staff providing a welcoming vibe, you’ll want to linger all afternoon, relaxing while dining and enjoying a hot or iced tea from a tea list that resembles some restaurants’ wine lists. Grab a table that’s cozy enough for two or roomy enough for a party of up to 10. Tucked away in historic downtown Belton, Mo., and only about 20 minutes from 435, it’s the perfect quick getaway.
No matter what you order for lunch — The Tearoom is only open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday (although a brunch buffet is served the second Sunday of the month and on some holidays) — you will savor every bite of your warm, home-cooked meal. Regular lunch offerings include salads, soups, sandwiches and quiche, but check the website for rotating weekly menus featuring specialties such as chicken pot pie, pot roast, baked brisket, parmesan chicken, rosemary pork roast, Swiss steak, chicken fried chicken, burrito pie, tuna noodle casserole, and crab mac and cheese … all served with a home-baked roll that’s so soft and flavorful it doesn’t need butter. Even with all these options, you will leave pleasantly fulfilled but not stuffed … unless you have a dessert (or two). But even then, nothing is too rich or overpowering.
It’s much more than a tearoom. The family-owned and -operated business started more than 25 years ago as Country Keepsakes gift shop. While a wide variety of gift items are still available in a small area in the front — and some furniture and décor throughout is also for sale — owner Beverly Bruce converted a back closet into a full kitchen and five years later added The Tearoom. In addition, The Tearoom also hosts and caters private events from family dinners to showers and weddings.
The faces of The Tearoom are the mother/daughter duo of Beverly Bruce and Molly Fries. Bruce is in charge of the kitchen, and Fries takes care of the front of the house, managing and serving. Fries says working together can be challenging at times but has brought them closer, making them quite a team.
photo: Steve Puppe