By Ben Stewart
In 2003, Charlotte Price-Barker opened Simply Country Café on the corner of the 4-way intersection in Moss Hill. Since then, the café has provided the community with the classic southern home cooking that everyone from Texas knows and loves.
Simply Country’s origin story goes all the way back to Charlotte’s childhood. At 12 years old, Charlotte washed dishes for her aunt Coonie Lockhart at a restaurant named Coonie’s. At the time, she had no idea that one day she would build a legacy in that exact same building.
After Coonie’s closed, Charlotte worked all kinds of jobs, but after having her two children, she needed to secure a future for her family, so she took the leap and opened her own restaurant. Her daughter, Gracie Price-Nance, explained the family’s passion for cooking, “Everyone in the family cooked. It was a lifestyle for them.”
Charlotte’s late mother, Carol Ray Price, known by some as “the Pie Lady,” was the mastermind behind the store’s gorgeous pies. After her passing in 2013, her granddaughter Gracie took over the family tradition. Gracie was previously a college student, who quickly found that her calling and passion was in her family’s business. Ever since then, Gracie has been making the classic pies for which Simply Country is known and now she has branched out with new recipes of her own.
When you walk into Simply Country, the first sight you see is an antique telephone machine, the Coca-Cola wall, and huge smiles and greetings from the restaurant’s staff. The store motto is “Where friends gather” and they have done everything they can to provide this atmosphere.
To many, Simply Country has become a favorite place to gather over the last 18 years. Charlotte strives to make every customer feel at home. They take pride in creating a relaxing environment for customers to slow down and enjoy the simple things.
When choosing the cafe’s name, Charlotte had heard several different suggestions, but she didn’t want the name to bring too much attention to herself. She needed it to stay simple. Thus, Simply Country. To this day, she stresses keeping things good and simple. One example is her sweet and spicy pickles. The only ingredients needed are pickles, sugar, and tabasco. Drain the pickle juice, mix the sugar and tabasco in the jar, and shake. Simply delicious.
If you have never been to Simply Country, first-timers should try their best-seller, the chicken fried steak. Their chicken and dumplings are also highly recommended, though they are only available as a lunch special on certain days. Lunch specials are offered Tuesday through Friday, and every Friday night they offer a specialty dinner.
Simply Country tries to offer holiday preorders as well including turkey, dressing and pies. During a typical Thanksgiving holiday season, they sell more than 1,200 pies.
To keep up with new baked goods, including new pie flavors, and weekly lunch specials, follow Simply Country on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thesimplycountrycafe or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/thesimplycountrycafe/?hl=en.
Simply Country is open Tuesday through Thursday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday.