By David McLain
Tucked toward the back of the quaint collection of shops in Spice Village rests a café offering fresh fare to casual shoppers: the Simply Good Eatery. Simply Good Eatery sits on the second floor of the Spice Village building, located downtown in the Warehouse Shopping District at the corner of Franklin and Third streets. The small restaurant serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to those perusing the wares of the shops during weekdays.
Paula Parsons, the owner, works in the kitchen with two other employees. She attempts to provide a warm, personal atmosphere for the restaurant by working in the kitchen.
“It just started as a place for employees to eat, really,” Parsons said. She cites the why-not factor in her decision to begin cooking.
“We have this kitchen, so why don’t we open the kitchen up and cook? That’s why we only have three employees and are still pretty small.”
The café has added a different dimension to the collection of shops since the early 2000s when it opened. Due to its popularity, the little eatery has started developing its own business flow instead of just getting sparse business from casual passerby shoppers.
“It has just evolved to people coming up here to eat and then shopping, whereas it kind of started out as people coming up here to shop and then eating,” Parsons said.
Each day of the week has a lunch special that is chosen before the work week starts. Parsons creates the menus herself.
All five dollar lunch specials include an entrée, a side and a dessert, according to the Simply Good Eatery’s website.
The café sees a big increase in customers when school starts in the fall, Parsons said.
“When school comes back in we notice a lot of Baylor students,” Parsons said. “This is a real popular place for the girls to shop because this is one of the only places in town that offers different kind of stuff.”
Parsons said the chicken panini and the nada lada sandwich as the two most popular items among Baylor students.
“We always make a joke when the school season comes back in session to get the panini machine, ready because [the students] eat paninis like crazy,” she said.
Nathan Reynolds, a recent Baylor alum, said he enjoys the restaurant.
“It’s fresh, cheap and I heard a friend say that they got a chicken fried steak on their lunch special once,” Reynolds said.
Despite its popularity with students, much of the café’s business still comes from people who work nearby. Parsons acknowledges having neighboring shop owners as regular customers.
“It’s a little more personal atmosphere. We have days where we’re busy and the line is around the corner. But basically it’s still regular customers,” Parsons said. “People will peek their head in and say how are you doing. It’s just a little different than working in a fast place say where you see new faces everyday.”