“I’ve done it most of my life,” Baker says. A native of Houston, Texas, she cooked in the Kettle Restaurant there.” After moving to Iowa seven years ago, she was the main cook at the Best Western Regency Inn in Marshalltown for a year.
Her new restaurant, at 109 West 3rd St., is open Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m.- 4 p.m. and from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Laura’s is closed on Sunday.
There’s seating for 48 in the completely remodeled and equipped building owned by Ed and Gloria Hardon. Laura says Ed sought her advice and she designed the restaurant, both the front of the house and the kitchen.
Seating is available at tables and booths. The walls are decorated with a series of historic photos of downtown Tama. Laura is employing six part-time while she does most of the cooking and preparation work herself.
Laura’s theme for the cafe is “Come feed your soul.” For the menu, not only are there such homemade items featured as onion rings and liver and onions, Laura throws in some Texas-style favorites.
You can order a bowl of grits, fried okra, sliced tomatoes and fajitas.
For breakfast, eggs, meat selections, biscuits and gravy and omelets along with lots of kid-friendly items like rainbow pancakes are on the menu.
Every day there is a lunch special as well as burgers, tenderloins a variety of other sandwiches and full dinners. Seafood, steaks and salads round out the lunch offerings. There’s also a kids menu for lunch.
Another homemade specialty are pies and cakes made from scratch, Laura says.
So far, business has been strong, she says. Not only has there full houses at noon but visitors from out-of-state have already discovered Laura’s Homestyle Cooking.
Laura and her husband, Steve Baker, live in LeGrand. He is a speciality welder and a native of Iowa.
Laura Baker in her new cafe in downtown Tama.
Fact BoxLaura’s Homestyle Cooking
109 W. 3rd, Tama
Mon-Thur 7 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Fri-Sat 7 a.m.- 7 p.m.
Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu