“Our God is Awesome!”
“I love these pancakes!”
“You’ve got this…God’s got you!” (Philippians 4:13)
“Be the reason someone smiles!”
These are just few of the hundreds of notes written on sticky notes that are decorated all over the walls inside the ladies restroom at Red Oak Cafe in League City. This…along with the exceptional food and service are what prompted me to tell you guys about this lovely family-owned restaurant.
Kim Oravetz is a longtime resident of Friendswood, and mother of four boys, and three grandchildren. It was about ten years ago when her eldest son- Justin, passed away in a car accident. She began searching for a way to honor his memory, and opening a restaurant sounded like a good idea. “Being a mom, he was probably my biggest eater. So I felt like I knew how to feed people, along with large groups of people, because with four boys, you’re always feeding.” She opened up a tea room in Friendswood. When that closed, she still wanted to open up another restaurant. She found the current location at the border of Friendswood and League City, and thought that it was perfect. She felt that the area needed something like it- a place where the community could gather.
When Justin passed, they planted a red oak tree in their backyard because they felt like it represented the strength that he had. So naming the new restaurant was practically a no-brainer… “Red Oak Cafe” just fit. They officially opened September 2015. The cafe has a Christian-inspired environment, which is full of love, inspiration, family…and amazingly great food. Kim feels that due to her hard work and obedience to God, the restaurant has been incredibly blessed.
All her menu items are either something she’s created herself, or family recipes. The granola was her grandmother’s recipe.. She wrote it for Kim on the back of an old bank envelope, and she still has and cherishes that envelope. “She sat with me probably 30 years ago and we would make chicken salad. So that was just totally inspired by who she was and what she helped me learn in the kitchen. My grandmothers were both of my inspirations for learning how to cook. I became a young bride and had to learn very quickly on how to feed my family.”
The story behind the famous sticky note-covered restroom walls is this… It was about two years ago when Vanessa, a server who has been with the restaurant since day one, brought up the idea of putting sticky notes in the bathroom and seeing what would come from it. So they placed a pad of sticky notes and a pen in the ladies room and it exploded. Every square inch of the room is literally covered with prayers, words of wisdom, shout-outs, praises, and more! The mens room also participates, but is not as covered. When I first saw the walls, I was just in total awe. There are times when I loose faith in humanity, especially after watching the news, as well as just in passing when I’m out-and-about. But these walls help restore some faith that people still feel, connect, and love.
Let’s chat about some of their menu items… One of the things they are known for is their coffee. They not only brew Katz Coffee, but also have their signature Texas Hill Country Pecan Blend, which is 85% of what they sell. As for breakfast- they are known for the pancakes. “It’s not a buttermilk pancake. It’s sweeter and denser.” I did get to enjoy the pancakes recently, and they are some of the best I’ve had. They were comforting, and didn’t leave me with a ‘ugh, too full’ feeling. What’s also great is that they offer a menu of mix-ins for the pancakes. You can pretty much get anything you want, but the kitchen sink. Speaking of ‘kitchen sink,’ they offer the Kitchen Sink Quesadilla, which is filled with veggies, eggs, black beans, salsa, cheese, etc. For lunch, the Chicken Salad and Club Sandwiches are popular. The paninis are also recommended, especially the Grilled Cheese, which was inspired by her grandmother. They add in apple slices and bacon (“Because everything is better with bacon, I believe.” -Kim). “One of my favorite snacks as a kid growing up, from my grandmother, was apples and cheese, so we threw that into a panini,” Kim explained. Other must-haves on the menu are the Palo Pinto Power Bowl, Jambalaya, and Chicken Pot Pie. I personally LOVE the Prickly Pear Veggie Sandwich with a side of Chipotle Ranch dressing and a cup of Tomato Soup. Be sure to also try the seasoned saltine crackers!
“Our culture is what is so important to us…The servers have that culture as well. Our families, the love, the customer service..just that we provide the southern hospitality…You’re going to get good food when you come, but you’re also going to get loved on, and we really think that that’s the most important part.”
Red Oak Cafe will soon have an Alvin location! Breakfast is now served ALL DAY! Be sure to also follow them on Facebook and Instagram for updates.
They are located at:
6011 W. Main St.
League City, TX
HOURS: Open Tuesday- Sunday~ 7am- 3pm