Embrace the Awesome

What if you could dine in the perfect blend of inviting surroundings, friends and neighbors at every turn, family-focused events, on delicious, soul-satisfying food? Those would be some awesome times for certain. Cue Highland Village icon, Awesome Times! With a non-traditional name inspired by owner Tamara Lisby’s lifelong best friend, and a non-traditional zest for life and community, this restaurant truly aims to live up to its unique moniker.

On any given day (except Monday when they are closed for special events, maintenance, and recharging for their staff and family) you will be greeted by a cheerful and capable staff dressed in trademark, “Less haters, More taters” T-shirts. If you’re lucky, you might have the chance at a one-of-a-kind treat dreamed up by owner and chef Jerry Lisby. From his start working on food for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, through his recent four-and-a-half year stint as pitmaster for Marty B’s, Jerry honed his culinary skills. He also developed a fearless knack for creating dishes like the Loaded St. Patrick’s Day Tots, which mix sauteed sauerkraut, corned beef, and white queso over his signature tots, though more traditional burgers, tots, grilled cheese sandwiches, and even salads grace the daily menu. 

“We are listed as American and Traditional Cuisine, which is fitting. However, it’s on our storefront sign…Neighborhood Food…we built the menu around the neighborhood,” Tamara said. “I like to think we cover most of the bases in the family ballpark.”

Family is paramount to the Lisbys.

Their own two children work and interact with the patrons and other staff – many of whom are friends. “We have the absolute best staff in Texas and we love each of them so. They are our family.” Tamara said. “We decided that when we hired our floor staff, the people we were looking for were ideally 15-18 and had never had a job before. We told them all that we had super high standards and expectations but if they worked with us, we would all grow together.” Tamara also said Awesome Times is not where they belong long-term. “We want them to take the things they learn and go and be awesome in the world.”

Adept at hosting happy hours for businesses, board meetings, book clubs, lively music bingo every other Tuesday and more, Awesome Times is multi-faceted. “We love events and love bringing people together,” said Tamara. They support the community whenever they can. Some recent “awesome times” include raffles to support deserving patrons, concerts by upcoming local music talent, and fundraisers for local teams. “This is the MOST important thing to us,” Tamara said. “We believe very strongly in service over self and try to practice it daily in every way we can.”

Opening a new restaurant could be daunting, but the Lisbys embraced the chaos it took to bring their welcoming menu and style to Highland Village. “We hope to be a place people call when a family doesn’t have dinner for a night, where people go to celebrate birthdays, or when they are not having the best day,” Tamara said. “We want to be the place a family of six can afford to go and the place you come to celebrate life events.  Basically, we simply want to be a part of your Awesome Times.” 

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