Later in life, she said she became a private chef for three or four families at a time and bounced around other food-related jobs before moving to Waller in November 2017.
“I love any cooking really, but baking is what soothes me. When you get frustrated or you’re having a bad day, I’ll go into the kitchen and pound out a couple of pies or a cake,” Bryant said.
She got her foot in the door at several Magnolia restaurants after her move, including Kitty’s Cafe and the former Down the Road Cafe, she said. The previous owners of Down the Road were looking to sell, Bryant said, so she decided to take over the restaurant.
Old Magnolia Bar & Grill opened Jan. 2, 2019. While the restaurant concept was already in place, Bryant said, she expanded the menu with more burgers and started making more dishes from scratch, as well as smoking the meat in-house.
Additionally, Bryant said she and her staff have focused on catering to those with food allergies, such as seafood, pork, gluten and nut allergies.
“The first thing our servers ask is if anyone at the table has a food allergy so we can make sure we do our part,” Bryant said.
Bryant said while it can be tough being both the owner and the primary chef, owning her own restaurant is what she has worked toward her entire life.
“I love being able to create something and see the expression on people’s faces when they try our food because they don’t expect what they’re getting ready to bite into,” she said.