Gratitude, purpose, loyalty, and service are the secret ingredients sprinkled on every meal at The Greasy Spoon, the wildly popular restaurant serving southern-influenced dishes in North Houston. When owner and native Houstonian Max Bozeman II opened the eatery in March of 2020, the intent was for it to be more than just another place to fill your belly. The vision was to use food as a vehicle to bring people together and foster a strong sense of community. This is why every dish on the menu is a strategic blend of old and new. A modern twist on southern classics designed to invoke your nostalgia for the comfort food of your youth which, in turn, evokes the kind of conversations that transcend generations.
With such signature entrées as the #1 in the City Oxtails, the savory Herb & Rosemary Lamb Chops, and the fan favorite Waffles & Co. (served only on Sunday), all of which are served with Max’s grandmother’s sweet cornbread, it is no wonder why The Greasy Spoon has earned such a cult following in the neighborhood. Long lines of hungry customers patiently waiting for the doors to open for brunch has become a Sunday morning tradition. “I have always been interested in entrepreneurship and making a difference in my community”, Max explains.
Max is no stranger to the industry as he is proud to share, “I helped my family in their businesses since I was a child.” Despite the benefit of decades of wisdom and experience as a restauranteur, getting The Greasy Spoon off the ground was no small feat. With the unfortunate timing of a grand opening that coincided with the first wave of lockdowns brought about by a global pandemic, it is fair to say that things got off to a rough start. Max quickly realized he would have to adapt to the shifting landscape or risk failing before ever getting started. “We served up to-go boxes for pickups and my staff and I delivered meals to families in need and The Greasy Spoon basically took off from there.” The whole team worked tirelessly knowing it would make a huge difference at a time when the community was struggling to survive financially and medically.
As a sign that when it rains, it pours, in June of 2020 Max was diagnosed with cancer and a weakened immune system. No one would have blamed him if he had decided to close up shop considering all the headwinds he was facing. When asked what gave him the strength to persevere, he replied, “my three young children watching my every step.” Fatherhood and its inherent responsibility to be a good role model for his kids was all the motivation Max needed to “lace up my boots and control what I could.” He wanted to prove to them and others that, “with faith, strength, and tenacity obstacles can be overcome and to never give up easily because there will always be another obstacle.”
Thankfully, Max did not have to face these challenges alone. A giant grin stretched across his face when asked about his family and how during struggles they are there for each other. The love he has for them shines through every tale of family experiences and traditions. Asking specifically about Thanksgiving and the holidays, he shares, “My family and I are always doing a lot so we take that time to escape and just be grateful and appreciative of each other as individuals… We just stop and be people, be family.” Creating the space and opportunity to make special memories around any table at any time is what is most rewarding to this family man.
It is out of Max’s overarching sense of gratitude and appreciation for those that helped him along the way that The Greasy Spoon has added a new location here in Pearland. Max readily admits, “I have a significant customer base from here and am so grateful to them all. I am always hearing the stories of how Pearland is flourishing and family oriented.” The new location will have a larger dining room, an expanded menu, and a stage where Max hopes to showcase local talent.
Max Bozeman II plans to be a good neighbor by connecting with other local businesses to host community initiatives such as fundraisers, food and supply drives, etc. “It’s not just about business but about being grateful and adding value to the community in which we all live.”
Oven Baked Turkey
1 12-20 pound Turkey
1 onion , peeled and quartered
1 lemon , quartered
1 apple (your favorite kind), quartered
.75 ounce container fresh rosemary
.75 ounce container fresh thyme
.75 ounce container fresh sage
1 cup unsalted butter , softened
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6-8 cloves garlic , minced
fresh chopped herbs
- If the turkey is frozen: Thaw in the fridge, 24 hours for every 5 pounds of Turkey. I like to give myself 1 extra day, just to be safe.
- Remove the thawed turkey from the fridge 1 hour before roasting, to let it come to room temperature.
- Adjust your oven rack so the turkey will sit in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Make the herb butter by combining room temperature butter, minced garlic, salt, pepper, one tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary, one tablespoon fresh chopped thyme, and half a tablespoon of fresh chopped sage. (You’ll use the remaining fresh herbs for stuffing inside the cavity of the turkey)
- Remove turkey from packaging and remove the neck and giblets from the inside the cavities of the bird. (Reserve them for gravy, if you want, or discard them). Pat the turkey very dry with paper towels.
- Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper. Stuff it with the quartered lemon, onion and apple and leftover herbs.
- Use your fingers to loosen and lift the skin above the breasts (on the top of the turkey) and smooth a few tablespoons of the herb butter underneath.
- Tuck the wings of the turkey underneath the turkey and set the turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan*.
- Microwave the remaining herb butter mixture for 30 seconds (it doesn’t need to be completely melted--just really softened). Use a basting brush to brush the remaining herb butter all over the outside of the turkey, legs and wings.
- Roast at 325 degrees F for about 13-15 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature (inserted on middle of thigh and breast) reaches about 165 degrees.
- (I remove the turkey from the oven once it reaches 160 degrees. Then, I tent it with foil, and let it rest on the counter. It will continue cooking under the foil, to reach 165 degrees F.)
- Check the turkey about halfway through cooking, and once the skin gets golden brown, cover the top of the turkey with tinfoil, to protect the breast meat from overcooking. Alternately, you could start cooking the turkey with it tented in foil, then during the last hour or so of cooking you can take the foil off to let the turkey brown.
- Allow turkey to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.