Tara Garrett is now a restaurant owner, but don’t think that will stop her from spending plenty of time in the kitchen doing what she has done for 20 years:
“Cooking the best pizza in Piatt County.”
It’s something she has taken pride in since the age of 15, starting with Charlie’s Pizza in Bement and progressing to other village pizza places, including Mama B’s, Makin’ Pizza, and now her own restaurant, renamed Mama T’s Pizza, Pasta, Subs & More.
“The joke was when Kim Snyder bought the place and turned it into Makin’ Pizza that I was sold with the business,” said the cook whom townspeople refer to as the “pizza artist.”
That was just over four years ago. When Snyder opted to retire this summer, Garrett decided it was time to own her own business, purchasing the restaurant located at 144 S. Macon St. in Bement.
The menu will remain similar, but the signature pizza she has created for two decades will get a name change. The creation that features sausage, pepperoni, green peppers, mushrooms and bacon bits has been known through the years as the BoCharles, BoBecky and more recently as the Kimbo, named after the Makin’ Pizza owner.
“I’m going to call it the BoSandy because I’m naming it after my mom who passed away last September,” said Garrett, who learned about running a business at the City of Monticello Business Boot Camp and took ownership of the Bement restaurant on July 31.
“A lot of people have told me I should own it anyway, since I’ve run this place for a while,” said the new owner.
The menu also includes other styles of pizza – barbecue chicken is a local favorite – along with chicken wings and a large variety of sub sandwiches.
Now that she is charge of the entire operation, which includes 10 employees, will she scale back on cooking pizzas?
“Nope,” she commented quickly.
Mama T’s is open for lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and for dinner from 4 to 8 p.m. Mondays, 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 4 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 4 to 9 p.m. Sundays.
Besides dining in, the restaurant offers takeout and delivery. They can be reached at 217-678-7005.