Restaurants

Houston’s Takeout Food Shop Is More Than a Pandemic Hit — Silver Stone Proves Its Staying Power

Caterer Elizabeth Stone Has Much More Food Fun In the Works Too

BY // 08.02.22
photography Laurann Claridge

You could argue that caterer Elizabeth Stone, founder of Houston-based Silver Stone Events, is either remarkably clairvoyant or her timing was very lucky. In November 2019, months before most of us could possibly conceive of a worldwide pandemic (even the affable Stone), she heeded the advice of friends and colleagues from a national catering association who convinced her to do what they had done. That is open a food shop next to her catering kitchen to support her business during those slower times of the year. Silver Stone Food Shop was born.

Fast forward to March 2020. As much of the country locked down, Stone’s 35-year catering business screeched to a halt. But her new Silver Stone Food Shop would quite literally save Stone’s business when no one was having parties or hosting galas.

For some — particularly those not terribly adept in the kitchen or those too busy playing teacher and tutor at Zoom school while juggling a full-time job — Stone’s perfectly portioned Southern-style comfort food packaged to-go became a savior.

First, it was her loyal clients who called to pick up entrees, the likes of which Silver Stone had catered in their own homes for years. Then neighbors living in Rice Military, River Oaks and The Heights took notice of Stone’s new endeavor and ordered online and then dropped in too.

During those dark times, entrees like Stone’s parmesan crusted chicken with rosemary roasted potatoes and haricot vert with a citrus butter sauce, a grass-fed beef filet with a demi-glace, creamed spinach, and a baked tomato stuffed with melted mozzarella, sustained those who crave an approachable, fine dining experience in the comfort of their own home. It’s still drawing those fans today.

Swing into the cozy Silver Stone Food Shop, and you’ll find a wall of refrigeration, with freezers and fridges stocked with frozen and fresh appetizers, entrees and desserts to grab and go. (Stone’s most popular item is the bag of two dozen frozen chocolate chip cookie balls that enable anyone with one in their freezer to quell a nagging sweet tooth anytime.)

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Elizabeth Stone, left and manager, Claudia Avila (Photo by Laurann Claridge)
Elizabeth Stone, left at Silver Stone Food Shop with manager, Claudia Avila. (Photo by Laurann Claridge)

Hosting friends for cocktails? Pop in to pick up a spicy cheddar cheese ball rolled in pecans ($16), bacon apricot zingers with the “zing” of jalapeno ($16), or Texas beef empanadas (two dozen/$16.50) ready to serve your guests in minutes. Or call ahead, and Stone and her events director Stephanie Bryant will pull together a custom platter of bites you can pick up on your way home.

“Most of our packaged meals feed two, but just give us a call, and we can pack portions for a larger crowd too,” Stone says. “At any time, you’ll find more than 20 varieties of soups and 20 to 30 different kinds of frozen entrees, plus loads of fresh options you just heat and eat.”

From Doctor to Food Maven

Stone originally planned to attend medical school after she graduated from SMU in Dallas. But food fate stepped in.

“Back then, a good friend asked me to make my chicken salad for her son’s christening,” Stone tells PaperCity. “Soon after, one of the guests asked if I could make her some too, and before I knew it, I had launched a catering business.”

During the summer months, Stone’s seasonal menu includes cool watermelon gazpacho ($12.50), a blueberry, pistachio and goat cheese salad with baby spinach and arugula with a champagne vinaigrette ($17), and her popular fried chicken Fridays dinner to go ($50), which includes six pieces of homestyle fried chicken, freshly baked biscuits, okra and tomatoes, mashed potatoes and for dessert, a mini buttermilk pie.

With more than three decades of experience in the hospitality field, Stone has gleaned enough culinary wisdom to fill a book. And actually, she has. It is an Invitation to Entertain, Recipes for Gracious Parties (Bright Sky Press, 2012, $34.95), and it is chock full of entertaining tips, tricks and approachable recipes. Later this summer, look for Stone to bring all that great advice to life on her new YouTube channel of the same name.

There she will pull back the proverbial curtain to demonstrate her best cooking hacks and techniques, bring us into her lavish garden, show how she shops at the farmers market and more. Filmed in her newly remodeled demonstration kitchen, where Stone will also host in-person cooking classes (see her website for details), these YouTube video segments will range from five to 15 minutes.

Book Cover Invitation to Entertain
Elizabeth Stone’s cookbook, An Invitation to Entertain, is going to YouTube later this summer with Stone’s best tips and tricks demonstrated, in short form, with five to 15 minute segments.

Silver Stone Events and Silver Stone Food Shop are located at 300 Shepherd Drive, ( 713) 521-3500. The shop is open Mondays through Fridays from 10 am to 6 pm, Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm and is closed Sundays. Online ordering and delivery are available.

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