In 1948 my great grandfather, Vic, left Chicago with his wife, Irma, and 3 year old son, Dan, for Beaumont, TX and opened a Zesto frozen custard stand. In the 1950’s his brother, Al, joined him and they opened Vic & Al's restaurant and subsequently in the 1960’s another brother, Ralph, joined them and they changed the name to Patrizi's Restaurant. For 50 years, Patrizi's was an establishment in Beaumont TX, serving up some of the best food in the state. Vic & Al's wasn't just a restaurant that served great food, it was a real family establishment. Everyone in the Patrizi family had some role to play in the old restaurant. From Grandma Mildred and Irma making meatballs by hand, to Gayle working line, a small army of cousins bartending and busing. It was a focal part of our family. It was a catalyst that brought us together, it was a connection to our Italian heritage, it was an extension of the family with its own quirks and personality traits.
You can't choose the family you're born into, but some of us get lucky. For me, my luck meant getting thrown into a world of handmade pasta, homemade gumbo and scratch-made sauces, all so good it could make you cry. And believe me, we cried, and laughed, and talked a lot. Loudly. Between happy shouts and big hand gestures we ate, and loved one another as much as we loved the food. Food is an expression of cultural and personal history. It's instinctual and symbolic, where both biological and spiritual needs can come together. So, do you feed more than just your belly when you eat? We wanted to bring back a sense of the family-centered dining I grew up with, the kind that sticks with you long after the meal is gone, and can't think of a better place than the dynamic Austin culinary scene.
Vic & Al's reopening was always a long term goal for us. It was way to pay homage to the old family restaurant and restore the pride of our family's heritage. We are excited to continue our tradition of creating a warm and inviting environment while making some of the best food in town.