What beats a big steaming plate of spaghetti topped with meatballs (or maybe Italian sausage), a fresh green salad with juicy tomatoes, and warm bread sticks; crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. Making your mouth water yet? Sounds like you need to head straight to Tomato Brothers, located in Howell.
Tomato Brothers is an Italian-American restaurant that is great for almost any occasion. They get a wide range of customers, families, business people, young couples on dates, and all of them love Tomato Brothers’ family atmosphere, great customer service and delicious food.
In a food culture over populated by chain restaurants serving the same old food, Tomato Brothers is a breath of fresh air. The owner of Tomato Brothers, Tom Nevells (not Tomato) agreed. “I think people appreciate the mom and pops more than ever right now,” he said.
Tomato Brothers was a restaurant that started out of one of the family’s other restaurants, Gus’ Carryout. Gus’ opened in 1981, and Tomato Brothers opened in the early 90s. According to Nevells, “I think it was my grandfather’s idea. They just wanted to get a fresh start with a new name and a new menu.” Many of the different recipes are family recipes that go back to the 1960s.
Tomato Brothers is open for lunch and dinner. They have pizza, sandwiches, burgers, salads, and pasta at any time of the day. My personal type of pizza, is the Spicy Chicken pizza off of their gourmet pizza menu. The pizza is oven baked, and has a thin crust. They use the perfect amount of mozzarella cheese, and the spicy chicken pizza uses a pesto sauce instead of tomato sauce. It is topped with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, blackened chicken, jalapeno peppers, and spinach.
Another favorite is the “Rigatoni Tomato Brothers.” It comes in a bowl and is baked with mozzarella and muenster cheese. It also has a sweet tasting tomato sauce, Italian sausage, and mushrooms. There is enough in the bowl to make three meals of it, but you might not want to stop eating it.
While their pasta and pizza is good, their bread sticks are a thing of legends. The bread sticks are hand-rolled, and are baked to perfection: crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. They have the perfect amount of oil, and are both salty and garlicky. “Our bread sticks are like our holy grail here,” says Nevells. “Kids come in and are raised on them, and get hooked.”
The atmosphere is cozy, and is usually not too loud for a comfortable conversation. The lighting is intimate, so eating there always feels like a special affair.
Tomato Brothers has a great reputation for their quality food. “I can’t tell you how many people come in from hotels, saying someone from outside the hotel said this is the place to come,” Nevells said.
Check out the website for Tomato Brothers, and all the other restaurants that the family owns. Be sure to take a peak at the the “Fun facts,” as it turns out, lots of famous people enjoy their food too! ~Brittany Green, Regional Director