Somewhere between Fredericksburg, Kerrville, and Boerne in the heart of the Hill Country is Comfort, Texas. It’s a place I was lucky enough to find when my husband brought me to his parent’s home more than eight years ago. They live on the main drag of this tee-niny town that sits right along the Guadalupe River.
As you might expect, Comfort is a town that is big on heart and big on charm. But unlike many other Hill Country towns, Comfort has an eclectic mix of people that function more like one big family rather than a bunch of neighbors. It’s a place where, as my mother-in-law likes to put it, “if someone sneezes on one end of town, someone on the other end of town says, ‘bless you!’” It’s not uncommon to ask for a cup of sugar from your neighbor one minute and find you’re sitting on their front porch spinning the town gossip long past dinnertime. People usually enter a friend’s home without knocking; plan pot lucks for the latest person to come down with a cold, and spend countless hours raising money for the local library—I’m told people on the library board are as important as the White House staff.
If Everybody’s Somebody in Luckenbach, then Everybody’s Welcome in Comfort…. (Except for maybe some days when all you want to do is enjoy a quiet cup of coffee on your front porch, but I guess you can’t always have it all.)
Though the town is only a fraction the size of Fredericksburg or Boerne, there are a number of gift and antique shops to keep you company for an afternoon. And if you happen to have time for lunch, there’s really only one place you have to go—and no, it isn’t my mother-in-law’s house, although if you stop by at lunch, she’ll likely have a glass of iced tea, a fresh cup of soup and a thick slice of chocolate cake ready for you. (I’m not kidding.)
When I’m not getting my fill of my mother-in-law’s delectable home cooking, I love to make a stop at High’s. (It’s named for the main thoroughfare in town: High Street.) It’s a little café that once only had enough room for about 10 people to stand and order at the counter. Today it’s expanded into a two-room café and shop with some of the best finds in the Hill Country—and at much better prices than you’ll find in Fredericksburg.
High’s is great in the morning for a rich cup of cinnamon spice coffee and a toasted bacon, cheddar, and chive scone. I usually grab a couple of these savory treats to take home with me when we leave for Austin.
I love dining here for lunch. It’s a fairly quick and simple menu with soups, salads, and sandwiches, but you’ll find a lot more flavor and pizzazz here than you will in a good 10-mile radius. For those Fredericksburg lovers, think Rebecca Rather’s Rather Sweet Bakery with a little less tourist traffic, and a laid back, sunshiny feel.
I love to get their “salad trio,” which is a scoop of homemade chicken salad and a scoop of homemade tuna salad on a fresh field green salad. (From this point forward, you can pretty much assume that everything here is homemade, so I’ll refrain from using the term so prevalently.)
Last weekend I veered from my normal order and lost myself in a creamy pimento cheese sandwich on nine-grain bread that was easy on the mayonnaise and spicy with black ground pepper. I split an order of thick and garlicky hummus with crispy pita chips with my husband before he polished off a hearty meatloaf sandwich, and licked every one of his fingers when he was through.
For dessert… Again, I have to comment about my mother-in-law’s home. Often referred to as “Camp Comfort,” dessert comes pretty fast and furious once you enter her home. From the chocolate candy bowl in the living room, to the pumpkin sugar cookies at the kitchen counter, or the fresh cherry-chocolate cake with an inch-thick slab of fudgy frosting that just came out of the oven, it’s hard to give your sweet tooth business to anyone else in town. But when it’s High’s, I’m willing to take the risk. Especially for a fudge-walnut brownie, a lemon cupcake, or a chewy cowboy chocolate-chip cookie.
If you ever make it to this Hill Country gem of a town, be sure to stroll the shops, take in the history, and stay for a tasty treat or two. If you knock and my mother-in-law isn’t home, High’s is the next best place.