Most everyone has at least one comfort food, and many of us have a list of the foods that make us feel warm and cozy and comfortable.
Why our favorite food or food types make us feel this way is a subject we'll mostly leave to psychologists and analysts to answer. All we know or care about is that it is a fact of life that certain foods make us feel the way we want to feel - comfortable, secure, and happy. Often our so-called comfort foods are food types we grew up with, like Mom's apple pie. But sometimes it's because we have discovered a food or associate a food with a pleasant experience or a time in our lives, or perhaps even a place, where we regularly enjoyed the food.
Whatever the reason, comfort foods work for most of us, the question is, however, what are your favorite comfort foods, and is it possible to adapt and adopt new comfort foods through the years as we broaden our awareness of new foods we try?
Whether it's because certain food or something in those foods release or cause us to release endorphins or some other type of neuropeptides to make us feel all warm and fuzzy., we simply don't care. We just want you to find that comfort zone when visiting Texas even if - especially if - you can't find your own special comfort food types during your stay in the Lone Star State.
In other words, if you're on the road and for whatever reason are unable to get your hands on your own personal comfort foods, we thought a short list of some our native comfort foods might help you out in times of food comfort emergencies. Happy comfort zone!
#1 Mac & Cheese Baby!
Yeah, we know. Macaroni and cheese is probably already on your list of great comfort foods, regardless where you're from. But in Texas you can find a few twists to the old standard. In fact, the culinary artists of Texas have gone to great degrees to dress up this old standard, and chances are good even if you make a mean mac yourself, you'll enjoy testing out a new recipe with a twist. We're fairly certain you will if stop in Austin next drive through to experience the Mac & Cheese at Roaring Fork Restaurant. Be warned, however, this is no ordinary Mac. It's complimented with just the right blend of green chile - not too hot, but not for the meek of mouth either. Come on...give it a try!
701 Congress Ave.
#2 Puffy Tacos - San Antonio Style!
If you have never experienced a puffy taco, then you can't claim to have experienced Texas! It's just that simple. A created in San Antonio, the puffy taco is the art of frying a corn masa tortilla in such a way that it is neither heavy nor greasy, but light and flavorful - and easy to eat. What goes inside is import as well, fresh produce and cheese of course, not to mention a secret meat blend with just the right juice. Don't leave the State of Texas without trying one (or a dozen) on for size. Get comfortbale with the absolute King of Tacos! Our favorite are at Henry's Puffy Taco in the Alamo City!
Henry's Puffy Taco
6030 Bandera Road
#3 Coconut Cream Pie!
This outstanding coconut Creme Pie should probably have been listed first on the list, and probably will be on your list of new favorite comfort foods if you make it to Marble Falls just west of Austin to eat at the world famous Bluebonnet Cafe! Everything there is great, down-home foods. But their pies are world renowned. Wrap your lips around a piece of this pie and your entire attitude about life changes. Go from seriously depressed to incredibly euphoric, all in a single bite. Don't take our word for it, and don't underestimate the power of pie! This one is to [figuratively] die for!
211 Highway 281
#4 Texas Rib Eye!
When it comes to real comfort food, there aren't very many true blood Texans that wouldn't pick a side of tender beef as among their very favorite comfort foods, and we're no exception. A good steak is hard to come by, that is if it is expertly grilled up to perfection the right way by the right people. you'll find a lot of great steaks in Texas, but one of our favorite come from a little out-of-the-way but world famous restaurant located in the hills just northwest of San Antonio, a place known far and wide among steak lovers as the Grey Moss Inn. The outdoor pit is an old water well; the environment and atmosphere are perfect, and the food is simply the best.
Grey Moss Inn
19010 Scenic Loop Road
#5 Grilled Crab Patties!
There's something to be said about a fresh, homemade Gulf crab patty, seasoned to perfection. You can find them all up and down the 400 miles of Texas coastline at great seafood restaurants and dives and even at a number of good seafood markets. But some of our favorites come from a no-nonsense little restaurant in Port Isabel Texas where "Joe" has been turning out boat-fresh seafood for sometime now. The fish and shrimp are delicious, but the carb cakes are extra special. Mouth watering and favorable, these cakes withstand the test of time! Stop by and chow down tyhe next time you're in the Lower Rio Grande Valley!
Joe's Oyster Bar
207 East Maxam Street
#6 Baby Back Ribs!
Juicy, tasty, fall-off-bone and perfect for any occasion, baby backs are a true comfort food of the South, and you'll find of the very best in Texas! From fort Worth to the Gulf coast, the Mexican border to the Sabine River, Baby Back ribs rule when it comes to great comfort foods, and we think you'll find some of the very best at a little place called the Country Tavern not from Tyler, Texas, in Kilgore. Located on the side of the road, this food stop is a favorite of folks from all across Texas, and there's no good reason for you not to enjoy some of the best ribs in the world! Go ahead, enjoy - and get comfortable!
1526 FM 2767
#7 Fried Gulf Oysters!
While oysters are not for everyone, most folks in Texas know that when it comes to lightly battered, perfectly fried Gulf oysters, life just doesn't get better than on the Texas Gulf Coast. We like them beer-battered, a Texas specialty, and fried in the cleanest oil fresh off the boat. While you can get them in a lot of great gulf restaurants, we do have a favorite place. Charlotte Plummer's Seafood Restaurant in Fulton, part of the Rockport/Fulton resort community, is located just across the street from where the oyster boats unload, and you can watch them come off the boat fresh in season. they are a meal to be reckoned with, and one to be enjoyed.
202 North Fulton Beach Road
#8 Texas BBQ Brisket!
Texas brisket is a favorite of just about every Texan so it shouldn't come as a surprise that it is high on the list of great comfort foods for Texicans everywhere. But there are all kinds of barbecue brisket and all kinds of sauces, not to mention the different methods used to grill it up, from the type of woods that are used to the special rubs that prepared expertly to fit the style. We like brisket, but we particularly love the brisket smoked up just perfectly at Luling's City Market. located between San Antonio and Houston, City Market does a super job with this Texas favorite. Don't miss out!
633 East Davis Street
#9 Boudin - Cajun Style!
So what is Boudin? Those of you not familiar with Cajun foods may not have any idea. But if you like liver-based sausage, chances are good you will love this flavorful regional favorite. Born out of the rich and diverse cultures of the bayou country of souther Louisiana and southeastern Texas, Boudin and expertly crafted to deliver the perfect flavors of creole-style cooking. Every Cajun cook has his own recipe, so flavors will vary slightly, but we think you can't wrong with this great Burt's Cajun Foods Boudin available at both Houston and Glaveston locations.
Burt's Cajun Foods
5910 Lyons Ave.
#10 Chicken Fried Steak!
Perhaps the most favorite of all Texas comfort foods. chicken fried steak is considered a delicacy in Texas and just about as import as the Alamo and the San Jacinto Monument. Arguably the national dish of Texas, just about everyone who cooks knows how to beat a top grade round steak, bread it perfectly and fry it in good oil at just the right temperature. It sounds easy, but it take skill, especially when you consider the quality of the gravy that goes on top. If you've never had a good chicken friend steak, you're in for a real treat!
324 W. 7th Street