Answering a need in the community of Comfort, Denise Rabalais and Brent Ault started a restaurant that has been going strong for five years old. High’s Cafe & Store serves soups, salads, and sandwiches during a long lunch every day except Wednesday. The focus is on a fresh-made, quick and easy lunch menu in a friendly, sunny place. All the recipes come from Brent’s head, and organic food is used when possible while keeping prices reasonable.
Previously, owner Brent Ault owned a successful deli in Fort Worth; Sundance Deli was one of the first businesses downtown in Sundance Square. With his background in music, he also enjoyed being director of Canto from Fredericksburg. Brent created themed concerts such as the Cherry Springs Art Festival.
Denise grew up on Houston and went to school for interior design and architecture. She lived in New York for 15 years and owned a restaurant in Brooklyn.
Denise moved back into the Hill Country eight years ago and met Brent at Navajo Grill in Fredericksburg five years ago.
Together, they were intent on opening an interior design storefront studio that served snacks. Their attention instead focused on the food side of the business. High’s got its start in the old, 600-square-foot volunteer fire department building. Two and a half years later, they took over an adjoining space that was previously an antique store. High’s not only sells good food, but also retail wine, table cloths, local Hill Country sundries, olive oils, jams, jellies, books, cards, and a variety of other items.
Denise and Brent continue to expand the store’s selection with more and more products made in Texas and especially the Hill Country – art, wines, books. Terry Thompson-Anderson’s Texas Hill Country: A Food and Wine Lover’s Paradise explores those products. High’s itself is featured in the book.
Delicious breakfast items are baked up every morning except Wednesdays. Muffins, scones, tarts, and mini-cakes are served with coffee from the only full espresso bar in town starting at 8:30am (10:30am on Sundays).
Brent also offers seasonal cooking classes in the restaurant. Up to 17 people attend the very popular classes, which start with an intimate dinner before Brent demonstrates cooking techniques and wine pairings. Students leave with a recipe booklet. The classes require reservations, which go very quickly.
High’s Happy Hour is every Saturday from 4pm to 7pm, and it’s getting busier every weekend. Various red and white wines are pulled from the shelves and opened, and complimentary snacks are available.
The Grand Texas Event is set for September 20 as a celebration of High’s five years. Five Texas wineries, CKC Farms, Texas Hill Country Olive Oils, a chocolatier from Comfort, and more local vendors will be present for a meet and greet. Kerrville’s Kevin McCormick will provide live music. Brent will be cooking up appetizers. The event is by reservation and costs a small fee.