Elsa Matthews, a first-generation Dominican Republic native, brought Comfort Foodies to the Cy-Fair area alongside her husband, Jeff Matthews, a native Houstonian, in June 2022.

Elsa Matthews’ Dominican Republic roots and Jeff Matthews’ passion for Southern soul cooking led the couple to merge the two cuisines and open a restaurant to blend their cultures.

“I always had a passion for cooking and I loved cooking. I've been cooking since I was 13 and am that person that really does enjoy the kitchen,” Elsa Matthews said.

How it happened

The idea was to start with a food tent in December 2019; however, in the midst of COVID-19, businesses along with their tent were shut down.

The couple decided to continue on their journey by selling crawfish in parking lots where they were permitted. Due to the demand for their food, the couple was able to open a food truck for their business within a few months.

“We were one of the only food trucks in the Houston area that served soul food,” Elsa Matthews said.

The food truck quickly gained popularity; however, due to a manufacturer issue, the food truck caught fire.

Rather than opening another food truck, the couple decided it was time to open a brick-and-mortar.

“It took six to seven months to find the right place,” Elsa Matthews said. “We wanted to make sure we were in a good area.”

What's on the menu?

Comfort Foodies provides flavorful home-cooked meals in a family-oriented environment. The restaurant prides itself on its customer service and quality home-cooked meals.

A popular menu item at Comfort Foodies is its empanadas, such as chicken and cheese, beef and cheese, spinach and cheese, shrimp and cheese and oxtail empanadas, served with housemade “Foodie Sauce.”

Other menu items include the Dominican-style brown stew chicken, also known as pollo guisado, as well as Southern fried catfish, oxtails, smothered pork chops and comfort fried wing basket.

Dessert options include homemade peach cobbler, banana pudding, Dominican tres leches cake and Dominican cake by the slice. The restaurant also offers a variety of signature cocktails, frozen margaritas, and domestic and imported beers.

Aside from its indoor and patio dining options, the restaurant offers catering services for large and small events. Elsa Matthews said Comfort Foodies contributes to its community by participating in charitable events, such as brunch for moms, an event in which Comfort Foodies provides meals for unhoused mothers, as well as toy drives.