“Where the heck is that?” everybody said when I announced I was headed to Carol’s at Cat Spring. Good question. Physically, the historic German community (population: 76) is some fifty miles west of Houston. Spiritually, it’s in a world of its own. Winds rustle the live oaks, empty horse trailers go rattling by, and nothing much happens from day to day except changes in the weather. In the midst of this rural nirvana is Carol Davis’s nine-month-old restaurant, where country and city meet. In the lodgelike dining room, the walls are upholstered in smooth leather, and fresh flowers grace every table. In the kitchen, executive chef Doug Atkinson, formerly of Ruggles at the Ballpark, in Houston, prepares a bevy of sophisticated dishes. A wide-ranging tasting wowed me with tender pork chops topped by homemade apple butter; crab cakes in a drizzle of crème fraîche; a bison filet (from Davis’s ranch) served with port wine sauce; maple-syrup butternut squash; and a slice of irresistible jalapeño cheesecake. Carol’s is putting Cat Spring on the map.
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