Saturday, April 23, 2011

Exquisite Tastes

At the corner of Bodega Highway and Bohemian Highway, in the tiny town of Freestone are two of my favorite stops in West Sonoma.

The first is a very small store called Enduring Comforts.

I don’t usually go for roadside nick-knack stores. Over perfumed gift shops filled with frilly things that often really have no use and despite the country location sport a Made in China sticker on the bottom.

Enduring Comforts is not like that at all.

First off the owner has exquisite taste. I don’t say this lightly. She has rare and beautiful items that you’ll want to own crammed into her tiny store. Even better Enduring Comforts has the best collection of hats I’ve ever seen. The collection is so good that almost every time I’m in the neighborhood I stop in… and buy another hat. My collection at this point is made up almost exclusively of hats I’ve picked up there.
Yours truly, the owner and her son. Photo by Tiaré Ferrari.  

And then there are all the items my Lady has picked up there too, from scarves to bonnets to earrings. You would think with all this shopping we would have spent a fortune. Nope. In addition to exquisite taste come reasonable prices. That doesn’t mean everything is cheap. Solid silver carving knives or hand carved bone corkscrews don’t come cheap, but nothing I saw was ever over priced.

The best thing about Enduring Comforts is the owner and her son, who helps run the shop. They are the nicest people you can hope to meet in a roadside store. They give solid advice – they won’t tell you a hat looks good on you if it doesn’t – and they’ll make you feel comfortable shopping. Never rushing you and willing to give you background on any item or just talk about the weather.

Stop in, tell them I sent you.


Next door to Enduring Comforts is Wild Flour Bakery.
Young interns cuts butter  the old fashion way.

They make great breads from scratch using organic flours, all hand kneaded out in the open and baked in a wood fired oven.
An intern mixes dough by hand.

The ladies behind the counter at Wild Flour are always ready to smile, maybe tease you a bit, and load you up with delicious breads.

As nice as all that is, it’s not the reason I stop in whenever I can. I go to Wild Flour for the biscotti. They make the absolute best biscotti I’ve ever had. My favorite being the hazelnut chocolate biscotti. Basically a bunch of hazelnuts held together with a little flour and some chocolate.

Good God are they good.

Je vous souhaite de bonnes routes et le beau temps
Le Capitaine