New Alton eatery offers home-cooked meals for take-away

By Ken Keenan for Chronicle Media

Lori “Lolly” Bregenzer opened Comfort Cuisine, 4 E. Broadway, Alton on Oct. 25. The carry-out-only eatery will have a weekly selection of comfort-style food items to choose from, prepared by Bregenzer in home-cooked fashion and ready to take home for heating and eating. (Photo courtesy of Lori Bregenzer)

As far back as she can remember, and even before that, Godfrey resident Lori “Lolly” Bregenzer has had a passion for cooking and preparing meals, and now she’s found the home of her heart with the opening of Comfort Cuisine, a take-away eatery in downtown Alton.

“I was told that when I was about 2 or 3 years old, I climbed the drawers in the kitchen and took a can of orange juice from the freezer because I wanted to make breakfast,” said Bregenzer, who spent approximately 30 years doing software training in the paralegal industry before changing her career path. “It seems like everything we did as a family revolved around food. My grandma, my aunt and my mom at Christmas, singing and dancing and making food.

“The last five years, I went to work for a legal software company, but at some point I hit the wall. I always wanted to do something with food. I can’t look at a new recipe and not want to try it. I satisfied my love of cooking at home, making up recipes with my husband, Todd, and socializing with family and friends, and now I enjoy cooking for my customers.”

The carry-out-only eatery, which opened Oct. 25 in a small building at 4 E. Broadway, will have a weekly selection of comfort-style food items to choose from, prepared by Bregenzer in home-cooked fashion and ready to take home for heating and eating. The menu will be posted on Comfort Cuisine’s website ( several days in advance, and early birds will have the opportunity to take advantage of a discount when ordering online.

Bregenzer said the menu will change weekly, with new items posted on Mondays. Each week, Comfort Cuisine will open its pre-order window for the following week’s menu, with the window opening on Mondays and closing on Saturdays. Orders can be picked up Wednesday through Saturday during the eatery’s regular business hours (11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday).

Recent menu items included chicken spaghetti, chile relleno and black bean casserole, souped-up chili, a chicken veggie bundle and ABC chili mac for kids. All menu items are available until they run out, but during times when there is leftover food that freezes well, those items will be available for purchase at a discounted rate. A recent example was vegetarian-friendly broccoli cheese soup.

In addition, Lolly’s Lunchbox will offer menu items for the lunchtime crowd, including handcrafted soups, salads and sandwiches — as well as options such as a recent offering of blueberry coffee cake. Bregenzer also offers custom cooking, with the option of preparing a customer’s favorite family recipe or one of her own creations. She also operates a blog, Lolly Cooks (, sharing recipes, ideas and stories about food.

“I don’t want to do recipes over and over again, and I hope the public wants that as well,” Bregenzer said. “The things that are popular, I want to bring back now and then. But I’m constantly thinking ahead — what’s the next thing, what’s going to make it a better experience.”

During its first month in business, Bregenzer said the community’s response to Comfort Cuisine, “has been phenomenal. People are calling me back and saying, ‘Just like my mother used to make.’ I’ve been amazed by the response. Hopefully, people keep coming back. This concept is something I’ve wanted to do for a number of years. I look forward to keep on doing it, to being in the kitchen in my happy place.”

For more information, call 618-353-0200 or visit