Kolaches? In Hayward? Mooooo!
Yup, kolaches. Kolaches are a Czech pastry that's made of a light, yeasted dough, usually round and topped with a fruit or ground seed filling. They're relatively hard to find in the Bay Area (Crixa has them sometimes), but are much more prevalent in the Midwest.
Well, a new shop dedicated to kolaches has opened in Hayward on Whipple, just east of 880 and next to the Circuit City. Called AM Kolaches, they serve variety of kolaches from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. I got there relatively late in the day (after 1 p.m.), so my choices were strawberry, blueberry, apple, cream cheese and chocolate (custard). No poppy seed when I got there, and I don't think they make prune, both of those being my favorites from the Midwest.
Right away I noticed that the kolache seemed to be higher than the ones I had picked up in Kansas and Texas during a muffaletta road trip. And that's certainly borne out in the eating. Although the dough is very similar to what I've had before, there's just too much of it. I felt that it overbalanced the fruit fillings, but I suppose you could just eat less of the dough since the filling pretty much sits on top. The dough is not particularly sweet (a good thing) and almost reminds me of a dinner roll.
For those who want some meat, AM Kolaches also serves up the same dough stuffed with such savory fillings as cajun sausage, BBQ beef, ham and cheese, and other similar treats. A few of those make a satisfying snack or meal.
The store opened in December and has been slowly building up a clientele since then. I found out about them through the United Airline's Mileage Plus Dining program, which seemed unusual for a bakery, but it certainly worked for me.
2486 Whipple Rd.
Hayward, CA 94544
Open daily 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
I was in the neighborhood this morning, so I stopped in and picked up a few. The sweet ones (one raspberry, one cream cheese), were pretty ordinary: doughy, and with generic, food service-type fillings. But the savory ones (with the filling inside, like a better version of a hot pocket) were pretty good: I got an "Italian" (nuggets -- like minimeatballs -- of sausage in a pizza sauce), bacon and cheese (no discernable cheese, but the bacon was really smoky and tasty), and a mini-sausage (the free sample of the day), which had the same sausage as the Italian. The savory kolaches were warm -- I don't know if they were fresh out of the oven or if they keep them in a warmer (they were in the back). I would definitely get the savory ones -- especially the bacon -- if I were in the neighborhood again. Damage for four kolaches (not including the free mini) was just under $5 after tax.
re: Ruth Lafler
They have a link from their website to the Kolache Factory which would appear to be a franchise operation. I didn't inquire when I visited if they were obtaining materials from the Kolache Factory system or if they were scratch made. I agree that the fruit fillings (those that I had) weren't my favorites. I would have liked to have had prune and poppy seed if those were available.
If you are ever passing by Davis, Little Prague makes kolaches. NO ONE has tried them ... or at least reported back ... though there have been inquiries going back to 2003 ... all leading to dead ends.
I had hoped to make it up that way today, but can't get away. Maybe this week-end. There's a Czech thing going on in Davis and Sacramento it seems.