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Kolaches in the Austin area

Someone mentioned in another thread about missing kolaches when they were living out of state. I am a lover and devotee of the kolache. Where do y'all get your kolache fix in Austin?

The Czech Stop, in West, TX, makes a kolache so superior to all others in my favorite configuration (Jalapeno, Sausage and Cheese) that I have begun to be discuraged about finding good kolaches. Most I have tried just aren't as good, and there is no reason why they can't be as good.

Reasons for Czech Stops superiority:

1) The piping hot fresh baked bread exterior is similar to a doughy yeast roll. In a similar strain to the theory that you shouldn't cook with wine you wouldn't drink, you shouldn't clad your kolache in bread that would not be good enough to stand alone and be excellent.

2) They use actual slices of real jalapenos. Not jalapeno flavored sausage.

3) They use actual cheese. No cheese flavored sausage.

4) The quality of their sausage is passable. 99 times out of 100 kolaches have sausage that only varies from low-grade hot dog by a very little.

There is a Kolache place on Congress and Oltorf that offers an Elgin Sausage and Jalapeno Kolache that is passable, but not great.

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  1. Growing up in a largely Czech area in South Texas, I'd never heard them called "kolaches" until I came to college in Austin. They were always called "sausage rolls". Kolaches were strictly the dessert pastry. Also, no self respecting Czech would use any sausage that wasn't a real hot link sausage...these scrawny pencil thin hot dogs found around here would get you laughed out of town.

    1 Reply
    1. re: achtungpv

      Yeah my wife is Czech(born and raised until 24 in central Czech Rep) and she laughs at what passes for Czech in central Texas. Not only do Czechs not put sausage or anything other than fruit fillings like achtung said, in their kolaches, but the type of cough needed for a true kolache can't be found here. Also, they are pronounced, kolash.

    2. I grew up eating Kolaches at family reunions made by my 80 year old Aunt Gertie, and as a result am VERY picky about my kolaches.

      In Austin the best I've managed to find are at Lone Star Kolaches (there's one at Parmer and Metric and I believe they have other locations). The dough there has the right yeasty almost chewy quality. They make a variety of fruit flavors and even make poppy seed. A word of warning though, they also have some "experimental" kolaches including ones with eggs (kinda like a breakfast taco I guess) that are really icky. Plain sausage or sausage and cheese are very good though. The place on Burnet, behind Dallas Nightclub is passable but the dough isn't quite right. Although, I did enjoy the friendly counter service from real "farm-raised" Czech-German boys that reminded me of home.

      I agree that the Czech Stop is what I now compare to. Another good option if in the Temple area is Green's Sausage House in Zabcikville, Texas. They make their own sausage in house and the fruit are divine as well.

      1. I know very little about kolaches, but have noticed two that have recently opened very near each other on the west side of N. Lamar. Kolache Factory is just south of 35th St. next door to the Subway on the corner and the other is in the mini-shopping center with Russel Korman (sp?) jewelery store on the north side of 35th. Has anyone had any experience with either of these two locations?

        1 Reply
        1. re: rollledspleen

          The one in the shopping center is Lone Star Kolaches. We are fans!! We get our breakfast kolache there every Sunday.

        2. I like the Kolaches at The Kitchen Door. They have fruit kolaches and ones with the sausage inside. There is a location on Far West and another on Lake Austin, good stuff!

          1. I love Czech Stop. Soooooooooo Good. My buddy's girlfriend would always bring a box of the sausage jalapeno and cheese ones when she owuld come to visit from Dallas.

            1. Thanks for heads up and discussion. I travel through S. Texas quit a lot and can't seem to find a place in Austin that has Kolaches like they do there. Looks like I'll try Lone Star.

              2 Replies
              1. re: have_ur_cake

                Just head to 35th street and Lamer, you will find all the Kolaches, the Kolache Factory, Lone Star, CM located on that block.

                1. re: Austintt

                  CM is not Central Market, is it?

                  I'm not wondering where to find just any kolaches in Austin. I've had enough bad kolaches already. Like El General, I'd like to know where to find the best kolaches in Austin—and also how they compare to the ones in West and other small central-Texas towns.

                  Thanks for the description of the ones at Lone Star, ashes. Can someone provide similar details about the ones at the Kitchen Door? Or can someone compare the two?

                  Thanks,
                  MPH

              2. I'll second what several people have said here - I'm a kolache snob too, and none of the Austin places cut it, though I wish they could. I make my own when I really want some and can't make it out of town.

                Czech Stop is good - but if you are heading to Houston along 71, there is a great place called "Weikel's" in La Grange that I prefer even to Czech Stop. They've nailed the dough spot-on.

                El General, I humbly submit that you are describing a "klobasnek." I would add to your list,

                5) They know the difference between klobasneks and kolaches, but are still nice enough not to correct you and just give it to you!

                I agree that the sausage is the key for a klobasnek, and the czech stop has access to several excellent meat markets/butchers in the West area. Same goes for Weikel's.

                :)

                Happy hunting!

                4 Replies
                1. re: KM3

                  KM3,

                  I did not know the difference between klobasnek and kolache (or even the existence of klobasnek) but it makes a lot of sense since fruit filled and sausage filled are so different.

                  I have been to Weikel's a couple of times, and thought they were good, but not in the same class as West. I will have to try them again to see if my opinion still stands.

                  We chowhounded around West one afternoon and bought sausage from the meat markets there that was all excellent.

                  1. re: El General

                    El General

                    Did you have a preference for any of the meat markets? I go so infrequently I can never remember which ones are best.

                    Also - there are several czech restaurants around. I found the one downtown to be a lot better than the one out on 35.

                  2. re: KM3

                    Hey - klobasnek is new to me too! Thanks for that! I'm a neophyte kolache (klobasnek) snob, and the Czech Stop and Weikel's are my two favorites after about 8 years of trying different ones all over. Weikel's is my absolute favorite, however, and it is their dough in particular that keeps me coming back. I'm sorry to say that I haven't really liked any in Austin - the place on Congress and Oltorf was borderline offensive (lil smokies, dense, undercooked dough) and since they aren't THAT healthy, I just wait until I or someone I know is headed up I35 or out 71!

                    1. re: saticoy

                      KM3,

                      I don't remember the names of any of them, but we got sausage from all of them, and it was all excellent. I will be up there in the next couple of weeks and report back.

                  3. I too am a fan of the Czech Stop. FYI- They do ship their frozen kolaches. I once had a friend from CT come visit me and I took her to the Czech Stop. On the way, she kept saying, "let me get this straight...we are going to buy sausage products at a gas station?" She was a little skeptical, but liked them so much that I send her some every Christmas.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: adewaal

                      I always stop at Czech Stop too. I get the sausage and cheese and a couple of the poppy seed. If I'm coming home I buy extra for friends. Once I asked a guy who came from the kitchen what shortening they used to make them so good. He told me they use lard. No wonder they are so tastey. I also always stop at that gas station (Shell?) on 71 to Houston. Not sure of the name, but think its in Ellinger. Its where you have to slow down to 55 mph through the town. I like the sausages they use there too.

                      1. re: austx03

                        The place in Ellinger is called Hruska's. I stop there because they sell Prasek's turkey jerky

                        1. re: El General

                          I stopped at Hruska's in Ellinger on my way back to Austin a couple of Sundays ago. The Jalapeño, Sausage, Cheese was good, though it was not up to the Czech Stop. The sausage was good. The kolache had real jalapeño slices. Their dough was only passable. Also, it must be noted that I was there at 5:00 pm on a Sunday. They were not right out of the oven, and probably had been sitting there for most of the day.

                          The amazing thing about Czech Stop is that they seem to be right out of the oven no matter when you go.

                          I will have to hit Weikel's in a couple of weeks

                          1. re: El General

                            We stopped at Hruska's today....just a few hours ago in fact. The kolaches were ok but definitely not up to Czech Stop. The dough was very dry and not quite the right mix of sweet and yeasty...missing the zing I look for. I will say though that we ordered the pan sausage and cheese and the sausage itself was very good. It was, as the pan name fortells, more like a breakfast sausage rather than a link style. A hearty helping of sausage and cheese filled the inside. The sausage had a nice spice to it. I had an apricot as well which again was ok but woefully dry dough. The quick stop made for a decent on the road snack but I'll likely stop somewhere else next time.

                            1. re: ashes

                              I have gotten a similar report on the pan sausage also, that I forgot to include above.

                    2. If ever in the Bryan/College Station area, try Kolache Rolfs...great sausage rolls and cream cheese kolaches... http://www.kolacherolfs.com/story.htm

                      1. I'll second ashes. Though not in Austin, Green's rules. I myself grew up on them in Temple, and along with a long-since downhilled joint in Temple called the kolache kitchen, it made me completely indifferent to West Kolaches. I'e stopped at Weikel's before, but they don't do it for me either. I am too much of a pessimist to try them in Austin. It's sorta like bbq, in that it really is rarely as good in the "big city".

                        1. Hmmmm....good kolaches? I'm having to redefine the "kolache" since I've come to Austin. My mother is Slovak and we make something similar. We don't call them kolaches, or at least I didn't until I moved here, but they are pretty different. They are strictly a dessert pastry, usually with apricot as the fruit. My dough makes something that comes out like a very thin - maybe 1/4 inch - flaky biscuit. It's topped with fruit (usually apricot) and then a sugar-milk glaze. As far as what is called a "kolache" here, they just remind me of those weird fruit pastries from Sam's you get at the breakfast spreads for morning work meetings.

                          That said, I have recently found a place called Dream Bakery on Anderson Mill, just east of 183. They have kolaches that are pretty different from ones I've seen before. They look more like turnovers. They do have a sausage - jalapeño, but I haven't tried it. I did try a fruit one the other day, which again looked very different, but was pretty tasty. I had an apple-walnut. They also had blueberry-cream cheese and raspberry-chocolate. The bakery also has a few Persian treats that I really liked. I would definitely try it again. You might head up that way and sample the sausage - jalapeño.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: xeresana

                            Interesting---kolaches with sausage filling must be a Texas adaptation. I am in Chicago where the kolachky is an Article of Faith--- the closest to savory filling that we see here is cheese, and it's a sweet cheese filling. Here, kolachys can be "yeast" or "cookie" depending in which type of dough, but the filling is always fruit or jam (unless it's cheese). Some bakeries offer a dozen types of filling. Sausage, never.

                          2. has anyone ever tried the donut place on Brodie between Eskew and Alexandria? i think it's KC Donut from google mapping it, but not positive . it's across the street from that Shipley's right there. That donut shop has great kolaches. they run out by late morning and have a limited variety, but they have that yeasty dough. reminds me of Weikel's in La Grange. they also have great croissant breakfast sandwiches. now Shipleys, those were some terrible bread stick-y kolaches. blech.

                            1. the last couple of times i've stopped at the czech stop i've been disappointed. the bread just wasn't the same as i remember it and i was a huge fan.

                              Hruska's has definitely become my favorite roadside kolache. their pan sausage is perfect.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: ieathereforeiam

                                I was traveling from Houston to Austin yesterday and stopped at Hruska's. I picked up a few of the "pan sausage and sauerkraut" kolaches or Klobasnikies. This is the best place in the state to get great kolaches. Czech Stop used to be the MVP of the Texas kolache game, but no more. I live somewhat close the the old CS but have been known to drive from Georgetown to Ellinger on a saturday morning just for a decent breakfast. Hruska's Hrocks!

                                1. re: runs_with_scissors

                                  Most unfortunate sign on the Austin food scene in the last year, at the Kolache Factory on Lamar near 35th: "Try our buffalo chicken Kolaches." Fortunately, it's been taken down.

                                  1. re: austinfood

                                    They had a turkey & dressing kolache in November!

                                    1. re: austinfood

                                      austinfood,
                                      I would've loved to've seen that sign.It sounds like a great idea;a savory kolache that you dunk into a big tub of bleu cheese[or due to local custom,ranch].
                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/584187
                                      please hit the link and respond with some more of your Austin observations over 2008

                                    2. re: runs_with_scissors

                                      Runs, I have had the Hruska's Klobasniki and while I enjoyed them, I have never wanted to drive from Austin to get them. though, I will say that I rarely drive by in the morning when they are fresh.

                                  2. stopped at the Bucee's gas station at 183/I10 outside of Luling and they have some pretty dang good sausage rolls.

                                    1. The kolache's at KC Donuts on Brodie Lane are decent. And it's a locally owned mom & pop, which is always a plus in my book.

                                      1. Have you tried Moonlight Bakery on South Lamar, a little south of Oltorf? The kolaches are absolutely addictive, and their prices can't be beat.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: foodiefind

                                          No, but I driven by it in the evenings and wondered.

                                        2. Found this old thread and thought I might resurrect it with a question. While driving down S.1st today, I noticed a new kolache place. I can't remember the exact location, but it had a banner out front and was on the west side of the street, roughly around Annie. Trying to think what was there before... maybe a skate shop?

                                          Anyway, would love to know if anybody's been.

                                            1. Look folks, the Czech Stop has the best location - impossible to miss, right on the highway. And their baked goods are just fine.

                                              But dedicated CHs should do a little more investigation. And if they do, they'll discover that West locals, and others in the know, drive right by the Czech Stop. Because there is a lively argument going on among locals and other knowledgeable kolache aficionados as to who in West has the best, and Czech Stop isn't even in the discussion.

                                              Because the argument over who has the best kolaches in West is between:

                                              Gerik's Ole' Czech Bakery http://www.yelp.com/biz/geriks-ole-cz...

                                              And the Village Bakery
                                              http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Ov...

                                              BOTH of which are much better than Czech Stop.

                                              So next time, drive into town a bit. Try all three and then come back here and we'll chat.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Jaymes

                                                Right on. You have to take the extra 10 min to get the goods. I've been to Czech Stop on owrk trips numerous times with work people who say "it's the best." Czech stop probably makes a lot more money, though.

                                                1. re: Jaymes

                                                  Eater has a write up this week on great places to eat while traveling around Texas. Along with Chech Stop, two other local West kolache shops are mentioned. "Chech" it out (couldn't pass it up!). They're #43 - #45. And Eater also agrees the others are better than Chech Stop.

                                                  http://houston.eater.com/archives/201...