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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.