I can’t exactly remember when Kolache Kreations opened. It might have been when I was in high school. It could have been when I was in college. It was, most certainly, at a time when I was either driving or running right past it, making my way up the intersection of 144 and 40 that I’ve confronted for the better part of the past 12 years of my existence.
Past the Kiwanis Wallace Park where I once threw a temper tantrum on the baseball fields as a seventh grader playing fall ball, but not quite to the Arby’s where I used to review stuff for GrubGrade at, sits the blue facade of a small building I think was once an antique store. It’s a homey looking building. Without the large sign over the awning or cars out front, you might mistake it as a grandmother’s house. I’m quite sure, during many of those initial days after opening when I drove past it, I thought just that.
I’ve been inside the store before — mostly as a stop-in for a breather during long runs up and down the route 144 corridor. I’ve rarely had money with me though, and even if I did, I didn’t feel like eating. It’s a good four miles from the store to my parents’ house, and I’d rather not barf on the way home. Besides, something about the alliteration of the Czech pastry specialty and the usually empty looking store just made me want to window shop there bites.
A few months ago I got around to trying my first Kolache. Google searches had long ago revealed that the odd-sounding word has less to do with a Furby and more to do with pastries, in this case a kind that has been transplanted from central europe to the fine state we call Texas. Made with both sweet and savory fillings, the Kolaches at Kolache Kreations range between 2-4 bucks, but thanks to some bold advertising, can sometimes be picked up for free with a coupon in the mail. I had my first one in November – a Sausage and Cheese Kolache. I didn’t think much of the filling, to be honest. The sausage seemed mild and didn’t exude a distinctively sweet or spicy flavor, while the cheese came off as a bit too processed and plain. Unimpressed by the filling as I was, I couldn’t help but feel welcomed by the man inside the store, and the warmth and pride he exuded in his own little piece of international yummy. And if there was a redeeming quality to the taste of the Kolache itself, it was the dough itself. Buttery yet sweet, with a buttermilk taste of a pancake yet the chew and body of a quickbread, it seemed to encapsulate every kind of bread product I have ever eaten. I knew I had to return.
A few days ago I stopped by around midday. This time I decided to go with one of the sweet Kolaches. Seeing choices of cream cheese, apricot, and poppy-seed (all adorned with a struesal topping) I was flummoxed as to which one to choose, but considering I had never had the sweet poppy-seed paste I sometimes see in the bakery section, I decided to use my coupon to pick one up.
The dough was even better than what I remembered. Sweet and milky, like a cross between a yeast raised cinnamon roll, a biscuit, and my Grandma’s classic “Easter Bread” — made, I should add, with whatever “Oleo” is – its the kind of bread dough that refuses to let you swallow it without savoring it’s complex and comforting tastes. Im sure itwould have the same effecton one’s arterie’s if eaten too much, but alas, that’s what makes it so good.
Next time I stop in I’m determined to get a different flavor, because after trying the Poppyseed filling, I’ve concluded that I’m not a poppy seed kind of guy. It’s not bad, it’s just, well, it’s just not what I’d pair with the dough. nd that’s really the magic of the Kolache — the dough. It’s a worth a try, especially if you’re looking for something more complex than your typical Einstein Brothers bagel and schmear.