Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Kolache Factory

 Before moving to Austin about, man, has it really been 7 years ago (?)... I had never heard of a "kolache".  Indiana is not exactly the center of the universe, so many of the trends that are common in civilization are unknown to the barbarians living deep in the cornfields of the Midwest.  A "kolache" in this case is an American version of a traditional Central European wedding dessert.  Of course, while theirs is filled with sweet fruits and jellies, we fill ours with meat, eggs, and vegetables and eat them for breakfast.

 We're kooky like that.

 This morning I was a little early arriving at the post office to ship about 3 dozen packages to eBay auction winners (check out my other blogs about an Exit Strategy).  Across the street from the Post Office I use on North Lamar is a Kolache Factory store.  I have had a kolache before, but never from the Kolache Factory.  The name makes me think of an automated-process involving conveyor belts or maybe a Rube Goldberg Machine.  The building is located near what I refer to as "the medical district" (due to the number of hospitals, doctors' offices, and medical-suppliers in the immediate area), and aside form the outdoor dining area it has the look of a small factory.

 Inside, the look is completely different, more like an up-scale doughnut-shop.  The two people behind the counter were friendly and quick to serve, and the kolaches; traditional and American, were on display behind them.  The guy who took my order pro-actively offered to heat mine up.  The microwaves are placed under the check-out counter, right at genital-level... which I am not certain is very safe for employees who might be employed there for a long period... but, fuck it, I don't work there and as long as their mutant radioactive kids have enough brain-cells to take my order in the future then they are welcome to continue to irradiate their genitals to their hearts-content.

 Though, now that I think about it, given where they place your food to "heat it up", it might be wise to be nice and polite to these guys.

 I ordered a sausage-and-cheese kolache and a ham-and-cheese croissant.  The kolache was basically a dinner roll with some cheese-paste and a clone of an Eckrich breakfast sausage in the middle.  The sausage and cheese was baked in the roll and doesn't stick out on either side like at some places, and the cheese was not overwhelming.  The most flavorful aspect of the kolache was the little bit of salted butter that had been brushed onto the roll, otherwise it was, well, a roll with sausage and cheese.

 The croissant was awesome.  Now, to be fair, I like croissants, so I may be a little biased.  My girlfriend does not like croissants, so no matter how I might rave about the filling, it is wrapped in what she would describe as a "vile waste of dough".  The filling in this pastry was excellent.  The ham is cubed to a point of almost being ground-ham, and the Swiss (?) cheese held all the ham together.  A "dollop" of ham is really the only way to describe it, like it had been placed in the croissant with a medium-size ice-cream scope.  

 The croissant rocked.

 The best part, though, was the price.  I spent less than $4 for two filling breakfast pastries.  

 The Kolache Factory is also a Texas original, starting near Houston about 25 years ago.  They are spreading out, coming to a town near you.  If you haven't checked them out yet or have one opening near where you are, I highly recommend paying them a visit.  It is hard to beat the value you get for the price.

3706 North Lamar
Austin, TX 78705

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