Monday, February 18, 2013

The Kolache

The Czech engineer was astounded.  Kolaches?  In America?

I smiled.  Not just America.  In TEXAS.  That was even better.

The Kolache is a Czech import.  I don't mean to say that they are imported.  I mean, the idea of the Kolache is imported and improved (depends on who you ask, I guess) here.

In fact, there is a wikipedia article on the subtley famous foodstuff:
Kolache /kɵˈlɑːtʃi/ (also spelled kolace, kolach, or kolacky, from the Czech and Slovak plural koláče, sg. koláč) is a type of pastry that holds a dollop of fruit rimmed by a puffy pillow of supple dough.  Originating as a semisweet wedding dessert from Central Europe, they have become popular in parts of the United States. The word kolache (колаче) itself means 'a small cookie' in Macedonian.

...

In Texas, many restaurants and bakeries specialize in kolaches. In central Texas, the kolache is particularly widespread among Czech Americans, as well as their respective local communities, such as West and Caldwell. Many other communities known for kolaches, such as Weimar, Taylor, Hallettsville and Schulenburg, Texas, have a considerable Czech ethnic population. Shipley's Donuts, a popular Texas donut chain, as well as other donut shops, provide kolaches.
In fact, other than maybe Dunkin and Krispy Kreme, donut shops throughout Houston and other cities also sell kolaches.

To get an idea of how popular they are.  Here is a map of Houston showing all the places that sell donuts, and by default, kolaches:

Blacksmith Coffee House

Update: Overpriced, stale croissants. I just paid over $7 for a cup of coffee and a HEATED croissant.  When they do that it tells me there is nothing fresh about it.

I have several coffee house reviews that I need to repost.  In the meantime, I've been going to the Blacksmith coffee house lately.

Blacksmith is located on Westheimer about ablock west of the Westheimer/Montrose intersection.  I've been coming here once a week and I think I finally got a decent cup of coffeee.  Maybe it's because I asked for dark roast.  Once you start drinking dark roast it's sort of hard to stomach much else.  Drinking ordinary coffee is sort of like having your liquor watered down, I guess.

The croissant is...fresh!  Flakey on the outside and soft on the inside.  They even apply the glaze.

The shop itself has the typical rustic look.  unpainted concrete floors.  Three of the walls are brick - not old brick.  There are six tables, three that seat 4 and three that seat two.  Along the front wall there is a row of stools and counter that face the large window.

There's also a bar of sorts.  But no booze that I can see.  Just coffee.

Overall, I'm pleased.  Except so far, Blacksmith has the most expensive combination of coffee and croissant.  Total cost is over $6.  They offer American breakfasts but I can get that just about anywhere.