Sunday, July 21, 2013

Czech Stop – West, Texas


There is a place called the Czech Stop (Little Czech Bakery) in West, Texas where the parking lot is just not big enough. On any given day, at any time of the year, you will likely have to wait to find a parking spot. Even when you do manage to park, you’re going to wait in line before you get to the counter. Such a problem might turn some people away, but that would be a major mistake. Although you may wait in line, the reward is that the food that you buy will make you forget the inconvenience. At the first bite, any memory of waiting will be instantly erased.

 The Czech Stop is a bakery, deli, and convenience store located just off Interstate 35 in the Central Texas town of West. Yes, there are bakeries all over the world, but the specialty of this bakery is an extremely appetizing treat called the Kolache – light, flaky pastry filled with various fruits or meat and cheese. The baked goods at the Czech Stop are simply some of the best I have ever eaten.

Czech Stop on Urbanspoon

According to Gourmet.com, kolaches are, “little square pastries that hold a dollop of fruit rimmed by a puffy pillow of supple dough.” The same article, written by Jane and Michael Stern, describes kolaches as looking “vaguely like the Danish you get in any diner, but a really good kolache feels and tastes like a breakfast treat that has gone to charm school.”

Little
Czech Bakery on Foodio54

The Czech Stop features a huge variety of baked goods from which to choose – kolaches are the biggest selling items (the meat varieties are technically called ‘klobasnek’). We always order at least a dozen of the various fillings – fruit and cream cheese, along with a ham or sausage and cheese for each of us. There are few things more enjoyable than a Czech Stop kolache and a tasty cup of coffee – regardless of the time of day.

The best time to buy kolaches is early morning when they are fresh out of the oven. The only problem is that isn’t exactly a state secret – every kolache connoisseur with two hundred miles knows that too. But don’t let that stop you from visiting any time of day. Czech Stop kolaches never sit around for long – no matter when you buy, you know you are getting fresh food.

The Czech Stop is easy to find – Exit 353 from either side of I-35. The store is right there on the access road at the intersection next to the highway – you can’t miss it. If you roll down your window, you can smell the kolaches.

This great store is certainly not the only bakery that sells kolaches, but it is certainly one of the best. If you happen to find yourself traveling I-35 in Central Texas in either direction, do yourself a favor and order your fill of one of the great culinary treats on the planet.

© 2013 Larry Manch

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