Kolache Heaven: Perfect for Days When You Don't Want to Take a Long Drive

West, Texas, is not located in West Texas, rather it is a tiny Czech community on Interstate 35 some 15 miles north of Waco. It is known throughout the state as ground zero for kolaches, thanks to the presence of The Czech Stop and The Little Czech Bakery, which sells the sweet and savory rolls 24-7. (Longtime devotees of West's kolaches know about Gerik's Ole Czech Smokehouse just around the corner, which sells even better ones.) Like genuine Central Texas barbecue, it's hard to find really good, savory kolaches outside of a Czech or German community. Those cultures have longstanding traditions of smoking meats, and great meat is the key to a great kolache. (A fruit or sweet version will always put a smile on my face if done well.) Unwilling to make the trek to West but hungry for a Czech treat, I decided to try Kolache Heaven in Frisco.

Kolache Heaven is tiny, with only enough seating for a few patrons, so takeout is the order of the day. I went directly to the counter and noticed immediately that there were some expressions written in Czech on the menu, which I took as a hopeful sign. After a few moments deliberation, I decided on four rolls, two sweet and two meat.

I started with the strawberry cream cheese, which was very light and airy and not too sweet, although, as with all four kolaches, there was not quite enough filling. The cheese had been whipped to a mousse-like texture and proved to be a great start. Next, I went for the sausage roll (klobazniki), and this proved to be the most disappointing of all, as the sausage was a little too mild for my taste. Not bad, but clearly the worst of the bunch. Then, I went for the Bavarian chocolate cream. The sweet, luscious chocolate was maybe a little heavy on the sugar, but still I would have loved more. As it turns out, I had saved the best for last with hickory-smoked brisket and cheese.The brisket was just smoky enough, moist and tender, and it played well with the Colby and Jack cheeses inside. The pastry on my kolaches was indeed fresh-baked although a bit standard in quality.

Service was quite cheerful, and this place looked to be a three-person operation, with counter-girl, chef and assistant. Best of all, the total cost without drink was less than $7, so I'll be back to Kolache Heaven, although I still believe that the true Nirvana of kolaches is about 90 miles south.

Kolache Heaven 3333 Preston Road, #102 Frisco 214-618-1540

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Chris Meesey