“You’ve come at a good time,” says the staff at Kolache Heaven after I tell them it’s my first visit. “We get busy and start running out of stuff later on.”
A restaurant running out of food isn’t the best indicator of greatness. But today, it is. Like other popular bakery-style establishments, you have to get up early to get the good stuff at Kolache Heaven. It goes out the door — fast.
The eatery is tiny and, true to its name, pretty heavenly. In fact, the place was almost full the entire time I was there. I had to wait in line every time I went back to order another item.
If I had to guess, most Americans haven’t had a real kolache, the authentic Czech kind. They confuse sausage rolls with kolaches when real kolaches actually have nothing to do with meat at all. Authentic kolaches are more like pastries, sans meat.
So why the mix-up? “It’s the donut shops,” says the staff. “They call sausage rolls kolaches when they’re just sausage rolls.”
But at Kolache Heaven, it’s the real deal. They have apple, apricot, Bavarian creme, blueberry, cherry, lemon, mango, strawberry, poppy seed and prune kolaches (80 cents each), just to name a few.
All of the goods are baked fresh daily, which is obvious from the sweet, intoxicating scent of the restaurant. Each kolache is a fresh, pillowy pastry topped with a flavored, creamy pie filling — not jelly.
“We use pie fillings with a high fruit content — 75 percent is fruit,” says Duane Mefferd, owner of Kolache Heaven.
And yes, they do have the traditional sausage rolls (mild or spicy; cheese or without, $1), with soft bread, too.
But it’s their large meat rolls that really get your attention: the venison sausage roll with chipotle and jack cheese ($3.25) is a welcome upgrade to an old classic, with just the right amount of spice. There’s also smoked pork ($3.75), smoked ham ($3.75) and a jalapeño sausage with cheese roll ($3.25).
The smoked brisket meat roll — one of their bestsellers — is downright sinful ($3.75): tender and smoky with a cheesy blend of Colby and jack cheeses encased in a soft bun. I cradled it in my hands, admiring its simple yet elegant construction before maniacally consuming it. Holy smokes, it’s tasty.
To top it all off, Kolache Heaven’s glazed tea cake ($1.25) and warm cinnamon rolls ($2.25) with almonds, cranberries and nuts, are the kind of addicting foods that dictate where your next apartment will be. My suggestion? Frisco.