Austin, Texas – Kolache Factory

Restaurant: Kolache Factory
Cuisine: Breakfast/Brunch/Bakery/Eastern European
Last visited: July 24, 2010
Location: Austin, Texas (University of Texas)
Address: 3705 N Lamar Blvd
Price Range: $10 or less

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 6 (based on items I tried)
Service: n/a
Ambiance: n/a
Overall: n/a
Additional comments:

  • Franchise
  • 25+ years
  • Famous for kolaches
  • 24+ kolache varieties
  • Baked fresh daily
  • Fresh, high quality ingredients
  • Coffee/pastries also available
  • Popular for breakfast/brunch
  • Healthy “fast food”
  • Made to-go/Drive thru
  • Pick up/Delivery
  • Catering available
  • “Top 5 Drive-thru’s in America” – Food Network
  • “Top 50 Food Service Bakeries in US”
  • “Top 20 bakery-cafés to watch”
  • Budget-friendly/Cheap eats
  • Mon-Sat. 6am-2pm
  • Sun 7am-2pm

**Recommendations: Fruit & Cream Cheese Kolache, Ranchero Kolache, Sausage & Cheese, Sausage Egg and Cheese… any kolache!

Kolache Factory is a privately owned and operated franchise that started in 1982 in Houston, Texas. A kolache originates from Eastern Europe (arguably a Polish pastry) and it’s a a warm and slightly sweet fresh-baked pastry or bun filled with sausage, cheese, or fruit. From the dough to the filling it’s made with old fashioned recipes, Eastern European tradition, and with the freshest quality ingredients. The kolaches are baked daily and they’re delicious!

I have never heard of kolaches before and I was lucky enough to have my cousin introduce them to me when I was in Austin, Texas. It’s basically a savoury or sweet bun that’s popular for breakfast, brunch, lunch or a snack. It’s made for people on the go and it’s hearty and relatively nutritious depending on what filling you get. The most popular is the sausage and cheese, but the most traditional is the fruit and cream cheese. Kolache Factory has been named the “Top 5 Drive-thru’s in America” by Food Network, the “Top 50 Food Service Bakeries in US” by Modern Baking Magazine” and the “Top 20 bakery-cafés to watch” – Franchise Times magazine.

People are crazy about them and after one bite I can totally understand why. It’s basically the Bonchaz Bakery Cafe of Vancouver, BC but like 100x’s better and Bonchaz is already good. It tastes like it’s home made from a wicked good Eastern European grandma. I was so surprised to learn that it was a franchise and it’s a must try one in my books. I’ve had my fair share of pastries and buns and my favourite is still the Chinese version of these Kolaches – baked BBQ pork bun from dim sum restaurants, but those are yet to be discovered by mainstream North America. All the Kolaches are excellent though and they’re easy to eat. I ate them the authentic way, in the car! This would be a totally money maker in Vancouver and I can’t wait until the day it arrives… until then I’ll just be drooling at my screen.

On the table:

Ham & Cheese – 4.5/6

  • $1.24USD/each $13.39USD/dozen (Pictured on top)
  • It’s about the size of a pizza pocket and 1000x’s better. The pastry dough is made from scratch, they’re served warm and baked daily.
  • It’s filled with real ham, like thick slices ham that you would eat on Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s delicious! It’s not too cheesy so it’s not oily or greasy, but just hearty.
  • The bun part is a sweeter bread and it’s very soft, but not that buttery. It doesn’t quite melt in your mouth, but it is sweeter and the taste of fresh white bread, with a soft yummy crust.

**Sausage, Egg & Cheese5/6

  • $1.99USD/each $21.49USD/dozen (Pictured on bottom)
  • The sausage and cheese is the most popular, but what’s better than adding an egg in the mix?! Most people would say add bacon… and we’ll probably see that on the menu soon (but you heard it hear first! ;))
  • All kolaches have a great balance of ingredients and great filling to bun ratio.
  • The egg and sausage mixture is not dry! The eggs are real fresh eggs that are moist and everything is seasoned lightly so it’s not too salty or greasy at all. The sausage is lean, but still flavourful and well sauteed. It’s not ooey gooey cheese, but it still has a subtle taste of cheese. Basically it’s a guilt-free breakfast that’s substantial enough to satisfy your hunger, but doesn’t lead you to food coma… just food heaven.

**Ranchero (Ham, Egg, Cheese & Jalapeno)6/6

  • $1.99USD/each $21.49USD/dozen (Pictured on bottom)
  • This is not a traditional kolache filling, but it’s part of their “South of the Border” varieties – which is the Mexican influence I was referring to.
  • It was awesome! It had real cheddar cheese, real egg, real thick slice quality ham pieces and real jalapeno. You can taste the freshness of each ingredient and it was generously stuffed. The jalapenos are sweet so it’s not really spicy at all, but just a bit smoky. The eggs are almost soft scrambled and the cheese keeps it’s creamy and moist, but not greasy.
  • I love Egg McMuffins and most breakfast sandwiches from fast food joints, but I would take a kolache over one any day!

[geotag]

Kolache Factory on Urbanspoon

9 Comments

  • Christina says:

    There was a chain that sold Kolaches in Vancouver, called the Kolachy Shop. They opened about 4 years ago, expanded into a small chain and now just last month the last Kolachy Shop closed.

    Their Kolaches were made with whole wheat and looked exactly like your pictures except they charged 3.75 to 4.50 per Kolachy. When they first opened up they were charging $2.50 per.

    They were alright but when they jacked up the prices I stop going. I still think the Chinese pastries like BBQ Pork Buns at Chinese Bakeries still have the best value.

  • KimHo says:

    There was Kolachy Co who used to make these but they closed (my post here). As I mentioned in my post, the fundamental flaw from the ones offered in Vancouver is the price. At > $4, the “Chinese in me” kicked in and said no way in hell I am going to spend that when I can get at least 3 pork buns for the same price! However, if they were sold at the prices you listed above, they could certainly give those pork buns a serious run for their money!

  • laura says:

    I saw that episode on Food Network where they talked about the Kolachy and I was craving one after that. Then about 6 months later I saw the Kolachy Co on Beatty St and had to try it. I was disappointed. Bread was too thick, the size of the buns were small and the filling wasn’t all that great. Glad to hear that the real deal is much better!

  • Mijune says:

    Ok those prices are ridiculous for Kolache! That Kolachy Co. I remember driving by, but too bad it’s nowhere close to the real deal. It seems like an imitation and that is very disappointing. i hope people don’t relate “Kolachy Co” to “Kolache Factory” which are very different apparently! Thanks for commenting everyone!

  • James says:

    After living in Houston, Tx for 2 years I am constantly searching for these! I live in Vancouver now and am so sad to find it sans kolache. One day. One sweet doughy day.

  • Mijune says:

    @James – not the same, but still good… you should try the ones from Bon Chaz. Closest to kolache in Vancouver is at Lost & Found Cafe (that I’ve found)!

  • James says:

    @mijune ah! thanks for the tip! happy eating.

  • Mijune says:

    @James – pleasure!! What I’m here for 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *