on July 30, 2011
"Delicious is our Business" … that is the motto of the Czech Stop, and they certainly deliver on their promises. Every Texan who travels back and forth between Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio is aware of the Czech Stop and most will eventually make a pit stop at the Czech Stop sometime in their lifetime. Located half way between Austin and Dallas on exit 353 of I-35, it is the perfect location for a pit stop. The Czech Stop is most simply described as a filling station with gas pumps, restrooms, soft drinks, and snacks. But this little pit stop located in West, TX offers so much more. West, TX is in the heart of the Czech community which settled in Central Texas in the late 1880’s when the railroad brought prosperity to the area. Czech immigrants came to the area via Galveston purchasing rich farm land, opening businesses, and sharing their European culture. Being a 6th generation Texan of the Czech immigrants who settled nearby, I have fond memories of my Czech grandmother’s freshly baked kolaches and my grandfather’s homemade sausage he made every summer in the smokehouse on their farm in central Texas.With a tantalizing array of delicious Czech treats, the Czech Stop delivers on authentic baked goods with a twist to broaden their appeal. The exterior of the building has been reconfigured with a wooden façade that evokes the feeling of a small European house (if you ignore the gas pumps and SUVs littering the front). Upon entering, the room is simply adorned with white walls and simple wood trip. Locals and visitors crowd around the multiple cases of baked goods forming a line that extends to the back of the store. The Czech Stop is most famously known for their kolaches, but they also serve cinnamon rolls, maple twists, pecan rolls, sausage rolls (with or without cheese), sauerkraut, bread, sausage, sandwiches, sodas, cookies, and cupcakes. It is the perfect place to grab a snack on the go. For those wishing to rest a moment, the interior of the store also contains three dining tables where guests can sit and eat their order. Once we arrived at the counter, we were greeted by one of the multiple workers quickly moving back and forth between the register and the cases. We ordered a dozen kolaches to go. Those wishing to eat them immediately can also request that they be heated. Because the baked goods have no preservatives, they typically last a couple of days in the fridge and up to a few months in the freezer. The Czech Stop serves authentic kolaches fillings like apple, apricot, peach, poppy seed, and cottage cheese. However, they have also extended their menu to a broader audience by serving other fruit fillings like strawberry, blueberry, lemon, and berry. Most also come with a dollop of cream cheese baked on top of the fruit or you can order one with just cream cheese. All of the kolache fruit fillings are made with fresh fruit and blended with the perfect amount of sweetness to offset the tangy sweetened yeast dough. In my many years of sampling the Czech Stop, I much prefer the cream cheese, lemon w/ cream cheese, strawberry w/ cream cheese, and poppy seed kolaches. For bought kolaches, these are the best I have found to my grandmother’s homemade handiwork. For those traveling between Austin/San Antonio and Dallas via I-35, this is a MUST stop along your trip. The Czech Stop will not disappoint!
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