How many times have you spoken to a non-Texan friend about kolaches and they had absolutely no idea what you were talking about? Probably 99.9 percent of the time, right? Kolaches are a special part of Texas cuisine that the rest of the country is sadly missing out on. And no, kolaches are not like pigs in a blanket. They are so much more. So much more.
In October 2013, The New York Times published an article about the kolache, in which John T. Edge wrote about several doughnut shops and bakeries in Houston selling kolaches; he also interviewed Morgan Weber of Revival Market about the loved pastry. And FYI: Revival's kolaches are definitely NOT underrated; they're just not made often enough.
As the story goes, the kolache first came to the United States in the 1800s along with Czech immigrants. One of the most famous spots today to grab a kolache is the Czech Stop in West, Texas. I recall many late-night drives to West for kolaches during my undergraduate years at Baylor. But, this is not the only place to grab a great kolache in Texas; Houston is bursting at the seams with places to indulge in a warm, sweet pastry filled with everything from the traditional cheese with sausage, pulled pork, jalapenos and ham, to more sweet and exotic flavors like cream cheese, berries, apples and lemon preserves.
We all know that Kolache Factory, Old Towne Kolaches, Christy's Donuts and The Original Kolache Shoppe consistently make amazing kolaches. But, what we all don't know is who makes the most underrated kolaches in Houston? Do you have a favorite neighborhood doughnut shop that serves up killer kolaches every morning? Maybe you have found the best ones at a local coffee shop or at a bakery that doesn't get much press coverage.
Just as we have said before, we consider an underrated restaurant or dish to be something that isn't covered by local or national media. We want to know which places make really good food, but may not get enough credit because they're overshadowed by other, more media-friendly spots or because, simply, not many people know about them.
Alternatively, you could consider something underrated if many people know about it, but you think it's better than anyone gives it credit for. In the case of kolaches, that might be a spot like Shipley Do-Nuts. It's a chain; everyone knows about it. But a lot of people discount it because it's a chain. Maybe you love it, though. That would make it underrated in your book.
Leave us a note in the comments here or on Facebook, or Tweet at us to let us know what you think is the most underrated kolache in town and why (feel free to say which flavor(s) you prefer). If your comments are particularly eloquent, we might feature them in the final roundup. We'll then tally the votes and put it to a runoff poll.
So tell us, Houston: Which place has the most underrated kolache?
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