An Early Look at Kolache Mama
Kolache Mama opened Wednesday on 45th btw. Mad+Vanderbilt, and I couldn’t help stopping by on opening day. Usually I like to give places time to settle in but I was too curious! What are these magical Czech pastries? How big are they? And how did they make their way to our planet? I couldn’t imagine them looking as weird in person as they do in the PR photo (which I never trust), but they do! As for size (which was my biggest question mark) they vary from type- but since they are all the same price, it will take a bit more investigation to figure out which are the best from a quantity standpoint. As for taste, the bread is similar to a doughy egg roll (not the Chinese kind) and I could imagine them tasting far better warm (both of mine were cold.) I’m sure all this will be worked out in time, but if you do go- I would recommend asking for whichever one just came out of the oven. (Or ask them to warm yours up.)
Close ups of the two I ate, plus early adopters weigh in- after the jump…
This lovely monstrosity is the “reuben”. Topped with corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and russian dressing, it tastes exactly how you would expect it to taste. Could have used a bit less of the russian dressing, but all it all I didn’t hate it. At about 3-4 inches wide it was on the smaller side, especially compared to the dessert options like…
The baked apple kolache! This one was also as tasty as you would expect an apple crumble topped egg bread to taste. Is it as good as an apple fritter from a bakery? Probably not… but it would definitely make for a tasty breakfast (or dessert.)
All and all I didn’t love them, but I didn’t hate them. And it was their first day (gotta give them time!) But the potential is there, and I’m definitely interested in trying some of the other options (hot dog wrapped in egg bread anyone?) plus I think 2 for $5 is a fair price (aka expensive for most everywhere, but ok for Midtown.) Not everybody was in a forgiving mood on Wednesday though, like Lunch’er “kcijones001″ who had this to say:
Just got back…let’s hope they get their act together. I know its the first day and all, but they are CLUELESS. There are about 15 people, literally shoved behind the counter and NO ONE knows what they’re doing…They dont have about 10 of the items listed on the menu…Ham and cheese to mention one (which i think would be the most popular; not that they’re out, they “JUST DONT HAVE THEM TODAY”). I ordered the hot dog with kraut and mustard and the spinach feta. She bagged them, THEN asked me if i wanted them heated up (which i didnt know was an option until she asked).
I got back to the office and neither was really hot. The hot dog is what it is…it taste like a bagel dog, however, the ones you can get in your frozen food section at your local grocer are better. The dough is a little springy and sweet..tastes along the line of a DAY OLD thomas’ bagel (the ones you get in the bread aisle at your local grocer) the dog is spinach and feta tastes nice; but i dont think you can mess that up). The the dough is key with something like this and these are cutting it…I may give them one more chance (since its their first day and all) but they are not all that. (oh and from what i hear they were out of reubens at lunchtime (12 on the dot) because they were giving them away for breakfast..smart)
But what about authenticity? How do they compare to the versions in Texas? Lunch’er “Jeffo” weighed in on that topic:
I’m totally going to be biased here since I’m from Texas, but one thing they do well is perfectly nail the jalapeno sausage and cheese kolache. The dough is supposed to taste sweet and springy and yes, this is most definitely breakfast food. I talked to the owner, who’s from outside of Houston and he sources the sausage from Bryan, Texas. I just had two (jalapeno cheese sausage and feta olive and spinach) for lunch and I was happy, but probably because I miss Kolaches so bad. I’m from the Houston area as well and I’m glad they’ve brought one of my favorite breakfast meals up to NYC.
Yes, there were 8 people behind the register who were a bit clueless, but dude said he opened the store in 14 days, give it a chance.
So apparently they are more of a breakfast thing than a lunch thing. That makes sense… but I’ll probably go back for lunch again anyway. Although next time I think I might recruit Dave from Eating and Translation for the Czech perspective (he’s had the real deal Czech kolaches) and Lisa the Homesick Texan for the Texas perspective.
Kolache Mama, 45 E 45th St. (btw. Mad+Vanderbilt), 212-922-1856