Restaurant Review: Kolache Republic
The Kolache is a Texas thing. Who knew?
Okay, it’s not really Texan, it’s Czech — but the baked good is popular in popular in parts of Texas, it comes to Columbus by way of a trio who discovered it in Texas… and the thought that the Taco State is also the Kolache State is just all sorts of interesting.
In any case, it’s about time Columbus got on the Kolache train. Kolache Republic is up and running and very popular. Sure, a big roll with a splotch of something in the middle doesn’t sound too remarkable, but it sure tastes remarkable. It has something to do with the quality of bread that comes out of the kitchen’s oven: it’s uncommonly soft and a little sweet.
So, take that uncommonly soft, sweet bread, and plop a little Chocolate stuff or Lemon Cheese ($2 each) in the middle and you have a breakfast that is somehow more comforting and lovable and less junky than a regular Danish.
Get that? CzechTex: 1; Danes: 0.
There are also savory versions of Kolache. They don’t look like Danishes – they look like big dinner rolls. For the pigs-in-a-blanket crew, there’s the Sausage & Cheddar ($3.95) – it’s a smooth textured sausage rolled up inside the bread with a little cheese. It truly is a little like an upscale version of a childhood favorite.
More sophisticated palates would do better with the Hot Polish ($3.95) – which throws jalapenos and hot relish in the mix. The teaming of the sweet soft bread and the sting of the heat is inspired.
But there is a land beyond Kolaches at Kolache Republic. There’s an evolving menu of other edibles that make it a full-scale lunch destination. The selection is small, but it’s all good.
Which means it’s time to discus the bologna sandwich: not usually the top of the must-try list, but it seemed like a diverse choice in the land of Kolaches.
It was shockingly good. The menu calls it “The Sandwich” ($4.95) and it’s based on bologna that is not the regular sort of bologna. It’s “German”, which seems to means thinly sliced meat with more texture. So, fancy bologna, Swiss cheese with little slices of pickles and onions and a swirl of mustard, all meticulously placed on a soft roll baked in the Kolache kitchen. Who knew baloney could be so fancy and cute? (The photo shows some hard-boiled egg in the mix, it might have been MIA for my order, but the sandwich didn’t suffer).
The kitchen also produces Beirocks, the Calzone of eastern Europe. The traditional ones are good, but the Spicy Beef has been the favorite so far: inside the roll is a mountain of minced lean beef that been soaked in something spiky. ($4.95)
Something akin to flatbread is even made in the Republic’s ovens. The menu board called the day’s version “Tomato & Gorgonzola” ($5.25). An order delivered a little saucer-sized flatbread topped with sweet fresh tomato slices, then a little baked-on crumbly gorgonzola and a vinaigrette. The only thing that would make it better would be to make it about seventeen times bigger: then the joy never ends.
Kolache Republic can be found at 730 South High.
More information can be found online at www.kolacherepublic.com.
Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com.