Rarely does the discrepancy between the exterior promise of a joint, and the interior-payoff differ so greatly as Weikel’s down in La Grange, Texas.
I wonder how many travelers have blithely driven past the just-like-a-million-others Shell station on the side of state highway 71 with absolutely no idea that inside is one of the United State’s great bake shops.
It’s an embarrassment of riches, this little humble gas station cum kolache promised land.
Looking into the glass cases you can tell the staff brook no nonsense. The moment you order one item, it’s a brusque “what else?”. This is a high energy, tension-filled environment. The crew is used to the regulars who bark out their order, grab their goods and burn rubber out of the parking lot; their only goal to get where they’re going so they can get the pastry in their gullet, live another day and be back tomorrow for more of the same.
My thoughtful approach to ordering is thrown off by their hyper-vigilance so I just start pointing and shooting. A couple minutes later I make my way out the door with a giant sack of goods: Apricot Kolache, Prune Kolache, Apple Kolache, Cottage Cheese Kolache, Cream cheese Kolache, Sausage Pig in a blanket, Apple Streudel, Noodles, or more precisely: Texas Wendish Heritage Society Wendish Noodles, Prasek’s summer sausage, Prasek’s peppered beef jerky and Prasek’s pork sausage.
I retire to the patio and have but a small tasting as proximity demands a visit to nearby Prause’s Meat Market for barbecue.
My first taste puts lie to every kolache I’ve had prior to this one with the flaky pastry melting into the rich cottage cheese (to be fair if it were economically possible I’d start each day by wallowing in a tub of cottage cheese-it’s one of my favorite foodstuffs.)
The sausage pig in a blanket is the best I’ve ever tasted. I typically don’t mix my sweet and savory but the sweet pastry and salty sausage are dynamite. Steely will power is one of my defining traits so I end the feed, and begin plotting my course to downtown La Grange.
Weikel’s history is long and glorious with the family’s roots in the trade stretching all the way back to 1929 when they established the legendary Bon Ton Cafe. Their bakery, with roots stretching back to Germany, Czechoslavakia and early century Texas is one of the Lone Star states great treasures.
2247 West State Highway 71
La Grange, Texas