Monday, May 16, 2016

Austin Food #4: (Kolache Shoppe, Naegelin's Bakery, and Der Lindenbaum)

This is the last of the foods I tried in the Austin area on this trip. You can read about some of my previous Austin food adventures here. Today's blog post is pretty much about German/Eastern European foods. I didn't realize before my visit, but Texas was settled by a lot of German immigrants that brought foods over from Europe. This blog post is talking about some of these foods. We are starting at Kolache Shoppe...

Kolache Shoppe (Austin, TX):

I became aware of a kolache when I was at a Four Rivers and noticed they had kolaches available on their menu on Saturday mornings at breakfast time. I never got around to visiting a Four Rivers early enough to try a kolache, but I found out that they are a sweet or savory pastry popular in parts of Texas.  When I went to Austin, I put trying a kolache on my list of regional foods to eat. Google told me the closest place to where I was staying with the highest reviews was called Kolache Shoppe. They were located in a old looking strip mall in the suburbs of the city.
I decided to try a sweet and savory kolache and ordered a blueberry and a jalepeno sausage. The kolaches were interesting, but not exactly what I was expecting. The bread that made up most of the kolache reminded me a whole lot of a King's Hawaiian Roll. It was mushy, slightly sweet white bread. The blueberry kolache had a pool of blueberry jam baked into an indentation on the top of the bread.
The jalepeno sausage kolache was sort of like a pig in a blanket. The sausage was baked into the bread. For some reason this one caught me off guard. I wasn't expecting to see a whole sausage in the kolache. I was thinking crumbled sausage for some reason.
I was a bit disappointed with my first kolache experience. I was expecting some sort of delicious pastry and ended up with dinner rolls...

Naegelin's Bakery (New Braunfels, TX):

I ventured a bit outside of Austin and found myself in the town of New Braunfels, TX. This town was founded by German immigrants and still had lots of German influences around the city. There were German restaurants, a beer garden, and German desserts from the oldest bakery in Texas. I went into Naegelin's Bakery and saw they also served kolaches. Since I wasn't impressed with my first kolache experience in the state, I figured I'd see how a place that had been around since 1868 made them.
Naegelin's Bakery had several varieties available. Not nearly as many as Kolache Shoppe had, but still plenty to choose from. I asked the woman taking my order what her favorites were and she recommended the bratwurst and the breakfast sausage.
These kolaches were different from what Kolache Shoppe served. These were also similar to pigs in blankets, but the bread was much denser with a yellowish dough. Out of my two kolache experiences, these were far superior to the mushy white bread that I had the first time, but I still can't say I'm sold on kolaches. These were tasty enough, but I think I would have much rather have had some other sort of German desserts which Naegelin's Bakery sold.
I've since been told I should have also tried a chain called Kolache Factory for good kolaches. They initially came up on my first search for nearby kolaches in Austin, but they had an average 1.5 star review so I passed. Next time I'm in Texas, perhaps I should attempt to find a Kolache Factory for a third kolache data point. I wonder if their kolaches would be different from what I tried as well?

Naegelin's Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Der Lindenbaum (Fredericksburg, TX):

Fredericksburg, TX was another town nearby Austin that I visited during my trip. Like New Braunfels, there was also a whole lot of German influence here. Because of this, I decided I should have German food for dinner. I ended up at a restaurant called Der Lindenbaum.

I ordered the Currywurst. I don't think I had ever tried currywurst. It came with two sausage links with a large bowl of curry sauce. Mashed potatoes and sauerkraut came as sides. The thick, slightly sweet and slighty spicy curry sauce was delicious. It was definitely better than the sausages themselves and made its way onto the potatoes as to topping. The sauerkraut was really good too. It had fennel seeds, along with other flavors tasting like dill and lemon. I would have eaten a whole plate of the sauerkraut alone!

Der Lindenbaum Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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