The Kolache Kitchen opens on Freret Street

Alexandria Whitten

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Between specialty bagels, oven-baked pizzas and artisanal hot dogs, Freret Street is home to a range of fast-casual restaurants and treats to cure any craving. Kolache Kitchen, a new restaurant that opened in late January, is bringing a twist to the Freret Street food scene, and New Orleans, with a classic Texan breakfast food.

Will Edwards opened the original Kolache Kitchen in Baton Rouge six years ago. After having success and opening a second location in Baton Rouge, Edwards started to look for a location in New Orleans. Originally planning on a location in the Central Business District two years ago, contracts fell through and Edwards began to look at other parts of the city.

“My realtor showed me Freret Street… and it just seemed like the absolute perfect location with the neighborhood and the food concepts. The main thing was the proximity to Loyola and Tulane, but also the proximity to the neighborhoods surrounding it,” said Edwards, “I just knew that if I could lock down that spot on Freret, with the universities and the neighborhood, they would hopefully embrace it.”

Before the community could embrace the kolache, they have to first understand what the pastry actually is. Edwards says at both Baton Rouge locations, there are still customers asking, “What is a kolache?”

“There’s a lot of educating our customers,” Edwards said, “It is unbelievable to me to hear people don’t know what kolaches are.”

Originally from central Europe, kolaches were brought to Texas by immigrants. Traditionally wedding desserts, the sweet fillings were swapped for savory by Texans and embraced as a popular breakfast food. The original kolaches had fillings that consisted of poppy seeds, prunes and cream cheese according to Edwards. The modern kolaches at Kolache Kitchen range from classic sausage and cheese and ham and cheese to fruit and cheese filled.

For a more Cajun twist to the Texas treat, boudin-filled kolaches are available for those who want to try a Louisiana-born kolache.

“The menu has so many choices and the spicy boudin kolache was great. Ten-out-of-ten would recommend!” said Meghan Hartman, Kolache Kitchen customer and accounting sophomore at Loyola University.

“It’s like a pig in a blanket but better. There are so many different options,” Edwards said. The highest selling kolache is the classic sausage and cheese, according to Edwards.

Edwards, from Houston, bonded with fellow Texans over the breakfast treat when he studied at LSU. At the end of his college career, he developed a business plan to bring kolaches to Baton Rouge. The first location, close to LSU’s campus, became popular with students.

“I just knew confidently if this restaurant location was close to campus, a drive-thru, cheap, fast and quick, it would do well,” said Edwards.

The first New Orleans location was also planned to serve college students. Because of the proximity to Tulane and Loyola University, some college students venture down Freret Street to try this Texas pastry.

“I love the aesthetic and colors of the building. A great new spot,” said Donyelle Ford, biological sciences sophomore Pre-Med.

“I had never tried one before, so it was an interesting experience,” said Athena Rivera, Chicago native and Biological Sciences Pre-Med sophomore at Loyola University.

Despite kolaches being its namesake, Kolache Kitchen serves a variety of sweet and savory foods, like tacos and sandwiches which are served during lunch hours, to meet all of its customers cravings. For a sweeter treat, Kolache Kitchen also sells cookies and cinnamon rolls.

Empanadas, a similar filled pastry with an origin in Hispanic cultures, and rancheros, comparable to kolaches but filled with scrambled eggs and meat, are available all day.

“Rancheros is a mix between the traditional Czech pastry and now with Hispanic influence with the salsa and eggs and mixing it. It is becoming more and more popular,” said Edwards.

On the other hand, Kolache Kitchen’s empanadas are filled with Texan and southwestern influenced flavors. Texas barbeque inspired brisket, poblano, and provolone empanadas.

“It’s tough to find people who don’t like bread, meat and cheese. It’s the perfect thing for students and it’s the perfect thing for anybody,” said Edwards.

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