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Monday, April 12, 2010

Dinner and Breakfast Report: West, TX...

I may have mentioned a time or two how we enjoy stopping at Exit 353 on I-35 just north of Waco in the small town of West. There is a place just off the highway called Czech Stop where we have stuffed ourselves with more than a Kolache or two. One of the spiffy things about blogging is that we have met several friends, either in person or via e-mail that we would have never known before. One of these kind folks is a fellow blogger from the town of West, named YellowDog Granny.

This past weekend, we decided to take a trip up to Oklahoma City (more about that later) and thought it would be neat to break up the trip by stopping for the night in West. Of course, I sent a note to Jacque (aka YellowDog Granny) asking for a place to eat and she immediately suggested The Pizza House of West. She also let us in on a secret – that the Czech Stop was not the only place in West where one could procure excellent Kolaches and such. In fact, as yummy as the baked goods are at Czech Stop, the locals enjoy the delights produced at a few other bakeries in town.

We got to West and checked in to the Czech Inn. Yea, I know, I just had to ask the guy at the counter if a lot of people come in and say “I’d like to Czech…Inn” while making the little air quotes with their fingers. He gave a friendly smile, paused and then said, “Only everybody.” In case you are wondering, we had a very nice room complete with ‘fridge and microwave. I would only caution you not to drink the water or even brush your teeth in it. Yikes.

We made our way to the Pizza House of West where Jacque had left us a bag containing some awesome little pastries for dessert, some authentic Dublin Dr. Pepper’s and the local West paper. How friendly is that? Of course, everybody we talked to in the place was as friendly as could be. We even chatted with the people in the booth behind ours who were also in town visiting.
Everybody we talked to said we had to try the famous Skunk Eggs. What is a Skunk Egg you ask? Apparently, they get two kinds of cheese, some chopped up chicken, some bacon, some jalapenos, and onions, lots of onions, and form an egg the size of a potato then deep fry it. I know; just reading about it adds at least an inch around my sizable waistline. I found it to be an interesting concept and of course, loved the fried part. Eva was a little overwhelmed with the jalapeno so I helped her with her half.
We decided to go with a 10 inch pizza with pepperoni, Canadian bacon and sausage. It was plenty big, quite tasty and at a reasonable price. What amazed us were the different dishes coming out at the tables around us. We heard they offer more than pizza, and it was obvious you would have to visit lots of times in order to try a little bit of everything. I definitely would recommend it.

The bakery right next door is called Gerik’s Ole Czech Bakery which is just on the other side of Gerik’s Old Czeck Smokehouse. Hungry? They got you covered.

On Friday morning before leaving town, we got up and went to the bakery where sure enough we ran into the same folks we had seen the prior evening at the Pizza House. The place just smells so wonderful and it has the feel of a TV show with the morning crowd enjoying coffee and eating the various pastries and kolaches. This has the feel of a cozy dinner where as Czech Stop is all about the volume. Literally lines of people streaming in and out.

Before we got on the road, my wife bought three bags of pastries to take for my son and his fellow airmen.

On the return trip, we pulled into West and headed straight for Gerik’s to try to get some more treats to bring home, but unfortunately, they had closed at 2PM and we didn’t make it until after 3. My wife walked into the Pizza House and a lady in there remembered her. She actually grabbed the keys, walked next door to the bakery and opened the place up to see if they had anything left that we could buy. How awesome is that? Unfortunately for us, they were sold out of everything but we appreciated the kind gesture.

In the end, we stopped at the Czech Stop and loaded up on $28.00 worth of goodness and weight gain. Don't let the long lines intimidate you; stand there and get what you need: Jalapeno flavored peanut brittle.

If your travels take you up I-35 by all means, stop in on Exit 353. The town of West actually has three bakeries (the third one is just a few more blocks up the street and across the railroad tracks, called Village Bakery.) The town itself is just so inviting – reminded us a bit of D’Hanis or a smaller version of Hondo for those of you familiar with small towns west of San Antonio.

Czech it out. (I bet they have never heard that one.)

2 comments:

Maureen said...

Jalapeno peanut brittle is delicious! They sell it at Bolner's Meat Market on S. Flores--made in Floresville. It's green and heavenly. Try some! And while you're there, try some Q. Their cream corn rivals Rudy's.

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I'm soo glad you liked it and it was a great experience for you..I love their pizza..I love the zombie, sans anchovies. Of course I'm addicted to the skunk eggs..now that you made your first trip you'll have to czech us out on labor day weekend when we have our annual westfest...czech out westfest.com
get an idea what to expect..

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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