Johnson City, TX

Relatively short day again. Once again, I bypassed the ACA route in favor of taking the direct highway (Hwy 290 in this case).

I left the motel at 8:40, and went back to Hilltop Donuts, which was closed the previous day.

kolaches in display
At Hill Country Donuts and Kolaches. Kolaches at last. Two Cambodian women were running the busy shop, and seemed to pronounce the word, “Kolochi.”
kolache taste
The bun was highly herbed, but otherwise, it was basically a pig in a blanket.
inside kolache
It had a sausage inside, and cheese. The large size cost a little more than $3. I got two – one to eat, one to carry.

I left town at 9:20 am. It was already getting warm. Along the way, there were multiple peach farms and wine tasting rooms (the latter not shown, because I don’t drink, and especially not while cycling).

Studebaker Farm
Studebaker Farm stand at Blumenthal.

Learning: the road that most of the cars take is generally flatter and more direct than the ACA route, and is likely to have services, even if the ACA route has none.

selling peaches
The smallest basket of peaches was all I could carry in my front pack, even after eating half of it. $6.
tea and water
In the market, there was iced tea and lemon-cucumber water.
Johnson City
Got into Johnson City, the hometown of LBJ, at about 12:45 pm. All of a sudden, the shoulder became perfect – smooth and clean. I was thinking that it might be considered hallowed ground by Texas.

The ACA map listed only the Best Western for Johnson City. I passed by on the way in, considering it too early to actually check in. A little further down, I saw a large sign for the Hill Country Inn, which looked like it might be a bit more economical. I inquired, and the woman told me it would be $55 plus tax. Instead of checking in, I went off to get lunch.

Hill Country Inn
This looks like a humble motel.
Home Town Donuts
Johnson City had it’s own place with kolaches so I had to investigate.
I was the only person in the shop, so chatted with Sharon for a while. She said that Kim, one of the owners, was Cambodian. Once again, they were all basically pig-in-a-blanket, no fruit or nuts.

On the way back from lunch, I checked the price of the Best Western. $79 plus tax. No brainer: back to the Hill Country Inn. It turned out to be a nice room, lots of space, good power outlets, good a/c, and fair speed on the internet. The shower even worked well.

I even took advantage of the pool, swimming for maybe 15 minutes. Although the day was hot, it was more to wash my cycling shorts in chlorine than to cool off.
gas station dinner
The nearby donut shop and BBQ were closed, so the walkable dinner choices were Dairy Queen and the Exxon store. I got a gas station dinner, and used some of the bread from yesterday’s lunch to sop up the extra sauce on the spaghetti. I also finished the last 3 peaches.

Tomorrow, I’ll try to make it to Austin, which is about 50 miles, and no services until nearly the end if I take the ACA route. Possible record heat is forecast. If the donut shop from yesterday is open in the morning, I’ll get breakfast there, and a kolache or two for the road.

Miles: 32.2

(Visited 142 times, 1 visit(s) today)
  1. Hmm… those kolaches look *nothing* like the fruit-filled ones my sister makes, nor do they look like the fruit-filled ones that I had in a Czech restaurant in Chicago. The closest commercial thing that I can think of is the Peppermint Farm apricot/raspberry filled cookies, where the filling is in the center, but the center is open so that you can see the fruit.

    That is the first time that I have *ever* seen water served with cucumber slices. o_O

    Austin is famous for its food truck culture, and we have had some really good BBQ cheap. The meat was fabulous. (The bread and sides, not so much… (Slices of white Wonder Bread? Really?)) There is also (according to Dear Daughter) a large Asian community in Austin, so there are all sorts of cheap Asian eateries (Thai, Chinese, Japanese, fusion….) and a few excellent (but $) high-end ones. (We have been to both sorts.)

    1. Used to be lots of Bohemian Czechs around Chicago. My dad grew up in Berwyn, and I kinda recall boxes of fruit- and poppyseed-filled kolache from Fingerhut (or was it Vesecky’s?) Bakery. Good stuff, a bit simpler than the Moravian variety.

    2. Cucumber water is super refreshing, especially in the heat.

      I’ll see what Austin has to offer, but my energy will be focused on getting there, not finding interesting food.

  2. Those pigs-in-a-blanket you tried are more of a klobásník. Meat-filled “kolache” is a Texas thing. Authentic kolache are a sweet pastry filled with fruit and cream cheese.

    Google “moravske kolače” (Moravian kolache) then filter just images for examples of what to look for. There are many variations. The Moravian variety Liba makes are the wedding dessert pastry like these:

    Koláč (“koh-lawtch”, Americanized spelling “kolache”) is singular; koláče (“koh-lawtch-eh”) plural; koláčky (“koh-lawtch-key”) diminutive for the smaller variety. Americans like to butcher foreign words. 😉

    1. Those look like tarts. Nothing like that in the bakeries, here – at least so far.

      My wordpress was holding any comments with links for moderation – I’ve fixed that, so if you post links in the future, they should go right up.

      1. It does look a bit like a tart, but think light, sweet yeast dough, often some cream cheese, and a dollop of fruit filling in the middle. It’s hard to get the dough texture right. Here’s the easier-to-mass-produce style you’ll find at places like Kolache Factory (which also offers a huge selection of savory filled breakfast buns):

    1. Yeah, that’s the consensus. Yet the shop had the audacity to put the word “Kolaches” in their name. Maybe new management took over a legacy store? Skip forward to La Grange, for another try at Kolache.

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