You know the feeling…. see something cool and you gotta try it! Well, I get that feeling a lot. It feels like a major accomplishment when you finally do have an opportunity to “have it!”
Czech Stop and Slovacek’s, two Czech enclaves in the middle of Central Texas, conveniently located at exit 353 between Dallas and Austin were the place I wanted to visit since the first time I spotted the unique restaurants/bakeries out of the window of my speeding bus. You see this year, I traveled to COTA three times via Dallas. But what was different about the last trip is the fact that I managed to find the opportunity to finally stop and see what the fuzz was all about… and so glad I did!
My COTA buddy Joaquin offered to drive me to the airport which was hugely appreciated… I hate taking the bus even when it saves me a fortune. One of the perks of being in a car and able to stop along the way was me being able to talk him into visiting Slovacek’s. Turns out he grew up in the town of West, Texas which is home to a nice size Czech community that has been there since the fifties (1950’s that is). You see car dealerships waving the Czech flag along with a number of other businesses, but the one that caught my attention was a restaurant/deli/bakery with two cuddling pigs on the logo… Slovacek’s. So our plan was to stop there for lunch and sample some of their meat products before going across the highway to the Little Czech Bakery for some deserts in the form of fresh kolachek’s.
The place is very clean and modern with a big souvenir store up front, a deli to one side, and a hot food section to the other with lots of places to sit down and have your delicious meal. I went for the two meat sandwich with brisket and kielbasa while Joaquin had a kielbasa and turkey sandwich. Both were finger licking good and were especially tasty washed down by a big cup of root beer.
Then off for desert on the other side of the highway… while Slovacek’s has a huge Exxon fuel station in their lot, Czech Stop features a Shell gas station… so it’s really a full service stop for you and your vehicle.
I love the decor of the place, lots of traditional dress photos which brings back some memories. Both Czech’s and Ukrainians are Slavic people and share similar culture especially in their folklore, music, food and dress. I remember dancing traditional dances growing up wearing a similar style “costume” myself.
I love that Texas fully embraces this culture, the overpass on the highway featured the traditional dancers on both sides. Cool!
For anyone driving i35 between Dallas and Austin or other points in Texas in beyond on this road, do go ahead and plan a pit stop here. You’ll absolutely love it… at the very least it’s “something a little different” for you to enjoy.