secret diner American Kolache .jpeg

I visited a chain restaurant recently, which opened its first location in the Metro East to the joy of many local foodies. The locale is in a new strip of businesses in central Madison County.

This small takeout joint is hard to find, but when you do discover it you’ll feel like you just stumbled across a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; that’s how delicious it is.

The name is prominently displayed on the front of the building of this niche restaurant. Once you enter, there is a small waiting area with the counter straight ahead. Directly behind the counter, trays displaying the star of this establishment will grab your attention and hold your appetite hostage. 

This place is home to an old Czech-Slovak delicacy, which was tweaked in Texas when it came to the United States long ago. Originally a pastry filled with sweet ingredients, the Texas touch from Czech immigrants added savory options like sausage and it’s continued to evolve from there.

For the purpose of this article, I won’t tell you what these yummy pastries are called, because the name is in the title of the restaurant. I will tell you part of the name originates from Czech dialect and translates to circle, or wheel.

Really these small goodies appear as innocent dinner rolls, but bite into them and find an array of flavors that will have you ready to do a cartwheel. Maybe that’s where the translation to wheel comes from.

The trays at this establishment are marked with signs explaining each ingredient behind them. Other than that, they all look the same. Make your order and they are placed in a box and marked appropriately. Unfortunately, you will have to take them home to try; there is no dining in here.

I recently went to pick some up for myself and my dad and went savory across the board. Here’s the lineup I chose for us: egg and cheese, sausage; bacon, egg and cheese; sausage, bacon and cheese, chorizo, egg and cheese; ham and cheese, brisket, bacon mac and cheese, and, finally, hot salami. 

They are small but they are mighty. It’s love at first bite. Once you sink your teeth into these babies, you’ll be a fan. They are also very filling.

Collaborations make the experience even better. The brisket in the ones I ordered comes from Pappy’s Smokehouse in St. Louis and the hot salami comes from Gioia’s Deli on The Hill in St. Louis. Pappy’s also provides pulled pork for another one of the creations, which is very good, too.

The brisket and hot salami are two of the biggest stars in my book. I also adore the chorizo, egg and cheese, the ham and cheese and the bacon mac and cheese. The hot salami and chorizo offer a nice little kick to jumpstart your day.

Some of the other savory standouts here are the meatball, the buffalo chicken mac and cheese, the sloppy joe and the chicken bacon ranch. All are chock full of ingredients aimed to satisfy. 

I have yet to try any of the sweet creations, but with options like s’mores, cinnamon roll, gooey butter, cherry cream cheese, double chocolate brownie and apple pie with brown sugar and graham cracker, I don’t think you can go wrong.

As much as the ingredients will blow your socks off, the pastry itself won’t leave you disappointed either. It’s light, doughy and full of flavor.

The only hiccup is it’s only open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

They are working on allowing online orders here, which are coming soon. There are also a handful of Missouri locations to get one of these treats.

Any idea of the name of this niche Czech delicacy joint in central Madison County? 

Overall - five stars

Cleanliness - five stars

Service - four stars

Food - five stars

Price - $$


ANSWER: American Kolache, 6189 Bennett Drive in Edwardsville