Rise and shine to kolaches: The breakfast food you should be eating on Saturday mornings

Chris Svetlik and Brian Stanford mix up the menu options at Republic Kolache with a variety of sweet and savory fillings that are then stuffed into an egg- and butter-enriched dough. (Courtesy Republic Kolache)
Chris Svetlik and Brian Stanford mix up the menu options at Republic Kolache with a variety of sweet and savory fillings that are then stuffed into an egg- and butter-enriched dough. (Courtesy Republic Kolache)
On the first day of Republic Kolache’s weekly residency at American Ice Co., co-founders Chris Svetlik and Brian Stanford, both Texas natives, opened to an hour-plus-long line that wrapped around the block. They were sold out in two hours. (Courtesy Republic Kolache)
You can find Republic Kolache Saturday mornings at American Ice Co. between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. (Courtesy Republic Kolache)
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Chris Svetlik and Brian Stanford mix up the menu options at Republic Kolache with a variety of sweet and savory fillings that are then stuffed into an egg- and butter-enriched dough. (Courtesy Republic Kolache)

WASHINGTON — Months before D.C. residents Chris Svetlik and Brian Stanford launched their breakfast food concept Republic Kolache, they had Washingtonians eating out of the palms of their hands.

Those familiar with the beloved Czech-by-way-of-Texas pastry did not hold back excitement over plans for the baked good’s D.C. debut.

“Oh thank god!!! This Texan had missed her kolaches,” one Facebook commenter wrote in response to the news.

Another typed: “Where and when can we go get a dozen chorizo and cheese, or jalapeño sausage and cheddar kolaches?”

It’s no surprise, then, that on the first day of Republic Kolache’s weekly residency at American Ice Co., Svetlik and Stanford, both Texas natives, opened to an hour-plus-long line that wrapped around the block. They were sold out in two hours.

“We’ve been totally blown away by the response. People really came out in support of Texas and kolaches,” Svetlik says.

The line has calmed down since the Aug. 22 opening, but kolache fever is still running high.

Every Saturday between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., Svetlik and Stanford sell about 700 kolaches to a crowd equally passionate about food and the Lone Star State.

“There’s something cool about everyone being connected by shared interests in Texas,” Svetlik says. “So many people show up and you can tell they chose their outfit that morning. They’re wearing the hat and the T-shirt that represents where they went to school or their favorite football team.”

Some are even coming out to meet other Texans.

Svetlik and Stanford mix up the menu options at Republic Kolache with a variety of sweet and savory fillings that are then stuffed into an egg- and butter-enriched dough.

The half-smoke sausage with cheddar cheese and house-made pickled jalapeño relish is a big seller, as is the chorizo sausage, soft-scrambled egg and sharp cheddar cheese kolache. For vegetarians, there’s a Tex-Mex spin on the Indian dish saag paneer.

Fruit-filled kolaches include the likes of blueberry, vanilla bourbon peach and five-spice cherry, but Stanford says expect some fresh flavors as the colder months move into the region.

“We are R&D-ing some new flavors as we end our summer fruit season and get into our more fall seasonal varieties,” he says.

The duo is also exploring its next move.

For now, Svetlik says there are no plans for a brick and mortar location. He and Stanford will continue to produce their kolaches out of D.C.’s shared kitchen space Mess Hall and sell their breakfast pastries, pop-up style, at American Ice.

“It’s nice that folks keep coming back and making us part of their Saturday mornings,” Stanford adds.

However, the business partners are open to selling their kolaches on restaurant menus and through cafes and markets in the area. They’re also in talks about hosting kolache cooking classes.

“Hopefully kolache Sundays too,” Svetlik adds.

Until then, you’ll have to get your fix on Saturdays.

What: Republic Kolache

When: Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: American Ice Co., 917 V St. NW

What’s the cost? $2.50 for sweet kolaches; $3.50 for savory kolaches

Is there coffee? But of course! Republic Kolache sells La Colombe coffee

Helpful hint: Order more than one for yourself, and take a few home for later. Hope for nice weather and take advantage of the patio seating.

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