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Who needs to wait til the holidays to start a family tradition that can add bits of happiness all year long? Not Mrs. Jean (Bambi as she’s known to her grandchildren–a.k.a. Danny), she’s the kind of person that carries the Christmas spirit year-round. She happily shares meals with her loved ones every chance she gets, which lately has been every Thursday afternoon.

Weekly lunches are a recently added tradition in Danny’s family thanks to his grandmother. The freshly prepared menu changes weekly (prepared by chef Bambi herself) and the guest list can go from exclusive to extensive with the drop of a hat. Reservations are recommended, although thankfully not strictly enforced, which is how I was able to attend one such recent Thursday lunch. Danny and I didn’t feel too badly about showing up on short notice since this weekly lunch took place at Kolache Depot Cafe and Bakery in Ennis, rather than Bambi’s Kitchen.

Left to right: Jean (“Bambi”), Donald, Dylan, Nancy, and Danny

Czech last names beautifully displayed on the walls of Kolache Depot Cafe and Bakery

The Kolache Depot (and Ennis) has ties to the Czechloslovakian community as pictured in the surname display at the restaurant. Not everyone in Ennis is Czech (I’m 50%), but if you live in the town, you’ve been influenced by the culture at least to some degree. There is something kind of neat about seeing your family’s last name up on the wall. The display is a nice way to make the community feel welcome.

Chicken Pot Pie was one of the specials of the day, as well as a loaded baked potato.

Loaded Baked Potato

The Greek Salad is also one of their better salads and can be ordered solo or in combination with a soup of half of a sandwich.

Greek Salad

My favorite salad is the Strawberry Almond Salad. Avocados, grapes, almonds, and strawberries all combine quite nicely. I paired it with a toasty panini filled with melted cheese and I was quite pleased. The Margherite was a nice grown-up grilled cheese.

1/2 Strawberry Almond Salad and 1/2 Panini Margherite with mozzarella cheese, roma tomatoes and basil pesto on sourdough

Now for the main reason I love Kolache Depot….their homemade banana pudding! It is fluffed to the perfect consistency, not too runny and more like a custard or greek yogurt texture with a few banana slices (which is lovely since I’m mildly allergic to them), a vanilla wafer crust at the bottom, and it is topped with airy whipped cream. It is banana pudding that is as good as ice cream, and you know for me, this is saying a lot! I stop in as often as possible to pick up individual servings to-go. They also make a Kahlua Chocolate Pudding that would delight any chocolate lover. If you ever had a reason to go to Ennis, it is now. These puddings are worth a special trip any day of the week! Be sure to check their hours on the website, though, it would be just too disappointing to miss out.

Here it is in all its homemade custard glory….BANANA PUDDING!!!!

Hope this inspires you to start your own weekly family tradition. There is no need to wait until the holidays to start making the memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks, Bambi!

Where to Go/What to Order:

Thursday afternoon (or Wednesday, it looks like they’e switched days per grandson request) at Bambi’s of course, for whatever she’s serving up for the day. For those of you that aren’t on the Thursday family meal plan…

Kolache Depot Cafe and Bakery:

1. BANANA PUDDING! Buy lots of this stuff. Pick it up and take it to a friend’s house to share, purchase it in lieu of making dessert for dinner…the options are endless.

2. Strawberry Almond Salad

3. Margherite Panini