Porto's Bakery - Glendale
Their inventory: massive. Their reputation: legendary. The lines: long. The parking situation: road-ragy.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is Porto's Bakery.
I rarely go up to L.A., let alone Glendale, but when I do, it is always part of the itinerary. And in L.A. or O.C., I've never met its equal. Porto's is the mothership of all Southern Californian Cuban bakeries, which until recently, supplied Cafe Contigo in Anaheim with most of its baked goods.
Last week, Gustavo Arellano broke the news that Cafe Contigo has closed. So now, eventhough I actually never got a chance to visit Cafe Contigo, I'll have no choice but to make the pilgrimage to Glendale if I ever wanted to take a taste of their sublime cakes and pastries again.
And because of this news, I'm craving their good, rich, and chocolatey desserts more than ever. But it's their savory items that I'm dreaming of most.
They have this mashed potato ball that's filled with seasoned ground beef and then deep fried to golden brown orbs. And oh, their empanadas! It's flaky, warm and bursting with raisins, chicken, and a flavor I haven't encountered since a trip to Miami. There's also the Cuban version of the tamale, which is a gentler, smoother, milder and more subtle version than the Mexican ones I'm usually used to.
All was worth the drive and the threat of violence from the motorist who claimed that he saw a parking space before I did.
Since my last trip was sometime in February, I guess it's due time to put gas in the old Honda and set civility aside.
315 N Brand Blvd
Glendale, CA 91203
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