It’s been several decades now since Porto’s Bakery Location 315 , Glendale, CA 91203 started up.  Originally in a house in Cuba, then in Los Angeles, and now with two locations and over 20,000 sq. ft. of work space, Porto’s is rocking.  And it’s a good thing, too; because when FoodMayhem rolls into town, we’re hungry and the kitchen better be ready.


Prior to arriving in the Glendale location, we were expecting a small, Latin bakery.  Our hope was for some seating (not common in many bakeries) and for the food to be decent.  What we got was a huge cafe, with dozens of people forming lines for the two ends of the restaurant (there are separate ordering areas); we also had a personal greeter who introduced us to how Porto’s works; and we found it to be a humming picture of efficiency… delicious efficiency.

While on line we perused the printed menu while also eyeing the treats in various cases.  To the right was the cold case, filled with the remarkable cakes for which Porto’s Bakery is known.  We marveled at the expertly crafted white chocolate cake, made to look like it was created from silk.  To the left was the hot case, filled with empanadas, croquettes, and other crispy, flaky, and often meat-filled pastries.  And ahead of us was a wide case of Danish pastries, French pastries, Viennese pastries, and more.


In order to avoid weighing 800 pounds, we limited ourselves to three selections each, not including drinks.  (amazingly, yes, six items for two people is “limiting” in our book)  Jessica selected the recommended Refugiado (a cream cheese and guava danish); a Strawberry & Cheese Turn-Over; and the Sweet Bread.  I choose the Plaintain Croquette Stuffed with Black Beans; the Hot Ham & Cheese Croissant; and the Chorizo Meat Pie (empanada).  Our clerk was as rapidly collecting the goods as we were requesting them, and without feeling pressured, moved us along quickly to the cashier.


While he rang us up, she expertly assembled two boxes and organized our breakfast into them.  We were then instructed to head around to the cafe to pick up Jessica’s Cortadito (the Latin version of a Latte Macchiato).  I headed out front to grab a curb-side table under a large shade umbrella.

As I was finishing taking pictures, Jessica came out to meet me, raving about how amazingly fast, but not rushing, the baristas were.  Very un-New York.


We dove into the goodies.  The Strawberry and Cheese Turn-Over was good, but nothing special.  Unfortunately it was a bit flat, which reduced the intensity of the flaky layers.


The Refugiado was more interesting.  The guava was bright and the cheese, a standard cream cheese richness.  Definitely an enjoyable flavor.


The Chorizo Empanada was distinctive.  The filling had a great flavor, with hints of olive and shrimp, but was primarily spiced pork.


The outside offered a bit of eggyness and the expected empanada dough taste.  I enjoyed it, but it’s not a rollercoaster of taste.  However, the next three items, they were.


The Sweet Bread, a choice I was concerned about (it looks pretty plain Jane)… well, it was amazing.  The dough was rich and fluffy and flavorful.


It was fun to pull apart and let it melt on your tongue.  While the top was encrusted in sugar, it wasn’t overly sweet.  Porto had found the right balance.


The Stuffed Plaintain was equally exciting.  The outside was tender, but firm enough to hold the black bean filling.  The beans were savory while the plaintains sweet.  Each bite had that wonderful salty-sweet that everyone loves.  Jessica likened the taste combination to PB&J, but Latin-style. Que Rico!


And the best, I’ve saved to describe last.  The Hot Ham & Cheese Croissant, a seemingly blasé construction was, in sticking with my theme park ride metaphor, a moment of sheer excitement and intensity, like when you start to tilt over the peak of a rollercoaster.  The croissant was large and steaming hot, without being burnt or oily.  The selected cheese, some type of Swiss (I think), was flavorful without overwhelming the sandwich; plus, it gets double credit for evenly melting and lining the interior void with gooey goodness.  And several stacked layers of flavorful ham (read: not junk deli slices) filled the center.  I could’ve eaten six of just that sandwich.  Yum.


Jessica enjoyed everything as she sipped her delicious Cortadito, which she mentioned was preparedly perfectly.

So by now you must’ve calculated our tab?  Perhaps $16?  $24? $31.84?!?  Wrong.  $8.  Yes.

So if you’re anywhere near Los Angeles, take our advice and go to Porto’s and enjoy a wonderful, inexpensive breakfast with expert service.

posted by Lon at 01:41 AM Filed under Breakfast or Brunch, Coffee, Tea, and Dessert, Latin, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.