Porto's Bakery

Originally uploaded by illewminator.
yes, porto's is a cuban bakery, but it's oh-so-much more! located in glendale, porto's is my #1 favorite neighborhood breakfast, lunch, coffee, and dessert grub spot. in addition to a beautiful assortment of cakes in a rainbow of colors and flavors, porto's is also well-known for their freshly baked breads, cuban pastries, and cuban pressed sandwiches.

on weekends, be prepared to stand in line, but the newly-expanded porto's is now twice the size. for food orders, you go to the new side -- cakes and bread orders are still on the old side -- where the cordoned line is a vast improvement over the old take-a-number system that resulted in hordes of people all eagerly pressed up against the pastry counter waiting to get their hands on some freshly baked grub.

my favorite menu items include:
- midnight sandwich with ham croquettes: a pressed/grilled sandwich with roast pork, ham, swiss cheese and ham croquettes all squished between a sweet bread roll.
- pan con lechon: a tender, juicy roast pork sandwich with a garlic mojo sauce on cuban bread.
- potato balls: a ball of mashed potatoes with a spiced ground beef center, dusted in a light flour breading and deep fried... so good when they're hot and eaten with a dash of tapatio!
- pretty much anything from the pastry counter, but some notables include the guava cheese strudel, the sweet cream cheese stuffed pastry rolls, and the buttery, flaky croissants (plain, chocolate or almond filled, or with strawberries and cream cheese).
- cuban coffee - i like mine milky and sweet, so i usually get the cafe con leche, which is made to order and involves more strategic maneuvering to get to the counter to get your drink orders.

as you can see in the photo, our meal consisted of a little of everything -- clockwise from the top are the potato balls; dessert plate, consisting of a fruit tart, white chocolate raspberry cheesecake, and triple chocolate mousse; midnight sandwich with croquettes; and lechon sandwich. with drinks, the bill for the three of us (we had another lechon sandwich, too) came to about $30. and we were totally stuffed after eating all this.

and i haven't even started on the desserts... the fruit tarts are beautiful and delicious, the chocolate opera cake is dense and rich... suffice it to say that i haven't had a bad item, yet.

oh, and here's an exclusive grubclub tip: porto's is best to go with at least one other person, but even better with 3-4 people, so that you can use the lew family tested and approved "divide and conquer strategy for eating in crowded places." here's how it works (also described in NuttinButGlutton's posting last summer on dining at the redondo beach pier) one person stands in line to place the order, a second person scouts and holds an available table, and the third person is "the runner" who helps the first person to pick up the food, drinks, napkins, plasticware, and assorted condiments and bring them back to the table.

porto's is located in glendale on brand blvd, a few blocks south of the 134. they're only open for breakfast and lunch, so don't bother trying to go after mid-afternoon. and if you try to go on any major family holiday (thanksgiving, christmas, easter), you'd better order your cakes and bread well in advance -- and good luck getting in the door.


Blogger VdV said...


3/31/2005 12:07 AM  

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