Some days, though, were different...
On those once-a-week-treat-days (usually fridays) we'd stop at La Esperanza Bakery (Esperanza translates to Hope or Expectation) on the way home for glorious Pan Dulce...which the three of us would promptly stuff our faces with, keeping the peace in the back seat until we got home.
Pan dulce is sweet bread, basically pastries- stuff to have with coffee in the morning or for dessert after dinner. In and of itself, it's no big deal. The French have their croissants. The Italians have their cannolis. The Germans have their strudel. Breakfast pastries are neither new nor earth shattering...But let me ask you this?
When is the last time you actually had a warm pastery that literally just came out of the oven?
And then I will follow up with question #2, supplemental:
How much did you pay at Starbucks for that preservative filled, dead inside pastry?
Don't answer yet...
Two things hit you when you walk into La Esperanza: The temperature and the smell. The minute you enter, your nostrils are filled with the smell of sweet, sticky dough. It's seriously intoxicating and can put you in a little state of bliss that is enhanced by the warmth emanating from the ovens inside, hidden behind the thin partitions separating the retail area from the baking area where spanish radio blasts as the bakers get their sweet groove on (last time I was there, I seriously heard a version of Billy Joel's Piano Man in spanish). Get there on a weekend morning and you find yourself waiting in line, surrounded by families from the nearby neighborhoods speaking spanish, catching up on the latest gossip, patiently shuffling towards the front of the line.
You want yummy goodness? You gotta wait!
Need a Hannah Montana piñata?
When you reach the head of the line, you are confronted with all sorts of colors, shapes, and sizes of cooked-within-the-hour pastries. It's sometimes overwhelming.
As you can see, I got there between batches out of the oven...
On this particular day I experienced a slight fail. Normally I buy a bunch of Empanadas con Crema, which are thin turnovers coated with fine sugar on the outside and filled with a heavenly custard cream. Seriously, my favorite sweet in the world. This day, I had to settle for my second favorite. They're called ojos (eyes). They are a sort of firm dense yellowcakeish pastry covered with a berry glaze and coconut shavings, filled with a heavier slathering of the berry glaze.
Mine eyes have seen the light!
I ordered five of those bad girls, fresh out of the oven and paid less than $5!
(Feel free to answer those two previous questions now)
So I'm set with coffee treats for the rest of my weekend and head over to Espresso Metro to read a book and drink a latte....but I am tempted to buy one of these:
No, you're not having a weird acid flashback from Catholic School
or some of these...
Next time you want warm pastries, make the effort & get to the 'hood early in the morning. You will never want to have "regular" pastries with your coffee, ever again...ever
La Esperanza Bakery is located at 5044 Franklin Boulevard...