Los Angeles: Porto's Bakery & Cafe

Monday morning (two weeks ago...damn I'm so behind on my posts), we said our goodbyes to the Chang Gang, piled into our trusty red rental car, and set off for NorCal.  Along the way north, we stopped by Porto's for some sustenance, i.e., coffee and pastries:

There are three Porto's in SoCal.  We dropped by the Downey one.

Once you step inside, you have the option of heading toward the bakery section or the cafe section:

We went for the bakery section:

So much to gawk at and drool over!

T was very vocal about ordering the potato balls.  She also made it very clear that she wasn't going to share.  So we got three:

Fried mashed potato balls?  Hello.  Come to mama.

Unlike Gregoire in Berkeley, Porto's potato ball is bigger and comes stuffed with meat and veggies:

Very distinctly Cuban in flavor.  Definitely get one...or a dozen if you're ever at Porto's.

We also split a Cuban sandwich:

It was good...but I've had better.

Now on to the sweets!!  First up was the tres leches cake:

Super cute, but not as good as Kristoffer's in Chicago.  Then again, Kristoffer's has probably ruined all other tres leches cakes for me.

The rest of the pastries we took to go and ate later during our road trip.  Here's the almond croissant:

Originally, that's all we bought.  But after sitting down to wait for our sandwich, the magnetic pull of the pastry counter was too strong to resist, so we got back in line for more.

My sister was curious about the strawberry and cheese strudel:

Whereas I wanted to try the chocolate croissant:

All the pastries were perfectly flaky and delicious, even after sitting in the car for four hours, but my favorite of the day had to be the potato balls.  Hands down.

The first time the cashier rang us up, the total came out to over 40 bucks, which freaked the hell out of us.  What did we order?!  After we checked the receipt, we discovered that we were charged for three meat pies instead of three potato balls.  Whew!  Thank goodness we got that cleared up.  Lesson of the day: check your receipts.

Porto's is the amusement park of bakeries.  No mom and pop bakery here.  It's just sensory overload the minute you step in.  Be prepared to wait in line too.  Despite the commercialized feel of the place, Porto's is definitely worth a trip.  Beware though, one trip won't be enough.  There's just too much to try!

With that, our five day SoCal trip came to an end.  When we got back to San Jose, my parents had a steak dinner waiting for us.  Now that's what I call a warm welcome home.

Porto's Bakery & Cafe
8233 Firestone Blvd
Downey, CA 90241
(562) 862-8888


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