Porto’s Bakery offers variety of sweets to please everyone

Photo credit: Natalia Bereznyuk, Staff Photographer

Walking into Porto’s Bakery, one can’t help but become instantly hungry.

My guest and I purchased four mango cheesecakes, four cheese-filled pastries, two sourdough breads that were freshly baked and still warm, four spinach feta croissants and three guava and cheese pastries.

After spending 10 minutes in line, we finally got to the register where our box of pastries awaited us. Although the time spent in line waiting to order can seem lengthy, it’s worth the wait. With an immense variety of puffs, tarts and pies in the display window, the process of deciding what to buy takes time.

Because of the wide selection, Porto’s bakery lets their customers sample their pastries before they place their order.

By the time our coffee was ready and we found a place to sit, I was hungry enough to eat all of the pastries we had bought. However, one of Porto’s large spinach feta croissants helped to satisfy my hunger.

The time spent waiting in line was worth it because the pastries were so fresh, they literally melted inside my mouth.

Porto’s bakery is in a huge building, but it’s not large enough to accommodate all their customers. The line continued outside, and many were forced to find tables along the street.

Chandeliers, cozy ottomans, bar tables with chairs and waiters give an impression of a decent eatery, but it’s hard to relax amongst the constant crowd and noise.

There are two major sections of Porto’s bakery, the café and the bakery itself.

The cafe offers breakfast and lunch with a variety of salads including Porto’s house salad mixed with baby greens, black beans, sliced avocado, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions, with mango vinaigrette, the southwestern grilled chicken salad, or the grilled steak salad.

There are also soups and sandwiches like the Pan con bistec, which is marinated steak, potato sticks, grilled onions, tomatoes, and mojo, a Cuban garlic sauce, on Cuban bread. The medianoche sandwich includes slices of slow roasted pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, butter and mustard-mayonnaise mix on a sweet roll.

There are dinner dishes that are served after 2 p.m., and usually consist of meat or poultry served with rice, black beans, ripened and golden fried plantain slices and grilled onions.

There is a standard list of beverages that the bakery offers, plus signature shakes such as an Eggnog smoothie, served only from November through December, and the Mamey shake that is made of frozen mamey pulp and a house milk blend.

Mamey is a tree native to southern Mexico with a flavor described as a combination of pumpkin, sweet potato, and maraschino cherries.

Porto’s also offers vegetarian foods which includes an assortment of meat-free sandwiches, soups, salads and baked goods.

Porto’s bakery also has a pre-order section where customers can pre-order specialty cakes for weddings or other special events.

After I tried a piece of their exquisite mango cheesecake, I wouldn’t mind ordering a specialty cake for an ordinary occasion. Chocolate grand marnier mousse cake, cappuccino mousse cake, chocolate raspberry cake and lemon mousse cake are only a few options that Porto’s offers.

Porto’s bakery is also affordable for those on a budget. Most salads and sandwiches range from $4 to $8. Pastry prices vary from 99 cents to $3, and full cakes start at $23.

So, if you feel that you want to relax on a Sunday morning with fresh coffee and a freshly baked coconut strudel or strawberry and cheese croissant, then Porto’s bakery is the place for you.