(arts) pan photo 1 (jennifer alejos)

No ifs, ands or buns about it — La Panadería is the place to go for a sweet time.

Formerly a booth at the Quarry Farmers Market, La Panadería’s first storefront specializes in the tasty Mexican tradition of pan dulce, or “sweet bread.”

Brothers Jose and David Cáceres had a mission to bring the tradition of pan dulce to America. After many years in the industry as chefs for major corporations, the Cáceres brothers decided to create La Panadería as a tribute to their mother who originally inspired their passion for baking.

In bold letters above the front counter a sign reads “Welcome to Bread Cultura,” a statement that represents the mission of La Panadería. Behind the counter, the small space looks like a mini-factory as bakers zip through the kitchen creating their delicacies. Workers in baker attire pull fresh bread from the oven, knead dough and put the final touches on their pan dulce.

Made fresh daily, La Panadería’s breads range from rye and birote to cheddar bacon and banderilla salchicha y queso. Customers can taste samples of popular pan dulce choices at the front counter before they choose their treats.

La Panadería invites their compañeros to choose pan dulce or pan artesano with tongs and a large tin tray known as a charola. Guests will find a stack of the circular trays lined along the cabinet where they can use tongs to retrieve the pastries of their choice. All of the bakery’s desserts are sealed in glass containers with sliding doors.

For those who are cocoa crazy, the pan de xocol is the perfect choice. The chocolate bread’s cocoa flavor is subtle. Topped with powdered sugar, the treat perfectly complements some of La Panadería’s café drinks such as the Café Goteo Americano or cappuccino.

The rosca de Reyes, or “king’s cake,” is a rounded pastry that looks similar to a king’s crown. The bread uses flavors from the traditional pan dulce pastries, chocolate conchas and concha de vanilla, while dried fruit glaze is slathered in various spots. Its soft, flaky texture is quite pleasant, and the fruit glaze gives the perfect amount of sweetness.

Named after its appearance, the peineta, or “the comb,” is a pastry drizzled with chocolate and clear icing in a striped pattern. The chocolately confection is a must-have with its sweet vanilla custard that bursts with every bite. This pastry oozes with flavor as the crème, chocolate and icing create a trinity of dessert heaven. La Panadería offers two types of the popular peineta, one containing the sweet crème and the other with cajeta, which is similar to caramel.

Although its craft lies in baked breads, La Panadería is much more than an average pastry shop. Their vast menu includes breakfast and lunch entrees along with café items.

The jamón with queso on birote bread is recommended for anyone who loves authentic-style tortas. The buns are crispy, but a bit tough, giving diners’ jaws a full workout from chewing on the dense dough. However, the condiments make up for the sandwich’s thick buns. Drenched with a generous serving of secret sauce, the torta comes topped with a heaping amount of jalapenos and sliced tomatoes. The secret sauce combines honey mustard and chipotle mayo, which perfectly balances the flavors of the ham and cheese.

Sandwiches are modestly priced at $9 and include the option of either black beans or a salad as a side. Pan dulce can be purchased individually or in family-sized portions. Single servings range from $2 to $5, while family-sized platters are $10.

La Panadería is located on 8305 Broadway, 78209. For more information on their menu items, visit lapanaderia.com.

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