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Bakery case

Jorge Castillo: Pasteles or "pastelitos" are Cuban pastries.

Glenn Lindgren: They're a lot like the American turnover -- a warm and flaky crust surrounding a fruit filling.

Jorge Castillo: But these have fillings that are typically Cuban.

Glenn Lindgren: You're not going to be able to get these from Sara Lea!

Raúl Musibay: Unless that's the name of the girl behind the counter at your local Cuban bakery!

Jorge Castillo: Pastelitos typically come in these flavors, and these flavors ALONE: guava (guayaba), guava and cream cheese (guayaba y queso), cream cheese (queso), coconut (coco), ham (jamon) and meat (carne).

Bakery window
Once you step inside the San Lago Bakery, you'll see the full range of baked goodies: cakes, pies, cookies.

Raúl Musibay: The meat ones are great, sweet on the outside, mildly spiced ground meat on the inside.

Glenn Lindgren: I've always thought that pineapple would be a great flavor for a pastelitos. But none of the Miami bakeries makes one.

Raúl Musibay: IT IS TRADITION! That's why!

Jorge Castillo: Anyway, you can find pastelitos all over town.

Raúl Musibay: They're as common as tamales.

Glenn Lindgren: And we've eaten them all over town.

Jorge Castillo: Over the years, we have found several tried and true bakeries where the pastelitos are great every time.

Raúl Musibay: First let me tell you that if you want the best pastelitos, you have to go to a bakery.

Glenn Lindgren: Like Cuban bread, you're just not going to get the freshest pastelitos in a supermarket. And if you came all the way to Miami to enjoy Cuban food, why not spend a little more time searching out the best?

Jorge Castillo: One of our favorite spot for pastelitos is the San Lago Bakery on Bird Road.

San lago Bakery
The San Lago Bakery is tucked into the corner of one of many strip malls along Bird Road.

Glenn Lindgren: They keep them fresh and warm in a huge heated rack right behind the counter. You're guaranteed to get one that tastes like it just came out of the oven.

Jorge Castillo: Yes, you can actually buy one or two, but it seems like we never get out of the bakery without buying a dozen or two dozen

Glenn Lindgren:What is it they say about our eyes being bigger than our stomachs?

Raúl Musibay: They say you haven't taken a good look at our stomachs. They're much bigger, believe me.

Jorge Castillo: They have every type of Cuban pastry, cake, Cuban bread, and medianoche bread here too, so don't be afraid to pick out anything that looks good. They make delicious papas rellenas and croquetas.
La Ward Bakery
Glenn Lindgren: Another one of our favorites is the La Ward Bakery. The people are friendly and they'll even help you with your Spanish. Well, I guess I'm the only one who needs help with that.

Raúl Musibay: You can say that again!

Jorge Castillo: La Ward is a nice little neighborhood bakery. They have many beautifully decorated cakes available here.

Glenn Lindgren: They also have a nice little lunch counter. Pick up your pastries and sit down for a sandwich Cubano or a pan con bistec.

Jorge buys goodies

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Jorge Castillo: For people in a hurry, or on their way to the airport, we also recommend the Versailles bakery on Calle Ocho, next to the restaurant of the same name.

Glenn Lindgren: If you have enough time, stop for lunch in the restaurant, then pick up a box of pastelitos next door for the trip home.

Jorge Castillo: The people here have been turning out delicious Cuban baked goods for years.

Glenn Lindgren: Want a quick afternoon snack? Join the locals and step up to the walk-up window and order a café and a pastelito or two to eat there.

Raúl Musibay: We need to mention three other bakeries that we also like very much: Gilbert's Bakery, La Gran Paris Bakery, and Versailles.

Gilbert's Bakery

Glenn Lindgren: Gilbert'smoved from its old location near Miracle Mile in Coral Gables to a new bakery on Coral Way.

Jorge Castillo: Although you can buy some great pastelitos at Gilbert's, most people come here for their delicious and fancy cakes in a wide range of flavors: Chocolate, coconut, key lime, orange, amaretto, strawberry and so on.

Raúl Musibay: Can't make up your mind? Buy an assortment and try them all.
Cake display
Party-size cake squares are beautifully decorated.
Jorge Castillo: La Gran Paris is just North of Flagler and just down the street from the Flagler Dog Track
Gran Paris
Best Cuban Pastries in Miami!

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This new Kindle version contains all of the recipes and editorial copy from the original print edition. As a bonus, the new Kindle edition includes 24 new photos of the prepared dishes.



This new Kindle version contains all of the recipes and editorial copy from the original print edition. As a bonus, the new Kindle edition includes 14 new photos of the prepared dishes.


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