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Porto's Bakery & Cafe, a Successful Local Cuban Bakery and Cafe Chain, Family-Owned and Expanding

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02/28/14 - "Porto's Bakery Ranks Higher than The French Laundry on Yelp's Top Restaurant List" by Jenn Harris on latimes.com

Dear Lord.

02/14/15 - "Porto's Bakery Hot To Build New Restaurant in West Covina" by Jason Henry on sgvtribune.com

According to the second article, this location would require a $10 million investment, provide 175 jobs, and earn an estimated $25 million in annual revenue. Also according to the article, the Porto family recently closed a deal to open a location in Buena Park.

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While in Glendale, there's always Porto's! The tamal was surprisingly light and studded with corn niblets and everyone got a box of dulce de leche cookies to take home. I also got some guava pastries and assorted fried things. 

Discovered the most perfect sandwich at yet another trip to Porto's. The roasted pork on Cuban bread sandwich is good, but add some greens from your side salad with cilantro dressing and WOW! Fabulous, with a modicum of healthy.

Ha, guess I really like this place. Part of it is that I'm generally working when I'm near one of their locations so am grateful for reliably good food while onsite that I can also take home (from the inevitable over-ordering), and the other part is that they have such a great selection of snacky and lunchtime treats.They are a good ordinary bakery - breads, cookies, etc., but really shine at the Latin treats - potato balls, croquettes, chorizo pie (drier and kind of crumbly), and guava pastries. I really like the tamales and plantain chips, but don't care for the empanadas as much. I almost always get a hot ham and cheese and/or a chocolate croissant. I don't actually like the dulce de leche cookies all that much (too sandy for my taste), but everyone else I know loves them, so I usually grab a box of those or the raspberry kiss cookies. My husband love the elephant ears and scones. I used to get the pan con lechon or ropa vieja sandwiches, both of which are very good, but lately I've just been ordering the smaller items so I have more room to graze.

I don't love the parking situations or waits. I've now been to all three locations and I think parking for the Burbank location is the worst (a couple dedicated lots, but quite small - Downey and Glendale have larger lots and the surrounding areas seem to be easier for finding street parking). It's fairly telling that they have valet parking service during busy periods (which includes pretty much every time I've every been) at Downey and Burbank. The lines are long, which isn't ideal, especially for grabbing a quick lunch, but the staff are always hustling to fill orders - it's the sheer volume of customers that creates the line. The staff are brisk but extremely well trained - they take your long order for everything all at once and then create your boxes of hot snack, pastries, cold desserts, and other items from memory, then go over the order with you when ringing you out. I typically get about a dozen unique items and have never gotten an incorrect order. It helps to know what you want once your turn comes - there are paper menus of bakery and hot items available that you can study while in line and the sandwiches are listed on the menu boards on the wall. I'm pretty sure you can get everything (sandwiches, patries, etc.) from both main lines (there is one dedicated to the "Cafe" portion and the other in the bakery) but the cake line is dedicated, so don't think you can cheat the line there. While the Yelp rating might seem absurd when compared to The French Laundry, they are very, very good at what they set out to do - hence the continuing crowds and the growth of their empire.

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Dropped by the Glendale location today to pick up some snacks for a work week. It was still crazy bustling at 4:15 PM on a Sunday, with longs lines everywhere, including the 1-stall (!!??#$%^&*!!) ladies' room. I think the bakery line moves the quicker than the Cafe line even though it always looks longer, because fewer people are ordering sandwiches and there are SO many staff working the counters. It only took about 10 minutes to work through a a full line (not quite out the door, but with the entire line path filled). Be sure to grab a paper menu by the registers before you get in line! The staff are nice but really want you to have your order ready if at all possible, to keep the line moving. The chocolate croissant wasn't as good today - not quite as flaky-stretchy as usual. Everything else looks/tastes good so far; we'll see how long they last! 

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