Remember the days when your mother would go to a good panaderia and bring back goodies you could eat for breakfast or all day long?
Well, famed Chico’s Bakery still exists down the charming Third Avenue in Chula Vista and locals rave about this place.
The owner, Xavier Plascensia, took over the business with his younger brother a year ago after his father passed away. Chico’s is a family run business that was established in this very location in 1984. While I was there, the pastry chefs were hard at work in the kitchen making frosting for a cake and folding dough for empanadas. Xavier also took the time to give me a personal tour of his pastries:
First of all, Chico’s invented the Spanish cheesecake. There’s no such thing as cheesecake in Mexico, so everybody copies them. It’s creme cheese in the middle of a cupcake batter crust.
Then, people come from all over the county for Xavier’s Pinos, a rich pastry filled with Bavarian creme.
They also have the traditional Ojos, a puff pastry baked with shredded coconut and heavily dusted with powdered sugar.
The Membrillo is an empanada made with a brown sugar paste inside.
He also has a version of the buttermilk biscuit,
Conos (with Bavarian creme inside), and
Puercos (pigs) that look like gingerbread, but they use brown sugar.
Finally, Xavier sells the traditional Conchas, or seashell. This is a staple bread in Mexico made of sugar and shortening. The middle is cinnamon. It’s a rich bread, but not overpoweringly sweet.
Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite Mexican pastry? What’s your favorite Mexican pastry website?
Address: 216 Third Avenue, Chula Vista