The One about Revisiting Porto’s Bakery and Cafe in Burbank

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Last week, I wrote about Porto’s Bakery and Cafe.

But I figured that people want a more thorough review considering that the Burbank location was rated at #1 for Yelp’s list of highest-rated restaurants in the U.S.

As I was in Southern California for several days for a viewing and family funeral, we needed to grab something to eat for dinner, so it gave me the opportunity to go to Porto’s Bakery and Cafe in Burbank but also in order to give people better insight to what to expect, if they have never been there before.

First, the location and times of the Porto’s Bakery and Cafe in Burbank:

3614 West Magnolia Boulevard • Burbank, CA 91505 • (818) 846-9100
Mon-Sat 6:30 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday 7:00 am – 7:00 pm

First thing to note when going to the Burbank location, you will see a big line extending outside the door and parking, you can always find parking in the back but find parking wherever you can nearby when possible.

When you go inside, you will be led by an employee to go to the left or right side. Left side, if you are ready to order from the menu or know what pastries to purchase and right, for those who ordered cakes or breads.

You will often find a place to sit and eat as the location is quite large and there is adequate space.  Most people who go, are there to purchase and leave.  But there are a lot of people who purchased a lot of pastries and are planning to eat inside as the bakery offers tasty meals and sandwiches.  And of course, as a cafe, various types of drinks.

As you wait in line, it’s a good time to look at the menu.  Customer service is solid as the lines keep moving, so there is not a terrible long wait.  Meanwhile, you can see the pricing of the pastries.

First thing that will happen is a server will be assigned to you and will ask you what you want.  Get ready to let them know if you are familiar with the menu.  If not, let them know when you get closer to the cash register and see things close up, so you can let them know what you want.

You will start out with the pastries first, but if you don’t, you can order your meals, salads or sandwiches.  If you go before 11:00 a.m., they do serve breakfast.

If you are concerned about what to get, feel free to ask for a sample (please don’t overdo this but they will let you try out a sample if you ask).

As the cheese rolls and guava and cheese strudels are well known (pictured at the top) and are the most ordered pastries that are simply delicious, I wanted to discuss the meat pies (pastel de carne) which is a light and flaky puff pastry filled with seasoned ground beef.  They are quite delicious.  Soft, delicious and only .89 cents.

The triangle shaped pastries are the Chorizo Pies which are made with an empanada dough filled with seasoned pork sausage.   These cost about $1.15 each.

The circular shaped pastries are the Potato Balls which are a soft mashed potato ball filled with seasoned ground beef, fried to golden brown and cost only .98 cents.  This is pretty much the same as coroquette as other stores overseas sell and are delicious.

The smaller triangle shaped pastries are the Chicken Croquettes which are made from a mix of ground chicken seasoned with Porto’s special blend of herbs and spices, coated in panko bread crumbs, and fried to perfection and are only .96 cents.

For those want something cheaper, there is the Ham Croquettes which are only .86 cents and are made from ground ham seasoned with spices, breaded, and flash fried.  They are shaped in like a small sausage look unlike the circular or triangle-shaped croquette but they are also golden brown.  Also, do not get this confused with the darker Rellenito (which is .96 cents) which are sugar coated sweet plantain filled with black beans.

For those who do not want to eat meat, there is a seafood variation called the Seafood Potato Ball which contains calamari, Shrimp and Scallops flavored with garlic, cilantro, lemon zest and folded in a spicy tomato sauce. Breaded with a Panko/Cilantro coating and deep fried.  They cost a little more at $1.59 each.

Not wanting anything savory but sweet pastries and something different from the cheese roll or strudel?  There are so many variety of pastries that Portos Bakery and Cafe offers.  But I did try the strawberry and cheese croissant.  A bigger pastry that is creamy and delicious.

Angela ordered the Turkey and Cheese Croissant ($4.65) which came with plantain chips.  The sandwich came with turkey, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and mayonnaise on a butter croissant.  She absolutely loved the dish and loved the fact that there were healthier sandwiches listed on the menu and you can make it to order, so you can remove the cheese or mayo if wanted.

I went with the Pan con bistec ($6.98) which came with plantain chips.  The sandwich features Porto’s version of the traditional Pan con Bistec with grilled marinated steak, potato sticks, fresh tomatoes, garlic mojo aioli and pickled onions on Cuban bread.

The meat was absolutely delicious as you can taste the marinated steak with garlic mojo aioli with each bite.  Savory, juicy and delicious, I absolutely loved it!

One of the more recent additions to the menu is the Shrimp Ceviche, which I didn’t try.  But it comes with “Aguachile Style” shrimp (cooked) ceviche marinated in fresh lime juice, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, red onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, jicama and mango and served with Porto’s Mariquitas and fresh lime wedges.

Once you order, you are given a device and a server will bring the food out to you.  Wait time is not too long, expect around 10 minutes or so.

We absolutely had a wonderful time eating at Porto’s Bakery and Cafe in Burbank.  One of the things we noticed is the great location, awesome building and interiors, a lot of customers and it was non-stop all afternoon, even when we left, people were still getting in line and that’s signs of a healthy bakery/restaurant/cafe.   And talking to the people who work there, they said that it looks crowded and busy but that is an average day.  Come during the holidays and you will see how busy Porto’s Bakery and Cafe can get.

We noticed people leaving with several boxes and people who ate inside, they also had several boxes of Porto’s purchased.

The customer-base is diverse, which is another plus.

But one of the major positives is customer service.  Customer service was fantastic!  People always willing to help you, food getting to you quickly, line wait not incredibly long considering how many people are in line.

I was very impressed with the operation, the taste of food, the location and overall setting and for the most part, I can see why people love Porto’s Bakery and Cafe in Burbank and why it was rated at #1 for Yelp’s list of highest-rated restaurants in the U.S.

Simply, Porto’s Bakery and Cafe has so much to offer and it’s worth visiting if you happen to be in Southern California.



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Dennis A. Amith