After filling up on sandwiches over at La Teresita, Chris took us a few doors down the street to a bakery called Florida Bakery. Yesssss. He knows me well! I sure can’t say no to a bakery visit!
The bakery is situated in a strip mall. It reminded me a bit of City Heights in San Diego – like it would fit right into that stretch along University Avenue. The place was quite large though. I didn’t photo all of the inside but in addition to all of the baked goods they also had a food counter and served Cuban sandwiches and other hot items. Here’s a peek at some of their cases filled with many, many treats!
This case had empanadas (all savory), something that looked like the hot dog bread I’ve seen at Paris Baguette, and other pastries filled with fruit.
Elephant Ears!! I had asked for one of these but I guess no one heard me because we didn’t get it (and I didn’t realize it until later). You can also spy some donuts and cookies and some kind of twisted pastry.
More cookies! These look a lot like the ones you see at the panaderias and also lots of decorated cookies. I wish I had gotten one in retrospect to see if it was similar to those Mexican cookies.
These looked like shots of frosting to me, but I’m pretty sure they’re meringues.
Some cakes that looked like tres leches, napoleons, cream horns and more.
Here’s a look at what we actually got! There’s more, of course.
I saw these little cups and was told these are like crumbled sweetened condensed milk. A little Google searching later I found this recipe for Dulce de Leche Cortada or Sweet Caramel Milk Curds. This sort of looked like granola to me and I had never seen or heard of this before so had to try it. It was incredibly sweet – like, intensely sweet. And it was very moist, almost “soggy” like and I disliked the texture. Reading that it’s made from curdled milk doesn’t really help, either. Suffice it to say I was happy to have tried it, but I didn’t enjoy it.
Jake and I were both all over this one since it kind of looked like caramel on top – but actually it’s just sugar. The top reminded me a bit of the top of creme brulee but without the torching. It was hard and crystallized and VERY hard to bite into. It was sort of like trying to crunch through a hard candy right away – you get that feeling of something shattering in your mouth. Not really one of my favorite feelings.
Once you get past that crunchy outer layer you get to the creamy center and all of that pastry cream. It was good… but I just didn’t care for the outside of it. Too hard on my poor teeth.
Guava pastry! This was actually the first one we tried. It had nice flaky layers and a copious amount of guava filling (I don’t think there was cream cheese mixed in with this one though).
Jake ordered this chocolate covered cream horn and I was totally afraid this would get destroyed after hanging out in the hot car all afternoon. I tried it before and after it’s trip in the car and it actually stayed unmelted all day. The chocolate coating reminded me a bit of that “magic shell” stuff that they put on top of ice cream. It wasn’t super sweet and it didn’t melt on contact. It was really yummy on top of the cream horn.
My favorite item though was this one! I don’t know the “official” name of it, but I called it the Caramel Nut Napoleon. They’d probably say Dulce de Leche though. Whatever it’s called it was DELICIOUS. The caramel is soft and gooey and the nuts give it a little extra crunch and a teeny bit of salt. The layers were nice and flaky. Very very yummy!
Jake ordered this chorizo and beef empanada but we totally forgot about it and left it in the fridge. We headed to Key West the next day and just… forgot about it’s existence. Poor little empanada. We’re so sorry we forgot to eat you.
I would have loved to have tried more things, but this was already a bit overkill. I always go a little overboard at bakeries… I can’t help it! I want to just try a little bit of everything!
3320 West Columbus Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607