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  • Caroline Aghajanian: I have to finish it.

  • There's a bakery in Los Angeles

  • where you can find some of the tastiest

  • tres leches cakes,

  • sweet and savory pastries,

  • and Cubanos.

  • Customer: If you're from LA,

  • you should know about Porto's.

  • Customer: You have to get a whole cake.

  • Don't get a slice, get a whole cake,

  • 'cause if you get one slice you're gonna have to come back

  • and get another slice and another slice,

  • so get a whole cake.

  • Caroline: I'm an LA native.

  • I actually grew up, like, two minutes away

  • from this Glendale Porto's,

  • so coming here is something that's so normal

  • and routine for me.

  • But this place is more than just

  • a neighborhood favorite.

  • So let's go see what makes Porto's

  • one of the most legendary Cuban bakeries in LA.

  • Porto's Bakery & Cafe was opened

  • in Southern California in 1976

  • by a woman named Rosa Porto,

  • a Cuban immigrant who started

  • baking and selling cakes from her home.

  • Today, there are five locations

  • across Southern California.

  • We got a glimpse inside the kitchen

  • as the team preps their classic Cuban sandwiches,

  • a must-try here at Porto's.

  • The team sells about 45,000 Cubanos a month

  • across all locations.

  • Beatriz Porto: If you haven't had a Porto's Cuban sandwich,

  • you don't know what a Cuban sandwich

  • is supposed to taste like.

  • Caroline: What's your favorite part about

  • the Cubano sandwich?

  • Customer: The pickles, the mustard, the cheese,

  • to meat, it's, like, slow roasted.

  • Claudio Brusamolino: All right, so this is our process

  • on preparing the pork legs for roasting.

  • As you can see, we wrap it in fresh garlic

  • and extra virgin olive oil, and it'll be all over.

  • And then we have this dry rub,

  • which is salt and black pepper and brown sugar

  • and dried oregano and a little bit of cumin.

  • So, once they get in the oven, we roast them

  • at a very, very, very low temperature

  • overnight for about nine hours.

  • So that way they, the meat that comes out

  • is very moist, doesn't get too dry.

  • You have to get ahead of time,

  • get ahead of the game a little bit.

  • So, we premake, like, 10, 20 at a time

  • and then we'll press them as needed.

  • So, we're gonna put a little bit,

  • little layer of beautiful butter,

  • and then we're gonna go with

  • a lightly smoked ham.

  • Next we're gonna put in some of

  • the pork legs that I showed you before.

  • We're gonna put a little bit of Swiss cheese.

  • Caroline: Swiss cheese and pickles?

  • Claudio: And pickles.

  • Caroline: Aah.

  • Claudio: And then on the top part of the bread,

  • we're gonna put in a little bit

  • of what we call Cuban dressing,

  • which is mayonnaise, mustard,

  • and a little bit of cilantro.

  • Caroline: Wow.

  • This sandwich is, like, layers of perfection.

  • I feel like every ingredient has a specific purpose.

  • And the bread makes it all perfect.

  • It has, like, a crunch, but it's also so soft

  • that it doesn't, like, scrape the top of your mouth.

  • It's classic. It's simple.

  • The perfect pairing to any Cubano,

  • or really any sandwich at Porto's,

  • are the plantain chips.

  • The team goes through 80,000 pounds

  • of fresh green plátanos every month.

  • Once the slices are fried,

  • they're lightly sprinkled with garlic salt.

  • [crunches]

  • It's so garlicky.

  • It's so good.

  • If you're a garlic lover,

  • the plantain chips are already coated

  • with garlic salt, and with their sauce,

  • it kinda just, like, elevates it to another level.

  • They're fantastic.

  • And a visit to Porto's is never complete

  • without an order of...

  • Customer: Potato balls.

  • Customer: Potato balls.

  • Customer: Potato balls.

  • Producer: Potato balls all day long.

  • Beatriz: That's why people drive miles and miles.

  • To get those potato balls.

  • Everywhere that I go, I do shows on it.

  • "Where are the potato balls?"

  • "Did you bring potato balls?"

  • And we wanna introduce new items,

  • but they don't care about trying new items,

  • but they want their potato balls.

  • Claudio: So, this is a picadillo

  • that goes inside potato balls, or papas rellenas.

  • It's ground beef with peppers and onions,

  • lots of garlic, cumin,

  • and a little bit of tomato sauce,

  • a little bit of white wine.

  • Then we let it simmer.

  • And then this is the picadillo

  • that we were just making before, which is now cold.

  • And then we just put it in the middle

  • and fold the potatoes around it.

  • And then it goes into egg wash

  • and then into the bread crumbs.

  • Caroline: The potato balls are then deep-fried

  • and ready to go.

  • Ooh. OK, here's the thing.

  • I always eat this really hot,

  • and I feel like I have no patience

  • and I end up burning my mouth, but I don't care

  • 'cause I keep eating cause it's so delicious,

  • but here we go again.

  • I have to finish it.

  • Customer: They're always warm,

  • and they're always, like, crispy on the outside

  • and then soft on the inside.

  • So, yeah.

  • They just, like, remind me of kind of, like,

  • home comfort food.

  • So, yeah, they're really good.

  • Caroline: Over the years, the team has built

  • on Rosa's recipes, like her classic tres leches cake.

  • The best seller is the Milk'N Berries cake,

  • which consists of a sponge-cake base

  • soaked with tres leches and filled and topped with

  • whipped cream and fresh berries.

  • Beatriz: At the beginning it was just tres leches

  • with meringue on top, the original one.

  • And then we gave it whipped cream to make it less sweet

  • for the people who liked the sweet and the less sweet.

  • Caroline: This is, like, the birthday cake

  • we'd always order. It's so good.

  • The fruits really do cut into the sweetness.

  • Producer: Personally, I've had every single birthday cake

  • since I was, like, 3 years old from Porto's.

  • So they mean a lot to me.

  • Beatriz: So, my mom started this business,

  • really, out of necessity.

  • Back in Cuba under communism, horrible conditions

  • because my dad was taken to a labor camp

  • and she was, you know, let go from her job.

  • And so she did this in order to survive,

  • because there was nothing else she could do.

  • When you applied to leave the country,

  • you immediately became the enemy of the state.

  • So they didn't care whether you live or not.

  • And it took us eight years to get out.

  • So for eight years,

  • my mother was in charge of keeping us alive.

  • She was the head of the household.

  • My dad, making $8 a month away from the home,

  • really couldn't support us.

  • You know, necessity is what, many times,

  • makes people do incredible things. Right?

  • Caroline: Rosa Porto passed away in December 2019,

  • but the Porto family, including Rosa's three kids,

  • are carrying on the Porto's Bakery tradition.

  • Beatriz: The more people talk to you,

  • the more you realize how many people

  • she was able to reach

  • and the legacy that she's left.

  • Because how many immigrants come to this country

  • and in 40 years get to be a household name?

  • We're very happy that she gets that kind of recognition,

  • in her community that she did so much for.

  • It's a good thing, for all of us

  • We're very proud.

Caroline Aghajanian: I have to finish it.

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Porto’s Is The Best Cuban Bakery In LA | Line Around The Block

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/23
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