La Purisima Bakery vs. La Reyna Bakery: Pan Dulce Battle
In The Other Corner: La Reyna Bakery
The Setting: On the corner of 35th Avenue and McDowell is an unnamed shopping center with a barber, bakery and a couple other window fronts that are difficult to make out because of all the window messages, tagging and run-down signs filling up the space. We've driven by La Reyna Bakery plenty of times, but were never sure if it was open or just a vacant building. When we decided to venture in, the small parking lot was filled with cars. We still weren't sure if the bakery was even open, but as we approached the building we noticed the "OPEN" sign was lit but fading.
Natalie Miranda La Reyna Bakery sells five items for $2.
The Good: Once you step foot in the bakery it's easy to forget where you are as you soak in the strong scent of fresh baked bread wafting through the air. The bakery is smaller than La Purisima, but the smell is overcoming. La Reyna had four cases of pan dulce to choose from, but they weren't completely full.
They didn't have the yo-yo, so we ordered a concha, a cuernito and a chocolate chip cookie. Our baker told us to choose two more for a total of five items for $2. We chose a green, white and pink sugar cookie, and another cookie that had frosting sandwiched between two pieces.
Again, we had to enjoy them at home. The first bite into the concha was satisfying. It was sweet, not dry and not as light on the inside. The cuernito was different as we're used to sugar instead of frosting, but it was a nice change. Colored sugar cookies are also a recognizable type of pan dulce, and La Reyna's was everything we expected it to be: a little crunchy with a subtle sweet flavor.
The Bad: We could've lived without the chocolate chip cookie. It was bland and there was nothing that made it stand out amongst the other sweets we had to choose from.
The Winner: Taste wins over appearance anytime, and for that La Reyna Bakery wins this battle of pan dulce. Sure, it might be located in a run-down building, but the quality of the baked goods is high. La Purisima has a lot to offer but the turning point was the taste and texture of their conchas. Congrats, La Reyna! See you again soon.