Jorge Castillo: If Raúl Porto and his family, the owners of Porto's Bakery in Glendale, ever decide to open a Miami branch, watch out!
Glenn Lindgren: First we should explain that on our west coast trip, we ate at several Cuban restaurants where the Cuban bread served was, shall we say, less than Cuban.
Jorge Castillo: It tasted more like French bread.
Raúl Musibay: An easy way to tell? When you bite into a piece of Cuban bread you always end up with a pile of crumbs – either on the floor or on your lap.
Jorge Castillo: And of course there's the taste. The restaurant breads we tried failed both tests miserably!
Glenn Lindgren: We were starting to feel a little smug about the superiority of Miami bakeries. Then we visited this bakery that was recommended by our West Coast correspondent, Joe Fernandez.
Jorge Castillo: Wow! We were amazed at what a great bakery.
Raúl Musibay: On a Saturday afternoon, the store was packed and there was a long line.
Glenn Lindgren: The service was great though, and we didn't wait more than five minutes. (They have special express lines for lunch and people picking up four items or less.) And let me tell you about the Cuban bread. It was just about the best loaf we have ever had.
Jorge Castillo: They make it fresh each day and bake several batches over the course of the day. You are guaranteed to get a loaf that is fresh and still warm from the oven.
Glenn Lindgren: The Cuban bread is the stuff that Cuban food dreams are made of with a crispy crust, and a warm, doughy inside. In no time the rental car was covered in Cuban bread crumbs.
Raúl Musibay: They have excellent pasteles here. The coconut and guava/cheese (what they call a "refugiado") are so flaky, they truly melt in your mouth.
Jorge Castillo: They make several Cuban cakes – soaked in French brandy syrup and filled with custard, pineapple custard, strawberry jam or fresh strawberries. The pineapple custard cake is very rich and moist, a taste of heaven!
Glenn Lindgren: Cakes are a specialty of this bakery. This family business started in Cuba where Raúl's mother, Rosa used to make cakes and sell them out of her home.
Jorge Castillo: There is one line for people who are just picking up cakes. The cakes are elegantly decorated and personalized for weddings, birthdays and other special occasions.
Raúl Musibay: Porto's has every type of bakery item you can imagine, from American favorites to Cuban standards. They even make their own Cuban crackers here, which are known for their long shelf life. But if you've never had a freshly made Cuban cracker, you don't know what you're missing. To do these right, they have to made by hand.
Glenn Lindgren: Did we mention the sandwiches? They have them all from the standard Cuban to the medianoche preparada (a medianoche with croquetas) to a great pan con lechón (roasted pork sandwich).
Jorge Castillo: With the incredible fresh Cuban bread here, it's easy to see why the sandwiches are so good.
Glenn Lindgren: The sandwiches here would easily make our Top 10 List in Miami, and the prices are a bargain; the Cuban sandwich has plenty of meat and cheese and sells for just $2.99.
Jorge Castillo: They do automatically put mustard and A LOT OF mayonnaise on their sandwiches here. Tell them to hold these if you don't want them – the sandwich tastes a lot better without the mayonnaise. Or ask for some mustard and mayonnaise on the side.
Raúl Musibay: They sell one of my favorite sandwiches: the papa preparada. It's made with papa rellenas, Swiss cheese and lettuce on Cuban bread. It's fantastic!
Glenn: We could go on and on and never cover all of the delicious items they sell here. One final recommendation: great tamales, croquetas and pastel de chorizo.
Jorge Castillo: They have tables both inside and on the sidewalk to enjoy your treats. Or just get a big bag of goodies for takeout, as we did.
Glenn: They frequently have musicians (OK, one guy and a guitar) playing classic Cuban music. And if you came to Hollywood to see the stars, Saturday at Portos is a great opportunity to meet Andy Garcia, a regular customer here.
Raúl Musibay: Did we mention the tres leches cake?
HOURS: Open Monday to Saturday - 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. | Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
PRICES: Extremely reasonable for all baked goods and a great place for a cheap lunch!
DRESS: Very Casual