Porto’s, the family run business located in Burbank, was named #1 in the United States by Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat list in 2016.
The Burbank location is among the biggest of the other two, which are located in Downey and Glendale. The restaurant is housed in an Adobe style building.
Taking a step inside is pretty overwhelming. The coffee bar is located in the middle, and on the left and right side are the two cafe areas, where you can order the same products on both sides. To balance out the overwhelming amount of space and people, the interior decor is quite simple. There are pictures hung up all around the bakery, which showcase family photos.
To start, the line was exceedingly long, to the point where they started a line outside the bakery. There was a lady directing customers to either side of the cafe, ensuring that both lines were being occupied. The average wait time to order was 15 minutes. The pastry display was overcrowded, as people order in front of the display. It was hard to walk through to get to the attendant and order.
The bakery offers a wide variety of pastries, drinks, sandwiches, and salads. All of which are made fresh daily. When placing an order, you have the option of eating in or having the order to go. When placing an eating-in order, you have the option to find seats alongside the cafe, both inside and outside, or wait to be seated in the sitting area. The average wait time for getting seated was 10 minutes, despite the high volume of customers.
Porto’s is known for it’s distinctive potato balls and meat pies. For just 89 cents, the potato balls consist of savory, seasoned meat sautéed with onions, green peppers, and tomato. It is then rolled into a sort of potato mixture, encrusted with bread crumbs and then fried. It is like a fried single serving of shepherd’s pie, although it is very unique. At the same price of the potato ball, the Pastel de Carne (meat pie), consists of seasoned beef inside a puff pastry. The pastry is decently sized, and is glazed to give a balanced sweet and savory taste. Both are decently sized for their price, and are well rich in flavor.
At just $3.65, a medium-sized Iced Dulce de Leche Latte consists of espresso, milk, and dulce de leche (which is just caramel). The drink is quite simple, yet has an array of taste. The drink includes a generous amount of dulce de leche around the inside of the cup. At every sip, there is a great balance between the bitter coffee taste and the sweet dulce de leche.
Last to arrive was the main dish, with an average wait of 15 minutes. At $6.75, the Spicy Chicken Milanesa Sandwich offers a wide variety of ingredients combined with a side dish of plantain chips. The sandwich consists of fried breaded chicken breast, served with a spicy jalapeno spread (ordered on the side), mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and mashed avocados on a medianoche roll. The jalapeno spread is quite spicy, and without it, it is not the same. I’m not much of a person who likes chili, so the jalapeno spread really makes a difference. All in all, the sandwich was quite mediocre, if you want to have a unique taste, this is not the sandwich. As for the plantain chips, they were greatly seasoned with salt. They are a good alternative to french fries or chips, as they give a more authentic taste. Despite their great taste, there was not an ample amount served compared to others in my party.
While there is a high volume of customers and parking is a bit of a hassle, visiting this location is well worth the long lines. They offer a delectable array of pastries, which are quite unique to other pastries found on the market. This bakery offers its customers a taste of Cuban dishes and desserts in a way that is accessible to all.