It never fails. I always get a ‘cafecito’ attack at 9:45 in the morning as I am heading to the office, and have to detour to my usual stopover oasis at the corner of Le Jeune and Dixie Highway for my daily ‘fix’. Needless to say, it’s never just the cafecito, most times it’s accompanied by a buttered baguette and, if I’m feeling daring, a ham croqueta, or two, will never make it safely back to the car.
Today, unfortunately, I was miles away from my neighborhood oasis, and I was getting pretty antsy. I needed a cafecito badly, but where to go? As I drove east on Dixie Highway looking for a place, I saw the words Pinecrest Bakery. Hmmm… Not exactly what I had in mind, I thought. After all, Pinecrest doesn’t scream Cuban coffee, but I was desperate…and wrong!
No sooner did I walk into this place that the heavenly smells of fresh, baked pastelitos and empanadas and blissful whiffs of café coladas almost made me swoon with delight. The place was full of customers, which is always a good sign. I took a number and waited my turn – looks like I’m the last person to find out about this jewel.
I didn’t have to wait long, the service was fast, friendly and efficient. In a matter of minutes, I had ordered a ‘cajita’ full of goodies, which included the usual Cuban fare and Colombian empanadas that tasted like I was back in Bogota. Of course, I had a café con leche and a ‘tostada’ with ham and cheese, while I waited for my order to be completed, but next time I will try the delicious looking ‘choripan’ another customer was noisily and rapidly devouring and which I almost took a bite of. Or maybe I’ll order the Churrasco special, or the Super Cuban, or the Prima Qualita Italiano, loaded with prosciutto and cantimpalo and pesto and …I really have to get going!
As I was preparing to pay, the lady in front of me asks the cashier for the address of their Bakery in South Miami.
- South Miami? You mean to tell me there is another Pinecrest Bakery in South Miami near my office, I ask, my head dizzy with delight.
- We have six other bakeries and two more opening soon, the cashier informs me.
I do my happy dance!