Una completa

I walked into Gigi’s Bakery with the sole intention of having a cortadito and a pastelito de guayaba. Instead, I left with an Ironbeer in hand and my pants unbuttoned.

Walking in, my eyes were immediately drawn to the wide variety of pastries, I recognized the masa reales, but there were so many others that were brand new to me. Not to the other patrons, though. White square boxes were being filled with all sorts of cookies, muffin-like breads, pound cakes, and pasteles finos like caracoles and señoritas. And I wanted one of each.

I don’t know if it was the time of day or the drive or being in close proximity with so much sugar that suddenly opened up my appetite, but I was instantly ravenous. So I took advantage of Gigi’s full menu that includes huge sandwiches served with mariquitas and entrees that come with bread, salad, yuca, moros, and maduros.

I went for the completa de Ropa Vieja and this is how it went:

Sadly, I did not have room for dessert. Not even for a single drop of coffee. I hardly fit back into my car.

Gigi’s Bakery, you owe me un pastelito de guayaba, un cafe and a tire alignment.

If you go: Gigi’s Bakery is in historic Filipinotown, located at 2200 W Temple St.

Ambiance: This place is the definition of no frills. Bakery regulars walk in and the cook knows to start their food order. And while you wait to place your order, expect patrons to ask you what you’re getting and your opinion about their order.

Pleasantly surprised: That huge platter was only $8.95!

Pro tip: If you want pastelitos get there anytime before 4pm. After that it’s slim pickings.

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