Maybe I have OCD. Not severe like Melvin Udall but I do strange things sometimes that are quite unexplainable, which makes me believe that I may have a baby OCD (if there is such a thing). For example, I set all my clocks forward 45 minutes. The logic behind it is that by forwarding them 45 minutes, I will never over-sleep or be late to places. Even if the alarm doesn’t work and I wake up at, say, 8:00 a.m. (which is late), I actually haven’t overslept because it’s still 7:15 a.m. And 45 minutes is not random. My snooze button goes off every nine minutes. Therefore, I can snooze five times and still wake up on time. This logic, however, doesn’t work because I still manage to somehow arrive late to work more often than I’d like to admit. But the fact that I still refuse to change this behavior confirms that I have some serious issues.
But, maybe my issue is not OCD but just that I’m not a morning person. In fact, I have trouble getting up every morning. I also don’t eat breakfast because I don’t like to put anything in my mouth before 10:00 a.m. Furthermore, I’m extremely cranky before my first cup of tea. Simply put, I’m pretty much a non-functional zombie in the a.m. Until I walked into Porto’s.
I stopped by Porto’s Bakery and Café in Burbank (the lesser known branch of the two, in Glendale, although very popular in its own rite) on the way to work this morning to pick up a birthday cake for my special friend/colleague. I was half-asleep and cranky as hell as I parked my car and walked toward the entrance on Magnolia and Hollywood Way. But something magical happened when I sat foot in this popular Cuban eatery. The welcoming scent of the freshly baked baguettes, butter croissants, and the nutty aroma of freshly brewed coffee awakened all my senses and this zombie was suddenly alive. And the sight of Guava and Cheese Strudels, Apricot-Cheese Danishes, Carrot Apple Muffins, and a colorful array of whole cakes fresh out of the oven, even wet my appetite that I absolutely had to pick up a pastry for myself for breakfast.
I selected the whole Chocolate Raspberry Mouse cake, which the birthday gal and I, along with other friends and colleagues, enjoyed at lunch. The combination of silky chocolate and tangy raspberry mouse melted in my mouth like magic. It was so light and smooth that, although most of us were full from decadent lunch, we managed to eat the entire cake and even licked the plates clean.
Aside from sweets, Porto’s also offers wide selections of savory dishes, from fresh salads to Cuban sandwiches. My favorite (and everyone else’s too) is, hands down, the famous Potato Balls. Once you take a bite out of the warm, croquette made out of mashed potatoes and seasoned ground beef, your culinary world will never be the same. Media Noche Sandwich, a Cuban ham, pork and Swiss cheese sandwich served on a toasted sweet roll, is the close second.
Everything served at Porto’s is timeless, and it’s never too early or late to dive into the heavenly treasures … even for a nocturnal like myself.
Porto’s Bakery and Cafe: 3614 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91505