Pasteleria La Esperanza
Ham and Cheese Pastry
Oatmeal Cookie with Cranberry
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Tres Leches with Cajeta
Located in Polanco and several other parts of Mexico City, essentially a small chain that is seen as a sort of training grounds for young Bakers and Pastry Chefs throughout the Capital, it was after breakfast at Eno that a stop was made at Pasteleria La Esperanza for provisions en route to The Basílica de Guadalupe, a security guard griping at anyone attempting to take a picture not only making the experience unpleasant for guests intrigued by the open kitchen behind the boxing station but also acting as if everyone was out to rob the place by circulating the room with a pissed off look on his face while barking directions at those unaccustomed to the Bakery’s purchasing procedures.
At this point having visited a handful of Pastelerias, Panaderias and Dulcerias over the previous week, everything from the madhouse of Ideal to the small, French stylings of Da Silva seen along the way, Pasteleria La Esperanza fits somewhere between the large volume of Ideal and the presentation of a place like Suiza, a chiller full of Gelatins and full Cakes set along the left back wall while a collection of elegant Pastries and slices sits closer to the entry, a wide-array of racks in between offering an inviting mix of items that are meant to be procured via tongs and carried around on a tray.
Totaling perhaps one hundred options, the price point a few Pesos higher per item than those downtown, it was after being scolded twice about trying to capture the experience that a selection seven items were joined by three items placed in clamshells behind the counter, a pair of receipts paid for at the register before returning to the food’s respective stations, two plastic bags weighing about two pounds taken elsewhere to indulge.
Doing best to procure a good mix of varying styles, Gelatin passed on this time due to the rest of the day’s plans, it was not long after departing La Esperanza that a Ham and Cheese Pastry was tasted, the Sesame Seed-studded dough already showing a bit of sog from the Cream Cheese within while the Ham was quite briny, the Oatmeal cookie tasted next an outright disaster that tasted of uncooked oats frozen in Honey, the sort of thing that may have been good when crumbled up into Milk or a Parfait, but on its own was virtually inedible.
Faring a bit better with the Cinnamon Croissant, its laminated layers rimmed with Sugar and spice while the Cinnamon Roll was another complete failure that tasted nearly raw on the inside as if the dough had not spent enough time exposed to heat, better bites were found amidst a Corn Muffin that tasted as if Cream Corn had been lightly sweetened and poured into a mold with just a little bit of Flour, the Brioche Mocha Donut focusing more on Coffee than on sweetness, and all the better for it.
Again underwhelmed by the Chocolate Chip Cookie, the low prices clearly not dictating a high quality of Cocoa while the texture throughout was far too hard, Pasteleria La Esperanza’s best works surprisingly came from the glass case directly across from the cash registers, the Tart studded with Green Grapes atop a layer of smooth Marzipan not really like anything one might find Stateside while the Tres Leches and topped in Cajeta was sweet, soft, soaked and perfect, thus making the Carrot Cake not particularly memorable as there are several better versions in Mexico City.