El Tricolor Bakery – Panaderia Tricolor
Pastel de Pina
Caramelized Puff Pastry Stick
Quadruple Cake – Chocolate, Cheesecake, Flan, Tres Leches with Icing
A small shop tucked away on North Decatur in an area still not qualified as North Las Vegas, but not too far away, Panaderia Tricolor is a place many have probably driven by a hundred times without even noticing, a family-owned business operating in the same space for so long that the Las Vegas sun has almost completely faded its signage.
Listed as El Tricolor Bakery above the door, but as Panaderia Tricolor by a street-side sign and in its limited representation on Social Media and Search Engines, visitors to Tricolor will find the space located towards the back-center of a shopping plaza filled with everything from Check Cashing to Nail Salons and Convenience Stores, a step through the door placing patrons in a small standing space surrounded by baking racks, cold cases and two small tables.
Selling both savories and sweets, though the obvious focus is on freshly baked Breads and Pastries in a variety of perhaps four-to-five dozen total, it was with limited English and a lot of pointing that several items were described by a young woman working the front of the house as an older woman labored over dough that appeared to be the base of several dozen Concha, the eventual order comprised of five Pastries and two slices of Cake that were carefully boxed and taken home for consumption.
Trying to best cover a wide range of styles, the total price of $9.75 making a little bit of waste acceptable in an attempt to weigh the quality against other Panaderia in town, first tastes of Tricolors goods came by way of the Pastel de Pina and Caramelized Puff Pastry Stick, both quite mild in terms of sweetness with the Pineapple Cake soft and spongy while the nearly weightless rod was crisp and shattering, but probably been better suited for a Sauce or Coffee for dipping.
Turning attention next to two savory selections, the Salvadoran Quesadilla a 3/4″-thick frisbee-size disc described as “sort of like cake, but moist and a little sweet” proving to be just that plus a long-linger of Sesame, the ‘cornbread’ at Tricolor is nothing like what most American’s would think when picturing the hot skillets or piping-hot Muffins down South, this version actually a hefty wedge of just-set Custard atop a more granular base, the flavor a bit like cream corn but with a more egginess and Butter.
Underwhelmed by a Turnover with good lamination but cloying sweetness thanks to HFCS-based Cherry Pie filling, and even more put-off by a tennis-ball size Guava Besos with good Jam but Dough so chalky and flavorless that it may as well have been a few days stale, it was finally with the “4x Cake” that a taste of Panaderia Tricolor came to an end, the Chocolate Cake and Cheesecake relatively par for the course while smooth Flan and sopping-wet Tres Leches were both about as good as they come in Las Vegas, another visit to try each on their own probably necessary at some point in the near future.
TWO AND A HALF STARS: Discovered as part of what has become a fun attempt to find the best Tres Leches Cake in Sin City, that title still belonging to Drago Sister’s on South Rainbow, Panaderia Tricolor has a lot to offer at a good price with excellent customer service, though the quality of several items previously enjoyed elsewhere was unfortunately a little inconsistent.
RECOMMENDED: Corn Pudding, 4x Cake, Salvadoran Quesadilla.
AVOID: Guava Besos, Cherry Turnover.
TIP: (702) 646-0068 for custom cakes. 6a-8p Seven Days a Week.
WHAT THE STARS MEAN: 5 World Class, 4 Excellent, 3 Good, 2 Fair, 1 Poor.