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Portos Bakery

The potato balls, the potato balls, the potato balls!

They taste almost identical to Grandma Gold's meat knishes. Crispy fried outside, soft potato underneath, seasoned ground beef cener. I'm addicted.

Kidlet likes the creme caramel.

What else is good there?

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  1. I like the Midnight Sandwich...

    and the cakes are wonderful (my favorites are the triple mousse and the chocolate grand marnier.

    The cheese rolls are good as are the strawberry cheese danish....

    really good (and cheap) chocolate chip cookies too!

    1. I love their savories... the potato balls, meat pies and croquettes! :) Hmmm... :)


      1. The Mango Mousse cake is sooooo good

        1. I love the potato balls and the meat pies too =) Wish there was one closer to LA.

          1. The little tres leches cup with cake soaked in ... stuff... is delightful. A little meringue on top, too. Anything with meringue! The guava cheese strudel. I second the mango mousse. Wish I could third it myself because it's heavenly. The chocolate croissant can be good though it's not always perfectly tender. I am confused by the set up at the new Burbank Porto's, which may be closer to you than Glendale.

            Can't say I recommend the sandwiches but lots of people like them. I say too much bread and not enough contents. Kinda institutional.

            1. I like the sweets that they make with a sweet cheese filling and guava paste. They also make them straight with the guava paste.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ickster

                Yes! The cheese-guava danish thingies!! One of my colleagues brings them in from time to time, and they are SO good. I have to say I was underwhelmed by the cuban sandwich.

                1. re: CynD

                  They're not cheese-guava danish thingies!! They're called Guava & Cheese Strudel (a.k.a. "Refugiado"), Cheese Roll.

              2. Couldn't agree more on the Potato Balls, exceptionally delish. I also like the savory. I can't remember if it's called an empanada? It's like a mini empanada, and I love the one with the chorizo filling. I really like the Lechon --roast pork sandwich. Roasted pork, grilled onions, and some kind of garlicy spead --perfect combination. The sandwiches, which couldn't be cheaper, also come with the mariquitas (sp) plantain chips.

                1. They have this orange candy-coated cocunut things. Not sure what they are called, but really good.

                  Also-surprisingly- the cafe cubano is not to be missed. For a bakery, a busy one at that, really nice espresso.

                  1. I like the guava cheese and the plain cheese pastries. They also make great tiramisu. My hubby works near the glendale one and they always get their company cakes form there so sometimes he brings the leftovers home. They have a good tropical fruit topped cake that's really fresh tasting, and we like the grandmarnier cake and the chocolate mousse cake. The raspberry white chocolate cake is good too, although I've only had it once.

                    I haven't tried the sandwiches.

                      1. re: jackattack

                        Can't agree with this more, especially with everyone gushing over this place. Porto's is inexpensive and has a lot of different decent eats - but nothing worthwhile for a true chowhound.

                        1. re: jackattack

                          Can't agree with you more, jackattack. Their pastries are okay, but the savories I've tried so far are just plain awful.

                          1. re: usrnmna

                            So we're resurrecting a three-year-old thread?

                            I like Porto's. Do you consider the Meat Pies and Potato Balls awful?

                        2. Yum! I love portos, their mango cheese cake is not to be missed. they also have a pinapple coconut dessert that is really good. I also love the tres leches. And of course the sandwiches and potato balls are yum yum yum! The new Burbank location is really big and they serve you pretty quickly. And everything is so fresh.

                          1. Definitely those potato balls... and the guava-cheese strudels (which, for those who care, are called "refugios" and pronounced "ray-FOO-hyoss")... but my secret addiction is the chocolate croissants, especially when they're still warm (or when re-warmed).

                            1. I've lived in Glendale for five years now, and have been to Porto's many many times.

                              For a party(large or small) the fruit tart tastes great and looks fantastic. I'm also a fan of their cheesecake, its not too sweet.

                              1. Try the Cuban sandwich at Havana Mania in Manhattan Beach. It is so good, with plenty of pork, cheese, and pickles.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: fizbo1221

                                  Try the cuban sandwich at The Havana Sandwich Company in El Segundo! I prefer it over Havana Mania

                                2. Love the pear croissants and the apricot and cheese...and those little mango turnovers are great. All cakes are great, and they make amazing chocolate chip cookies, but are almost always out of them. They are not crunchy, but are soft and poofy, almost like scones.

                                  1. I was not impressed at all with Porto's. I didn't try any of their bakery stuph but the cuban sandwich was the worst I have had. I would never go back again

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Tari

                                      OK, Do U have a better suggestion for Cuban patries in and around the SFV/SGV? Better than Portos??? If so please share! I think thier success speaks for itself.

                                      1. re: Ollie

                                        Well I have a suggestion for a better cuban sandwich, and that is La Bamba up on Glenoaks in Burbank.

                                        As for their potato balls, they're okay I guess if you dig fried betty crocker potato buds.

                                        1. re: Ollie

                                          I am not knocking their pastries. As you see in my post, I never tried the pastries. My post was about their cuban sandwich.

                                      2. definitely the cheese rolls - warmed up - and only 60 cents each, they are very good.

                                        1. The media noche (midnight sandwich) is almost as good as the real thing in Miami (I haven't been to Cuba, but Miami is only 30 miles away!) Also have the ham croquettas and the potato balls are good. They also make great plantain chips (they come with the sandwiches) but order them on the side if you're with a group and they serve it with a garlic sauce. Very good stuff.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: cincodemayo1

                                            I love the potato balls and the pastries, esp the guava-cheese refugios, but the Cuban sandwich isn't that great compared to others that I've had.

                                            However, no one has mentioned the pan de bistec - a steak sandwich with garlic sauce, onion, and tomato that in my opinion is really excellent.

                                          2. Dissapointed with their Cuban sandwich, my second visit I had their pastrami and it was perfect. The roll was just the right texture, perfect amount of pastrami, sauce, pickles, muy deliciosooooo! I think I found The One.

                                            1. My mother took us to Porto's since we were knee high. Quality has been consistent. It does irk me that the potato balls have slowly gotten smaller, I remember when 1 would satisfy me, now I need up to 4.

                                              My fav sandwich is also the Medio Noche, but the Pan con Lechon is running a close second, with the mojo sauce and pan juices all soaked up in the bread, and the sweetness of the grilled onions. The ham croquettes are great... also in sandwich form.

                                              I also think they make better hot/cold espresso drinks better than starbucks, coffee bean and pete's.

                                              1. Porto's is wonderful. My favorite is, like many others, the guava & cheese strudel. I also like the apple strudel, the mango and pineapple pies, the florentines, and the macaroons. I haven't tried any cakes, doughnuts or croissants.

                                                I did try their Cuban sandwich and that was a disappointment.

                                                1. What else is good there? In my opinion, nothing. However, that doesn't bother me. I regularly drive 30 minutes there just for the potato balls. They are incredible.

                                                  The mochas used to be great before the expansion. I think they got a new machine which has somehow altered the taste.

                                                  1. The cheese rolls.

                                                    I live and work in the Bay Area, and my co-employees are mostly foodies. I was in LA and brought back 50 cheese rolls... left them in the kitchen and I got these comments back in email:

                                                    > OMGosh...these are the most delicious treats I have
                                                    > ever tasted and I don't throw those words around freely.

                                                    > Thanks; that was ridiculous!

                                                    Also lots of people stopping by my desk to say how great they are.

                                                    I'd concur. Of course, your mileage may vary. ;)

                                                    1. Chorizo empanada!

                                                      As an LA newbie, I was totally impressed by this place. Didn't know it, looked like fast food/bakery outside, happened to be in the area, needed lunch, walked in expecting blah blah and got Cuban yum yum. For what it is, I'd like one near me (Weho). and will go back when I'm on Magnolia and not heading to Chili John's (usually my reason for being in Burbank).

                                                      1. OMG! I would fly from Boston to LA in a HEARTBEAT to get more of Porto's Refugiado's!!!! My husband and I were visiting LA two weeks ago and found Porto's (my husband is Cuban) and we now wish we'd bought WAY more of them than we did. I'd just like to know if I could get them to ship them to us here in Boston! (sigh)

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: sssuzie1

                                                          What are refugiados? Google search brings up photos upon photos of forlorn looking refugees.

                                                          Mr Taster

                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                              The guava cheese thingies, and I bet they would ship -- they're taken frozen from the central factory in Irwindale to the two outposts (and anywhere else what orders them).

                                                              But you should post on the Boston board and see if you can get them locally first.