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Universal Bakery [San Francisco] - La Lengua Chronicles Part 13

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Date Dined: 6/16/12

My parents are in town, and wanted to take part in the Chronicles, so we decided to check out Universal Bakery. I hadn't ever stepped inside this place before, so I hadn't realized that it's a restaurant as well as a bakery....you order at the counter, but there's a full menu of Guatemalan dishes, and tables to sit at.

Fried sweet plantain w/ crema: Perfectly fine, and the plantain was sweet

Chicken tamale: Wrapped in banana leaf, the tamale was a bit on the soft side, but the chicken on the inside was still moist and tender.

Pache: We ended up eating one of these, then ordering a second one because we liked it so much. I had never eaten a pache before, but it's much like a tamale, but made with potato instead of corn masa. The filling contained chicken (with a different flavoring from the tamale, which included cinnamon) and a jalapeno pepper....the bites closest to the chile ended up being quite spicy! These are also wrapped in banana leaves. The person who took our order said that it's typical to eat paches (and tamales) with some French rolls, so we got a hard french roll to go with these.

The bread was fine, and other baked goods looked fine too, but I'd probably mostly come back for the paches.

After our small lunch, we bought a few things at El Ahorro next door, and got to try the chicharron, which had been freshly made. Really crispy and good. See more about El Ahorro here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/844136

Universal Bakery
3458 Misson Street (@ Cortland

)

La Lengua Chronicles: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/838611
Dave MP

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  1. The pache was great! I think (actually, I'm certain) I ate more than my fair share. The texture was pillowy and light--I was a little afraid that it would be gummy, but not at all. I would definitely return to pick up a pache as a quick bite or snack.