One of the fondest memories from my childhood is my grandfather bringing us freshly baked bread as well as varied cured meats for Sunday breakfast from his favorite panadería (bakery). There is nothing more Puerto Rican than the ritual of visiting panaderías. It is the ideal setting to enjoy a nice chat with friends and family or to simply relax with a nice cup of coffee and read the newspaper. Ask any Puerto Rican about their favorite panadería and a heated debate will most surely ensue.
Well known among locals and tourists alike is one of my go-to panaderías in the metropolitan area: La Ceiba. The bakery offers authentic Spanish pastries, sweets, and tapas, as well as a variety of sandwiches.
Last week, I decided to make a quick stop at La Ceiba for breakfast. As I waited in line, I could see the mouthwatering display of pastries they have for sale.
I typically order the medianoche (midnight sandwich) when I visit La Ceiba, but this time I wanted to try something different, so I ordered the bocata original (baguette with thin slices of Serrano ham and Manchego cheese). I also ordered two ham croquettes, since a visit to La Ceiba is never complete without them.
The bocata was simple and delicious. I particularly enjoyed it because it combines some of my favorites, Serrano ham (YUMMY!) and Manchego cheese (NOM NOM) served on a freshly baked baguette that is perfectly crusty on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. As usual, the ham croquettes did not disappoint and left me wanting more.
Overall, La Ceiba offers a welcoming environment with great food that is sure to keep you coming back for more. So next time you are in the area, make sure you stop by La Ceiba and let me know if you enjoyed it.