Dear PoP – Where’s that Delicious Smell Coming From?

“Dear PoP,

I have an odd question. I bike into work and use 11th. I get on 11th at Monroe and right around Park, every morning, it smells amazing. I smell wonderful baked goods, but I don’t see a bakery anywhere, do you know from where this wonderful smell emanates?”

I think this bakery actually came up in the comments of a post yesterday about Latino food on 14th St, NW.

It’s located right next to the take Chinese place on 11th and you’re in luck – I think a commenter says they sell to individuals. Can anyone confirm that?

28 Comment

  • They do sell to individuals (or they did a few years ago), but honestly if you ain’t into Latino breads they’re a bit of an acquired taste. For all the sweet smells, I struggled to find something that I thought tasted good there.

    • ditto. i talked to a coupla staff once after commenting on the smell and WHOA was the product disappointing.

  • seems like a missed oppurtunity. Why not add some signage and get some seats on the sidewalk

  • They have a website. Looks good.

    • You will see the girl on the website homepage, too! She is always standing just to your right when you walk in the door, busy packaging up deliciousness.

  • I think that commenter from yesterday is full of crap; I have never once seen anything for sale there and I walk by there almost on a daily basis. Maybe somebody went up and asked to buy something and they did, but that place does not sell to individuals.

    • Uhhh, no, I was not full of crap. I buy bread there twice a week, at least and I have lived in the neighborhood for years.

      At certain times of the year they have signs up in the window letting you know that they have special breads ready for that holiday. It’s a wonderful hidden gem and the people who work there are super friendly, so give it shot. It’s worth the initial intimidation to get a bag of conchas straight out of the oven!

      • my friends and I tried to purchase here on one occasion and we’re told they do not sell to individuals. maybe there’s a secret handshake?

        • Maybe you have to be know the secret handshake, be Hispanic, or maybe you have to be there at the right time, but in 3 years I have not seen a sign saying come in and buy some stuff. I can fake basic Spanish and I have not once seen anything. The people working there are nice enough but I have never seen anything indicating that anything is for sale nor have I been offered to buy anything.

  • I think that there is another secret bakery on 14th by Decateur, just north of the bus barn. I used to live up that way and would only see the place open, very early in the morning, with what appeared to be restaurant “speed racks” in the doorway. Can anyone confirm?

  • Latin American supermarket on 14th just south of Spring Road (west side of street) sells a wide variety of latino baked goods. Like Chinese baked goods, they look better than they actually are. I’m sorry, it’s not the quality of the baking, it’s the quality of the cuisine.

    • Ouch. Low blow. I happen to think that a good concha can be a thing of heaven. Sadly, I’ve never found one up here. And believe me, I’ve tried.

  • I walked in one time and for a dollar or two they sold me some of pineapple pastries. The smells are INCREDIBLE, but I am similarly situated to briefly — I am really not into the gooey sticky sweet sort of items they seem to specialize in. You won’t find any italian or french style loaves or anything of that ilk, there, so not for everyone. But they were very friendly the one time I peeked in and asked to buty something …

  • I totally had the same reaction – everyday – when I used to commute down this street. Loved the aroma. Glad the mystery’s solved.

  • They are not opened to the public but will sometimes allow a taste. They sell some of their baked goods in Mt Pleasant food store.

  • the bake goods are not that good. they are made to sit on a groceries shelf for several days and are usually stale. as i stated in a post yesterday, go to gaithersburg panaderia for fresh bake goods.

  • another 11th street kitchen confidential… on the next block in between the wine bar and bllombars… there is a place that makes the ethiopian pancakes(sorry i don’t know the real name) and sells to many of the restuarants in town. they start around 10 PM. for months, i walked my dog at night and wondered about the yeasty smell, and then one day the weather was nicer and their door was open (security gate still closed) and i saw the women inside pouring batter. and of course then the people i had always seen in the morning in front of that place putting pillow case sized bags in their trunks all made sense!

    • I don’t think place has a name, it is very generic looking. However, that building just got a facelift, as did the other shop in that building which is some sort of barbershop/hair styling place.

    • injera is the name of the bread

  • they do sell to individuals they’re english may be a bit lacking but a great opportunity to fire up the old high school spanish. I thought the pineapple empenadads are delicious…especially after popping them into the toaster for a bit

  • I went in and asked when I saw the door open one day. They will totally sell things to me! Apparently only cookies are fresh and that happens at 6am. I haven’t managed to get up that early yet.

    I do not speak Spanish and I think I figured out the secret: being nice to the people working there!

  • I have bought from there just by walking in, pointing to some pastries and asking if I could buy them. I paid in cash and went away with my tasty food!

  • “…if you ain’t into Latino breads they’re a bit of an acquired taste…I struggled to find something that I thought tasted good there.” Gee.. thank you for ripping off the bread of almost a whole continent… I wouldn’t make such blanket statements when all you have to judge for is Latino bread sold in the DC area… which is predominantly from 3 Latin American countries. My apologies if you are Latin American bread connoisseur.

    • Good lord, lighten up. Not everyone has to like everything. I also dislike Latino music (as I know of it) and love most everything else Latino (as I know of it). For the record, kugel is disgusting and I never really liked kimchi either, so go ahead and attack me on multiple levels. Can’t believe I just wasted this time responding to your foolish self.

  • I buy conchas from that bakery from time to time, you just have to poke your head in and ask. They’re not great, I’ve yet to find good pan dulce in the DC area, but they taste good enough when they’re fresh.

  • Their pastries are also sold across the street at Arthur’s if you’re not interested in discovering whether they sell to the public.

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