Dear PoPville – What smells so damn good around Meridian Pint?

“Dear PoPville,

Any idea where the intoxicating cupcake-like smell comes from, late at night, on 11th, around where Meridian Pint is? Seriously it’s killing me.”

This question comes up every year or so. I was just admiring the smell the other night! It’s the El Latino Bakery at 3314 11th St, NW. And they now have a Website:

“El Latino Bakery has been hand crafting the sweetes breads from central america for over a decade. We are committed to serving great central american breads and pastries, made from scratch, right in our stores, every day. We use only the finest natural ingredients – no preservatives or imitation flavors.”

19 Comment

  • OMG thank you for this! I have been dying from the belgium waffle smell! do they only sell to stores or can you actually purchase directly from them? the website is entirely uniformative . . .

  • You can buy their products at the local bodegas, including across the street at the slummy mart on Lamont and 11th. BTW, don’t let the intoxicating smell fool you– they’re not baking cupcakes in there. Their products are very dry, bland and not very appealing (IMO).

    • the unfortunate thing about this bakery is the products are meant to sit on the shelves forever. go to 14th and monroe for real latino bake goods.

    • Very true. It’s hard to believe that such an intoxicating smell results in poducts that are so dry, flavorless, and terrible. But that is just to say they are authentic central american baked goods, which in general are dreadful. It’s like eating sawdust cakes, basically. If you really want to vomit, try a central american birthday cake. Think stacked wonderbread slices, soaked with a mixture of undisolved sugar crystals in water, iced with mayonaise mixed with sugar, topped with gilstening, gelatinized fruit chunks. You’re welcome!

      • the worst cakes in the world have to be Kyivski Tort – the nastiest thing to come out of the Soviet Union besides gulags. At least these cakes smell good while baking.

      • Anonymous, 10:42 am nominated for ignorant comment of the day! Just because American sweets are overly sugary and packed with preservatives doesn’t mean all Central american pastries are dry, flavorless and “terrible”. As someone who thoroughly enjoys cupcakes and brownies, I also enjoy semitas de piña, marquezote, salporas and quesadillas (not the Mexican kind). Especially when they’re just out of the oven… yum!

  • Reading that sign too quickly might give one the impression that they are selling panda meat. Which is extremely delicious, but highly illegal and about the rarest meat you’ll ever taste.

  • Yeah, I asked/answered that same question last year. I used to just wonder what it was, but one day, I just decided to follow my nose like Toucan Sam, and I found the bakery.

  • They do sell products to the public, but they don’t have a sales counter. You just walk in & ask for what you want. And like all central american sweets they are not as sweet as american desserts, but they are tasty in my opinion. I encourage you to try the Queso Cake – it is my favorite. Particularly good with a cup of tea mid-afternoon.

  • Mmmm I smell this all the time when I run by. So good!

  • I just like how people smell a bakery and assume it’s cupcakes being prepared. Ugh.

    • And I love how just because nothing that they bake tastes like a cupcake or a pack of Twinkies, that it’s all suddenly awful.

  • Thanks for solving this mystery! My bike commute home ends with this wonderful cinnamon bun smell and I end up ravenous.

  • I regularly walk between my house in Sherman Circle and my office on 13th and L St, NW and think it’s entirely unfair to have to smell the amazing scents coming out of the bakery each afternoon. In the morning I have to contend with the amazing smells of breakfast coming out of the FL AVE diner, which makes it hard to stay on a diet.

  • Seriously! I used to live at 11th and Lamont for 3 years and almost every time I passed by there it smelled like amazing pastry products.

  • Thank god, I thought I was having a stroke…I walked by here after I left the gym ….. I called my girlfriend and told her I’ve been having phantom smells because there was no bakery in sight….

  • tterrag

    I wonder why they went with one “l” in the URL and not two.

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