Gilbert's began in 1962 after the family bakery in Camagüey was seized by the Castro government. Family members fled to Miami to rebuild, starting with a place on Douglas Road at SW 16th Street. Today the ship is steered by Gilberto Arriaza Jr., who oversees a vast production operation that keeps the streets flooded with croquetas and guava-packed pastries. Yet it's true strength, and Arriaza's passion, is keeping alive the culinary traditions of Cuba that have faded as the country has sunk into economic hardship and the exile community has built a new life. Case in point is the menesier de pollo ($1.25). A flaky pie-dough-style crust is folded around shredded chicken prepared like ropa vieja. Once out of the oven, it's cooled, and a quick slick of sugar syrup gives it a chrome-like shine. Its depth and complexity, combined with an addictive sweet-savory flavor combination, make it a pastry like no other.