In the innocence of youth, we could be duped into believing that a pastelito is a pastelito, is a pastelito. But once our taste buds evolved past Little Debbie Snacks and 7-Eleven nachos, we could no longer be satisfied with mediocre gastronomic experiments.
Then one day while strolling down the rows of shelves at the West Dade Regional Library, we took a pastelito de queso from a food cart. It came from La Suiza Bakery.
Wow. We devoured quite a few of the croquetas, empanadas, and of course, one more pastelito de queso. Then we headed over to the actual bakery.
La Suiza is old school. There are neighborhood viejitos perched on counter stools and seated at the three small tables in the corner. There are also the employees from the surrounding businesses who come in for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon pick-me-ups. The Starbucks in the same shopping center is empty by comparison, and with reason.
Aside from creating perfect pastelitos and savory soups, La Suiza's prices are dirt cheap. And we mean dirt. Although it offers well-made sandwiches ($2.10 to $5) and decent breakfast platters ($2.90 to $5.75), it would be completely insane to visit La Suiza for such mundane and ubiquitous grub. The pastelitos ($0.60 to $1.65) are where it's at. There is a second runner-up though, which is the thick and hearty ajiaco ($2.50), a stew made with about three different kinds of meat, starchy tropical vegetables, and corn. Although the ajiaco is really, really good, we recommend you order pastries and take the soup to go. For $20, a group of four can order enough pastries to stuff their faces and still have a bocadito or two left over. And this has become our Sunday morning ritual. And it is good.
It's open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sundays from 6:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.
La Suiza Bakery
8566 SW Eighth Street, Miami
*We must warn you, La Suiza is very difficult to find. We suggest you GPS it if you can. If not, look for the empty Starbucks on 85th Avenue and SW Eighth Street, turn into the Festival Plaza, and make your way the to the furthest southwest corner of the shopping center.