>> Café con Pan Bakery II | Eat the World NYC

25 February 2020

Café con Pan Bakery II


In the world of chain operations, Café con Pan is the type the city needs. This location is the second of three, a company that originated in Sunset Park, Brooklyn about ten years ago but has spread to two spots in Staten Island since. Currently in its sixth year of business, this panaderia and pasteleria makes a lot more than baked goods and sweets.

Café con Pan exists at a really exciting time on Port Richmond Avenue in Elm Park, a stretch that gets more and more interesting with every visit. Its many tables might not seem busy at most times, but in just a few minutes you realize it is a very active place. People are in and out quickly, grabbing sweet breads or tamales and tortas mostly for takeout.

In the dining area, those chairs and tables are all so colorful, each painted differently with scenes from rural life mixed in with cathedrals, horses, and men playing music around a fire. The barstools each have a scene from a movie. The bar is loaded up with alcohol, but early in the day at least it does not see much action.

While deciding what to get, the large family that had come in just before went straight for the tongs to grab pan dulce. To make a lunch decision easier, a danish and coffee was ordered to follow suit and give a bit more time. The shop has a logo that looks a lot like this order, so it confirmed it was a proper first move.

Café con pan.

If you grab a menu, you get a sense of the massive amount of cooking the place does in addition to their many racks of breads, cakes, and cookies. A full range of antojitos as well as soups and weekend special exist alongside the torta section, which is 30 deep!

Two tamales ($2 each, below) started this meal, of which the rajas con queso was the winner. Plenty of cheese worked well to smooth the masa and keep it moist, something the verde was lacking.

Tamal verde de pollo/tamal de rajas con queso


A few of many cookies

As other families had come in to request custom cakes for future parties, the next course of this meal was decided to be the pozole con 2 tostadas ($12, below). This pork and hominy soup was deeper and richer than usual with ample amounts of oregano and rosemary. The tender meat was delicious. The only thing missing was some ground red pepper, which does not appear to be available to spice up the soup.

The two tostadas come completely plain except for a squirt of crema on top. This is a bit different than most restaurants around town, which serve a more "complete" tostada with beans, lettuce, and cheese as well alongside the soup. This allows you to combine bites easier and eat them with the pozole rather than simply as a side.

When it was finally time to attack that list of tortas, the torta mixta ($11, below) won the lottery, a sandwich packed with three meats (chicken tinga, bacon, and ham) as well as two types of cheese, beans, lettuce, avocado, and jalapeño. All of these ingredients were excellent.

What held it back, somewhat surprisingly for the setting, was the bread. It appeared as if the bread was once good, but was it old now and reheated, possibly in a microwave? While this was disappointing, surely a next time would have fresh bread?

The torta should not be written off just by one attempt. If you have had an experience good or bad, please let everyone know in the comments, and of course the article will be updated when another torta is eaten soon.

Or will it be that chipotle torta burger full of quesillo they advertise?

ELM PARK Staten Island
Café Con Pan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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