LAT: How long lines keep Porto's Bakery affordable — and growing

The LA Times writes:

Porto’s, a Southern California mainstay responsible for catering generations of family parties, birthdays and quinceaneras, attracts hordes of customers by selling pastries that cost about $1 but taste like you paid more.

But to make a profit, Porto’s needs to sell a lot of those pastries.

Read the full article here.

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I drove by the Glendale location today at 3:00pm and the line stretched well beyond the front door, 10-20 in line outside.

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yeah you pretty much can’t beat the QPR on this place. I bought 20 pastries for the team from Portos - $17.94

I pre-ordered 2 cronuts for myself this morning from Dominique Ansel - $12.

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Went to a party at my OC relatives today. Look what was on the table when we walked in…

Portos - Cream Cheese & Guava.

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Out of my 20 pastries purchased for the team not a single guava cheese was consumed.

@Ns1 - Hmmm… What’s up with that? They’re yummy.

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Ouch… that’s my favorite Porto’s pastry. Perhaps it was too exotic?

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One of my twisted favorite things to do is take out of town visitors to Porto’s, have them look at the glorious offerings, have them say “Oh, no, I’ll pay” and then I pick out SCADS of pastries, watch them blanch in fear - and then see them get giddy at the end bill.

As I worry about my soul, I don’t do it that often. But is is fun : )

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gr8 - but the line DOES move fast.

Oddly (and maybe it’s just me) I think it moves faster at Glendale then Burbank.

But bottom line - it’s never as truly horrible as it looks!

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i dunno…i get so confused in there. it’s so much easier to call as far in advance
as you can and pick up. that goes fairly smooth.

frankly, since i’m not a big pastry guy, i’ve never really “gotten” portos. the potato balls and meat pies
have gone way downhill, and their sandwiches were never good.

different strokes.

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20 pastries for $17.94.

Agreed on the downhill, but for <$1 still tasty.

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i hear you, i just not really going to buy those pastries at any price,
especially being a plus sized gal and all…

rather save the calories for something i really dig.

i do use porto’s for guests and such on occasion.

Sacre bleu! Their cubano is the best in the city. It wouldn’t hold a candle to places in Miami or Tampa, but I do think it’s the best we have in LA.

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Agree with your take except the plus sized gal part - average sized guy here. The QPR is unquestionably high at Portho’s, but other than the guava cheese pastries, I have yet to try anything there that I’d pay for to shove down my gullet. I’d gladly pay more for something I’d truly enjoy.

Superba Food & Bread has a guava and cheese filled croissant that is $5 but hits the spot for me. I know it’s not an exact comparison but close enough. It’s about twice the size of Portho’s guava cheese pastry, made of quality ingredients and executed better IMO. Moreover, Superba is very close. Portho’s is an excursion.

I think y’all are missing the point here - nobody goes to Portos to buy 1 of anything. Would you really buy 8 guava cheese pastries from Superba for your family/coworkers? Probably not, when you can buy 8 pastries from Portos and still have $30 leftover. I would also say that 'hounds have very different standards than most…

You should be comparing Portos to your supermarket bakery (which Portos is clearly superior in comparison), not a 1-off bakery that strives for a higher quality product.

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Actually I did get 8-10 pastries from Superba on each of the past two weekends. But that is me. And that is why for me, I really don’t see the value of Porto’s (or the supermarket equivalent) from my perspective.

I’m now at that age where I have to make value judgements on what I eat, particularly non-essential nutrition like pastries and desserts. “Is this particular food item worth the calories?” is something I’m constantly asking myself as I approach or desire to have somethimg from places like those mentioned.

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ballin!

:wink:

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I’m probably one of the few people that doesn’t care for the guava cheese pastry and goes for the cheese rolls instead. :smile:

I do think the potato balls and ham croquettes have changed for the worse. I posted about it on the “previous” board – the taste and texture of both are very different than they were a couple years ago. The ham croquettes are like a fine mince now, whereas before they were almost a pasty consistency, which I found much better. The potato balls are not as firm as they used to be – they fall part very easily and the beef filling is not as dry as before.

That being said, we still do go there, especially when we have people visiting to pick up cheese rolls, assorted savory pastries and the individual cakes and desserts like the opera cake, mini fruit tarts and the Parisian cake. My 10yo aspiring chef daughter swears their red velvet cupcake is the best around.