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Int'l Drink Int'l Food NYC

Pilar Opens as NYC’s First Authentic Cuban Bakery

Chef and Owner of Bed-Stuy’s popular Pilar Cuban Eatery, Ricardo Barreras, has been introducing Cuban food to New Yorkers for almost 10 years. He now brings NYC its first authentic Cuban bakery with the opening of Pilar Cuban Bakery today, Thursday, January 31.

Pilar Cuban Bakery Sign | Photo by Lily Brown

Cuban bakeries are the heart and soul of the Cuban community in Miami where Ricardo grew up, but he was surprised to find NYC lacking a proper one. Pilar Cuban Bakery is next door to the restaurant.

The bakery serves an array of savory and sweet Cuban treats throughout the day, including pastelitos or pastries with fillings ranging from ham and cheese to guava and cream cheese.

Cuban Savories

The bakery also feature croquettes and empanadas such as empanada gallega (Spanish meat pie filled with cod or chorizo), as well as Cuban tamales made with ground fresh corn, sofrito and roast pork or seafood.

Croquetas and Rellenos | Photo by Lily Brown
Empanadas | Photo by Lily Brown

Cuban Bread

Cuban bread, a soft, pillowy, white baguette, is proofed and baked in house, and available both traditional-style with lard and without.

Cuban Sandwiches

The bread stars in Pilar’s Cuban Sandwich along with smoked bone-in ham and house mojo-marinated slow roasted pork, and will also be used to make other sandwiches like:

  • The Croqueta Preparada (a Cuban with two ham croquettes)
  • The Elena Ruth (turkey, cream cheese, strawberry and guava jam)
  • The Porkinator with pork five ways – housemade chorizo, ham croquettes, ham-pimento spread, Serrano ham and chicharrones

Cuban Sweet Treats

Those with a sweet tooth can absolutley find both authentic and inspired Cuban desserts which include, Drunken Plantain Tart, Key Lime Pie, cookies like Torticas de Moron, Dulce de Leche Brownies, Tropical Layer Cake, and Red Velvet Cream Cheese Cake Flan.

Drunken Plantain Tart | Photo by Lily Brown
Dulce du Leche Brownies | Photo by Lily Brown
Key Lime Pie | Photo by Lily Brown
Red Velvet Flan | Photo by Lily Brown

Cuban Coffee is a Must

Coffee is a major part of Cuban life and Pilar Cuban Bakery will have a coffee window like the ones in Miami’s Little Havana where Cubans gather to discuss politics over coffee. For many Cubans, the day starts with a breakfast ritual – Cuban bread toasted with butter and dipped into café con leche. The bakery will also serve the group-friendly colada, sweetened shots of espresso in a vessel that allows guests to share it amongst themselves. Non-coffee drinks include Batidos (Cuban milkshakes) made with tropical fruits like papaya, mamey (sapote) and guanabana (soursop).

Pilar’s Roots

Ricardo got his start serving empanadas and Cuban sandwiches at Brooklyn Flea before he and his wife Lisbeth opened the original Pilar Cuban Eatery in a 350 square foot space on Classon Avenue in the fall of 2009. The tiny space was perpetually packed and received praise from The New York Times, among others. With such a small space and limited kitchen, Ricardo moved the restaurant in 2015 to its current space on the corner of Bedford and Greene Avenues.

Pilar Cuban Bakery is located at 397 Greene Avenue in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, right next to Pilar Cuban Restaurant. For more information, call the restaurant at (347) 350-9037 or visit it’s website at pilarny.com.

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