I recently returned to local bakery that I enjoy, La Monarca. I want to share it with you, in case you also have an interest and find enjoyment in discovering and visiting local bakeries. If you live in Southern California, and have not tried this bakery yet, I have included a link to find the several locations nearby. You’ll see link at the end of this post.
La Monarca is a pleasant place to grab coffee and a sweet, whether meeting friends or going solo. My husband and I have even been known to come here for a hot chocolate break on a busy Saturday in the winter. But more about that later.
I did a little research on the La Monarca website to find out more about this bakery. Here’s what was said to help frame our understanding:
La Monarca Bakery’s founders grew up enjoying the rich variety of cakes, pastries and breads which are household staples in Mexico. They created La Monarca Bakery to bring The Sweet Flavor of Mexico™ to the U.S. Our products are made with all-natural fresh ingredients, without the use of lard, frying or artificial preservatives.
There’s a whole lot to like about that! Bakeries with a different cultural tradition are interesting. I learn and become familiar with treats new to me, a Midwest girl. Using “fresh ingredients” appeals to me, too.
I think it is fun to go in, grab a little tray and some tongs, and find your goodness. Scan the display and pick something interesting. Then go to the cashier to order any hot food or coffee.
I am exploring the different pastries, new to me, on a quest to find my favorites. This is a long term goal. Currently, my favorite in the Pan Dulce display are the tacos or Taquito de Crema, Guayaba (or guava), or Con Queso (or with cheese). I like any of those three fillings wrapped in a flaky crust. I also like anything with cinnamon.
Sometimes I accompany the treat with a more sensible slice of Quiche Rajas, with peppers, corn, and cheese, to balance out with a bit of protein. The peppers are mild, not spicy, at least to me. I am a light weight when it comes to heat. Top it all off with a cup of coffee, and I’m all set to take a seat.
But before I sit down to wait for my hot food, I always carefully peruse the beautiful cakes on display, delightful to look at and no calories! No calories in just looking, that is.
The ambiance at our local La Monarca is fresh and clean, with an exposed brick wall, wooden tables and benches, and industrial steel stools. The music is energetic to add a pleasant Latin flavor. I have not been to other locations yet to compare.
I recommend trying their specialty coffee, Cafe de Olla! This coffee is described on their menu as custom Mexican spiced coffee with a blend of spices, brown sugar and organic Oaxacan dark roast coffee. I find the flavor mild and delicious in an interesting way. I do not like flavored coffee. However, I do enjoy this coffee occasionally, since the flavor is tasty and light, complimenting the coffee, not competing.
Also, this bakery supports the Monarch butterfly. We can sign and post a flyer for $1. La Monarca sends all proceeds to their partner ECOLIFE Conservation and the Monarch Butterfly conservation program. This is an important cause since those easily recognizable and majestic butterflies are in trouble, and the numbers have really decreased in recent years.
Did I mention the hot chocolate? I know it is 91 degrees today where i live, but cooler weather will be here again one day. We need to be ready! They offer Mexican hot chocolate with organic cocoa, brown sugar, and cinnamon, whip cream and a sprinkle of crushed peanuts. They also offer a traditional champurrado, and I have to try that some time this winter. If you know what it is, you’ll probably want to try it, too. If you do not know what that is, maybe you should try it to find out. Doesn’t talking about hot chocolate at least remind you of days with cooler temperatures, even though it has been a hot summer?
Do you have any local favorite bakeries to share about in the comments? Please do!
Stay charming, my friends!