As much as I love the diversity of the Westchase culinary scene it is hard to get myself out of the Heights sometimes and make that 15 minute trek down I-10. It means I am sure to get myself a) almost killed by a texting driver and b) get pulled over for speeding. This means I limit trips to times when I am in need of Pheonicia supplies. Having heard tales of a Venezuelan bakery just down Westheimer, I was anxious to take my Venezuelan boyfriend for a healthy does of food from the motherland.
While located in the usual strip mall that defines western Houston, the bakery was set back from the street and has a small but pleasant courtyard that it shares with the businesses next door. Immediately upon entering we are struck with the incomparable aroma of freshly baked goods mingling with pastry and espresso. The Venezuelan ladies behind the counter welcome us like family and ramble excitedly about their offerings. Wrapped up in the atmosphere we proceed to order half the menu, forgetting that we are paying in USD and not Bolivares. We order a few cachitos, a minced ham filled brioche-like pastry, a dozen tequenos, Venezuelan friend cheese, a baguette for later and a couple cappuccinos. When the total rings out at $21, it is pretty shocking.
I would not go so far as to say that it is overpriced, because the quality is top notch, but with the ample Mexican bakeries filled to the brim with $1 croissants, it is difficult to justify. I would gladly pay far more to produce that smile on my face my expat boyfriend gets when he’s warmly reminded of home, but would have a hard time recommending this place to any non-Venezuelanos. Which is not a problem, since there are plenty of them in the Energy Corridor to keep Tuttopane tutto pan-ing for quite some time.
Pros: authentic Venezuelan bakery
Cons: they forgot they were charging $ and not bolivares