El Gallo Bakery: 60th Anniversary Celebration

LA Magazine recently did a story on the “top 20” bakeries of Los Angeles. As usual, their tastes run a bit skewed from mine and squarely on the side of the American taste for desserts and sweets, so no Mexican Panaderias made the list. I had a friend who was crazy into baking and she didn’t “understand” pan dulce, since she was comparing it to cakes and pies and thought it wasn’t sweet enough. I tried to explain the concept and offered her some fresh examples from El Gallo, but it was of no use. I’d offer some to LA Mag but I expect the results might be the same.

It’s okay though, I don’t make my eating decisions based on that magazine. And for 60 years, neither have many East Los residents that have considered this the go-to bakery for pan dulce and a good source for teleras, that required pan for a proper torta.

I stopped by today for a quick look at their 60th year celebration. Click ahead for a few pics.

The Sheriffs closed off the block to let the party happen car free!

I was really there just to get some 10 cent conchitas, and of course some elotes, my favorite. That would be the bread, not the veggie. Looks like I wasn’t the only one, the line was out the door…

…and into the parking lot! Yikes. Uhh, maybe I’ll come back when the line gets shorter.

These piñatas were going out, the party store next door seemed to be doing brisk business.

I think the Gallo Bakery family owns quite a bit of property on this stretch of Brooklyn, including the plaza and cafe across the street. Inside of this space was where all the free food was happening. I got invited to sign up for food and a raffle but I was only going to be here for a short bit, I’m just waiting for the bread line to shrink.

Hmm, it’s still there. I’ll wait a little more.

I love that they planned this party on a day when everyone else is talking about Souper Bowl Sundaes or something along those lines. I need to someday try one of these soupy ice cream desserts, hopefully they’re not too sweet. The party store was selling some oddly shaped piggy banks, the pirate one looked okay but I’m still working on my current cochinito.

Frijolitos, a children’s book publisher had a display. That’s Albondiga the Mariachi Dog.

Okay, time to get my pan dulce. WTF? The line is still out the door. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to come back during a non celebration day.

I wonder if I can make a torta on sourdough bread….

9 thoughts on “El Gallo Bakery: 60th Anniversary Celebration

  1. I read the LA Magazine and was equally disappointed that none of the bakeries from the Eastside made it to the list. That’s ok, more bread for us. Have you had the bread from Las Dos Aguilas (Whittier and Leonard)? It is very decent and I think a bit underrated.

    Ps. you can make a torta ahogado with sourdough rolls — the type of birotes for ahogadas is like a sourdough bread. Be brave and try tortas ahogadas.

    pps. Chagos Ahogadas in East LA makes great ahogadas.

  2. We must have missed you El Chavo ’cause we stopped by for a lil’ while too, around 2 to 3. However, we didn’t encounter a big line at the bakery because they had already sold out of their special 3 conchas for 10 cents. (hehe, I just said conchas) However, we did get some free comida across the street in the Gallo Plaza. It was cool because we ran in to my mother’s comadres and sat and ate with them. After wards, we (my ruca and I) went to the back where they had the live music and more vendors. A young girl maybe 13 or 14 was singing with a live Mariachi at the time. Sabes que? she was pretty good and the people listening agreed. When she was done with her performance, her “manager” announced that they had free cds & T-shirts to give out. He was not even done with his announcement before the first people jumped up out of their seats, viejas y chiquillos alike, and started mobing and reaching for the free goods. I had the luck of standing right next to a vendor who was right next to the dude giving out the stuff. People were like pushing and shoving moving the vendor’s table. I wanted a cd but the plight of the vendor overtook my self interest and I had to make like a levee against the rising tide of the overly eager gente. He finally ran out and people moved away to form an autograph line. Ay Que Raza! Douhp! i didn’t get her name. We then split the scene to go have some of those superbowels sundaze at a place called John’s Pad. I was rooting for a 1st time Cardinal covered quadruple scoop winner but was served at the last minute a stale steeler flavored six pack.

  3. I got there way too late, round 3 p.m. I didn’t even get any conchas 🙁 I did get some free margaritas though and met up with some great people handing out B&B. Plus the bands that played later on were awesome. I wanted to dance soo bad, but I can’t dance worth squat.

  4. It’s been a while since I’ve had some pan dulce (Christmas day I think). Anyway, I never thought of the difference between American tastes for sweets and Mexican taste. I guess I can do both just fine. I though LA Magazine’s omission was lame, not that I expect much from them. In fact, I was hoping they wouldn’t highlight an Eastside panadería just so I could feel better about not liking the magazine.

    Oh… as for American tastes in sweets, I think the cupcake fad is lame. Half the cupcakes sold by these trendy bakeries are unedible to me. They put on way too much icing. It’s wasteful to me. Anyone else feel this way?

  5. Yes! Thank you Cindy. There’s like this big blob of highly sweetened fat on top of some nice little bit o’cake. I think desserts can be great with a little more sublety than that. A little too indulgent for me. I always knock off about 90% of the icing before I eat it. Someone I know told me that cupcakes mostly appeal to self-indulgent, low-self control females who are feeling slightly depressed. (I don’t know if I would go as far as stating that as a general fact). anyway……
    As for MY preferences for more American taste desserts:
    -PIES are awesome
    -DONUTS are great (you must know about Stan’s pb&j donuts in Westwood-right?)
    -Pineapple upside down cake- yum

    I’ll stop now. I need to go to the kitchen…………..

  6. you guys are making me hungry! We were out of town and missed the party but it looks like fun. Personally I prefer La Fama, but El Gallo is pretty tasty. The first time I had pan dulce I had a hard time with the concept being a huero myself, but now I like it a lot. I get cravings for the little cochinitos all the time. Fresh Conchas are amazing too.

    What’s the little place in Boyle Heights on either 1st or 3rd street? I like their pan dulce a lot too.

  7. Yeah Cindy, cupcakes are cute and all but… bleecch! They are way too sweet with all that frivolous frosting. I don’t get the modern American palate of extreme sweetness. It’s worse with vegan pastries, for some reason these are always more sugary than normal.
    And Al, I agree with you, pies are the best. Have you tried Edie’s (LA Eastsider) apple pies? Double yum!

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