Tommy Morales and his crew at Lupita’s Bakery can do anything, or so it seems. Tamales, gorditas – things that have nothing to do with pastries are still worthwhile.
But that assumes you can get past the selection of treats. Breads swirled with strawberry or pineapple that are airy and only vaguely sweet, so the fruit and dusting of coconut stand out. Intriguing dry and crumbly cookies somehow dissolve effortlessly. Fruit-filled empanadas are large enough for a meal. There is an evident restraint with sugar, so the curdled note of yeast in a sweet bread, for example, rises to balance the malty flavor of the dough. Even the sesame seeds dotting to crust play a role.
One of the better expressions of their baking talent is an eclair-like pastry that sometimes appears on the shelf, split and sandwiching a peanut butter filling. Although sturdy, the pastry is delicate, with a genteel nutty character and flutter of sweetness. You steady yourself for a heavy dose of peanut butter to follow, but the filling is instead an ethereal moment of bliss.
The kitchen whips peanut butter and cream into weightless fluff, its hefty flavor just a mellow memory.
LUPITA’S BAKERY, 1048 Broadway Ave., Seaside. 394-0188, lupitasbaking.com