Kasalta is one the most popular bakeries and cafeterias in San Juan. Kasalta’s large parking lot is a puzzle in itself. The well-managed lot is monitored by an umbrella covered attendant who ushers patrons into designated parking spots to prevent traffic issues.
Kasalta is loved by the San Juan community and they are very proud that President Obama visited. Kasalta features a large photo poster of Obama paying for his meal at the beginning of the line to order.
There is an uncanny semblance between Kasalta and North End Boston’s Mike’s Pastry. Mike’s has pictures and bragging rights that Bill Clinton visited. We joked that we should start writing a book trying all the restaurants and hotels that the current President and previous Presidents have stayed at.
Kasalta has a large deli case with a vast selection of cheeses and sliced meats.
Kasalta’s frosted cakes are decadent and topped with chocolate, oreos and strawberries.We were amused by the variety of colorful fruit and nut cakes and chocolate cake.We were impressed by the intricately molded chocolates were a rainbow of hues and designs.
The carne and pollo (beef and chicken) empanadas looked super flakey and were very popular amongst the locals.
Similar to an Italian pastry store, there were slices of strawberry and chocolate mousse slices and other individually sliced cream cakes.One of our favorite breads are the Mallorca bread. Buttery, soft and dusted in powdered sugar. Amazing when melted cheese is in the center for a salty and sweet mix.Kasalta sells two of Puerto Rico’s favorite local rums, Don Q and Ron del Barralito Rum (not Bacardi).
We enjoyed the concentrated coffee flavor of the Cafe con Leche and a Frita Cubana ($7.50) sandwich. The chorizo burger with fried shoe string potatoes, onion and a special sauce had great flavor and dripped some lightly red chorizo juice onto the crispy potatoes. We enjoyed a similar sandwich in Little Havana, Miami at El Rey de Las Fritas. Kasalta’s was even better.
My favorite Latin sandwich is chorizo a la plancha con queso ($9.95). The grilled chorizo and melted swiss cheese is perfect as a sandwich. Although we have tried making them at home (BMH chori pan), Kasalta’s pressed sandwich, melted swiss and lightly charred chorizo was bar none the best ever eaten.
The Coca de Sardinas is an Easter pie which is filled with sardines, pepper and a pizza-like crust. The coca itself was very colorful. II am a fair weather sardine fan and although I thought the pie was good, but not my preference.