Brazil meets Israel at the bright and cheery new Padoca Bakery on the Upper East Side.
Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to this establishment for a complimentary meal. All opinions expressed in this post are my own
Fusing their expertise, owner Marina Halpern (The Dutch, The Mark) and pastry Chef Rachel Binder (Maialino, Savoy, Union Square Cafe) bring the perfect blend of both their cultures to this unique spot.
The menu at Padoca Bakery is based off of Halpern’s Brazilian family recipes whilst Binder (Israeli) exhibits her impressive baking skills with a gallery of tremendous eats.
Their offerings have many standouts but my absolute favorite was their signature version of the ‘Pao de Queijo’ (PDQ), which is a Brazilian cheese bread. Made with a blend yucca and cheese, this PDQ is unlike anything I have tried before. Its crispy exterior gives way to a soft, melt in your mouth interior. Its one of those things that you just cant stop eating. They offer a range of sandwiches made with this bread with fillings such as ‘Ham and Béchamel’ or ‘Tomato and Cream Cheese’.
At Padoca you can also get ‘Empadinhas’ which are a Brazilian version of mini pot pies. They come with a variety of fillings of which we sampled the artichoke and mushrooms ones (my favorite).
They also offer a full range of more traditional sandwiches, soups, and salads along with a special brunch menu on the weekends.
Their desserts are just as good as the savouries. Binder’s take on the traditional ‘Babka’ is really impressive. Just try the ‘Romeo & Juliet’ one, which combines guava and cheese!
The word Padoca means “neighborhood bakery” in Brazil and it seems like they are well on their way to endearing their way into the hearts and stomachs of the upper east side and more.
Here is some of what we ate:
Pao de Queijo (PDQ)
Pumpkin Cranberry Bread