Where have you been all my life? That was the refrain echoing in my mind as butter and sugar dripped shamelessly from my hands and chin in the parking lot of Starbread Bakery in Natomas. I knew from my first taste that I’d ignited a delicious yet dangerous carbohydrate- fueled love affair that would soon overpower my rather pitiful exercise regimen.
I am speaking, of course, of senorita bread, and any-one who’s tried it understands that I do not exaggerate its seductive power. These cigar-sized, crescentlike rolls are de- ceptively plain looking, yet they have inspired ardor among bread-crazed connoisseurs. Looking at them, you wonder: How good could they possibly be? The secret lies in their slightly caramelized bottom and the butter lurking in their doughy center. It’s bread, yes, but it’s so much more.
Starbread, the no-frills Filipino bakery that churns out these hot-from-the-oven babies, is the stuff of legend among food- ies online. It’s difficult to find a review of Starbread’s senorita bread that doesn’t mention the word addictive. One exultant blogger described it as “a gift from whatever god you believe in.” Amen, I say. In fact, I’m convinced these rolls can convert even the most stalwart gluten-free believers to born-again bread eaters.
The senorita bread is the hands-down star of Starbread, but there are plenty of supporting actors to round out the pastry case, including tender meat-filled empanadas and crispy sugar-topped biscocho, the Filipino answer to biscotti. And everything at Starbread is nicely priced; a box of 25 senorita rolls will set you back just 10 bucks.
The elderly gentleman in front of me, I was later told by the young man behind the counter, is a regular who stops in daily after lunch for his fix of senorita bread. And who could blame him? Paired with cup of coffee, it’s the perfect afternoon tryst—especially if doughnuts just don’t do it for you any- more.
2101 Natomas Crossing Drive; (916) 900-4788