Yesterday my husband completed his first triathalon. Great achievements call for great meals, so I made a trip to La Esperanza on Franklin Boulevard to stock up for our celebratory party. One of my true guilty pleasures, La Esperanza sells all the Mexican food items I love – by the pound. A glass case at the back of the store is piled high with greasy, delicious hunks of hot carnitas (I bought a multi-pound bagful for the family) – you can also purchase gluttonous amounts of fresh tamales, beans, rice and salsa. Then I went a few doors down to La Esperanaza bakery, a fantasyland of Mexican pastries. Always packed on the weekends, this colorful bakery’s aromas waft all the way out to the far reaches of the parking lot. I picked up a bag of conchas, puffed yeasted sweet buns scored with a swirly shell pattern; and elotes, cute, hollow yellow pastries shaped like ears of corn, with lovely sweet-cinnamony centers. The ensuing feast was gratefully devoured by our new (and ravenous) triathalete.
La Esperanza Mexican Food, 5028 Franklin Boulevard, Sacramento; (916) 456-0631
La Esperanza Bakery, 5044 Franklin Boulevard, Sacramento; (916) 455-0215