While on the hunt for the perfect sandwich bread to make Pambazos (see recipe below), we stumbled upon the best Mexican bakery/panaderia! Let’s be honest – most authentic Mexican dishes are usually not found in restaurants, so to make something as special as a Pambazo you need the perfect Mexican bakery. After coming up short in the usual Denver Metro bakeries and about to give up, we noticed a beautiful storefront near a popular Mexican market called San Antonio Fresh Mexican Bakery and Juice Bar, 2007 S. Federal Blvd., Denver, Colorado. A steady stream of smiling customers carrying sacks of baked goods while simultaneously eating beautiful Mexican pastries for the road lured us curious foodies in. The store was immaculate and lined with proud display cases full of gorgeous Mexican pastries (pan dulce) and bread. The bakery screams quality, craftsmanship, heart, pride, care, and hard work.
Owner, Francisco Ramirez, opened San Antonio Fresh Mexican Bakery and Juice Bar in January after years of hard work. His dream bakery is quickly gaining a reputation for the freshest quality products and the most authentic variety in town. Customer demand has been so amazing it has led to expansion plans for a comfortable seating area cafe for coffee and sandwiches; and daily baking for markets and restaurants to ensure the bakery’s signature freshness.
Francisco has come a long way to bring Denver the best Mexican pastries, breads, and cakes. At the age of 11, he began baking with a master baker in his hometown of Zacatecas, Mexico. He moved his family to Denver from Zacatecas in 1994 to pursue a better life for his wife and college education opportunities for their children. Upon moving to Denver, he worked as a welder and a baker at Panaderia Rosales, another popular bakery, to save enough money to open the bakery. During that time, he also perfected and fine tuned his authentic Mexican recipes for our climate and altitude. Francisco even built his beautiful oven and display cases by hand using his welding skills. This past November he was featured on CNN as a new US citizen and voting in the 2012 election.
Go enjoy! Let true Coolsville Colorado local Francisco Ramirez and his San Antonio Fresh Mexican Bakery and Juice Bar find your heart through his amazing tasty fresh Mexican pastries and breads. San Antonio Fresh Mexican Bakery and Juice Bar, 2007 S. Federal Blvd., Denver, Colorado
Oh yeah, the San Antonio Fresh Mexican Bakery had our perfect Pambazo bread, which they pulled hot and fresh from a baking rack for us.
Pambazos (Salsa-Dipped Potato and Chorizo Griddled Sandwiches)
These iconic Mexico City street food sandwiches are named for the pambazos—soft, oval rolls—they’re typically made with.
15 dried guajillo chiles
1 clove garlic
½ small white onion, roughly chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
2 ¼ lb. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” cubes
½ cup canola oil
1 ¼ lb. fresh chorizo, casings removed
6 soft pambazos, (or substitute with teleras)
3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 cups grated queso Oaxaca (or substitute with mozzarella)
¾ cup crema (or substitute with sour cream)
1. Heat a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add chiles, and cook, turning once, until toasted, about 2 minutes. Transfer all chiles to a large bowl; pour over 4 cups boiling water, and let sit until chiles are soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 ¼ cups soaking liquid, and remove stems and seeds from chiles. Transfer chiles and reserved soaking liquid to a blender along with garlic and onion; purée until very smooth, at least 2 minutes. Pour sauce into a bowl; set aside.
2. Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat; add potatoes, and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat; add chorizo, and cook, stirring to break up into small pieces, until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add potatoes, and cook until potatoes are very tender, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Using your fingers, scoop out and discard the insides of rolls, leaving a ½”-thick shell (optional depending on your bread). Place about 1 cup potato-chorizo mixture on roll bottoms, and cover with tops; press sandwiches lightly to flatten and compact filling. Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Submerge two sandwiches in chile sauce until thoroughly soaked, at least 10 seconds; place in skillet, and cook, pressing constantly with a metal spatula to flatten and flipping once, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; repeat with remaining oil, sandwiches, and sauce. Open sandwiches and divide lettuce, cheese, and crema among sandwiches; close sandwiches again and serve warm.