Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Panadería La Central

Its name may just be La Central, but the way the words are laid out on the sign, it's hard to tell. Anywho, I had passed this place many times on the way to and from the California stop of the Blue Line and I had to try it. Plus, panaderías remind me of being abroad...

I was in the mood for a chocolate chip cookie, but there were many things in the cases that looked appealing. Plus, everything is so cheap - nothing's over 50 cents except for the individually packaged cakes in the fridge near the register. I almost bought a handful of baked goods, but then realized I probably shouldn't be more of a glutton.

La Central is a no frills bakery. It sells loads of cheap products (cookies, croissants, bolillos, etc.) in a very minimalistic setting. The sole employee that was present when I was was very nice and willing to explain to me the three different types of chocolate chip cookies. According to her, there are differences in spices, cooking time, and the amount of chocolate, but they all have milk chocolate chips.

I bought two choc chip cookies for a buck, the most chocolatey and the least chocolatey. The one on the right was probably my favorite of the two, but the difference in flavor was certainly not major. The choc-chips-on-the-inside cookie was a very straightforward, very light choc chip cookie with mediocre milk choc chips. It wasn't too greasy at all; if anything, it was too dry. The choc-chips-on-the-outside cookie used more interesting spices and the outer ring was a bit burnt, which I liked because it reminded me of something home-baked. Also, the c-c-o-t-o cookie was a semi-soft, while the c-c-o-t-i cookie was super crispy and crumb-prone.

La Central is quick and easy with a cheap, impressive selection. The cookies I sampled weren't especially tasty or good, but they weren't exactly bad either, especially for 50 cents a pop. If you need a fast, low-cost choc chip cookie fix and you live nearby, then this would be a solid option. But, be careful if you get the cookie on the right, because I took one chomp and a million crumbs spattered my kitchen counter.

Back or Forth? I will be going back.

Panadería La Central - Logan Square - (773)235-8677 - 2218 N. California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647 - Public transportation: bus 52 or the California stop on the Blue Line.

Choc-chip-on-the-inside cookie - 50¢
Choc-chip-on-the-outside cookie - 50¢

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