.El Rosal Bakery

Mexican from scratch

Known for their authentically Mexican made-from-scratch baked goods and tamales, El Rosal Bakery on East Cliff Drive has been a local’s go-to market for over 20 years. Cashier Lisa González started there 10 years ago after being raised in Michoacan, Mexico, where she was a cook. She says the talented and hard-working bakers start at 3am every day, making everything fresh.

Tamales are available in five varieties: chicken with green or red salsa, pork with red salsa, jalapeño and cheese, and sweet corn. Baked goods include conchas, a sweet and fluffy bread topped with sweet masa in myriad colors, and the pansino, a firmer bread decorated in pink sweet masa and sugar. They also offer traditional cakes like the niño envuelto and tres leches, as well as classic flan and sweet empanadas.

Hours are 7am-8pm every day (Sunday close at 7pm).

How do you compare living and working in Mexico and Santa Cruz?

LISA GONZÁLEZ:  Working here,  the owners, my coworkers and I all work well together and are nice to each other. It’s almost like working with your neighbors, and that’s the same here and in Mexico. The difference is that I used to live in a big city in Mexico and there was a lot of noise and traffic, and my commute to work was difficult. But here, it’s more slow-paced and a little easier, and I’m able to live really close to where I work. It’s been a pleasure working here for so long, and I feel very welcome.

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Let’s talk tamales?

LG: The recipe for our masa is the owner’s mother’s recipe and it’s been in the family for many generations. The salsa recipe is hers too, and we make it fresh every day. The red salsa is made from guajillo chili pods and is mild and a little bit smoky. The green salsa is made from tomatillos, jalapeños and a couple other secret ingredients, and is spicy. The chicken is shredded and the pork is pulled, and both are very good. And our sweet corn tamales are made with fresh young corn and are a very traditional Southern Mexican dish.

21513 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, 831-462-1308; elrosalbakery.com 

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