Skip to main content

Worshiping at the altar of Laredo's Panaderias

    In Laredo, bakeries are like cathedrals; however, instead of manna from heaven, worshipers of these panaderias seek out slightly less sacred form of heavenly bread. I say slightly less sacred because Laredoans have an almost religious devotion to pan dulce.

     Old timers are fervently faithful to their bakery of choice, whether it be El Mejor Pan, Polo's Bakery,  or La Reynera. They are like life-long parishioners, unwilling to switch in search of something new. In fact, some would rather first change church affiliation before they ever fathom converting to another pan dulce provider.

    My old man is one such case in point. To him, the 1977 beisbol Tecolotes are still sports royalty, Tatangelo is still town saviour, and he believes that anything you will ever need can be found at either Sears or Dr. Ikes (ever since Munden's closed down). In other words, to my dad, some things should remain constant and warrant no change. He's been a parishioner of Temple Quickie Bakery ever since I can recall, and he assures me it is heretical to buy pan dulce anywhere else.  

     Everytime I mention Pano's or Gonzalez Bakery, he mutters at me angrily and waves me away with his hand, as if I just asked  him if he ever voted for Richard Nixon.

     Laredoans take pan dulce deadly serious. Domingos and meriendas would be catastrophically incomplete without conchas, cuernitos and empanadas. The picture below proves my point.

     Apparently, at Pano's Bakery running out of sweet bread constitutes an emergency akin to a fiend in desperate need of a fix. While these days churches no longer have "emergency numbers", bakeries sure do for they must fill our bellies and save our weary souls You see, Laredo takes their pan dulce dependency to new heights, and places like Pano's are there to medicate our wanting needs.

     We are willing to pay money, blood, and even the last few remaining dollars on our goverment issued Lone Star Card in exchange for a dozen tasty treats. 

     In fact, so dependent are local bakeries to Laredo's welfare dollars that they even construct their slogans around their necessity such as you'll see in the picture below.

Chalos is "Now Accepting Lonestar" Best tagline ever!

    Chalo's Bakery sign pleads to pan dulce believers, like a lighted, gold cross reaching out to the unchurched as if saying, "Come as you are. We make no judgements. Your Lonestar Card is worthy of our collection basket."

    At the end of the day, it matters not what currency you use to enter your own local kingdom bakery. Just suffice it to say that their pearly gates will be opened to all, especially in emergencies because in Laredo bakeries are cathedrals and no one gets turned away.


Popular posts from this blog

Local Beauty Queen Arrest

The Laredo Morning Times seems to want a little web traffic on their ol' web page.  At least that's what I think when the arrest of a local "beauty queen" made it to the front page.  Oh, it was not on page 4-5, where the local arrests are usually noted, but on the top right hand corner.

A few months ago the local organ of publicity started publishing weekly mugshots on their webpage.  Generally speaking their more attractive women usually garner the most "web hits."  So, once Ms. Prieto-Falcon's mugshot (seen above) makes it to the album, I expect a new record.

Just saying.

Play-More (and other Urban Legends)

I have a friend who swears on his 1988 Fleer baseball card set, that way back, sometime in the mid 80s, there existed something called the Play-more. According to his vivid imagination, the Playmore was a cross between Putt-Putt golf and Disney's Epcott Center. Every time he starts to rant about how good things were in the 80s in Laredo (minus the unpaved streets), his eyes light up and a goofy smile fills his face (a goofier smile than usual).

Go carts, arcades, a skating rink, a movie theater, according to my buddy, this place was Laredo's version of Astroworld. However, apparently, you have to be over 33 to remember this lost haven of yesteryear. I only arrived in 1992 to Laredo, years after this place apparently vanished. So if anyone out there remembers this place, drop by and leave some comments. Pictures of this lost city would be great appreciated. I think its just a crazy sugar induced illusion that my buddy concocted in between his imaginary friends.

Someone out ther…

My Experience with Emilio (by Cindy)

My Experience with Emilio by Cindy (guest contributor)

The year was 1994.  I can clearly remember waiting anxiously to go with my parents to the Casa Blanca baile.  The main attraction…Stephanie Lynn, Xelencia, and none other than Emilio Navaira.  I was in love with these Tejano bands.  I knew all of the lyrics to all of their songs.  I didn’t care if I was going with my parents for I was a teeny bopper, of sorts. Instead of crushing over Jordan Knight (which is a whole other article) I was in love with Emilio!  All I could think of was….”Como Le Hare” to get a picture with him and his chubby counterpart, Raulito!
I remember always nagging my parents to go see these bands, especially Selena and La Mafia.  I would plead…”but mom…what if something tragic happens and they die?!  We have to go see them today!”  And of course my mom would try to explain to me logically that nothing was going to happen and that we would go see them, “Next time, mijita.”  Well, sadly, these tragic things do ha…