Old Times Bakery in Tacoma has something new almost every day
Old Times Bakery in Tacoma got my attention recently with a post about piroshki buns. Then there were the photos of the alfajores, the Uruguayan cookies that you’ll have a tough time finding anywhere else around here. The bakery sandwiched between the Lincoln District and McKinley seems to have something new and different in the pastry case every day.
Park next to the bakery and you’ll smell the waft of yeast before you hit the front door. The small cafe has a few seats. The pastry case features tray after tray of cannoli, slices of tiramisu, madeleines, strudel, flaky pastries filled with guava or cheese and a few styles of alfajores. The cornstarch cookies come filled with chocolate or caramel “or sometimes jelly inside,” said owner Cristina Arreche. Her husband and children help her with the bakery she opened last spring.
“We are from Uruguay and the alfajores is the most popular cookie in our country,” she said. I bit into the double-decked alfajor ($2.50) filled with dulce de leche and knew immediately why members of Where to Dine Pierce County, the companion Facebook group to this website, are raving about the pastries here.
She mentioned the bakery has another Uruguayan specialty called massini. “It’s a creme brulee cake with two types of cream inside,” she said.
PIZZA AND EMPANADAS
Arreche wanted me to make sure that I mentioned that she offers daily pizza choices and savory empanadas. On a recent visit, I saw a pizza special with a soda for $8. The empanada choices that day were chicken, beef, cheese or spinach. You can get two of those with a soda for $6 at lunch. My tip: Don’t miss the apple strudel ($2.50). The flaky pastry pulled apart to reveal a sticky apple-cinnamon filling studded with walnuts. I liked that the apples still held a little texture.
Arreche owned a bakery in Uruguay, but this is her first in Tacoma. She’s open at 6 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
OLD TIMES BAKERY
3514 Pacific Ave, Tacoma; 253-625-5898