On February 19, the day after an episode of Kourtney and Kim Take Miami aired, the phone line at International Bakery Cuban Dulceria blew up. The two sisters/owners, Rita and Sara Vazquez, began receiving a flood of calls about their coffee. “Ever since that show where Khloe Kardashian got a cortadito, we’ve had clients asking if we have them,” says Sara.
When a male customer of theirs – one who doesn’t come regularly – drove all the way from Dallas to their small bakery in Carrollton just for a morning cortadito, that’s when the Vazquez ladies knew something was up. “We went online and researched it,” says Rita. As soon as she read about Khloe’s crazy caffeine rampage for cortaditos on the “B**ch Slapped” episode, everything began to make sense.
Cortaditos are Cuba’s version of cortados. They’re usually served in a glass, but International Bakery Cuban Dulceria’s version comes in a yellow foam cup. Ascension Coffee would probably deem this practice blasphemous (they don’t let you take their cortados to-go because it ruins them, they say), but the sisters claim that their cortadito sales have increased 85% since the show aired. This small cup – with a half shot of espresso, steamed milk, cottony foam, and sugar – has brought cortadito fame to Carrollton. The ladies are right about their coffee, too. It’s good. A little sugary for me, but I can see why other people would drive 30 minutes for this. A two dollar cortadito paired with a flaky guava pastry? Muy bueno. What an excellent breakfast for less than three dollars.
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I live in Carrollton, but I’ve never noticed the International Bakery Cuban Dulceria on 2662 N. Josey Lane until I visited recently for a coffee tasting. It’s in a sleepy shopping center where most stores go to die. (I’m looking at you, Old Navy.) Yet the Vazquez sisters assure me they’ve been there for the last couple of years. Their parents first opened the original bakery in 1979 at Beltline and Denton Drive, but the building was torn down in 2005. “We always grew up in the bakery,” Rita tells me. It was home to them, so it made sense for her and Sara to take over the Josey store in 2009. At first her father still came in to help make their famous pastries, but now the ladies handle the store on their own. Sepia-colored photos of their Cuban family decorate the walls, which probably hold enough stories to keep you in that shop forever.
At least there are cortaditos, cheese pastries, meat pastries, eclairs, merengue, cupcakes, and Cuban sandwiches to tide you over. If Carrollton were to ever face a natural disaster/zombie apocalypse, I know where I’m hiding: the kitchen of International Bakery Cuban Dulceria. There are so many treats, eats, and meats in this shop, I’ll never go hungry. The other day, my friend Judy, a regular customer at the bakery, forced me to take two pastries she bought earlier that day home, even though I insisted I was giving up dessert for Lent. That night, despite all logic, I stuffed the pastries down my mouth like a starving, homeless animal. I can’t even tell you what was in it. I just shoved those babies down my throat like they were air. Because they were. You don’t feel that guilty after eating one. Or two, in my case. The Vazquez’s pastries are oddly addicting, light, and not over buttery. They go down easy.
If Rita and Sara keep selling their cortaditos and pastries at this rate, they’ll be opening a second location soon. Let’s hope it’ll be in Dallas somewhere for the sake of our stomachs.