Would you eat something called a “Cheese Rock,” especially if it looks like a rock? I did, but only because it was a bad name for something incredible, otherwise known as pan de yuca. Break open the lumpy roll ($1.75) at this small, charming bakery, and you will find a culinary geode exposing fluffy, buttery, cheesy caverns made with yuca (cassava) flour. The small roll is dense, so with Big Booty’s coffee, which is good and strong, it could be all you need to get up and go in
But that didn’t stop me from having a corn and cheese arepa ($2.50). Billed as a “pancake,” this item looks more like a large, ragged cookie. It, too, is redolent of queso blanco and butter but has the added texture and taste of gritty, homey cornmeal.* I could feel my booty growing bigger by the minute, but perhaps not as big as owner José Rojas’.
According to Rojas, who started this Columbian bakery five years ago, the name came out of a joke by his sister about his ample, ahem, behind. Big Booty’s wares are no joke, though. Try the dessert offerings, too, such as the smooth flan ($4), which tastes like crème brûlée, or the signature red velvet cupcakes ($2.50).
*These and many items are naturally gluten-free.
Big Booty Bread Company
261 W. 23rd St.
(near Eighth Avenue)
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