I can’t remember how I came to learn about Cachitos, a small bakery in the Latin Quarter. But I’m glad I did. Going in, I had no idea what to expect. Turns out Chachitos specializes in, well what do you know, the cachito – a stuffed, foot-long bread roll native to Venezuela. I’ve always had a soft spot for stuffed buns and rolls, no matter their origins. It’s like unwrapping a gift to reveal the edible surprise, only I get to eat the wrapper too!
At Cachitos, you’ll find a good selection of cachitos baked throughout the day. If you come across any empty trays, put your immediate plans on hold and stick around for the next batch – nothing comes close to the best of the fresh. They come out golden brown in color, and instead of the expected crunch, your teeth sink effortlessly in soft, plush dough that’s subtly sweet, reaching the surprise at the center.
The Ham & Cheese ($3.10) features a basic pairing we’re all very familiar with. And it’s exactly what you think it tastes like. Inside pillowy bread, you’ll find a stick of mellow cheese wrapped in a slice of ham. The oomph happens when it's hot off the heat and oozy strings of cheese follow your every bite. Any other time, the cheese is solid and the whole thing is back to just good – and that’s not a bad thing.
I could be wrong, but I think the only option with vegetables is the Spinach & Cheese ($3.10). By cheese, I mean Parmesan and ricotta. The mixture is a little wet, so the fluff sweats out salty juices when you tear off a piece. Hard not to like.
If I only had enough change for one lonely cachito, I’d spend it on the Beef ($3.10). Flavored with warm spices, the minced beef is plenty moist – its juices sinking into the soft bread. It also has a good meat-to-dough ratio, making every mouthful a deliciously balanced one.
They do have sugary cachitos on hand, but there's not much to choose from. I skipped Chocolate Praline in favor of Guava & Cheese ($3.10), because, well, guava! It combines sweet, sweet guava jam that’s impressively true in flavor – like an overripe pear with a blast of strawberries – with salty cheese. If they had a suggestion box, I’d propose a heavier slather of jam and more cheese to get the right sweet and salty effect. But still, the guava makes it an interesting treat! I mean, when was the last time you saw guava desserts in Montreal?
Cachitos makes the kind of goods I would eat for breakfast, lunch and for snacking in the afternoon. With fair prices and gracious service working in their favor, their cachitos are simple wonders, your satisfaction guaranteed. Sure they’re located in a sketchier part of town, but I just avoid eye contact with strangers and keep a firm grip on my bag. Need. Money. For. Cachitos.
153 rue Sainte-Catherine E. | map