Castle Hill’s Malinalli Bakery
may be a little out of the way (for Downtown dwellers), but worth the trip for a breakfast or lunch break. The establishment advertises as a bakery with a Mexican twist, but there’s a lot of other obvious influences — Italian and French being the most prominent during my visit. The interior of Malinalli is quaint with minimal seating, during busy hours it may be better to order to-go, luckily their pastries can serve as breakfast or lunch.
With zero wait, at 1 p.m., I ordered the “Ahogada” Torta with golden pork carnitas, black bean spread, house escabeche, radishes and avocado purée served in what was described to me as a “red sauce.” The sandwich comes out dipped in a shallow bowl of sauce that is very reminiscent to a spicy spaghetti sauce, which made the homemade hibiscus tea a must-have with the spice level of the sauce. The house-made bread was impressive, crispy and cooked well without being burnt, the portion was very generous and would satisfy even the largest lunch appetite.
Options certainly don't stop with lunch, Malinalli also offers a breakfast menu, and delicious pastries. I was encouraged to try the corn cake and was pleasantly surprised — what I imagined as cornbread came out gooey, almost like tres leches with a balanced flavor that didn't tip the sweetness scales as some baked goods tend to.
Other pastries including an almond croissant, and peach crumble, both baked to perfection, sweet, but not saccharine, moist, and fresh. The bakery also offers other lesser-known pastries such as the financier, an almond flour/crushed almond-based sponge cake. They garnish the cake with a cherry, a nice compliment to the strong almond flavors.
A pastry that is described by some bakers as one of the hardest to perfect, due to its crispy exterior and almost custardy center, the canele, is also a menu option that did not disappoint.
All in all, Malinalli Bakery is a unique addition to its area and may be one of the best hole-in-the-wall bakeries in town. Give them a shot next time you find yourself in Castle Hills.
2211 NW Military Hwy., (210) 209-3463.