While searching for bakeries within walking distance of my office downtown, I stumbled upon Big Booty Bread Company, and of course, I was first struck by the playful name. But then I scrolled through the menu, and the Latin American-inspired pastries sounded too good to resist, particularly the namesake booty buns.
Escaping the harsh winds of New York and stepping into a cozy niche in Chelsea was the perfect conclusion to a long day at work, and I was immediately impressed by the relaxed atmosphere of the location, devoid of the pretentious attitude that some patisseries have. Dining alone that day, I definitely welcomed the calm. There was an expansive display cabinet and counter at the front of the store, while the back contained simple wooden tables, topped with flower vases. There were also some examples of apparel hanging on the wall, and I might have to return again just to purchase a shirt that reads, I <3 Big Booty.
I arrived with a very clear sense of what I was going to order (having already scoured the menu), but the packed display case made me pause because all of the fresh pastries and baked goods were so tempting. Beyond cupcakes and cookies, Big Booty also offers paleo and gluten-free options with a Latin American flavor, like a cheese bun or guava pocket. I probably could have ordered one of everything, but I decided to stick to my original order: one strawberry booty bun (a brioche bun stuffed with strawberries and topped with sugar) and a ham and cheese empanada with chimmichurri sauce, completed with a half tea, half lemonade.
The warm empanada melted in my mouth, and the sauce added that little bit of kick to put it over the top. The booty bun was the perfect complement, with a crunchy, sugar-coated exterior with a soft bread in the middle. I will definitely be returning to Big Booty Bread Company, so I can sample all of the booty bun flavors because one just wasn’t enough.