A delicious mash-up of two cultures, bound by butter, corn and chiles.
The family behind Pan Artesanal has worked for years - literally - on every detail. From the baking equipment to the DIY decor and artfully assembled front case, the menu is a reflection of them, their values and their story.
That includes indigenous ingredients that resonate with their neighbors and French techniques and methods that separate them from the usual panaderia.
Marisol Espinoza graduated from the French Pastry School and worked at a number of local restaurants before deciding to open Pan Artesanal on the western edge of Logan Square with her family.
"We ended up mixing Mexican heritage with the French recipes," said her sister, Lizette Espinoza.
There are guava and cheese pastries, thick artisan breads made with roasted poblano chiles, and cultural mashups like cajeta croissants.
One of Marisol's signatures is a savory scone that starts with flour and butter, then salty, crumbled cotija cheese, nopales, or cactus paddles, fresh corn, buttermilk and eggs for richness and leavening. The dough is divided, then brushed with egg wash and a sprinkle of coarse sugar.
Dough is rolled out on a sheeter for the leche quemada, a traditional bread with a chunky filling of burnt goat's milk that takes about 24 hours to make. The dough is folded, shaped and baked, then filled with the leche quemada, drizzled with white chocolate and topped with pecans.
They're also huge fans of a Mexican chocolate, which finds its way into numerous treats.
"We incorporate the chocolate in the conchas and the croissants. The chocolate croissants have the cacao of chocolate de Moctezuma," Marisol said. "We're introducing our Mexican heritage and the French to Mexico and the Mexico to French. We put both together and they're loving it."
3724 W. Fullerton Ave.
In Steve's Extra Course Video, he takes a look at two of the bakery's sandwiches - one for breakfast, one for lunch - served on their house-made bread.