The streets were oddly quiet and that’s when I soon realized that I had my dates mixed up. The Tall Ships Festival was actually next weekend. Oh well, I will have to wait to see the west coast debut of the international art installation, Rubber Duck, by Dutch Artist Florentijn Hofman. Before leaving town, my sweet tooth flared up pretty badly; which, by the way, was no surprise. A quick internet search pointed me in the direction of Mishi’s Strudel Bakery and Cafe for Apple Strudel. Yes, Hungarian-Austrian style Apple Strudel.
A good one mile walk from the Ports O’Call Village into the heart of Downtown San Pedro is Mishi’s Strudel Bakery and Cafe; a charming Hungarian-Austrian bakery with an old world appeal that reminded me of the family-run bakeries and cafes in Europe. Along side the counter were displays of each homemade strudels. What a pleasant surprise to see that a slice of sweet strudels were an affordable $4.85 – $5.25 each. At further glance of the menu, there was also a selection of savory strudels at $7.15 – $7.75 per slice. What a bargain!
Mr. Schuller, whom the restaurant is named after, kindly took my order. I opted for two sweet strudels (a plain Apple Strudel and a Cherry & Cheese one) with a cup of coffee for the added caffeine jolt. I told him that I’ll take home whatever I didn’t finish.
The wait for these pastries hot out of the oven was only 10 minutes, which gave me some time to sip on my coffee and check email messages. I then started a conversation with Mrs. Schuller about the strudels.
I had admitted to liking the Trader Joes version of Apple Strudel. The price is right for a box of frozen strudel that anyone can just place in a hot oven. Mrs. Schuller replied that the TJ version is a very simple one and unlike theirs, which is more complex and made from scratch. She pointed out that they make all the strudels in-house. Their pastry dough is a lot like filo dough, which is the style of the Hungarian and Austrian Strudels; very thin, flaky layers. The German Strudels are made differently with puff pastry or the dough that’s similar to croissants. In Hungry and in Austria, the fruit filling is practically layered on the dough thinly like butter. The fruit filling at the Mishi’s Strudel Bakery and Cafe is layered more generously than the traditional style.
My first bite was the Cherry and Cheese Strudel. I would agree that the pastry was noticeably flaky (like baklava) and the fruit and cheese filling was light in texture yet delicately sweet. Then I took a bite of the Apple Strudel, which has a generous portion of tarty apples. There was just the right amount of tartness like hot apple pie. The verdict…Mischi’s is, by far, the best homemade Strudel that I’ve ever eaten.
I finished what was left of my coffee and asked for a small box to take the remainder of my strudels to-go. I still day dream of strudels since I left Mishi’s Strudel Bakery and Cafe. I also kick myself for not taking home some frozen strudels to stock my freezer for the unexpected potluck parties or to eat for my weekend brunches. I’ll be back.