Got a scare yesterday afternoon when I drove up to the Nine Islands Bakery (Padaria 9 Ilhas) where the windows and original entrance were papered over. But as I got closer, I could see the arrows pointing east and around the corner. There I found a new storefront with a retail area that seemed a little bit smaller than before. But the big news is that the old space plus the new add up to a huge increase in square footage. The bakery expanded over the 4th of July weekend.
The aroma of fresh bread and oranges when you step in the door is absolutely intoxicating. Though I'd just had lunch, I couldn't stop myself from buying four little pastries. Here's the shot of the queijadas (pasteis de nata): I bought the orange one in the center and one of the custard tarts to the right.
Photo of queijadas in the case -
Then new to me were a couple other tarts shown here. On the right are mimos and to the left the spice pasteis, also available in a darker molasses.
Photo of spice pasteis and mimos on display -
I asked, and was told that they'd all been baked late last night or in the morning, as my last purchase here was too stale. Four set me back $3.40. Sampling these at home, the orange was back on form with a delicate flakey crust, chewy moist center and concentrated orange flavor and aroma, the custard was just okay (perhaps one from the day before), and the molasses reminded me of a good spice cake but wasn't that distinctive. As much as I loved the orange queijada, my favorite by far was the mimos. The bottom is like the richest and chewiest coconut macaroon you've ever had and on top is an intense and silky coco-flan.
Again, I inquired about whether this new expansion would allow them to make malasadas. In the past, they'd not had the proper exhaust hood to do deep-frying on a large scale. The good news is that besides increasing the variety of breads baked here, they're looking into malasadas as this is the most popular request. However, the cost of the exhaust system might be prohibitive.
Gonsalves Sardines -
9 Island Bakery
1 Padre Pkwy, Rohnert Park, CA 94928