As one not very well versed in Mexican history, I do know the French contributed two key items. First, they lost a battle, leading to tequilla drinking parties every May 5th. Second, they transmitted a love for all things baked.
The mexican tradition of baked goods might come as a surprise to those who know the tortilla as mexico's "bread". No. Any area with a bit of a mexican population, which these days, is most of Chicagoland, has a bakery where you grab a tray and tongs and grab away from a selection of things.
To be honest, some times the stuff appeals to me more for the price. Items can be as low as 30 cents each. It is easy to snatch a bunch of things that MIGHT be good, and then just discard the ones that in fact are not good. It was a formula that did me well, until I found Pierre's.
Pierre's does not have that industrial, where does the kitchen stop/shop start look of most mexican places. It is bright and tiled and even has a few tables for in-store eating. Most mexican bakeries stock almost all their wares on wooden shelves, with only a handful of products in a revolving refrigerated case. Pierre's reverses that. Only one wall is dedicated to the "dry" goods. On the other side, there is an entire counter filled with cake slices, puddings and other perishable treats. There is also a selection of house-made candies and ice creams.
Beyond the decor, one other word distinguishes Pierre's products: butter. They make ample use, providing a silky richness you might not know from other mexican bakeries. There are actually things, like a giant cherry-filled muffin like creation, that I have to eat in two sittings. Of course, you have to pay a bit more for this butter, but nothing like, say Bittersweet of Sweet Thang.
According to their brochure, there are Pierre's in Chicago (2747 N. Milwaukee) and Blue Island (12429 W. Western), but I can only speak of the quality of the Berwyn location--And I speak highly!
6310 W. Cermak
Berwynn, IL 60402