My dad and I took a drive down to Soledad yesterday just 'cuz we had an hour to kill. Well, I was actually hoping to find the Swiss-Italian bakery with the incredible macaroons that I remember from childhood but I kept that to myself. Once we hit town, my father perked up and said, "there used to be a really good bakery in this part of town that made those chewy Italian cookies, wonder if it's still here."
I talked to a couple locals and the fabled bakery in the center of Front St. is long gone. But while we were looking we came across two panaderias that might make good stops when passing through this stretch of 101 or on the way to the Pinnacles.
Acambaro bakery and cafe is on Soledad St. Besides pan dulce, it seems to specialize in bread with rolls and loaves of many shapes and sizes displayed on a rack. It has a few tables for eating in and sells tortas ($3) and a few other Mexican snacks.
La Plaza bakery and deli on Front St. also had some good looking pan dulces and many kinds of cookies, but no macaroons. It offers coffee and a variety of antojitos. Behind the glass guard, I could see the metates filled with four different kinds of salsas that looked really good. I got a tamarindo raspado and then it was time to head home.