Valerios in Vallejo has moved across the street to join the growing number of Filipino businesses clustered with grocer, Seafood City. The new storefront is slightly larger, and certainly cleaner and brighter.
The good-sized chicken empanada, kept hot in the warming tray, is one of my favorites to pick up for breakfast on the run. The slightly sweet, egg-glazed bready crust encases a savory chicken stew with carrots, celery, and peppers. The beef is also good, but is plainer with mostly just mea.
The filled pan de sal style buns are excellent. Theyre wrapped in cellophane and benefit from 20 seconds in the microwave to heat them through. The chewy bread softens and is more fragrant when warm. The adobo pan de sal has more complex flavor with soft and tender big chunks of braised pork in gravy. The menudo pan de sal has no tripe, rather chunks of beef stewed with potatoes, carrots and raisins in a savory gravy.
Valerios is know for its siao pao, but I havent had good luck. The roast pork siao pao, a Filipino version of cha siu bao, is a doughy and heavy somewhat sweet steamed white bread bun covered with an oily film. The roast pork filling has good flavor and tasty gravy with hard-cooked eggs, but some of the pork is overly hard and tough.
On the sweet side, the turon have a thin wrapper and are expertly fried and greaseless. These are filled with jackfruit and coconut.
The cassava cake is good too, dense and heavy made from eggs, cassava, butter, sugar, milk, pieces of young coconut, and coconut milk, with no preservatives. Valerios version has a thin layer of baked custard on top that makes it special. Enjoyed best when heated for a minute in the toaster oven to give it a little warmth.
Valerios Tropical Bakeshop
Vallejo Plaza Shopping Center
3467 Sonoma Blvd.
(Redwood Ave and Sonoma Blvd.)