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Pan Dulce and savory treats at Dos Palmas

David Boylan

Jen and Mario Anguiano with a sampling of their Pan Dolce at Dos Palmas
Jen and Mario Anguiano with a sampling of their Pan Dolce at Dos Palmas. Photo David Boylan

Sometimes I like to make sure a restaurant has staying power before Lick the Plate gets involved as many open with all kinds of hype then quickly fade away. Dos Palmas in Leucadia has been around about a year and a half now and has found their niche among the pan dulce lovers in the area. Besides the sweets, their savory selections are what will have me going back, but more on that later.

First off a bit of history on pan dulce or “sweet bread” as it's called. It’s an assortment of Mexican treats that has been heavily influenced by the Spaniards and French who brought their rolls, baguettes and sweet pastries to Mexico. The Mexicans put their own spin on it, creating besos, conchas, and cuernos to name a few. The primary differences between Mexican pan dulce and American pastries is the sweetness.

Mexican pan dulce requires less sugar and therefore tastes less sweet. That can be a good thing for those of us that do not indulge in sweets that often. They are a fun and different option to bring into the office in the morning as an alternative to regular donuts or bagels. The most popular pan dulce at Dos Palmas are the niño envueltos (strawberry and coconut pinwheels), mini Galletas (cookies), the pumpkin or Bavarian creme empanadas, and conchas. All are made fresh daily.

On the savory side of things, Dos Palmas has a nice selection of breakfast burritos and the all have a distinct taste or combination of ingredients that set them apart. The best seller is the Beacons Burrito. It’s packed full of ham or bacon, cheese, eggs and potatoes and is such a monster I had half for breakfast and finished it off for lunch. I also tried the Moonlight burrito that was equally as large and filled with soyrizo, eggs, potatoes and cheeses. Soyrizo is a soy-based meat alternative has the delicious flavoring of Mexican chorizo. The perfect blend of spices gives Soyrizo a truly authentic taste, not that I have any reason to avoid chorizo, but for those of you that do, this is a nice alternative.

Some other top sellers include the Ponto plate with Gulijillo chile salsa, eggs, corn tortillas, rice, beans, cheese, sour cream and avocado. The surfer breakfast was created with the local surfer in mind. It’s a warm baked bread filled with cream cheese and jalapeños or filled with ham, cheese, and jalapeños. It's perfect for an on the go snack or after morning surf to kill those hunger pangs. A selection of tamales are available along with a Cabo sandwich plate which consists of chipotle chicken on telera bread with a side of rice and beans. This dish is available burrito style also. Fish and carne asada tacos are represented as well.

Soda’s and the ever present horchatas are included in the beverage mix along with hot champurrado made from scratch with chocolate milk, cinnamon, and corn masa.

Jen and Mario Anguiano are the proprietors of Dos Palmas and both have a strong culinary background. Jen is from the Bay Area and her first experience working with food was at the Chico St. Cafeteria. It was a good way for her to pay for room and board and she ended up feeling very at home in the food industry. From then on she started experimenting with different flavors and tastes, especially after meeting her husband, Mario. Mario is from the North part of Mexico City. He grew up learning to cook in the kitchen with his mom and sisters. He's a graduate of the culinary and baking school in Mira Mesa. The menu he's created for Dos Palmas reflects his authentic Mexican flavors.

Jen and Mario met in Maui, Hawaii where they married and had their first and second children of three. They moved to North County in 2006, to be closer to family. Mario spotted the empty lot in 2008 and with the help of Jen’s mom; they built Dos Palmas Bakery and Grill that includes two rental suites. It took 3 years to finish and is now LEED certified and built with high quality materials and environmentally conscious ideas. Customers can enjoy the recycled glass countertops and floors, natural lighting, and private parking lot in back.

Dos Palmas is located at 1302 N. Coast Highway 101 in Leucadia. Reach them at 760.230.6452 or online at

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