& Café: A Montrose Tradition
The year was 1942 and we were in the midst of World War II when Montrose Bakery & Café first opened its doors on Honolulu Avenue. A few years later, owner Henry Baeza would be born in Villa Alemania, Chile, a town that has a climate much like Montrose, where he still goes back to visit. Henry grew up and when he was 17 moved to the good ole USA. He was in his 20s and so was the temperature in Chicago where he lived. He saw Southern California on TV and said, “That’s it! I’m moving!”
Henry settled in Glendale and began working for Conrad’s restaurant where he met Denae, his wife of 35 years. (She’s a kick – creative and fun!) At the age of 28, the Montrose Bakery & Café became his.
Now four children and decades later, Montrose Bakery & Café at 2325 Honolulu Ave. continues the long tradition of serving pastries, cakes, and all kinds of comfort food.
Customers come back again and again to “step back into time” as they enjoy a meal outdoors under the striped awning and watch the world go by. Many buy their favorite pastries and breads to take home. Did you know MB has had the same bakers for over 30 years?! Between them they work all hours of the day and night. Out of all the things MB sells, pause from reading and guess what the top seller is. What is your answer? If you said muffins, you won the prize! MB bakes over 20 different flavors of muffins, the most popular being blueberry and banana nut. I personally like the orange muffins with their color and tang.
Cakes are the No. 2 specialty and Montrose Bakery can create whatever you need, big or small. I always enjoyed cutting the nine-layer cakes Henry would bake for our Montrose town birthday celebrations. Imagine a fresh yellow cake with a strawberry cream filling, decorated with the most perfect roses! If you get a cake craving, MB has you covered with the individual slices they sell.
Henry’s apple strudel is famous around town, especially during Oktoberfest. They sell it year ’round by the slice or whole and it is delicious. I’ve heard others swear by their brownies, and then there’s the bread, all kinds of loaves like jalapeno cheddar, and cinnamon raisin wrapped in cellophane bags and piled on the countertop waiting to be squeezed and purchased.
Now let’s talk about the café part. Montrose Bakery & Café is known for their breakfasts, has always served lunch, and has recently added dinner to the menu. They are now open ’til 9 every night except Monday. Most popular in the AM are the huevos rancheros, waffles and omelets. At lunch you must try the Santa Fe chicken sandwich with peppers and avocado. Folks also rave about the burgers here.
Hope this gives you a whole new appreciation for Henry and the Montrose Bakery & Café. How long has it been since you relaxed at one of their quaint tables and soaked up Montrose? It’s therapy!