El Recreo Cuban Bakery, 310 S. State Road 7, Margate. Open Monday through Wednesday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday and Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 954-979-7977.
El Recreo is a busy little bakery that makes all sorts of Cuban pastries, breads, and sandwiches. The inside is small, with a couple of tables and a long but stubby lunch counter against one wall and a series of display cases hugging the small prep area. The ladies behind the counter are quick and friendly, and speak both English and Spanish fluently. They'll wrap up guava-filled pastelitos in sheets of baking paper or fill plastic bags with fried chicharrón for you to take away. But you must try the Cuban sandwich at El Recreo: Two slices of Cuban bread are pressed flat as a sheet of granite, buttery and crisp. They're stuffed with fresh pulled pork and slices of sweet, pressed ham — a pair best accented by melted cheese, yellow mustard, and sour pickles. At $5 for a foot-long sandwich, it's as cheap a lunch as it is filling. Finish it off with a creamy cafe con leche and a flaky-sweet pastelito and you're good to go.