Despite its diminutive size, Ines Bakery (948 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-788-0594), a Mexican outpost near Greenwood cemetery, packs it in. On weekdays, when offices are shutting down and schools have run their last bells, the triangular standing room of the bakery fills up as tightly as the glass pastry cases slotted with sheet cakes, empanadas, and elephant ears. There are teenagers begging their friends for two more quarters so they can upgrade their doughnut orders, older gentlemen picking up thickly frosted white cakes to go, and families tearing apart pupusas steaming from the griddle. But most of those clogging the space are holding out for tortas made on fluffy telera rolls, baked in house.
Ines Bakery’s savory items are designated by photos on the back wall overhead, illuminated like a McDonalds menu board. The shop bakes all of the bread for the sandwiches ($2-5), which come in varieties like grilled cheeses, bacon, and egg; cubanos; and tuna fish on sliced white bread. There are styrofoam plates heavy with quesadillas ($6), chilaquiles ($6), and enchiladas suizas covered in green sauce ($6).
The tortas ($5) are the standouts, carefully toasted and stuffed with a panoply of meats, cheeses, jalapeños, avocado, and the thinnest swipe of pureed beans. Try the tinga version, which sports a layer of softly spiced warm chicken stew that is cooked down until it’s as concentrated and tangy as a sloppy joe. It’s a suitable afternoon snack, whether you just got out of ninth period or not.
Scarlett Lindeman is a Brooklyn-based writer, covering the city’s best taquerias, fondas, and cantinas. She writes the ¡Oye! Comida column for Fork in the Road.