With only two tiny tables and a smattering of bar stools, it's best to get situated in Mekato's before the crowds arrive (do not go after church on Sunday). Stroll in around 9 a.m. on a Saturday, score a great seat at the counter and watch in awe as the fresh baked goods (pans of garlicky sausages, just-fried empanadas and soft-baked cheese sticks) make their way out of the kitchen.
Start with a handful of palito de queso (75 cents each), piping hot, semi-pretzel tubes stuffed with cheese. The giant chorizos ($2) come sliced in tiny rounds and are served with a side of lime. On the sweet side, you'll also find tiny tins of firm flan (flan de leche), huge wedges of black cake (pedazo de torta negra), spheres of thick bread pudding, powdered sugar cookies (perfect for dunking in Mekato's strong cafe con leche), soft green figs stuffed with caramel, triangle pastries stuffed with guava and caramel, and brilliant napoleons with layers of thick vanilla pudding, crispy phyllo and chewy caramel (clearly, caramel is a theme here).
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Misty Tosh