Cao Bakery a Cuban mainstay of Little Havana is migrating north: and Café, from the homeowners of Vicky Bakery, will open this May in Fort Lauderdale.
At 2,600 sq. feet, Cao Bakery and Café, will open at 1535 N. Federal Highway, changing the short Rubio’s Coastal Grill chain that shuttered there in 2018. The Cuban café’s presence in Fort Lauderdale marks the beginning of an aggressive rebranding of the Vicky Bakery title, as proprietor Tony Cao prepares to roll out nationwide roughly 100 Cao Bakery franchises over the following five-to-seven years, he says.
And sure, the guava pastelitos and ham croquetas – greasy staples of any Vicky Bakery – will nonetheless style the identical, Tony Cao guarantees. His grandparents, Antonio, and Gelasia Cao opened the primary Vicky Bakery in 1972 and crafted the recipes all locations use right now.
To this point, Cao says he’s transformed seven of the 21 existing Vicky Bakery outposts right into a Cao Bakery and Café and plans to open some other South Florida places this year. The primary Cao Bakery opened in Miami Beach (1420 Alton Road) in January, with extra to return in Doral, Homestead, Miami Shores, and Hallandale Beach. A South Miami location at 9755 SW 72nd St. will comply with Fort Lauderdale in late May and a downtown Hollywood location at 2401 Hollywood Blvd. (the previous Wings ‘N Curls) will arrive by the new summer season.
In increasing Vicky Bakery’s attain, Cao, says he needed to “Americanize” the menu, hiring Miami-based TV personality-chef Jeremiah Bullfrog (Food Network’s “Chopped,” “Beat Bobby Flay”) to add new Cuban-American sandwiches, snacks, and pastries.
Together with traditional croquetas — ham, cheese, breadcrumbs, layers of béchamel — there might be variations with smoked bacon and cheese, and black beans and rice. Sandwiches embody Pollo Milanesa with crispy chicken, sazon aioli and pickles ($11), but besides the normal La Frita Cao ($11), a Cuban hamburger mix of pork and chorizo topped with shoestring potatoes on Cuban water bread.
Coffee choices ($1-$4.50) have additionally expanded, Cao says, including cappuccino, orange juice, and hot chocolate to the same old Cuban lineup of cafecitos and coladas, cortaditos and café con leches.