Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Teo’s Bakery

It may be called Teo’s Bakery, but don’t let the name of this new addition to the long list of Falls Church eateries fool you. In addition to baking all types of breads, mostly South and Central American varieties not found in the average bakery, Teo’s serves up eats like tacos, burritos, and pupusas to satisfy hearty appetites.

Upon entering the bakery, which opened up shop this summer on West Broad Street across from the Falls Plaza shopping center, customers are greeted by the sweet and yeasty smell of baked goods and a glass-front counter showcasing many types of cookies, breads, and other iced and sugar-sprinkled delicacies. An adjoining case houses decorated cakes (cakes can be custom ordered from the bakery, as well). But perched behind the counter is a list of just a handful of options for mealtime eating at a bargain price.

Saltenas are a house specialty, and are served ready-made from a heated display on the counter. Available both in chicken and beef varieties, these little football-shaped pastries strike a nice balance between sweet and savory. The saltena’s gold-hued shell glistens, slightly sticky and nicely sweet. In breaking through to the saltena’s core, a stew-like concoction of meat, potato, boiled egg and vegetable pours out, its visibly spice-flecked sauce giving flavorful heat.

Popular, too, on the menu are the pupusas. The cheese-stuffed tortillas come in pork, refried bean, or plain varieties, and are served with a helping of spicy slaw. Whatever the selection, the end result is warm, stringy cheese with a little grilled tortilla crunch.

Teo’s tacos offer up the most variety, with about half a dozen different meat options. From the fatty barbacoa to the spice-laden cubed chicken, these meats are big on flavor, and a simple taco setting takes a backseat to that bold taste. On each, a generous dollop of meat tops double-stacked tortillas and is sprinkled only with some diced white onion and cilantro for crunch (a lime on the side for fresh lime juice can bring a tangy component to the mix, as well).

Each creation is satisfying to the taste buds, but possibly more satisfying to the wallet. The Teo’s saltenas, pupusas, and tacos all come in at under $2 apiece. Other menu items, like burritos and meat-packed platters, cost more, but few dishes break the $10 mark.

Customers aren’t paying for swank surroundings with those prices. Teo’s is a carry-out eatery, with just a few chairs in the space to seat customers while their order is prepared. They accept call-in orders, which cuts the time spent waiting for these primarily made-to-order dishes. But there is joy to be had in pulling up a seat, chatting with staff about the fare, and deciding which of the little beauties Teo’s bakes up will be nibbled on for dessert.

Teo’s Bakery is located at 1109 W. Broad St., Falls Church. For more information, call 703-533-3331. Restaurant hours are Monday – Sunday: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.