Who is Pastelito Papi, and what exactly is a pastelito you might be asking yourself.
Well, first things first, a pastelito is a Cuban pastry. They come with a variety of sweet fillings from guava & coconut to even some savory ones with seasoned ground beef aka picadillo.
It’s one of the two things you find at any fiesta in Miami, along with its second cousin twice removed, la croqueta.
Onto your second question, who is Pastelito Papi?
QUIÉN ES PASTELITO PAPI?
Gio Fesser is Pastelito Papi, a well-known chef in Miami food circles. Some of the folks he has worked with in the past that you know include Michael Beltran of Chug’s Diner, Phil Bryant & Veronica Valdivia of Johnie’s Pit Beef and Gian Carlos Accinelli of Mr. and Mrs. Bun.
I met Gio a few years at Beltran’s Ariete restaurant, where he worked in the kitchen. This is where his scratch-made pastelitos were born. It’s becoming a lost art in Miami bakeries.
Papi is very creative with his ideas like a frita pastelito with the flavor profile and texture of the popular Cuban comfort food sandwich la Frita Cubana. His take on the Elena Ruz cult Cuban sandwich is another case where he outdid himself. He continues to nail it time and time again with his creations.
PASTELITO BEAUTY SHOTS
WHERE CAN YOU GET ‘EM?
So now you must be wondering, where can I get these delicacies?
You will always find Pastelito Papi’s pastries at Chug’s Diner in Coconut Grove. Babe’s Meat & Counter in Palmetto Bay also carries these babies on the weekend.
The best thing you can do is follow your new Papi on Instagram, @PastelitoPapii. It’s the easiest way to know what new flavors will be available.
I’m still waiting for the long-rumored Cheeseburger Pastelito inspired by Ariete’s majestic Chug Burger.
P.S.: I just started that rumor so let’s hope it happens.