East Harlem’s Excellent Tres Leches Cafe Expands To The LES


It is one thing of a miracle to me, how a cake as gentle and moist as a well-made tres leches can nonetheless preserve its integrity as, you understand, an precise piece of cake, and never dissolve right into a soggy mess in your plate. I imply, the factor is virtually sodden, and it is served actually sitting in a puddle of milk — and so they can final, too! Carry a slab residence, stick it within the fridge, and 48 hours or so later it is nonetheless nearly as good as new. Superb.

The key, apparently, is the shortage of butter, so it is gentle and ethereal like a sponge cake, however sturdy sufficient to carry its form and texture even beneath the onslaught of liquids, candy condensed milk, less-sweet evaporated milk, and sufficient heavy cream to make you not miss the butter. And should you’re craving a bit of the stuff as a lot as I’m after penning this, know that the nice Tres Leches Cafe, residence of NYC’s most interesting such cake, now has two places the place you may get your repair: the East Harlem unique and a newly opened outpost on Orchard Road.

Based by Ronaldo and Julia Felipe a few dozen years in the past on the jap finish of 112th Road, Tres Leches Cafe (subtitled: Por la Gracia de Dios) has held its personal throughout the pandemic, counting on whole-cake orders for many of its enterprise. Which is lucky, as a result of though there are at all times single-serving containers obtainable within the case right here, it is not precisely bustling with passersby all the best way over by First Avenue. The Decrease East Facet store ought to entice extra of a walk-in crowd, particularly as soon as the spring arrives and persons are out ingesting and strolling down right here once more.

Guava ($4) and Regular ($3.50) Tres Leches Cakes


Guava ($4) and Common ($3.50) Tres Leches Truffles

Scott Lynch / Gothamist

These very good slices of Tres Leches Cake are primarily based on Ronaldo’s grandmother Maria Nelson’s secret household recipe, which he grew up having fun with again within the Dominican Republic. However the Felipes additionally make a wonderful Quatro Leches Cake (the fourth “milk” is the caramel added to the thick whipped topping), in addition to variations topped with Guava paste, Pineapple, or Ardour Fruit. These three latter desserts provide a nice and welcome tartness to go together with all that wealthy cream.

My fellow caramel custard completists will wish to attempt the Flan at Tres Leches, although be warned, that is loaded with sugary syrup beneath the eggy prime—there’s little or no of that burnt-caramel “chew” concerned—and doubtless the sweetest such dessert I’ve ever eaten. An alternative choice is the Cheesecake, however I’d counsel you persist with the bakery’s namesake dish.

The unique Tres Leches Cafe is situated at 356 East 112th Road, close to First Avenue, and is open Monday via Saturday from 10 a.m. to six:30 p.m. (646-559-0176); the LES Tres Leches is at 160 Orchard Road, between Stanton and Rivington Streets, and is open Monday via Saturday from 10:00 to six:00 ( 917-675-6340, treslechescafe.com)