Silver Star Bakery
150 Ives St.
Providence, Rhode Island
Silver Star Bakery’s English name belies its specialty in all things Portuguese – after our visit we think it should probably be called Estrela de Prata instead. From our Pastry Post-Doc in Portugal we became very well-acquainted with the country’s extensive sweet heritage. As you know, we here at ETW are particularly obsessed with Pasteis de Nata (Portuguese egg custard tarts), and, sadly, there is absolutely no place to get them in Chicago. Fortunately, Providence has a large Portuguese population, with the bakeries to match. We figured we’d be able to find Pasteis de Nata at Silver Star, and there was indeed a large tray on display when we arrived, for only $1.75 a pop.
We are pretty discerning about our pasteis, and have specific criteria for what makes one perfect, as we detailed in our rubric for the best pasteis in Lisbon. The version at Silver Star was excellent, and even surpassed some of the versions we had in Lisbon. The crust was flaky and crispy, not soggy at all; and the filling was light and creamy. The caramelization of the top was also perfect! These were the American pasteis we had been waiting for, and we even got to order in Portuguese. Now if only we could replicate them at home….
But even though the Pasteis de Nata are the star, other Portuguese specialties available include Malasadas, Portuguese sweet rolls, fradinhos and more. There is also a wide selection of American treats including cookies, mini tarts and doughnuts. We also sampled a fradinho, a sweet tart with a bean filling dusted with powdered sugar, which was delicate and tasty. We visited Silver Star twice, once on our way to the Brown campus, and another time on our way to the airport (we absolutely had to get another round before we got home). If we lived in Providence we guarantee that the majority of our diet would consist of solely Silver Star pasteis.