Norma's Sweets Bakery (3221 Georgia Ave., Kenner, 467-4309) has long been a favorite backstreet Kenner find for Mexican pastries, Cuban sandwiches and the occasional guava-filled king cake. The same family owners now have a second location in Mid-City.
This new Norma's Sweets Bakery (2925 Bienville St., 309-5401) is a larger store with a full range of Latin American groceries, including a butcher section with bins of hot chicharones (or Latin American cracklin's).
Norma Castillo opened the original Norma's in 2003, and it has since grown into a supplier of baked goods for a network of small Latin groceries and restaurants around the area. Her son Jose Castillo says customer demand prompted the family to open this second location.
Like the original, the new Norma's bakes bread, pies, cakes and pastries on premises. In addition to the sweets, there are Cuban sandwiches and grab-and-go savory options, like pasteles filled with beef or chicken and a selection of tamales. The Mid-City location also has a much larger kitchen for more hot food, including plate lunches. As Carnival season gears up, look for Norma's king cakes filled with sweet guava and cream cheese.