Tony’s Bakery is located at 2468 North Forsyth Road, Orlando, Florida 32807. The phone number is 407.679.6336. I point this out because Tony’s doesn’t have a website or even a Facebook presence. They do not advertise. Most of their business comes from word of mouth. Tony’s is the truest kind of hidden treasure, a small Middle Eastern grocery store and commercial bakery, camouflaged in an industrial garage and warehouse area along Forsyth Road, just east of busy State Road 436 (Semoran Boulevard), immediately north of Hanging Moss Road and south of University Drive.
Tony’s specializes in savory Middle Eastern baked goods: soft, fluffy, warm spinach pies, spinach and cheese pies, spicy cheese pies, meat pies, fragrant za’atar pies, and of course fresh pita bread. I didn’t buy any pitas, but all the pies (more like pastries) were $1.75 each — easily a bargain at twice the price. They also sell some Middle Eastern groceries, but everyone probably goes for the baked goods.
This is the spinach and cheese pie (top) and the spicy cheese pie (bottom), from my first visit. The spicy cheese pie was medium-spicy, which was unexpected but very welcome. The pastry was served fresh and warm, the white cheese inside was soft, and I wish I could tell you what kind of cheese it was, but I cannot.
Two kinds of meat pies here, both with seasoned, finely-minced ground beef. The one on the left was in a rich tomato sauce, similar to the lahmacun I’ve ordered and loved at the Turkish restaurant Bosphorous. The ground meat in the pastry on the right was seasoned more simply, just with a bit of salt, pepper, and probably onion and garlic.
The crusts on all four of these pies were very soft, chewy, and still delightfully warm when I bought them around 10:30 AM on a weekday.
This was the za’atar pie, awkwardly cut up into pieces by a plastic knife in our break room at work. An actual sharp knife or a pizza cutter would have done better, or we could have just torn it, since it was very soft and thin. It started out perfectly round, I swear! It was extremely fragrant with thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds, and salt, and olive oil. It was my least-favorite of the five pastries I sampled — NOT because it was bad (it was really good!), but only because the others were so amazing. My co-workers seemed to like it the most.
Tony’s Bakery closes at 3 PM, but they run out of food long before that… I’d guess probably before lunchtime. If you’re going to go by, hit them early, or don’t bother. Like I said, I got there at 10:30 AM, and they were already out of spinach pies. Luckily for me, everything else was still available, and extremely fresh and warm. The man (Tony himself?) invited me into the huge kitchen in the back, where a very sweet woman patiently explained to me what everything was. I bought two of each of these to bring to work, so ten of these large, fresh, filling, savory pastries cost $17.50. I can’t recommend Tony’s Bakery highly enough, and now that I know how good it is, I’m going to add it to my regular rotation. You should too.
I returned more recently to pick up spinach pies and cheese pies for a baby shower at work:
I brought my trusty pizza cutter to work and cut each one in half to avoid the inevitable, horrifying waste of people taking a dainty bite and flinging the rest in the trash. This way they would have smaller bites. As it is, I wound up with a bunch of leftovers, so I happily ate these for a few more days afterwards.
While I was there, I couldn’t resist getting two of the hot, fresh open-faced meat pies and another spicy cheese pie, just for myself.
I wrote this review back in January (of 2020), so with everything going with COVID-19, definitely call Tony’s Bakery before heading over there to make sure they’re open. Call early, and go early. Don’t dawdle, especially if you want those perfect, soft, steamy, savory spinach pies!