There are weekends when I wake up ready for an adventurous day of brunching, boozing, and bouncing around the city. And there are other weekends when I wake up and just want to cozy up with hot chocolate and comfort foods.
Luckily, on this particular lazy Saturday, my prayers were answered as soon as I stepped into Bayou Bakery in Arlington. Rustic decor lined the walls, Southern memorabilia accented the counters, and comfortable seating surrounded the space giving off a casual cafe vibe.
I went to the bakery on the Saturday of the first snowfall in the District. It was flurrying; I was all bundled up, and accompanied by my man friend. (How picturesque is that?) Despite my hunger, I was honestly most excited to hold a piping hot cup of joe and warm up. We approached the counter where you place your order and perused the menu.
Although there wasn’t traditional table service, everyone was lovely to talk to and patient with the “ifs” and “ums” we mumbled when we couldn’t decide what to order.
We finally decided on the homemade Bloody Mary, some coffee and tea, the quiche and breakfast potatoes to start, a biscuit BEC, a yogurt parfait for the main course, and, for dessert, their specialty holiday kringle cake along with a Louisiana classic, the beignet.
Although I was hesitant to try the Bloody given the weather outside, it was so worth it. Spices compensated for its cold nature and it was seasoned to perfection, easily one of the best Bloody’s I have ever had. I felt like a real hipster drinking this beverage in my beanie (I mean, it was also in a mason jar). The boozy drink was topped with pickled okra, which was a unique and aesthetically pleasing accent.
Our appetizers arrived first and the quiche was so beautifully warm, light, and fluffy. The Bayou quiche changes often, but this one was filled with veggies and goat cheese. I often find that a bakery quiche can be stiff and overcooked because they’re usually made ahead of time. However, this one was fluffy, moist, and everything a Southern comfort food should be. It was an epic beginning to the meal.
The potatoes followed and I didn’t think such a simple thing would be impressive; I was mistaken. The jerk seasoning was salty, but not overwhelming, spicy, but not pain inducing, and crispy, but not overly fried or oily. We were definitely starting to regain feeling in our fingers.
Onto the mains. The biscuit BEC and my yogurt parfait came out quickly after. The manly man’s biscuit was flaky, yet incredibly moist and complemented by well-cooked fix ins. This also paired well with their signature jalapeno jelly.
My parfait was also delightful. The yogurt was local and topped with fresh fruit and homemade granola. I’m usually not one to order something I could easily make at home, but the ingredients were too good to pass up.
We had high expectations for the pastries that were heading our way. We finished the meal with sweet cream filled kringle cake and powdered sugar beignets. The kringle pastry was flaky, fluffy, buttery, and covered in sweet frosting. Super rich and super sweet. No complaints.
I could see the fluffy, pillow-looking beignets immediately emerge from the kitchen, and I didn’t take my eyes off of them until they were in my mouth. I think the only place you could find a better beignet is in in New Orleans.
I started to laugh as I took a bite because I was literally that astonished by how good they were. Turns out this was a terrible idea; don’t breathe while you’re eating these things. The powder sugar will spray across the entire restaurant…and everyone will laugh at you.
The Bitches say: A-. Brunch doesn’t have to have full table service to be epic in terms of experience and food. Bayou does everything right. The only downside is that we can’t wake up and start every day there.
Bayou Bakery has many of its pastries daily, but serves brunch specials all day on Saturday and Sunday. (703) 243-2410