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Pastry XPO in Merrifield

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Based on the review from the Washington Post, I tried out this new bakery:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

After fighting the parking lot that Merrifield has become, I was happy to find there was plenty of real parking in new Merrifield town center. In the condo building are parking garages and behind the building where Pastry XPO is is plenty of parking, too. The cafe/bakery itself is nice--simple and calm. There is a section of wrapped chocolates, fondant flowers, hand made truffles in the first case that catch your eyes as you walk in. Then long cases of cakes, pastries, cookies follow. A nice selection, not overly large but it's still new and everything looked good. In the back, is the cafe w/ premade sanwiches, coffee and tea bar. I had a smoked salmon sandwich; my daughter had the salami pizza. Everything looked pretty but is premade which might be the biggest drawback. It's hard to keep a premade sandwich--the bread starts getting soggy, especially w/ the cream cheese on the inside. The smoked salmon sandwich was good, with tomatoes, romaine lettuce, capers, herbed cream cheese. I think it would have been excellent if it had been made fresh but refrigerated crusty bread loses it crispness and the bread gets harder. The salami pizza is also premade but then heated. It was very good--not really pizza but round puff pastry topped w/ (I think) bechamel and cheese, a few chopped tomatoes, dried oregano. The salami was more like Canadian bacon which I thought better than a heavy salami. My daughter loved it and had every bite, except the few I took. On the way out, we picked up a couple of sables, chocolate and raspberry, and an eclair. I liked the eclair, thought it was far better than the one we had from Cenan's the day before. The crust was soft (again, hard to keep pate choux long w/out losing the crispness in the pastry), unlike the drier one from Cenan's. Cenan's was far prettier but this tasted better--more cream, though chocolate, better pastry. The cookies were okay, not quite Dorie Greenspan's World Peace cookies, but good. On the way out, we were offered a taste of the bread pudding--with peaches, raspberries and almonds flavoring. Very good, fruit seemed fresh, very light hint of almond that didn't overwhelm and nice and light bite. I'd go back just for that. Overall, I'd definitely visit again and I'm picky about bakeries. Still little kinks to work out but it's so new. There were quite a few items that caught my eye, nice flaky croissants (good sized--not too big which is one issue I have with croissants), scones that looked great. I'd love to see this place succeed--nothing like a small business w/ owners who try hard. I'd add a link but it doesn't exist yet.

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  1. I also had reservations about the prepared sandwiches, but my turkey sandwich wasn't at all soggy. Maybe it was because it had no tomato, which was OK with me because I don't particularly care for tomatoes anyway unless they're really great. It appears from the printed menu that the turkey is the only sandwich without tomato.

    I didn't ask, but I wonder if they're equipped, if not busy (and it certainly wasn't busy when I was there) to make a sandwich fresh - maybe tell them that I'm allergic to tomato so just taking it off the sandwich and not eating it isn't sufficient. But then perhaps you like tomato.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MikeR

      Was the turkey on the wrap? I can't remember but wraps tend to do better refrigerated. Did you like the turkey sandwich? Anything out of the ordinary? I was torn between that and the salmon and decided to go w/ the salmon because of the little cigar shaped crusty bread for the salmon. I think two things affected the salmon sandwich: 1) the cream cheese soaked into the bread and 2) refrigerated crusty bread doesn't hold up well. Don't get me wrong--the sandwich was good. But, I think it had the potential to be even better. And, yes, I do like tomato.

      1. re: chowser

        The turkey sandwich was on a crusty baugette or French bread or whatever it's called. I liked it. Nothing special about the turkey - thin sliced, pepper crusted deli stock. Fontina cheese (so it said) and little cornichon pickles sliced lengthwise. Plenty to eat, good enough so that I ate the whole thing and didn't take home half for another lunch).

        I can't imagine how cream cheese soaks into anything unless it got very warm. Next time I'll try the smoked salmon sandwich and analyze it. But I'll try to get it without tomato.

        1. re: MikeR

          Cream cheese is moist and, spread on bread, will make it damp/slightly mushy.

    2. Go for the 4-cheese croissant! Not the "filled with gooey stuff kind" --- but swiss, feta, parmesan (and a 4th I can't remember) blended into the croissant and flaky/buttery!!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: rharrisjrphd

        That sounds great. They didn't have it when I was there but they might have just run out. There weren't many croissants, not the one written up in the Washington Post either but the few they had looked good.