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Bayou Bakery -- NOLA in NOVA? -- Courthouse (Arlington)

I want to try this new place which just opened in late November. The principal is one of Chef RJ Cooper's associates, David Guas. I met Chef Guas at the Iron Chef fundraiser party sponsored by Chefs as Parents last Sunday night (great event, btw), and he is really a nice guy.

He is also a national restaurant consultant, as well as being a pastry chef, caterer and instructor -- of "Damgoodsweet Consulting." http://www.damgoodsweet.com/about.html

The weather is perfect for some beignets and NOLA style coffee, or a muffuletta or andouille sandwich. I see they have interesting wines and brews, too. Chef Guas lists "Our artisans: Counter Culture Coffee, Pipedreams, Stachowski Meats, Stoner Apiaries, Trickling Springs Creamery, (and) Westmoreland Berry Farm."

The menu from the website is here http://www.bayoubakeryva.com/menus/Ba...

Bayou Bakery
1515 N Courthouse Rd
Arlington, VA, 22201

By Metro: Take the Orange Line to the Courthouse metro stop. Exit the station, heading south. Bayou Bakery is on your right.

Phone: 703-243-2410
Monday-Friday: 7:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday: Beginning in 2011


Anyone been yet?

PS, Anyone like my idea for a "Stuffed Beignet" containing Andouille and/or Gulf Shrimp (and Remoulade dipper)? ;-)).

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  1. I like that idea. I'm not really a fan of straight beignets.

    Wonder if the muffaletta is the real deal. Usually they're way off the mark (haven't yet had Italian Store's version).

    Italian Store
    3123 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22201

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dennis S

      the chef is a new orleans native.

      1. re: alkapal

        I have eaten just a handful of muffulettas in New Orleans so I am no expert, but the muffuletta at the Italian store is a bit different than what I ate in NO. The meats and cheeses were right, but the roll at the Italian store was different, kind of smokey and not as soft, or absorbent of the juices and the flavor. The other problem was the giardiniera was way different. Italian Stores was oilier and less flavorful. Italian store does their own sandwiches better than they did the two muffulettas I have gotten from them. Their Genoa or Milano are both better than their muffuletta.
        Definitely going to check out the Bayou next week, oddly enough I just drove by their sign for the first time an hour ago. Or more accurately, just noticed the sign for the first time as I drove by the Courthouse.

        Italian Store
        3123 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22201

    2. I have been 3 times for lunch. The muffaletta, creole pilgrim, and veg head are all quality sandwiches. The muffaletta is warmed, if that makes a difference for you. The gumbo is good, but not great imho. My favorite is the butternut squash soup.

      7 Replies
      1. re: dcs

        I stopped by for a praline. It was excellent. Cost $2. They stop serving a lot of their food after 2:30pm.

        I am disappointed that they only make one gumbo with no plans to change it up, but maybe that will change over time. I would love a great turkey gumbo.

        1. re: Steve

          hey steve, maybe mikeR is making a smoked turkey gumbo these post-thanksgiving days. tee hee!

          1. re: alkapal

            Interesting question, really: do you get a good stock out a smoked turkey? How about deep fried? I would think you lose out on the stock.

            1. re: Steve

              I'm not a soup maker, and I don't eat it that often. You have to make too much and I don't have a separate freezer so I can store only a little. So, I just trimmed the carcass as completely as I could (anyone know where to rent some piranhas?) and pitched it. The smoked meat worked very well in a while chili similar to the recipes that alkapal found.

              1. re: Steve

                we've made stock from smoked turkey carcasses and i did NOT like it - the smoke was too strong IMO and overpowered the turkey flavor, even tho the turkey meat was delish.

                this post *almost* makes me wish I still lived in the DC area - or visited once in a while, lol! sounds like a great place! :)

                1. re: jujuthomas

                  i've done smoked turkey stock, but made a mixed beans soup with it. it is OK, but i wasn't crazy about it either.

                2. re: Steve

                  i did a turkey, sausage and ham gumbo using the deepfried turkey leftovers, where the turkey meat retained the nice deep-fried consistency/taste, but used chicken stock/roux/dark beer.

                  turned out great

          2. I've been there several times over the last week. The Beignet is excellent - fresh, hot and covered in powdered sugar. The biscuit is light and perfect for soaking up the honey available to pour over it. It all goes well with a small pot of French Press Chicory Coffee.

            Chef Gaus has started serving into the evening (I think until 9PM). I plan to go one evening and try Jamie Stachowski's Boudin sausage.

            1 Reply
            1. re: TSChaad

              Is it table service or do you order and pay at a counter? Just wondering what the format is. Thanks!

            2. You order at the counter and pay for your order. Then you are given a laminated card with the name of a town in Louisiana. When your food is ready, that town name is called and you can pick up your order.

              8 Replies
              1. re: TSChaad

                Neat. A bit of humor with your meal when the yankee help yells: "Natchitoches! Your meal is ready!"

                1. re: justaddwater

                  i think my "name" was "madison." when did he start going later than 5 pm?

                  1. re: alkapal

                    Probably "Madisonville", I used to live in the same parish. On their facebook page photo section there's a picture of a girl wearing a K&B t-shirt. This guy knows what buttons to push.

                    1. re: justaddwater

                      it didn't have "ville," because these are the "names" they call out to let you know that your order is ready. i guess adding "ville" would make it too long for the purpose, although the derivation is likely just as you said.

                      in louisiana, adding "ville" is like adding "town" in england, right?

                      mr. alka enjoyed café vermilionville in lafayette, louisiana. http://www.cafev.com/menus.php

                      i sure wish there was a new orleans-style restaurant here. this is what i'd have for a snack: Crawfish Beignets --Louisiana Crawfish Tails Blended with Cheeses & Bacon Mire Poix, Topped with a Spicy Creole Mustard Aioli, Garnished with Fried Dill Pickles
                      see, i wasn't crazy to think of "stuffed" beignets! ;-).

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Is Louisiana Express in Bethesda still around? It's probably been 20 years since I was there, but they were pretty authentic for the cafe-style foods. Your "snack" might be too fancy for them.

                        I thought fried pickles was a fern bar thing, not a Nawleans thing.

                        1. re: MikeR

                          They're long gone, I'm afraid. Although some of the cooks opened their own place in Bethesda, using the same recipes. I can't think of its name, though.

                          1. re: MikeR

                            i don't know about fried pickles. they weren't done in "my part" of the south.

                  2. re: TSChaad

                    I finally made it to BB on Monday night. The names are parishes, not towns.

                    As for the food, very good, albeit a bit pricy. But I'll be back.

                  3. Went back for the beignets today. They stop serving them at 11am. $3 for 3. Quite a bit less expensive than a trip to New Orleans.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Steve

                      i got beignets at 4:30 the other day. nice, good value. way too much powdered sugar.

                      he needs to get things sorted out re opening times and serving cut-offs.

                      1. re: alkapal

                        I stopped into the Bayou Bakery yesterday for lunch after a business meeting in Fairfax. Parking wasn't bad. It has a nice open feel the staff was very friendly I order a muffalotta, gumbo, and an lemonade. The bayou lemonade was pricey but good. The muffalotta was out of sight I could eat a couple more of those. The bread was perfect with the salami, mortadella. ham, provolone and the olive salad. I was however very disappointed with my gumbo it lack depth and the sausage added no real favor to the dish and the turkey was forgettable. New Orleans Cafe on 18th St puts this gumbo to shame.

                        1. re: agarnett100

                          I think I need to try it again. I went this weekend and when we were there at 1:00 PM, they werre out of: biscuits, fresh beignets, chicory coffee, some salad, and the turkey sandwich (can't recall the name of it right now). I ordered chicory coffee because they didn't tell me they were out and it took them ten minutes just to start the brewing. I had a muffalotta and it just got forgotten on the press and the whole sandwich was dry. my friend's ceasar salad was "ok." I will go back because i have high hopes for what they are doing. I just think they need to decide if they want to be a breakfast place or a breakfast/lunch place, or an all day cafe... Though I like how it is a fun and casual place (and not so pretentious), I will catch a sandwich instead at Northside Social still

                          1. re: agarnett100

                            I also tried it out yesterday, early evening. I had the beignets which were great and the praline which totally rocked. Whoever thought toasted pecans and sugar could taste that good? This was the first praline I've ever had that I really really enjoyed.
                            I had a nice coffee as well, and enjoyed the wifi for an hour or so. There were some awesome smells coming from the kitchen and I was very sad I couldn't try one of their savory options just due to my own schedule for the day.
                            Lots of good potential and *love* their low prices!

                          2. re: alkapal

                            On my first visit to BB monday night for takeout, I saw the beignets and they looked great.

                            NB: There is no such thing as too much powdered sugar on beignets. The excess is for blowing onto your dining companions.

                            1. re: Bob W

                              Glad you brought this back up. I thought the beignets were excellent. Overall, I think their baked goods are excellent, even their cupcakes which I'm very picky about--the chocolate frosting has a little tang, maybe sour cream, and isn't too sweet. As savory food goes, it's okay, a nice change but I think the baked goods are by far the highlight.

                        2. yesterday, on the day of ice, i stopped in for a little breakfast snack (or two) mid-morning, and got the sausage biscuit, an order of beignets and a large regular coffee.

                          the coffee i got in a "to go" cup, because that keeps it hotter than the large earthenware coffee cups. i think their coffee is much nicer than starbucks' drip coffee, although it is a little bit pricier.

                          the sausage biscuit --- mmmm, let's just say that it is not "my" kind of flaky biscuit, but more of a granular texture. not bad, but not what i want in a biscuit. the sausage patty was rather small, and it was turkey sausage, which i didn't notice on the menu board. it was ok, but thin sausage patties just don't have that unctuous goodness that i'm seeking when i bite into them. so, bottom line, i'll skip the sausage biscuits. (it did benefit from a little dab of the pepper jelly that is now available).

                          the beignets were as wonderful as ever (and i request "not too much powdered sugar") and they came out perfectly puffy and hot (and lightly sugared, thank you!). chef happened to be at the counter and noticed that i'd turned them into "sopapillas" with drizzled honey (again, a condiment now available). i was busted, but it was well worth it! i could've done a "got beignets?" ad campaign, so was happy that i was sitting alone at the bar with a few napkins.

                          i noticed a couple of business conversations going on, so it looks like the place is becoming a favorite for business people in the area to get out of the office and have a nice comfortable space to talk with some privacy -- and have good coffee and food.

                          1. Stopped in for coffee and doughnuts this morning. To preface, I can't remember really ever eating beignets though I have had them dozens of times at Cafe du Monde. Trying these for the first time sober was fun. I thought they were over sugared and doughy. I like it when I can knock the heavy layer of sugar off, maybe they sat too long. They were fine, but not a big deal.

                            The chicory coffee was awesome. It is very bold and the chicory does not overpower. I would drink that often whereas Cafe du Monde's coffee is only once in a while and really not very good.

                            I am looking forward to a couple of the sandwiches. Hot roast beef and muffalatta.

                            1. I went there on Monday and enjoyed myself thoroughly. The gumbo lacks something. Just can't put my finger on what. The 'veg head' sandwich is great -- the bread is amazing. When you bite into it, the crust cracks into shards, just as it should. The bread itself is tender and not mega chewy. The beignets are light, fluffy, hot and not overcoated with powdered sugar. The chicory cafe au lait wasn't strong enough for my taste; next time I'll do the french press.

                              Good food, friendly staff, nice place! Wish I lived nearby!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Transplanted Texan

                                do try the french press coffee. is it the same coffee, just french pressed? i tried it, but found the regular coffee better. maybe i liked it more because i got it in a "to-go" cup that was insulated styrofoam, and kept it hotter than the very large earthenware cups they use in house.

                                mr. alka agrees with others about the gumbo: not enough flavor.

                              2. i see that guas is offering cuban sandwiches today on the lunch menu. he's got the cred: his dad is cuban. i'm gonna go get me one of those sandwiches, and think of when i was growing up eating cuban sandwiches in florida.

                                1. "food & wine" magazine is having an "event" to pick the best "up & coming chefs" in the mid-atlantic and chef guas, our local guy is in the running. please vote for our local guy; he is authentic, working hard to start his new restaurant business < the Lord knows he is bustin' it to make things work>, and is deserving!!! http://voices.washingtonpost.com/all-...

                                  let's help out chef guas; he's givin' us food (and coffee) we love! go here and vote at the right spot : http://www.bayoubakeryva.com/

                                  thanks. i like to see local chefs get recognition.
                                  btw, chef, i don't like the new coffee as much as the peruvian you have had as the drip coffee since you opened.

                                  we still want to make it for boudin sandwiches.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: alkapal

                                    While we're making requests - can a man get a sandwich in the morning? Finally stopped by there two weeks ago, it was around 10am, and I wanted a muffaletta in a bad way. Had to wait until 11:30 so I went to Italian Store instead.

                                    Italian Store
                                    3123 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22201

                                    1. re: Dennis S

                                      i'm with you on that morning sandwich thing. i'd love an andouille on a crusty baguette for breakfast! just give me some good remoulade and shredded iceberg to dress it up.

                                      and i'm going to lobby for a shrimp beignet for breakfast. chef could use IQF shrimp, so there isn't a lot of waste of perishable seafood.

                                  2. Had my first sandwich at Bayou yesterday. The bread is outstanding here. One of the best anywhere. I had the Arm Drip, which is roast beef with a bowl of gravy poured into it. You can't eat this without feeling like a two year old in a high chair. Along with the sandwich I tried the daily special of red pepper soup. It was perfect, pungent. It's a ton of food for $10, and even though it looks like you can't finish it, you can't stop either. A complete success.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Steve

                                      I wish they would have sandwiches at night, too. Their menu is limited for dinner.

                                      1. re: Steve

                                        That does sound delicious, though it's hard to imagine anyplace serving me enough food for only $10. :-/

                                        1. re: Steve

                                          The bread really is wonderful at BB. They have it made for them locally. Love how the crust breaks into shards as you bite into it.