I had never heard of this bakery in Clarendon, which is odd because I try to scout any bakery within a 20 mile radius from me. Bayou Bakery opened recently and don’t let the name fool you, they serve more than baked goods. I guess when you have a chef that’s nominated for Food & Wine’s The People’s Best New Chef he’s probably doing a few things right, in addition to the sweets. David Guas is a native Louisianian, and he has brought that style of cooking into the D.C. area.
In a corner space, the Bayou Bakery isn’t anything huge. But what it lacks in space it makes up for in customers. The bakery is also pretty casual with some comfy couch-like seats and chalkboards for the overhead menu at the register.
To be honest, what first caught my eye was the counter full of sweets. Red velvet cupcakes and cookies were on display. In addition, you can purchase pies here — there are even a couple of recipes on their website if you’re not lazy like me and you’d rather bake.
While the pastries all looked amazing, I of course I had to go with the New Orleans specialty: beignets. Fried dough topped with powdered sugar. Ask for a an order at Bayou and you’ll get three large donuts for $3.
They have the type of hot fresh dough that literally melts away in your mouth and before you know it they’re all gone. The only trace left of them was powdered sugar on my jeans. Since I wanted to get a little more of a New Orleans cuisine, I ordered the gumbo. Never had gumbo, and after tasting Bayou’s I wish I would have been eating it all my life. As one food reviewer online said, “There gumbo is yumbo.”
With a kind of chili-like flavor, this dish has rice, sausage and chicken. The above picture is a cup size, but you can also get a bowl. While I didn’t have time to order more, I noticed all around me how popular the sandwiches were at Bayou. Some of concoctions includes the muff-a-lotta, which is salami, mortadella, smoked ham, provolone and olive salad. Another favorite looked to be the arm drip, roast beef & gravy, swiss cheese, sauteed onions and mayo. Yumbo.
There is no doubt that I will be back — especially since I got a promo for a free order of beignets the next time. Yay! If you’re in the Northern Virginia area, I would highly highly recommend visiting Bayou. I mean, you can get cupcakes and sandwiches in the same place? That sounds like perfection.