There are a handful of joints in our city that pay homage to the Big Easy, from the stalwart Bardia’s New Orleans Cafe to the thrifty Louisiana Kitchen to the upscale Acadiana downtown. But a newcomer to the hallowed Cajun scene, Bayou Bakery, offers a slightly different spin: your low-key, friendly neighborhood coffee and pastry shop.
Bayou Bakery is steps away from the Courthouse metro, and serves up quite the brawny chicory coffee and downright heavenly beignets. But don’t for a moment think it’s fit just for lazy Sunday morning. The menu presents a diversity of soups, sandwiches, and larger plates featuring perennial Cajun favorites like gumbo, pimiento cheese, and andouille sausages. There are also a few delightful imaginings, such as porKorn (caramel popcorn with bacon) and jars of spiced pecans. Make sure to add the “deviled eggs with a kick” to your order—you won’t regret it! Along with a few wines, the only beer available, of course, is Abita (not a bad thing).
Perhaps demonstrating the owner’s rather giddy love for New Orleans, along with every order you receive a laminated card featuring a parish. So when your sandwich is ready, over the microphone you’ll hear “St. Helena, your food is ready,” or “Acadia, please come to the front.” Also of note for die-hards are the whole King Cakes available for $35 in the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras.
The décor is spiffy and meant to showcase the quirks of New Orleans. The nook in the back, separate from the dining area, is filled with couches and used books. And an alligator head draped with beads, old-timey cookware, and antique-looking wooden shutters on the windows of the brand new building illustrate that although this place may be located in the heart of Courthouse, it’s not going to let any charm go unnoticed.
Bayou Bakery has only been open since November, but is beginning to be discovered. So, take the opportunity sooner rather than later to discover the delights of this little Cajun coffee hot spot.
To visit: 1515 N. Courthouse Road, Arlington VA. 703-243-2410. Monday-Friday 7am- 9pm, Saturday 8am- 9pm, Sunday 8am- 4pm. Very close to the Courthouse Metro, or lots of local Arlington buses.