Bayou Bakery takes customers right to the French Quarter. Chef David Guas’ home state of Louisiana not only inspires Bayou’s menu, but also the bakery’s décor and vibe. Guas’ family-inspired recipes coupled with the chill attitude of his staff make you feel right at home. Order at the counter, snag your hot drink or cocktail, and cozy up in one of the five seating areas. My favorite spots are the greenhouse-like space, the couch room – good for kiddos!, or the outdoor tables when the weather cooperates. Bayou is in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, situated right next to Hill Center – a Civil War-era hospital turned community center, and close to Eastern Market.
We ordered coffees, took our coffee refill coins (bring back with an empty mug and coin for a refill on the house), and found a table. The food didn’t take long to come out. Biscuits, beignets and bread pudding to start our weekend right.
I promise there are crispy-on-the-outside, light-and-doughy-on-the-inside beignets under that snowfall of powdered sugar. Bayou beignets are a must-order. Not only are they delicious and cheap, 3 for $3, but they are also small enough that you don’t feel guilty after eating just one! Share the plate with your friends.
Next the biscuits. Initially I did not think I would like the Southern style biscuit put before me. The cut down the center of the biscuit seemed a little too clean compared to the jagged, flaky, layered cuts that I have come to expect. The top did not appear to be brushed with any melted butter, milk or egg wash. I simply was not convinced it would be tasty.
Boy, was I wrong. The first bite was pure fluff. Savory dough with a slight crumble in each bite. I swiped my biscuit with Bayou’s house-made plum jam – such incredible flavor. My friends opted for the more filling, savory option: a patty of turkey sausage or crispy bacon strips, egg and cheese. They reported these were excellent choices.
We also tasted the Yogurt from the Farm with seasonal fruit and house-made granola. My friend mentioned she gets this and the croissant each visit because she cannot get enough of it! Bayou taters – skin-on reds, rosemary, sweet onions + peppers covered in rendered bacon fat – rounded out the meal.
Local tip: Try the Warm Bread Pudding Brûlée. It is a little wetter, gooier than your traditional bread pudding, but the Chantilly cream-iness is hard to resist. The salted caramel sauce is divine; I may be mistaken, but I think it has a hint of bourbon flavor. Delicious. Keep in mind that a lot of Bayou’s dishes are meant for sharing. And note that Bayou does have lunch and dinner options, as well as another location in Arlington, Virginia.
Bayou Bakery (901 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Washington, DC // 202.664.5307)