Wednesday, November 12, 2008

For one or many

I have been patronizing Buzz Bakery for over a year and had yet to review it, probably because more often than not I go there to get away from writing in the first place. Owned by the same restaurant group as Rustico (across the street), Vermillion and the Evening Star Cafe, Buzz is a watering hole, a sophisticated dessert case and a morning pastry shop rolled into one.

Pastry Chef Josh Short and his team (who work until the wee hours, with a 6 AM opening and a midnight closing 7 days a week) offers something for everyone. If you stop there for breakfast you'll find oatmeal, waffles, scones, breakfast sandwiches, an incredible cinnamon role that takes its cues from brioche. Lunch offerings include simple salads and pre-made sandwiches. Brownies, cookies and cupcakes are available all day long. The ginger snap is very well balanced, with a good amount of crunch and spice. Their signature cupcake, the bumble bee, has a chocolate filling, meringue frosting, and its namesake bumblebee hovering above. (I believe I have one of each color by now), Thought it is true that the cupcakes used to be bigger and the filling has gone from pudding to sauce, their cakes-for-one especially the seasonal ones (the current ones include caramel apple and carrot cake) are consistently well made, beautiful to look at, imaginative and even fun to carry in a a Chinese take-out inspired container. Friendships have been made and saved, and many a-colleague enticed, prodded and even bribed, with the contents of that pastry case.

Their tartes are what set Buzz apart from the cupcake shops of DC - the caramel and pine nut is an impressive use of smoke taste in an unexpected place, and the lemon creme tarte would make a classic pastry chef nod in enthusiastic approval. Full cakes and pies are also available to carry out. If you find yourself there late, as I often do, you'll find plenty of people nursing drinks other than Illy Coffee. Though their dessertinis are nothing you couldn't find at a regular bar, they have a well-rounded wine selection and beers that make it a worthy sibling of Rustico.

Not quite Old Town, but you'll be glad you made the trip.

Buzz Bakery
901 Slaters Lane
Alexandria VA 22314
Buzz Bakery, Coffee, and Dessert Lounge on Urbanspoon

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