The Vintage Cookie

Friday, August 19, 2011

New Bakeries in Northern Virginia

I love NOVA. I grew up on Staten Island, and I do not yearn to go back. But I do miss the bakeries. So I am even more excited when I find a new, good bakery here. This week, I have have been to two new bakeries and was pleased both times - so try them out.

The first is La Panaderia de Paris -- a Salvadorean version of a French bakery. La Panaderia is not a promising looking space - in a strip mall off Rte 50 in Seven Corners, next to Mark's Duck House (excellent Chinese, try it ), and sharing it's space with The Chicken House - a South American restaurant specializing in, well, the name says it all. I would not have bothered trying the baked goods. They looked totally mass producted, almost too perfect, so I assumed that they had been brought in, maybe frozen, from a mass produced bakery. And the name, La Panaderia de Paris, with it's mash-up of Spanish and French, also put me off. But my son really, really wanted a chocolate cake after our Chinese food at Mark's Duck House, so I gave in. I am glad I did.

Our selection was limited late on a Tuesday night, so we bought the Tiramisu Cake (that is what I call it, I am not sure what the bakery's name for it is.) We got the cake home and cut ourselves slices - and it was great. The Tiramisu cake is a soft yellow cake, soaked with a light coffee syrup and covered with a really nice, light, European style mocha buttercream frosting. It is lovely, and the small cake (plenty for a family or small dinner party) was a modest $12.00. A cake of this quality will usually run double that at Balducci's or The Swiss Bakery.

I will be going back to try some of the other cakes and also their bread. But even if the rest isn't any good, I'll be buying the Tiramisu cake again.

La Panaderia de Paris
The Willston Center
6184 Arlington Blvd (Rte 50) - just East of Seven Corners, on the North side of Rte 50
Fairfax, VA

The second bakery is less of a surprise - but something that is perfect for downtown Manassas. A new cupcake and coffee shop called Persnickety Cakes in Manassas. Unlike La Panaderia, this new cupcake joint is exactly like what it looks to be -- a nice place for a cup of coffee and a snack, with sheet cakes to order and also coffee and iced drinks. My son and I had the angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream frosting. The Angel food cake was lovely, and NOT dry (which can be a problem with Angel Food Cake.) We also split a chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream frosting, which was a very credible version of this standard. I will definitely go here again, when I am in downtown Manassas.

Persnickety Bakery
9105 Center Street
Manassas VA

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