5224 Port Royal Road
Springfield, VA 22151
CUISINE International, Bakeries, Sweets
PRICE Under $12
HOURS Open for breakfast and lunch daily, dinner, Monday through Saturday.
NVM AWARDS None
NEARBY METRO None
SPECIAL FEATURESAccepts Credit Cards
By Warren Rojas
Though my empirical evidence may be lacking, I’d be willing to bet The Swiss Bakery’s greatest expenditure is Windex.
Lord knows I had to fight to urge to press my face up against the glass to get an even better look at the fresh-baked buffet of meticulously decorated cookies and homespun pastries that seem to stretch into infinity behind their handsome display case.
Owner Laurie Weber (pastry chef) and her Swiss-born husband, Reto (head baker), bought the Burke location from the original owner in August 2001. They opened the companion Springfield store last August.
Almost all the daily baking is now handled exclusively at the Springfield shop—although Laurie Weber said some cookies and pastries are finished at the Burke store.
She estimated that on any given day they crank out approximately 50 cookies, two dozen French pastries, 15 to 20 breakfast items, a dozen (or so) rotating cakes, 15 to 20 homemade rolls/artisan breads and a handful of tarts. Come holiday time, Weber said they roll out seasonal gems like homemade panettone, stollen, bouche de noel and pre-fab/build-your-own gingerbread houses.
But why wait? After returning to the office with a mixed bag of the Webers’ cookie catalog, one giddy coworker gushed, “This makes me feel like it’s Christmas already.”
Sensible butter biscuits are gussied up with chopped nuts and a zesty cinnamon coating (nice combo). Greek shortbread bathes almond-laced dough in confectioners’ sugar (reminiscent of Mexican wedding cookies). Jewel-like Linzer cookies surround multicolored marmalades with hazelnut- and cinnamon-spiked dough (spicy-sweet synergy).
Pastry lovers need not feel neglected.
Cherry strudel weds sweet and sour (ripe, jellied cherries) with crispy dough (terrific). Walnut-covered sticky buns stain fingers with their molasses-like brown-sugar payload (a knockout). Napoleon marshals together smooth, vanilla custard, crackling phyllo leaves and marbled fondant icing for a regal treat.
Meanwhile, chocoholics can sneak a nip of something even stronger via humdinger rum balls featuring alcohol-drenched fudge dredged in chocolate sprinkles (hard to tell which has more of an effect, the built-in booze or the natural chocolate euphoria).