Posts Tagged ‘Bakery’

Second Shift: Manna Bistro & Bakery’s Rediet Berhane Swaps Program Analyst for Restaurant Life

Posted by Eliana Reyes / Friday, August 30th, 2013

Photo courtesy of Rediet Berhane

A series on NoVA chefs who have made kitchen life their next career.

While working as a program analyst, Rediet Berhane‘s sister approached her to help manage Manna Bistro & Bakery. Hesitating at first, Berhane set aside the safe office job and now works for herself managing what is, what she calls, her roller coaster of a restaurant.

[NVM] You were a program analyst at a contracting agency before moving to Manna Bistro & Bakery. Explain your job.
[RB] The company that I worked with takes government contracts … data analysis and program analysis [and looks] into how programs are performing, not performing; outcomes after implementing a program; [and] what is happening to those programs. 

What was your reaction when your sister approached you to do Manna?
For quite a while, I was hesitant. I didn’t accept it right away. But I kept entertaining it and then the idea of in life we have few opportunities, and you know, you miss that opportunity and it may never come back. So, that’s what made me change my mind to say that, “You know what? Let me try it,” instead of looking back in life saying that what would have happened had I tried it.

I changed my mind because it just seemed that it’s a natural thing to do.

Read the rest of this entry »



Opening Saturday: Cupcake and Wine Pairings at Cupcaked in Clifton

Posted by Eliana Reyes / Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Photos courtesy of Cupcaked, LLC

After graduating with a degree in economics from New York University and taking a job in accounting, Kristina Baranowski found herself drained from her job and baking to decompress. Her apartment began to fill from all the dozens of cupcakes she was making but not eating, so she began giving them away to friends.

“People started calling me and being like, ‘Remember those cupcakes you brought to me that one time? I’m having a birthday party. Do you think you can make some again?’” she says. “It really just happened so organically.” From there she started taking days off her desk job to keep up with the demand for her cupcakes, and her business, Cupcaked, was born. 

When promoting her business, Baranowski contacted local Clifton Paradise Springs Winery for a meeting, and they offered to let her present cupcake and wine pairings at the vineyard. With help from Paradise Springs’ Kirk Wiles, who suggested fruits and flavors that would complement their wines, Baranowski arrived with fifty pairings, including a vanilla cupcake with fresh apricot filling and apricot-buttercream frosting to eat with a petit manseng.

Baranowski’s ”boozy bakery” will also include chocolate-raspberry and chocolate caramel cupcakes with red wines, a chocolate cupcake with coffee icing and port wine and her signature pear cupcakes with brie cheese icing. / Cupcaked: Grand Opening, August 31, 2 p.m.; 12644 Chapel Road, Clifton



Guide to NoVA’s Dessert Shops

By Maddy Berner

cupcakes

Ruth Black/shutterstock.com

No matter the time of day, or diet you’re on, everyone craves the sweet, decadent taste of dessert. Thankfully, the Northern Virginia area is teeming with various sprinkled delights. From fro-yo to giant cupcakes, use your lunch break to explore only the newest and most delicious in dessert fashion. Only the finest sweet shops take residence in NoVA, and we categorized the best by location to help you get to know them.

Something to remember: Larger chains often have multiple locations in the NoVA area. If you see a shop you want to try, look for it in a community closer to you.

*Know of a bakery or cafe that’s absolutely delicious but isn’t featured on here yet? Leave a comment below and we’ll keep updating as we discover new places!

Alexandria

Just Desserts
Take a baking class and learn how to make these decadent treats, or simply shop the menu for an array of cakes, tarts and bars. Each one is made with the utmost care by Deirdre Parker, who has been in the business for years. Just Desserts also offers seasonal sweets, as well as catering services./ Alexandria; 703-801-6325; justdessertsva.com

Lavender Moon Cupcakery
Blood Orange Dreamsicle, Mexican Chocolate Pudding – it’s obvious this bake shop has a knack for uniquely-flavored cupcakes. Some online reviewers say it’s the best in the NoVA and D.C. area with their intensely moist, sweet cakes and decadent frosting./ 116 South Royal St., Alexandria; 703-683-0588; www.alexandriacupcake.com

Alexandria Cupcake
This shop calls itself a cupcake boutique bakery, complete with European style décor. But the real treat is the cupcakes, which are heavenly in their simplicity and taste. Their daily flavors include dark chocolate and red velvet, but call ahead to see if they’re serving their PB&J or rosewater cupcake./1022 King St., Alexandria.; 703-299-9099; www.alexandriacupcake.com

Alexandria Pastry Shop
Not only does this Alexandria staple offer gluten-free, sugar-free and allergy sensitive specialties, but they use locally-grown produce and European chocolate in their batters. They even offer seasonal treats like gingerbread and pumpkin bread. With wedding cake and catering services available, this place seems like the one-stop shop for all your sugary desires./ Bradley Shopping Center, 3690-H, King St., Alexandria.; 703-578-4144; alexandriapastry.com

Buzz Bakery and Lounge
You’ll feel like you stepped into a sweet treat wonderland at Buzz Bakery. Go early for breakfast, or stop in the afternoon to browse their cupcakes, pies and cookies. Then, come back at night where comfortable couches and intimate table settings make a hot spot for romance./ 901 Slaters Lane, Alexandria.; 703-600-2899; www.buzzbakery.com

hollin hall pastry shop

A wedding cake from Hollin Hall. | Photo courtesy of Hollin Hall Pastry Shop.

Hollin Hall Pastry Shop
Hollin Hall has won numerous awards for their take on weddings cakes and other pastries. Not only do they offer your typical treats, but they also sell a variety of decadent mousses in flavors you probably won’t find anywhere else. See what 30-year pastry veteran Mel Meadows is cooking up!/ 7920 Fort Hunt Road, Alexandria.;703-768-9643; www.hollinhallpastry.com.

Bittersweet
Yes, this café and catering company offers a variety of cupcake combinations – coconut cake with lemon buttercream, anyone? But they also serve savory cupcakes like mini lasagnas and mac n’ cheese. But if you’re going for sweet, try their Kahlua mocha trifle, lemon cloud mousse, or others. The possibilities are endless./ 823 King St., Alexandria.; 703-549-1028; www.bittersweetcatering.com.

The Dairy Godmother
Professionally-trained and lover all things sweet and fluffy – Liz Davis has created a unique place for custard lovers. Check online for her Flavor of the Day (sometimes Mexican chocolate or summer pudding), then purchase a homemade dog treat for your furry pal. Both man and man’s best friend will not be able to resist her original family-style desserts./ 2310 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria.; 703-683-7767; www.thedairygodmother.com.

Rita’s Italian Ice

Combine Italian ice and custard and you have Rita’s. This chain is a favorite amongst many in the area, especially on a scorching hot day. Their menu contains every frozen treat you can think of, with toppings to mix into each one. Go classic with an Italian ice, or load up on the mix-ins with a creamy custard Blendini./ Alexandria Plaza 6242-C, Little River Turnpike, Alexandria.; 703-256-RITA; www.ritasice.com.

Occasionally Cake
The real Cake Bosses are right here in town and they have a custom-made cake for any occasion. Choose from a variety of more than 100 flavors including carrot cake, cookies n’ cream, fuzzy navel, red velvet and tiramisu and let these artists work their magic for birthdays, weddings or even dessert (cupcakes). / 8859 Richmond Highway, Alexandria; 703-780-2253; occasionallycake.com

 

Arlington

Red Velvet Cupcakery
This bake shop recently came to the Clarendon area in 2011. Using locally grown ingredients, their cupcakes are moist, fresh and decadent. They even donate their leftovers to shelters and organizations in the area. Suggestion? Try the red velvet. It’s ultra-sweet and, of course, a classic./ 3035 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington.;703-243-5660; www.redvelvetcupcakery.com.

Crumbs
Another popular chain bake shop is Crumbs, also located in Clarendon. They sell brownies, muffins and cakes, but they are known for their giant-sized cupcakes, which can easily feed two or more with their abundance of frosting and taste. Buy one to split in flavors such as Key Lime and Dulce de Leche./ 2839 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington.; 703-5244001; www.crumbs.com.

pinkberry

Fresh frozen yogurt. | Photo courtesy of Pinkberry.

Pinkberry Frozen Yogurt
The Arlington location of this fro-yo giant just opened a few years ago, but has become successful in luring in customers with their unique and healthy toppings. Choose a base flavor then pile on syrups and toppings. These guys promise you’ll feel light and refreshed – just like their yogurt./ 2930 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington.;703-312-9433; www.pinkberry.com

Boccato Gelato
When you walk into this quaint gelato and coffee shop, you’ll think the ice cream looks too good to eat.  Take a bite into rich flavors like cake batter and banana or request your own idea for a creamy concoction on their chalkboard. Fun, different and deliciously authentic./ 2719 Wilson Blvd., Arlington.; 703-869-6522; www.boccato.com

Hiedelberg Pastry Shoppe
Hailing from Germany, Heidelberg’s authentic treats have public officials from all over the area coming for more. Since 1975, the Büchlers have been serving desserts that satisfy both sides of the Atlantic. Take a number and enjoy complimentary coffee while waiting for you order./ 2150 N. Culpeper St., Arlington.; 703-527-8394; www.heidelbergbakery.com

Pastries by Randolph
This local favorite takes pride in their dedication to dessert. Cakes of all shapes and flavors are available and can be custom-made. They also offer pastries like petit fours, chocolate dipped strawberries and small tea cookies. These guys keep it real and keep customers coming back./ 4500 Lee Highway, Arlington.; 703-243-0070; www.pastriesbyrandolph.com

Arax Café
For authentic Armenian desserts, Arax Café reigns supreme. Ice cream and sweet treats like baklava are popular, and often reflect the season. Summery flavors like mango and coconut will relieve you on a hot day, but the friendly customer service will stick with you forever./ 5852 N. Washington Blvd., Arlington.; 703-532-3320.

 

Fairfax

cupcakes actually

The storefront at Cupcakes Actually. | Photo courtesy of Cupcakes Actually

Cupcakes Actually
We gave them a “Best of NoVA” award for their cupcakes, but the sister/owners’ passion and dedication to flavor speaks for itself. We’re not sure where to start on their menu – with choices such as pistachio, orange and blackberry – but their decadent vanilla and chocolate cupcakes are surefire winners./ 11944 Grand Commons Ave., Fairfax.; 571-522-6315; cupcakesactually.com

Simply Desserts
Prize-winning cheesecakes and sculpted cakes make this dessert shop well-known and divine for those with a serious sweet tooth. Owner Kimberly works tirelessly to decorate cakes for any occasion, making sure even smaller treats like cookies and cake pops are original and baked to perfection./ 13140 Madonna Lane, Fairfax.;703-362-8942; www.simplydessertsonline.com

Breeze Bakery Cafe 
Annandale and Centreville might be Koreatown with their endless options of BBQ’ed bulgogi and H Marts, but sometimes it can be hard to find a good Asian bakery. Breeze satisfies this need with its desserts, including sweet potato cakes, Bing Soo (gelato) and bubble tea. Plus, it’s open until midnight all week just in case your date at Honey Pig runs late. So grab a bite, then relax on the upstairs deck with friends – and forget you’re in Annandale at all! / 4125 Hummer Road, Annandale; 703-462-9093; breezebakery.com

The Swiss Bakery and Pastry Shop 
Guten Tag! If you’re looking for a place to score decadent German sweets without dealing with pesky customs, look no further. The Swiss Bakery, with locations in Springfield and Burke, offers European chocolates, fresh-baked pastries and wine and beer from across the pond. Tschüß! / Ravensworth Shopping Center, 5224 Port Royal Road, Springfield; 703-321-3670; Burke Town Plaza, 9536 Old Keene Mill, Burke; 703-569-3670; swissbakery.com

Victoria’s Cakery
Pound cake, scones and delicate tea desserts separate this bakery from your normal cake shop. Of course, the classic wedding cake option is also available, with flavors like lemon and almond on hand. Look for the quaint red shutters outside this welcoming dessert establishment./ 10430 Main St., Fairfax; 703-273-0800; www.victoriascakeryinc.com

Shilla Bakery
For an Asian spin on American classics, visit Shilla for their successful blend of both. The staff has traveled to countries like Japan and South Korea, looking for that hot new dessert trend. Their website even contains a section for new products. Ever heard of melon bread? Read more online!/ 10940 Fairfax Blvd. Suite E-F, Fairfax.; 703-691-1171; intelisystemstest.com/shilla

Unique Bakery
Owner and founder David Behnam has been in the business for 30 years, whipping up custom wedding cakes, pies and cheesecakes. Converse with the friendly staff, sip coffee and browse whatever seasonal flavors this award-winning bakery is offering at the time./ 9557 Braddock Road, Fairfax.; 703-426-7202; www.theuniquebakery.com

Sweet Berry
Customers online rave about the dozens of gelato options available here. Everything is made fresh, including a warm waffle or French crepe to accompany to your frozen delight. Flavors include strawberry, tiramisu, hazelnut and coconut./ 9432 Main St., Fairfax.; 703-978-2112.

Woody’s Ice Cream
It’s a simple, classic ice cream shop taking residence in the 21st century. Get freshly-made soft-serve ice cream in a cone, dipped in chocolate, or over a brownie. Splurge for a milkshake in flavors like peanut butter and black cherry. Only open for the summer!/ 10435 North St, Fairfax.; 703-277-9553; www.woodysicecream.com

Vina Café Bakery
This dessert shop was originally a Chinese bakery, but the family updated it to include a fusion of eastern and western flavors. They now serve Taiwanese-style buns, Vietnamese-style pastries and of course, all-American cakes./ 3900-C Pickett Road, Fairfax.; 703-239-2828; www.vinacafebakery.com

Dulce’s Bakery and Empanada Shop
Entering this dessert shop will transport you south to the rich culture of Latin America. Grab an authentic empanada – sweet or savory – then try with one of their cupcakes or cookies. These guys are longtime NoVA locals, and are dedicated on bringing their unique flavors to you./ 3900-C Pickett Road, Fairfax.; 703-978-8021; dulcesbakery.com

 

Falls Church

Lazy Sundae
A quick milkshake fix can be satisfied at this small, intimate shop in Falls Church. They serve sandwiches as well, but the ice cream and milkshakes are too creamy and sweet to pass up. Try the coconut and taste actual slivers of roasted coconut mixed inside./ 110 N. West St., Falls Church.; 703-525-4960. 

The Mirage Café
We have to ask: who hasn’t had a craving for the honeyed, crunchy taste of baklava? Thankfully, Falls Church has The Mirage, a restaurant and bakery that specializes in the Middle Eastern dessert. Order this freshly-made pastry in bulk, along with a variety of other treats packed with nuts from Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan. Try the balooria, basma or maamoul./ 5916 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church.; 703-845-1600; www.miragesweets.com/.

Frozen Dairy Bar and Boardwalk Pizza
This frozen custard shop has changed a lot since opening in 1950. But through it all, it continues to deliver some of the creamiest and most genuine ice cream in the NoVA area. There’s a lot of history in this place, so grab a cone and enjoy that old-timey atmosphere./ 6641 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church.; 703-534-4200; www.fdbpizza.com

Natalia’s Elegant Creations
Voted best bakery, coffee shop and lunch spot in Falls Church – you simply can’t miss out on the sweet and savory items offered at Natalia’s. This quaint little café specializes in fresh, high-quality products that can be vegan and/or gluten-free. Their gourmet cupcakes almost look too pretty to eat and their various tortes will have your mouth quivering for more./ 230 West Broad St., Falls Church; 703-241-8040; www.nataliaselegantcreations.com/.

 

Leesburg

Mom’s Apple Pie Company
Experience the warm, comfortable feeling whenever you dive into an apple pie again and again – and without preservatives. All your favorites are featured on the menu, including stand-outs like almond amaretto, peach and the ever-classic apple. Their blackberry pie was even voted one of the best in the south by Southern Living Magazine. Breads and cookies are also available./ 126 A Commerce St., Occoquan; 703-497-7437; 220 Loudoun St., SE, Leesburg.; 703-771-8590; http://www.momsapplepieco.com/.

 

Manassas

Confections
A cupcakery “that delivers to you” sounds almost perfect to us, but it’s the variety of cupcake flavors that seal the deal. Come in every day for a different selection: Snicker’s, Coconut, Watermelon, Maple Bacon and Pistachio – just to name a few. And this place loves to support the community, so choose them next time you want to host a party or school event!/ 12801 Galveston Court, Manassas.;703-670-6639; http://www.confectionsonline.com/.

 

McLean

blueberry buckle
A blueberry buckle from Danielle’s Desserts. | Photo courtesy of Danielle’s Desserts.

 

Danielle’s Desserts
Danielle and her baking expertise have been featured on multiple news outlets, which proves just how divine and delicious her treats really are. Layer cakes, pies and cookies, among others, sprinkle the menu. She even offers gluten-free desserts, enjoyed in a warm and inviting atmosphere./ 2001 International Drive, McLean.; 703-442-4096; http://www.daniellesdesserts.com/.

 

Reston and Herndon

Edibles Incredible Desserts
To start, the cake designs featured at this shop are one-of-a-kind and impressive – we would know, we’ve featured them in our magazine twice! Past the cakes are cool confections like gourmet truffles, rich fudge and of course, cupcakes topped with loads of frosting./ 11917 Freedom Drive, Reston.;703-709-8200; www.ediblesincredible.com

The CupCake Ladi
“Superior quality, superior taste,” is what the CupCake Ladi says about her organic cupcakes. They’re made with certified organic ingredients, meaning their great taste will leave an equally great feeling in your stomach. One NoVA Mag reader says you haven’t lived until you try her Moo Moo Moo Cow cupcake, but there are so many options, you’ll be itching to try them all!/11412 West Washington Plaza, Reston.; 703-787-6775; http://www.thecupcakeladi.com/.

Milwaukee Frozen Custard
If you thought there were only two flavors of custard, think again. Milwaukee serves more of them than we can count, with the amount of mouth-watering toppings surpassing even that. Creamy custard is mixed with crumbs and glazes to create blends like s’mores, lemon meringue pie and pumpkin pie./ 300 Elden St., Herndon.;703-467-0900; www.milwaukeefrozencustard.com

Pitango Gelato
This chain claims they use only the freshest ingredients, such as grass-fed cow milk and free-range eggs, which they often import themselves. Their shop serves flavors ranging from sweet to tart, all with an authentic Italian twist. Pitango customers deserve the best of the best, and the gelato definitely delivers it./ 11942 Democracy Drive, Reston.;703-606-9906; www.pitangogelato.com

Chesapeake Chocolates
Always fresh and always handmade – that’s something promised by Chesapeake Chocolates. This dessert shop specializes in chocolate truffles, bark and shapes, making sure to add a little texture with nuts, dried fruit and toffee. Stop into this family-owned location for your next Valentine’s Day gift. They make it personal./ 11426 Washington Plaza West, Reston.; 703-620-0082; www.cheschoc.com

 

Vienna

Nielsen’s Frozen Custard
Nielsen’s ice cream feels like melted butter on the tongue– smooth, creamy and oh, so good. There are loads of fun toppings to choose from, but nothing is wrong with going au natural. Made fresh every few hours, this frozen treat is hard to beat./ 144 Church St. NW, Vienna.; 703-255-5553.

Amphora Bakery
An ever-increasing demand for sweets caused this bakery to relocate not once, but twice! Amphora now employs over 20 experienced bakers, chefs and designers to bring the rich taste of Europe to every bread and pastry on the shelf./ 405 Maple Ave. West, Vienna.; 703-281-5631; www.amphorabakery.com

Cupcakes!
The name of this cupcakery speaks for itself. Simple, elegant and just plain delicious – if that’s what you’re looking for, then Cupcakes! makes it easy. Choose from cupcakes of the classic variety, or change it up with lemon blueberry and pumpkin./ 527 Maple Ave. West, Vienna.;703-938-3034; www.cupcakescupcakery.com

sweet city desserts

Decadent treats from Sweet City Desserts. | Photo courtesy of Sweet City Desserts.

Sweet City Desserts
The concept of this shop was to allow customers to watch the pastry chefs as they work. They can order any of the Filipino-style desserts, then relax in the lounge area surrounded by free Wi-fi and soft music. Try a purple yam cupcake first, it’s just one of many unique flavors there./ 131-A Maple Ave. West, Vienna.; 703-938-8188; sweetcitydesserts.co

The Pie Gourmet
If you thought you knew every type of pie, think again. The Pie Gourmet offers dozens more, as well as specialty cakes, cheesecakes and other desserts. Check out the photos of each pie, then choose the right flavor for any occasion. It’s guaranteed to delight the taste buds./ 507 Maple Ave. West, Vienna.; 703-281-7437; www.piegourmet.com

Cenan’s Baked Goods
Stop into Cenan’s for a sandwich, but stay for their array of homemade pastries, including delights like brioche, meringues and Turkish delights that are authentic and sweet. Cenan himself promises hearty, fresh bread every morning, without the icky preservatives./ 122 Branch Road SE, Vienna.; 703-242-0070; www.cenansbakery.com  

Yas Bakery
Since 1986 Yas has been supplying Vienna with delicious Persian cookies and cakes. If you count yourself among the many baklava lovahs, this market is a must-stop shop. One Yelp reviewer says, “If you’re interested in unique foods, Yas is like a playground.” / 137 Church St. NW, Vienna; 703-242-4050; yasbakery.com

Silva’s Patisserie
A patisserie (often spelled with a miniature rooftop accent thing over the ‘a’) is a French or Belgian bakery that specializes in pastries and sweets. This family-owned hidden gem boasts a selection of tempting desserts that will have you packing on the pounds if you’re not too careful with their marzipan, creme brulee and macaroons. There’s even key lime pie, which is undeniably hard to find in NoVA. / 167 Glyndon St. SE, Vienna; 703-255-6880; silvaspatisserie.com



Battle Baguette: The French Win at LeoNora Bakery

Posted by Carten Cordell / Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

When visiting Paris a few years ago, devouring a simple baguette slathered with butter was all I wanted. And until recently, I haven’t been able to find an authentic Parisian baguette in NoVA.

Nestled on a side street right behind Clarendon’s Liberty Tavern, LeoNora Bakery opens with gigantic windows, inviting you to see inside the kitchen where bakers are preparing pastries and rolling out fresh dough. It’s a small space offering big flavors of (mostly) Parisian breads and pastries by Carolina Garcia, a woman who returned to NoVA with a love for Parisian baked goods after living in France for two years. Not being able to find the breads she enjoyed, she returned to France to study bread-making under award winning Parisian baker, Arnaud del Montel and opened her shop up late last year.

LeoNora Bakery Highlights:
Parisian Baguette: When you break it open, its crisp crust crackles as only an authentic baguette would. It envelopes a soft, chewy interior awaiting a slather of butter.

Alfajores: I was not expecting to run into this Argentinian cookie at LeoNora’s, but it will definitely be a repeat purchase. The soft, delicate cookie crumbles as you bite into it, contrasting to the layer of sweet dulce de leche and coconut sandwiched in between.

American Brioche: A new find for me, this muffin-sized bread was described as similar to a croissant, but with a chewier, softer inside. It has the classic egg-y, soft inside found in a brioche roll with a crisp, buttery crust on the outside; the best of both worlds.

Photo: Sally Traynham

[tips for the food desk]


Stone Soup Bakery Taking Holiday Orders

Posted by The Editorial Desk / Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

The holidays are closing in on us fast! With all the preparations for out of town families and incredible feasts, who has time to make dessert? These guys! So, let them make it for you!

They’ll meet you in the Burke Centre VRE parking lot in our regular Saturday Farmer’s Market spot on the evening of Friday December 23rd at 7pm with your pre-ordered desserts.

If you happen to need dessert for New Year’s as well, don’t hesitate to order. Provided are freezing and defrosting/reheating instructions to make the storage and presentation of your desserts a breeze.

Pies:

Pumpkin Pie from Stone Soup Bakery

Large $15 each * Small $6 each
Apple
Apple Crumble
Pecan
Sweet Potato
Apple Butter Pumpkin
Key Lime

Assorted Cookies:
$ 10 a dozen
Semisweet Chocolate Chip
Double Chocolate Chip
Oatmeal Raisin
Almond Sugar Cutouts
Gingerbread

Assorted Brownies:
$1- 1.50 each
(must order 20 or more of the same brownie)
Super Fudgy Brownie
Walnut Super Fudgy Brownie
Chunky Pecan Pie Bar
Almond Shortbread Brownie
Peanut Butter Blondie

Place your order with us now to reserve your delicious no-hassle Holiday desserts. I bought an apple butter pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit- not one slice remained!

Stone Soup Bakery – contact Jennifer Graybill & Johnny Connolly
(703)909.6089 * stonesoupbakery@yahoo.com

– Jennie Whistler



Crop Rapport – Stone Soup Bakery

Posted by The Editorial Desk / Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Farmers Market in Burke

Even through the driving rain and cold wind that blew through the area last weekend, loyal patrons, decked out in galoshes and ponchos, shaking water from their hair still cheerily shopped the mini streets of the Burke farmers market. It’s heartening to see that even the foulest weather couldn’t deter those tried and true local clients, hurrying to get their fresh apples, fragrant herbs and bright vegetables.

Local, seasonal vegetables

Among the local produce vendors, intermingled with startlingly vivid flower stands and fresh-baked breads rests a small, unassuming tent piled high with fresh cookies, pies and brownies and manned by the cheeriest people, despite the nasty weather.

Owners Jennifer Graybill & Johnny Connolly

I’m talking about Stone Soup Bakery, a brand-new business run by local brother and sister team, Jennifer Graybill and Johnny Connolly. The bakery name, I’m told, is derived from the folk tale of the same title. “The message we took from the story is that if everybody contributes a little, it can make a whole lot,” Graybill said.

Well said. A duo that has always been baking, the two recently decided to take their wares public and have made their debut at the Burke Farmers Market. As of right now, all the cooking is done out of Graybill’s home kitchen and their products are sold only at this location.

An assortment of delicious goodies

This family is an example of team work at its finest; Connolly does the pie baking while Graybill creates the cookies and all of their products are made with as many local ingredients as possible. Because they work a lot with local produce, their flavors are more seasonal- right now apple and pumpkin pies are being highlighted in honor of Thanksgiving!

I had the opportunity to taste their pumpkin pie, of which they are especially proud- and with good cause! The smooth, custard-y filling is made from half fresh apple butter and half pumpkin. It simmers in a mix of sweet and savory spices for hours before it’s poured over a ginger snap pecan crust. The crust is truly what makes this dessert special. It’s thick and flaky, with just the right amount of texture that just melts away in your mouth.

Pumpkin pie with ginger snap, pecan crust

You’re gonna want to order this bad boy in advance for your Thanksgiving dinner- or perhaps just for dinner tonight.

What’s more, you can order it for your Thanksgiving dinner and pick it up from them in the same location (Burke VRE parking lot) the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving to ensure you the freshest possible dessert. That that, Sara Lee!

Get your order in now!

Their cookies are all moist and chock-full of delicious fillings. Whether it’s double chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin (my personal favorite), you won’t be disappointed- there’s something for everyone!

Fresh cookies by Stone Soup Bakery

Not only were the baked goods a delightful treat, it was a real pleasure talking with and getting to know this family. Not only are they creating wonderful desserts and baked goods, but they’re contributing a positive image to farmers markets everywhere. You could tell that they took great pride in what they were doing and that they truly enjoyed doing it. Fresh, local ingredients and friendly faces are what helps the local markets persist and thrive in today’s economy- and Stone Soup is doing everything right.

Come see for yourself! Visit Stone Soup every Saturday at the Burke Farmers Market. “We love being at Burke Market,” said Connolly. “We live here, sell our products here, and contribute to our home community.”

And that’s what it’s all about, kids.

Visit them on Facebook and “Like” their page!

Visit them in person:
Burke Farmers Market • 5671 Roberts Parkway, Burke – Sat, 8-noon

Stone Soup Bakery – 703.909.6089; stonesoupbakery@yahoo.com

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Northern Virginia Farmer’s Market and Hours:

Annandale Farmers Market • 6621 Columbia Pike, Annandale – Thu, 8-noon 
Arlington Farmers Market • N. 14th St. & N. Courthouse Road, Arlington – Sat, 8-noon 
Ashburn Farmers Market • 44036 Pipeline Plaza, Ashburn – Sat, 8-noon
Ballston Farmers Market • N. Stuart St. & N. Ninth St. – Thu, 3-7 p.m. 
Brambleton Farmers Market • 22875 Brambleton Plaza, Ashburn – Sun, 9-1 p.m.
Burke Farmers Market • 5671 Roberts Parkway, Burke – Sat, 8-noon 
Cascades Farmers Market • 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling – Sun, 9-1 p.m.
Clarendon Farmers Market• 3100 Wilson Blvd., Arlington – Wed, 3-7 p.m.
Columbia Pike Farmers Market • S. Walter Reed Drive & Columbia Pike – Sun, 9-1 p.m.
Community Farmers Market • West & Main Streets (Sat), North St. & Old Lee Highway (Sun), Fairfax – Sat: 8-1 p.m.; Sun: 10-2 p.m.
Crystal City Farmers Market • Crystal Square Arcade between S. 18th and 20th Streets – Tue, 3-7 p.m. 
Culpeper Farmers Market • E. Davis & Commerce Streets – Sat, 7:30-noon
Dale City Farmers Market • Dale Blvd. & Minnieville Road, Dale City – Sun, 8-1 p.m.
Del Ray Farmers’ Market • E. Oxford & Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria – Sat, 8-noon 
Fairfax Farmers Market • 3720 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax – Tue, 8-noon
Falls Church Farmers Market • 300 Park Ave., Falls Church – Sat, 8-noon 
Fredericksburg Farmers Market• George and Prince Edward Streets, Fredericksburg – Mon-Sat, 7-6 p.m.; Sun, 12:30-4 p.m.
Frying Pan Farmers Market • 2709 West Ox Road, Herndon – Wed, 8-12:30 p.m.
Great Falls Farmers Market • 750 Walker Road, Great Falls – Sat, 9-1 p.m. 
Haymarket Farmers Market • 1500 Washington St., Haymarket – Sat, 8-2 p.m. 
Herndon Farmers Market • Lynn and Station Streets, Herndon – Thu, 8-noon
Kingstowne Farmers Market • Kingstowne Center & Kingstowne Blvd., Franconia – Fri, 4-7 p.m.
Leesburg Farmers Market • 20 Catoctin Circle S.E., Leesburg – Sat, 8-noon
Lorton Farmers Market • 8990 Lorton Station Blvd., Lorton – Sun, 9-1 p.m.
McLean Farmers Market • 1659 Chain Bridge Road, McLean – Fri, 8-noon 
Middleburg Farmers Market • 300 W. Washington St., Middleburg – Sat, 8-noon
Mount Vernon Farmers Market • 2501 Sherwood Hall Lane, Alexandria – Tue, 8-noon
Nokesville Farmers Market • 13005 Fitzwater Drive, Nokesville – Sat, 8-noon
Oakton Farmers Market • 3200 Jermantown Road, Oakton – Wed, 8-noon 
Old Town Alexandria Farmers Market
 • 301 King St., Alexandria – Sat, 5:30-11 a.m.
Old Town Manassas Farmers Market • 9201 Center St., Manassas – Thu, 7-1 p.m.; Sat, 7:30-2:30 p.m.
Nokesville Farmers Market • 13005 Fitzwater Drive, Nokesville – Sat, 8-noon
Purcellville Farmers Market• 751 E. Main St., Purcellville – Sat, 8-noon
Reston Farmers Market • 11400 Washington Plaza W., Reston – Sat, 8-noon
Smart Markets – Centreville • 5875 Trinity Parkway, Centreville – Fri, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Smart Markets – Fairfax Corner • Grand Commons Ave., Fairfax – Tue, 3:30-6:30 p.m. 
Smart Markets 
 Gainesville • 13297 Gateway Center Drive, Gainesville – Sun, 10:30-1:30 p.m.
Smart Markets – Herndon • 460 Elden St., Herndon – Thu, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Smart Markets – Oakton • 2854 Hunter Mill Road, Oakton – Sat, 10-2 p.m. 
Smart Markets – Reston • 11890 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston – Wed, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Upper King Street Farmers Market • 1806 King St., Alexandria – Wed, 3-7 p.m.
Vienna Farmers Market • 131 Church St. N.E., Vienna – Sat, 8-noon
Wakefield Farmers Market • 8100 Braddock Road, Annandale – Wed, 2-6 p.m.
Warrenton Farmers Market • Branch Drive and Warrenton Village Center (Wed), S. Fifth & Lee Streets (Sat) – Wed, 7-1 p.m.; Sat, 7-noon
West End Farmers Market • 4800 Brenman Park Drive, Alexandria – Sun, 9-1 p.m.

– Jennie Whistler



Freeze Jag: Breeze Bakery Cafe

Posted by Warren Rojas / Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

August is historically the steamiest, stickiest, sweatiest month of the year–brilliant move, Founding Fathers, building the nation’s capital on a swamp–in these parts. We’ve tracked down 31 frozen treats (one a day for the rest of this month) to provide you with some temporary, and often insanely delicious, relief.

The place: Breeze Bakery Cafe – 4125 Hummer Road, Annandale; 703-462-9093

The prescription: fruit bingsoo. I know, I know. If you’re gonna bother to eat bingsoo you HAVE to get the red bean paste-laced variety. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t feeling red bean-y when I strolled into Breeze. In fact, I almost settled for one of their single serving fruit pops. Until I spotted a gaggle of giggling, pony-tailed Asian co-eds gleefully chipping away at a mountainous bowl of bingsoo. I opted for the same and was rewarded with a Technicolor treat loaded with a cornucopia of vivacious fruits (orange, kiwi, strawberries, honey dew melon, pineapple, cantaloupe), wildly sweet fruit syrup, condensed milk and big chewy globs of mochi (very marshmallow like). The syrup turned the shaved ice hot pink and intensified the latent sweetness of the complementary produce, while the sweetened milk gave the entire enterprise a decidedly dairy edge.

Solo diners should probably stick to the aforementioned fruit pops or gelato, as the bingsoo is clearly meant to be shared (preferably with a team of seasoned competitive eaters). Still hungry? Snag one of the ultra crunchy sweet cream twists from the self-serve bakery bins.

–Warren

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Keep tabs on the month long Freeze Jag trek here.



Freeze Jag: Red Fox Creamery

Posted by Warren Rojas / Saturday, August 6th, 2011

August is historically the steamiest, stickiest, sweatiest month of the year–brilliant move, Founding Fathers, building the nation’s capital on a swamp–in these parts. We’ve tracked down 31 frozen treats (one a day for the rest of this month) to provide you with some temporary, and often insanely delicious, relief.

The place: Red Fox Creamery – 130 N. Cameron St., Winchester; 540-545-8630; www.facebook.com/Redfoxcreamery

The prescription: Honey-Walnut scoop. Middleburg’s loss–founders Brian and Kathy Lewis actually began cranking out their homemade ice cream over a decade ago in Middleburg; it’s still carried by certain area retailers–turned out to be Funchester’s crazy sweet gain. For it is they, our neighbors to the northwest, who now get first dibs on the Lewis’ intensely flavored frozen treats, including: after dinner mint chip, vanilla malt-chocolate chip, mocha-toffee crunch (javariffic), cookies and cream, french vanilla-capuccino, cinnamon-oatmeal cookie (zesty cinammon and crunchy oatmeal crumbs were muy simpatico) and key lime pie. But the most mind blowing of the bunch we tried had to be the honey-walnut. This one goes, well, totally nuts, littering dulcet, honey-laced ice cream with huge, honking whole walnuts.

The modest shop appears to be a must stop for everyone from tow-headed tots to snowy-browed retirees traveling along the bustling pedestrian mall .”I do believe this is the third time I’ve seen you today,” the scoop girl remarked to one particularly circuitous regular. If we lived closer, confidence is high we’d be in the same rotation.

–Warren

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Keep tabs on the month long Freeze Jag trek here.



Red Meat: Warren Brown

Posted by Warren Rojas / Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

It’s been a decade since local cheflebrity Warren Brown dropped the legal briefs and picked up a rolling pin:

(Image: Joshua Cogan)

He’s since opened several bakeries/cafes, helped pioneer the reality cooking show/travelogue concept and has penned a few cookbooks (with at least one more already in the works for next spring).

WR: Butter. Sugar. What other culinary elements could you not live without?

WB: It’s equipment for me. My mixer. My stainless steel skillets (always skip the non-stick). My coffee grinder – to mill spices and whole grains.

WR: What’s the very first dish you ever mastered? How long did it take? Do you still make it today?

WB: Sweet & Sour Chicken. Haven’t made it in years, but first did it in high school. I remember feeling especially proud when I got the recipe right and successfully fried the chicken strips, and when I tasted the sauce and liked it!

WR: What seasonal ingredient(s) get your creative juices flowing?

WB: Stone fruits

WR: My latest cookbook obsession is …

WB: Moro–kinda old, by Sam and Sam Clark, published in England. Love the foods they share.

WR: What’s the most challenging dish you’ve ever attempted? Would you make it again?

WB: Timpano – after the main dish from the movie Big Night. I’ve made it twice, both times was years ago. It was an all day affair and making the sheet of pasta was a real work out!

WR: If I could the spend the day working alongside any local chef, I’d love to collaborate with …

WB: Darren Norris @ Kushi.

WR: What’s the easiest/quickest–but still wholly satisfying–meal you make for yourself?

WB: Tough one. I like scones in the morning with scrambled eggs. Scones with oats and raisins and multi-grain.

Nothing is measured so I don’t really know measurements, but roughly speaking:

1 1/4 cup AP flour
1/4 sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons flax seeds, crushed
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon rice flour (white or brown)
1/2 cup nuts (users choice; I prefer almonds)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup oats

Put everything in the mixer bowl and stir on low speed, 30 seconds.

3 ounces unsalted butter, cold and in pieces

Cut into flour mix with mixer running.

Soy milk, milk or cream (user’s choice)

Add in a little at a time until the dough comes off the side of the bowl and clumps on the beater. Dough should barely be tacky.

Press to 1/2 inch, shape and cut into triangles, I like mine with 2 inch sides.

Crack one egg and splash vanilla or rum (or frangelico) into the mixer bowl. Toss in scones a few at a time and toss with egg to cover liberally.

Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper/Silpat.

Sprinkle with sugar and sea salt to taste–lightly.

Bake in 375F preheated oven for 15 minutes. Should lift off baking sheet with no effort and be golden across top and lightly golden on bottom.

WR: In the next six months you won’t want to miss my …

WB: New line of cupcakes we’re test running this summer in our Summer Loving freestyle cupcake-a-thon. Strawberry cheesecake, Key Lime pie are just two early eye catchers.

WR: It’s quitting time. I’m pouring myself …

WB: This summer, a Peak Organic pale ale, or a cold glass of white wine.

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Key Lime pie cupcakes sound like a little slice of heaven. Can’t wait to try one…

Come back next Tuesday for another helping of Red Meat.

–Warren



Another Look at Sweet and Savory Breads

Posted by The Editorial Desk / Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

After reviewing a few of the breads from Breeze Bakery Cafe, I thought it would only be fair if I reviewed of some of the breads that Shilla Bakery offered as well.

Shilla has been around a lot longer than Breeze, so the Annandale location is comparably smaller than Breeze, but Shilla must be doing something right if their business is still booming and have locations in both Centreville and Fairfax.

Breads from Shilla

Breads from Shilla (Image: Mai Nguyen/Northern Virginia Magazine)

1) “Pizza Sausage” – This savory bread is topped with hot dog slices, chunks of pear, pineapple, corn, green peas, ketchup, and mayonnaise. The ingredient list had my taste buds and I confused. The hot dogs make it taste savory but the fruits make it sweet (is it just me or did they try to fit whatever they could on here?). I wouldn’t really call it a pizza since it isn’t on pizza dough and ketchup can’t substitute for tomato sauce, but it is a pretty interesting.

2) Banana bread – It is adorable since it comes in two banana-shaped breads. I’m a huge banana bread lover, but this left me severely disappointed. It was extremely dry, had very few walnuts (which it forgot to mention on the ingredient label), and barely tasted like banana. I was surprised at how dry it was seeing how bananas normally make the bread really moist.

3) Ham Roll – This is a mini ham sandwich on a dinner roll. The sandwich includes ham, a slice of tomato, cheddar cheese, lettuce, and mayonnaise. It was a pretty good sandwich, albeit a bit soggy from the tomato. The dinner roll is also a little bit sweet, but not too sweet.

4) Sausage Roll – This is essentially a larger version of “pigs in a blanket” except fried. The bread has been fried, but I guess since it has been sitting out, it was soft and chewy.

5) Corn Crown – Along with banana bread, I also adore corn bread, but this too was a disappointment for me. The bread was really dry, dense, and lacked that corn bread flavor I was expecting.

6) Almond Cream Bun – This is a bun filled with a smooth almond flavored cream and the bun itself is topped with slices of almond.

7) Croquette – This too was fried, but was soft, chewy, and oozing with grease when I bought it. The inside is filled with mashed potatoes, and tiny chunks of pork, carrots, and onions. It is a savory bread, but was way too greasy for me.

Mixed Berry Boba

Mixed Berry Boba from Shilla Bakery (Image: Mai Nguyen/Northern Virginia Magazine)

While I was there, I noticed flyers for a new flavor of bubble tea that they had, the mixed berry boba. It is a frozen smoothie of blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries. It was relatively sweet and I enjoyed it, except for the small blackberry seeds that got annoying to chew or spit out.

For anyone who is allergic to nuts, they have a few lists around the bakery that states which breads have nuts and which don’t. While you’re at Shilla don’t forget to try their bing soo!

Shilla Bakery in Annandale
7039 Little River Tpke
Annandale, VA 22003
(703) 333-2001

Shilla Bakery in Fairfax
3250 Old Lee Hwy
Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 352-1446

Shilla Bakery in Centreville
6015 Centreville Crest Ln
Centreville, VA 20121
(703) 266-6001

- Mai Nguyen



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