For a person cutting gluten out of their diet, there are two major food groups you typically kiss goodbye on the spot – baked goods and Southern cuisine. Sometimes I crave a non-crumbly cookie or non-bone dry muffin so badly I want to cry, or just cradle a loaf of bread until the feeling passes. Luckily, Bayou Bakery is here to address those two issues, and for that, we are thankful…
I walked up to Bayou Bakery in Capitol Hill to find a devastatingly charming brick carriage house, which apparently dates back to the time of Abraham Lincoln. It is obvious Bayou appreciates the story behind this building and has maintained the general structure, in honor of its history. It was nearly lunchtime and I still hadn’t taken in my caffeine for the day, so I promptly ordered an almond milk latte. I can honestly say this was probably the most affordable yet delicious espresso drink I had consumed in a long while.
For my meal, I ordered the grilled chicken salad over greens with alfalfa sprouts, avocado, and radish. I can tell you one thing for sure, I did not miss the bread one bit. The chicken was perfectly mixed and seasoned, definitely not the soupy chicken salad you know you’ve suffered way too many times before. They served it over slightly bitter arugula, which contrasted with the creaminess of the chicken salad nicely. I also ordered Bayou’s “famous” deviled eggs, which definitely did not disappoint. Again, the filling was on point. I have to say, it’s pretty amazing what Bayou Bakery has done with a little mayonnaise and mustard. Talk about a transformation of ingredients. Last came my favorite part: the baked goods. These essentially left me speechless, and if you’ve read any of my reviews, you know my default is to be extremely verbose. WOW! The highlight of the gluten-free baked good selection is clearly the chewy, chocolatey “Crack Cookies.” These were so insanely good I talked the pastry chef’s ear off for literally 20 minutes just to hopefully absorb a shred of her amazing talent.
When you go to Bayou, obviously order the gluten-free pastries, but also make sure to hit up their jambalaya as well. First because it is amazing but also because it is gluten-free, which certainly is rare. Long story short, Bayou Bakery is way more than a coffee joint that happens to serve Southern cuisine. I would go so far to consider it a DC landmark, and you would be crazy not to visit.