Junction Bakery is the type of place you’ll fall in love with so deeply that you won’t ever imagine a Sunday morning without it ever again. What’s even better is that although the name of the restaurant explicitly has “bakery” in the title, there are still a notable number of gluten-free items…
I knew I had walked into the right place when I saw that Junction offered Paleo muffins. Not only was the muffin was gluten-free and Paleo, but it was also filled with lots of delicious ingredients: namely dried fruits and a healthy amount of coconut. I’ve experimented a lot with Paleo baking to know how difficult it is to achieve a normal texture in your baked goods, so I had a lot of respect for the muffin.
Next, I tried Junction’s gluten-free energy bar, which was chock full of oats, dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate. This was definitely a monster portion so you could have leftovers for later, or share with a friend. I rarely opt for the latter, because I don’t like to share my food. Sorry not sorry. I ordered an almond milk latte to drink, and it complemented the bar very nicely.
Before I delved into the main courses, I opted for two of Junction’s smaller dishes. First was the quinoa porridge, a delicious coconut-y dish topped with toasted almonds and dates. I especially liked that Junction used quinoa instead of oats, which added a pleasant, nutty flavor – not to mention extra protein.
I also tried the roasted red pepper soup. I was extremely hesitant to order the soup because I’m really not a soup person. Regardless, I decided to go for it and I’m glad I did. The soup was extremely creamy and flavorful, despite the fact that it was completely gluten-free and vegan. While the roasted red pepper soup was only on the menu that day, based on the high quality of it, I am sure any soup-of-the-day Junction produces is worth ordering.
For entrees, I ordered the Kim Chee and Golden Quinoa. The Kim Chee, which featured kimchi, egg, bacon, and lime mayo, was gluten-free without the bun. The dish was a bit scant without, but the homemade kimchi made it all worth it. I was shocked to hear that Junction took the time to ferment their own kimchi. It was a pleasant surprise.
The Golden Quinoa – a perfect fall dish – was packed with goodies like roasted root vegetables, Brussels sprouts, walnuts, and a poached egg. The dish had all the flavor but still left me feeling lightweight, which is a hard thing to accomplish at brunch time.
For your gluten-loving friends, Junction really lives up the bakery part of their name, especially when it comes to bread. On any given day they have several varieties for sale. Also, the entire place smells like freshly baked bread at all times, which will be great for them and torturous for you, but worth it nonetheless. If you live in Alexandria, Junction Bakery has to be your new spot.