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The Swiss Bakery, Burke and Springfield - Pastry Chef Laurie Alleman Weber, Formerly at Galileo - No Tips Accepted!

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mdt   

The Swiss Bakery-  (Burke)..It is run my Laurie Alleman (former PC at Galileo) and her husband who I think used to do something at Albert Uster.  Everything I have had there has been quite good.  Nice Swiss/German style cookies, danish, etc...I had a palmier there this morning that was near perfect. (I still need to clean the crumbs out of my car...)

I am going to second what Jason said about The Swiss Bakery. I also enjoy some of their unique breads.

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xdcx   

they also do some really nice fruit based tarts and cakes. We got a "french fruit cake" with peaches, blueberries, blackberry, strawberries and kiwi on top of multi layer sponge. it was good times.

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Add my recommendation for the Swiss Bakery. It is my fairly new indulgence to stop by on the weekend and get a box of their excellent cookies to keep around the house. Other items I've tried were also very good, including the shelved and refrigerated sundries.

One disappointment though was ordering holiday pies through them. I suspect that they farmed out this work because I did not feel the pies were up to the other items quality(and the volume of people picking up was huge). We won't order the pies in advance from there again.

Breads and especially the dinner rolls were great for the holiday dinner.

BD

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The Laugen rolls are my favorite. They are like round soft pretzels. I think they brush them with butter before they sprinkle on the salt. (Like Auntie Ann's, but better.) I had a flattened one with Swiss cheese melted on it the other day - I think they call it "cheese bread" - yum. Also their health bread is very good. The white chocolate mousse cake is to die for.

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smokey   
Also their health bread is very good. The white chocolate mousse cake is to die for.

Is that health white chocolate mousse cake?!

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Went for the first time last week. Tried their Swiss Cheese loaf which had a mild cheese flavor and was incredibly soft...almost like wonder bread. Kind of surprising to buy an artisinal loaf that didn't have a hard crust. Also had their seeded specialty loaf (forget the name, it starts with a "W"), which I loved. Long like a baguette, had a good crust with a chewy interior. Will be going back to try more carb renditions

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Banco   

We were at a garden party at the Swiss embassy about a week ago, and the Swiss Bakery was one of the sponsors. My wife is German and has mastered practically all the difficulties of adjusting to life in the US, save one: the lack of decent loaf-style bread. You can find a good baguette here, or even Italian style breads, but anyone who has spent time in German-speaking Europe knows that finding the equivalent style of bread here is almost impossible. Well, our search has ended. This weekend we took a trip out to the Swiss Bakery based on our sampling of their wares at the embassy party. Their bread is the real thing, baked on site, and in all the perplexing variety you might find in a bakery in Basel or Zürich. We wanted the Waliser, but they only bake it on Thursdays, so we ended up getting a large chunk of sourdough rye, which is sold by the pound. This bread was so authentic in aroma, taste, and texture, my wife got even a little teary-eyed from homesickness as she ate it. I can think of no batter stamp of authenticity. She felt the same about the cinnamon rolls (which had a delicacy and texture completely unlike the doughy and overblown concoctions that usually go by that name), and the Laugengebäck was also excellent. The next time we need a cake we will also come here. It was a real joy to discover this place.

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ScotteeM   

My Swiss-born sister-in-law (now living in Pennsylvania) orders products by mail from the Swiss Bakery to assuage her homesickness.

I noticed last weekend that there seems to be a second location in the Ravensworth Shopping Center on Braddock Road just west of 495. Didn't have time to check it out, but it certainly would be more convenient for folks to the north and east of Burke.

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Banco   
I noticed last weekend that there seems to be a second location in the Ravensworth Shopping Center on Braddock Road just west of 495...

That's the one we went to.

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DonRocks   
I noticed last weekend that there seems to be a second location in the Ravensworth Shopping Center on Braddock Road just west of 495. Didn't have time to check it out, but it certainly would be more convenient for folks to the north and east of Burke.

I should read this website more often - I had no idea The Swiss Bakery had opened a second location in Ravensworth.

I don't remember them having anything savory (other than dried sausage) in the Burke location, but their Ham and Cheese Croissant ($2.75) is a welcome change from the Cardiac Scramble at nearby Smith and Clarkson's, and the Raisin Scone ($2.25) is perfect with a cup of coffee.

And they have pints of homemade ice cream, some (but not all) made without corn syrup.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Soup   

Actually, they are in the process of expanding that location. It looked like they were doubling the square footage. It is a great place. Good breads and very friendly folks. It is a real jem in that shopping center.

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DonRocks   

If you're driving by the Braddock Road exit of the Beltway in the morning, and are the least bit hungry, head to The Swiss Bakery and get a Ham and Cheese Croissant ($2.75). They'll heat it up for you, and your total in-and-out time will be about three minutes. Their croissants (chocolate, plain, almond) are excellent, and this is a regular breakfast stop for me when I'm in the area. Good luck not loading yourself down with pastries!

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Soup   

If you're driving by the Braddock Road exit of the Beltway in the morning, and are the least bit hungry, head to The Swiss Bakery and get a Ham and Cheese Croissant ($2.75). They'll heat it up for you, and your total in-and-out time will be about three minutes. Their croissants (chocolate, plain, almond) are excellent, and this is a regular breakfast stop for me when I'm in the area. Good luck not loading yourself down with pastries!

Cheers,

Rocks.

Second, recommending this place. Really great stuff. pastries are outstanding.

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And what better way to spend a Sunday morning than munching on the said ham-and-cheese croissant while shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables? They are at the Lorton farmers' market on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Ilaine   

Those ham-and-cheese croissants are indeed tasty little suckers. Had no idea such a little gem was in this location. I hope, for the sake of the bakery, that they exercise an elevating effect on the general location!

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DonRocks   
If you look at the pictures from the link for Curry 36 in Berlin you'll note the small round rolls that the sausages are placed in. These rolls are incredible-they are just unlike anything you can find here.

Ah, but you haven't had the Laugenbrötchen at The Swiss Bakery.

And how do you spell disgusting in German? You spell it like Curry 36 does ... like this.

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mdt   

Ah, but you haven't had the Laugenbrötchen at The Swiss Bakery.

He must not have as they are very, very good.

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DonRocks   

A carryout of Chicken Noodle Soup ($2.95, includes a Brotchen roll), which follows closely on the heels of my Matzah Ball Soup at Hudson, reminds me that I haven't had any truly good chicken broth in quite awhile now. Without knowing how either was made, there was something bouillon-esque in the nose of both - but for $2.95, this served as more than an adequate Brotchen-dunk, and the curly noodles were nicely pasty, the carrots and celery freshly chopped.

Most importantly, when I paid for my order (with some other things), the "tip" line on the credit-card bill ... you know that "thing" that you always feel obligated to leave even though you're only grabbing something quick to-go? ... the tip line said "tips are not accepted." Although this was pretty much industry-standard ten years ago, it stands out today as an elegant, classy touch.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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DonRocks   

Has anyone ever been to the Springfield Swiss Bakery and NOT seen Lisa Scruggs (ex- Pastry Chef at Equinox) working? I'm batting like 50-for-50.

I prefer the ham and cheese croissants not heated (I got mine warmed this morning) - they're really good at room temperature, but the water in the ham disperses into the soft, inward side of the croissant upon heating (didn't notice the method, but it's not an oven-bake (which also means the whole thing gets a touch "soft")).

Whoever waited on me this morning was one of the nicest people I've come across in awhile (didn't get the name, but she beamed kindness). And this leads me to reiterate that The Swiss Bakery actively discourages tipping which, to me, is huge, and says a lot about (what I perceive to be) the philosophy here.

(As a side note, I noticed that a new strip-mall Americanized Chinese place is about to open in the same shopping center. Not a big deal, but a potential threat to Hunan Manor for afternoon commuters getting take-out.)

Cheers,

Rockenstollen

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I tried the one in Ravensworth today, and was favorably impressed. I'm not one who tends to frequent bakeries, but this turns out to be so much more and then some. My general observations....

First observation -- when I'm looking for a nice place to visit in the Burke area, I am nearly 0% likely to consult "Multiple Locations" in the Dining Guide. 'Nuff said 'bout that dead horse.

Second observation -- closed on Saturday and Sunday? OK, I understand they set up at the Lorton and Vienna Farmer's Markets on weekends, but covering that $8000/month rent requires weekend traffic.

Third observation -- I now know where to get my various fixes that I've had trouble finding, like Baltimore Landjaeger, spatzle, senf, unusual central European wines, and many of the Munchener Hofbrau beer mugs I forgot to bring back with me those many years ago.

Fourth observation -- the sweet offerings look grand, but that case of fresh-made ice cream and sorbet would be attacked on frequent occasions if not for the Second Observation.

Fifth observation -- lovely savory offerings, like the ham and cheese croissant, and what may have been the best "Reuben" I've ever had, which was the Kessler pork and sauerkraut with cheese in grilled rye. The strange method of busing your own table by finding the big gray bus bin and dropping in your dish can develop into a charming touch, if not for the Second Observation.

I really like this place, and I want to like it even more, but I guess I'll have to save my love for weekdays....

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Their website says they are both open on Saturday and Sunday.

Go to the Ravensworth store. The hours on the sign on the front door indicate that it's closed on weekends, and the menu inside carries the same message. On the door as you exit, there is a sign that says they set up at the Lorton and Vienna Farmers markets on Saturday and Sunday.

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plunk   

Huh. I've definitely been to the Ravensworth shop on the weekends. Haven't been since May, though. Maybe its a seasonal thing?

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Haven't been to Ravensworth in a bit, but they used to close earlier on Sat, and remain closed on Sun, if I recall correctly. The Burke location is open Sat and Sun until 5. It's smaller than ravensworth, not so much for eat in, but still a great product line.

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