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Pastry Xpo, Patissier Toni Srour and Samar Srour Sweet and Savory Pastires and Espresso Bar at Merrifield Town Center


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A mere five doors down from the newly opened Four Sisters' in Merrifield is a spacious bakery and espresso bar to enjoy a leisurely cup of joe or tea with a few cases full of pastries and cookies. Owner and Pastry Chef Toni Srour and his wife Samar opened this venture back in March, and it is a nice addition to the lack of bakeries in this area, especially in Merrifield.

Of the three things I tried, a Mini Palmier, Lemon Macaron, and a slice of the Vanilla Yule Log, two were a hit and the last was a slight miss. It has been a long time since I've had a palmier that does not leave a lard- or shortening-like aftertaste and I did not taste it with this one. However, the sugar on top was extra-caramelized, which is fine by me. For $1.50, the lemon macaron was smaller in size than what I've seen in other bakeries, but the moist, slightly tart, but lemony flavor right after that initial crunch and break of the meringue part was well-worth it (although I haven't had enough macarons to make a great judgment). The Yule log slice of cake was similar to the moist cakes sold in Asian bakeries, but it was a bit too mushy for me. The buttercream was definitely better than most places, but I really enjoyed the sugar topping (a sugared chimney), as it reminded me of the sugar flowers that once topped cakes in the past.

Owner and Pastry Chef Toni said that they bake everything there and they also serve some lunch items. One of the things I'd like to try next time is the Thyme herb Croissant. According to the Post article, it was his dad's recipe. The Pastry Xpo website is basically a shell right now, but Maurice Pastries is a bit better, content-wise.

Pastry Xpo

8190 Strawberry Lane

Merrifield, Virginia

571-282-4970

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I'm guessing Pastry Xpo's thyme savories are closely related to the thyme croissant goodeats mentions - they're bite-size puff pastry bits baked with a thyme spread in the center and sesame seeds on top, and they're very, very good. They also do a pretty good strawberry tart, with a chocolate cookie crust that made it a little more interesting than the standard summer offering. I'd certainly like to see more people in Pastry Xpo than the Cold Stone Creamery next door, but at least there have been two or three people sitting down for lunch or dessert and coffee every time I've been in - that's got to be a good sign.

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Our children's pediatrician is a few blocks from Pastry Xpo, so I use this as an excuse to get over to Pastry Xpo. I have been happy with most everything that I have gotten here, including the raspberry bars and fruit-filled croissants. However, I can't resist the Herb Thyme Croissant, which is a "must-get" every thyme I am here....so good. Prices seem a little bit higher than they should be. I don't know how much of a lunch rush they get, but it has never seemed busy in the morning. Hopefully, when the rest of the Mosaic district opens up they will get some more foot traffic.

For those that care about these things, they serve Illy coffee.

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Hopefully, when the rest of the Mosaic district opens up they will get some more foot traffic.

If nothing else, the completion of the Gallows/Lee Highway intersection construction should make it easier to visit. I stopped in for a coffee and a macaroon after checking out the new MOM's market in the Mosaic District last week. A little pricey for a small macaroon, but moist and tasty. Wouldn't go out of my way to get here, but a notch above Starbucks on both the coffee and the snacks.

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Met a friend/colleague for lunch today at Mosaic (more on that in another thread) and she turned me onto this place.  Bought 4 cupcakes, ate the Dulce de Leche while finishing work at home and OH.MY.GOD.  I do admit to having a sweet tooth so bear that in mind when I tell you that this was like crack.  Caramel filling, moist cake and really lovely decorations.

There are three more in the fridge (two for my son) and a Red Velvet that i will have to earn via lots of exercise in the next 24 hours.

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