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Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe, North Arlington - Wolfgang and Carla Büchler's Bavarian Bakery on Lee Highway


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I wasn't quite sure where to start the Heidelberg thread- feel free to move it to shopping and cooking, but I wanted to note it is a great place to eat, as well.

In the winter Heidelberg is more of a bakery, shop and a deli. They have beautiful breads, pretzels and pastries, they have pies, they do cakes, they have a wide selection of marzipan goodies. They also have chocolates and cheeses and meats. They make sandwiches and etc.

In the nicer weather though go for the wurst. If you drive by and see their tent out front that is when to stop by. They grill multiple types of sausages on the grill brautwurst, knackwurst, weisswurst and debreziner, which they serve with kraut on a really nice roll that is appropriately crisp and soft. I particularly like the curried ketchup to put on it. You can get a combo with a pretzel and drink, or with kraut and German potato salad and drink or add to that pretzel and a piece of apple strudel for the ultimate combo. If you can't decide on a sausage no problem they will cut you off a piece of each to sample. The kraut isn't too sour, but has a nice crunch and tanginess to it. The warm German potato salad is really good, the potatoes are tender and there is just the right amount of sauce not to overwhelm the potatoes, but to bind them nicely. The pretzels are wonderful, soft and chewy with a nice shell and just enough coarse salt. The apple strudel has nice cooked apples inside, the pastry is dense, but still light and very flavorful. Really worth a stop. They have tables and chairs outside, some with umbrellas to eat your goodies in good weather. They only have one table and a little counter area inside.

Here is their website- it's pretty informative. Heidelberg

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This place is a'bustling on the weekend. I love that it's quite authentic, so you can go here and get your pastry/deli fix.

I went here as part of a Yelp Cupcake Crawl and tried the raspberry and caramel cupcakes. Both have fillings and both were just 'meh.'

I wouldn't come here for the cupcakes and it isn't metro-acessible, but I do give them credit for the no-frills nostalgia factor. The bagels and bread here are very nice, soft, and flavorful. Even though the place was packed, the line moved very quickly. There is also some extra seating outside (where mosquitoes like to chomp on patrons)

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To add to your post, I thought I would add that I had my wedding cake done by Heidelberg. They had a nice selection of cake options at reasonable prices. The biggest factor for me and and my husband was taste. They had the best cake we tried in the DC area. The staff was very professional during the tasting, at which we were able to select three cakes to try (set up options and appointment ahead of time). We decided to go with the chocolate pound cake with raspberry filling and white buttercream frosting. We went with the swiss dot design with three tiers. It turned out great.

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I've been going to Heidelberg for years, though I only stop in a few times a year. Each time I'm there, I wonder why I don't go more often...they have good savory and sweet baked goods, and good cakes as well. Their deli sandwiches are made to order with a wide selection of toppings, and good meats/cheeses. In the warmer months around lunchtime on Saturday is when they have the wurst cart. I'd highly recommend it! I always end up going back for seconds.

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I may have mentioned this in a pretzel-making thread a while back, but Heidelberg has authentic laugenbrotzeln (dark pretzels) that can only be made that good by boiling them in lye (most recipes use a baking soda bath).

My mother, who had a local German baker where she grew up in upstate New York, never visits me without calling ahead to Heidelberg to have them make several dozen for pickup. These are distributed to other family members like high fives at a frat party.

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Inexplicably, my first visit to Heidelberg was yesterday. Why haven't I been before?

The samples were generous, and everything looked so good. I was so happy to find fresh-baked rye and pumpernickel bread, and bought a loaf of each. No more stocking up when I go back to Philly!

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Good grazing.

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Unrefrigerated cupcakes ;)

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I can't believe I ate the whooooooooooole thing.

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Inexplicably, my first visit to Heidelberg was yesterday. Why haven't I been before?

The samples were generous, and everything looked so good. I was so happy to find fresh-baked rye and pumpernickel bread, and bought a loaf of each. No more stocking up when I go back to Philly!

I can't believe I ate the whooooooooooole thing.

If you're a fan of butter cream frosting, get an Easter Egg cake from Heidelberg for the finale of your Easter repast. It's a standard at my house, and even if you prefer not to indulge in the calorie overload, the cake is a great table adornment.

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My husband runs to Heidelberg's every weekend for a loaf of fresh-baked bread for the week and some pastries for the weekend. Our favorite pastries are the real toaster strudel in either apple or blueberry, the old fashioned cake donuts with chocolate coating, the chocolate cake frosted, and the Boston cream.

YUM!

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Inexplicably, my first visit to Heidelberg was yesterday. Why haven't I been before?

The samples were generous, and everything looked so good. I was so happy to find fresh-baked rye and pumpernickel bread, and bought a loaf of each. No more stocking up when I go back to Philly!

I can't believe I ate the whooooooooooole thing.

I'm suddenly hungry and craving a cupcake.

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Hubby and I took our fluffball dog Max to the small dog park at Shirlington to get him socializing with more dogs. We thought we would walk over to Shirlington to grab a bite; unfortunately, I didn't know that your dog had to be attached to the outside of the fences for the restaurant. Max being 4 months is perfectly happy to sit at my feet or sleep on my lap, but barriers between him and me just won't work.

So we decided to swing by Heidelberg and grab a grilled sausage sandwich on the way to get orchid food at the TruValue by our house. It was a spectacular day to be at Heidelberg Pastry Shop. They had fresh hot cross buns, cute Easter stuff and the weather was perfect for eating out on their picnic tables. The dog loved to be able to lay in the grass while we ate. The knauckwurst was fantastic, nice and juicy, but also firm and crisp. I love their potato salad, it is nice and vinegary with nice seasoning. And the pretzel was nice and chewy and doughy. All topped off by being able to sit at the picnic tables and enjoy the sun, the families and watching people maneuver themselves in and out of the parking lot. It was a fantastic way to spend a lunchtime. And I had my hands full with drinks and the dog while Matt paid for everything inside so one of the men working the grill carried our lunch to the tables for me. I am always encouraged by how nice everyone here is, they are always really helpful.

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One of my favorite breakfast treats is the laugenstange with bacon, warmed up in the oven, as I am enjoying right now. I may be mistaken, but I believe they are only available on Saturdays. Like with other items at this gem, it is better to get there early to make sure you can get what you want.

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I love this place. It is the closest thing in DC to the Eastern European bakeries I grew up with in Brooklyn. All of their german breads are great - i love the corned rye - for me it is a veritable madelaine and I am immediately transported back to Brighton Beach in my youth (or is that Ute:-). Their efforts at French and Italian baked goods are not so good. Speaking of New York, I was in Little Italy this week and had a Sfogliatelle at Ferrarras...I can still taste it

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I love this place. It is the closest thing in DC to the Eastern European bakeries I grew up with in Brooklyn. All of their german breads are great - i love the corned rye - for me it is a veritable madelaine and I am immediately transported back to Brighton Beach in my youth (or is that Ute:-). Their efforts at French and Italian baked goods are not so good. Speaking of New York, I was in Little Italy this week and had a Sfogliatelle at Ferrarras...I can still taste it

Great call on the corn rye at Heidelberg. I grew up in Rhode Island enjoying some of the finest rye breads known to man -- a variety known as sissel bread. Heidelberg's efforts in the rye realm are outstanding. My tip there is to look for the heartiest breads they have available, and go with those.

And thanks for the tip on the "shfoyadell" at Ferraras, but I hope you can still taste it because the memory is so pleasurable, and not because it keeps repeating on you. :lol:

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Wow, I didn't even know that bakeries like this existed anymore, and i can't wait to eat my way through this place. Had a couple basic donuts (glazed and chocolate frosting) that were good, but nothing special. I'd like to try the denser, cake donuts next time to see how they compare. A good bagel and cream cheese, probably as good as can be found in the DC metro area. Finally a delicious apple/pecan pie. Oh, and we sampled a couple of the breads they have on the table right when you walk in, and all were really good. Next stop: the cookie counter. This place is overwhelming!

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They have hamantaschen year-round! Even mun (poppy-seed paste).

Thank you! I forgot and I should order some -- love the poppy-seed, and the ones our temple in DC buys are a bit stiff-doughed (too hard, not tender) and don't usually have poppy.

We got a banana cream pie from here last week (March 2 is National Banana Cream Pie day, folks) and it was lovely -- had tasty crust (not perfect flaky pie crust, but quite good) and a light and very banana-y filling, along with pieces of banana mixed in (or perhaps at the bottom on top of the crust, not sure). Better than many I've had elsewhere.

We were disappointed in their birthday cakes, which we got for several years before switching to Costco's for a big group. But I haven't tried their cakes in a few years.

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We were disappointed in their birthday cakes, which we got for several years before switching to Costco's for a big group. But I haven't tried their cakes in a few years.

For cakes I would suggest Pastries by Randolph, just down the road a short piece. They are not inexpensive, but they are good. To tie this piece of information to this thread, they are located in the space which formerly housed the Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe before they moved to their present digs.

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For cakes I would suggest Pastries by Randolph, just down the road a short piece. They are not inexpensive, but they are good. To tie this piece of information to this thread, they are located in the space which formerly housed the Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe before they moved to their present digs.

Oh, I do love Randolph. I get their cakes (though it's been a little while) for a smaller gathering -- used to get Heidelberg for great big kid birthday parties and decided Costco cakes were cheaper and just as good for that kind of event. But if it's a special occasion with family or one or two other families, I love the Randolph cakes. We've gotten their flourless chocolate cake for Passover (note that wouldn't work for people who keep strictly Kosher-for-Passover, because it was baked in the same bakery as floured cakes and could have some flour in it and isn't certified KforP -- but for our group which is observing Passover and not eating bread/floured cakes/etc. but is less observant and not worried about KforP certification, these cakes have done us well).

Love their little pastries, too, like chocolate mousse in a chocolate "bag":

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Bounced in and out of Heidelberg the other day. The center tables are featuring a festive selection of St. Patty's Day-themed treats. These cakes, cookies, candies, and pastries would be a good choice to bring to an upcoming party or office function.

Key Tip for This Venue: Eat before you go, or you will take everything home. It's all so adorable and bite-sized.

(i barely escaped)

(with only a few florentines)

(in tow)

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It's my go-to place to pick up pastries for morning playdates on the weekends. Was there on Saturday AM and got those cinnamon and chocolate pretzel pastries, as well as some hammentaschen that were really good. My toddler was devouring all the generous samples of hammentaschen, apple cake, some other sweet loaf - you name it. It reminds me of the old German bakeries in Yorkville in NYC that were a part of my childhood - anyone out there remember Leonard's??

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What would you do? What’s your threshold for bailing on a new place before you order, and at what point would you warn other potential patrons?

I'd like to highlight an opposite case. This morning, we walked into a packed Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe which looked like The Italian Store during the busiest lunch rush hour. We took a number, and had to wait 25 slots - it appeared hopeless.

However, there were (as there always are on weekend mornings) free sample-cups of coffee for the taking, so I poured one, and walked around, looking at the huge amount of wares they had on display for Easter weekend, noticing the whole time how quick, efficient, and downright friendly the staff was behind the counter.

They got through 25 people in perhaps 10 minutes, and it was an easy wait, as well as a pleasure to see such pleasant hospitality. Like The Swiss Bakery, there was no line on the charge slip to leave a tip.

Quick, efficient, and really tasty baked goods - what's not to like about Heidelberg?

Cheers,

Rocks (eating a Hot Cross Bun with his coffee as I type)

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FWIW, several years ago, a German guy who worked at the old German deli on Lee Highway told me that I should get cakes and pastries at Randolph's and not buy from him or from Heidelberg because Randolph's uses real butter, Heidelberg uses margarine.

<Plugs ears>

LA LA LA LA LAAAAAAAA LA, I CAN'T HEARRRR YOOOUUUUUUU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Ahh Heidelberg Bakery, you have disappointed me for the last time. I used to love this place, but after three bad experiences and consulting my coworker (a long time resident of Arlington who had the same feeling of a major downturn in this bakery) I felt compelled to write this review. This place used to be amazing, but I am not giving it two stars based on a mere fall from grace. No, I am instead giving it two stars based on the fact that over the last three experiences I had 2 sliced cakes that were very stale, 1 napoleon that had wax somehow infused inside the cake giving it a paraffin taste, and 1 stale over-baked bread. Now I guess this would be all ok if I was getting baked goods all the time, which I am not. This is a special craving fix-filler, and there is nothing worse than getting your pastries home, desiring to fulfill that deep need for sugar and texture and all the other tastes, only to be rabidly disappointed. Sorry Heidelberg, I'll be going to the German Gourmet or maybe try the frequently recommended Randolph Pastries from here on end.

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Ahh Heidelberg Bakery, you have disappointed me for the last time. I used to love this place, but after three bad experiences and consulting my coworker (a long time resident of Arlington who had the same feeling of a major downturn in this bakery) I felt compelled to write this review. This place used to be amazing, but I am not giving it two stars based on a mere fall from grace. No, I am instead giving it two stars based on the fact that over the last three experiences I had 2 sliced cakes that were very stale, 1 napoleon that had wax somehow infused inside the cake giving it a paraffin taste, and 1 stale over-baked bread. Now I guess this would be all ok if I was getting baked goods all the time, which I am not. This is a special craving fix-filler, and there is nothing worse than getting your pastries home, desiring to fulfill that deep need for sugar and texture and all the other tastes, only to be rabidly disappointed. Sorry Heidelberg, I'll be going to the German Gourmet or maybe try the frequently recommended Randolph Pastries from here on end.

For whatever it's worth, Heideberg has pretty good donuts. I'm sorry your recent purchases haven't worked out.

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Always loved the Yule Logs and Easter Egg cakes from Heidelberg, but didn't get the Yule Log this past Christmas, so can't confirm that they are still up to snuff.  Have to obtain the Easter Egg Cake this year to see if they are still as good as they have been.  The dinner rolls at Heidelberg are also damn good.

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I'm a fairly regular visitor. I'll second Don's comment that their donuts are solid. I'm also a sucker for their M&M cookies, tho I swear there were fewer M&Ms in them the last time I got them. I don't yet know if that's a trend (let alone accurate). Oh, they also make really good breakfast sandwiches.

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I like their pretzel rolls for sandwiches, especially big subs like what I am going to make Hubby for Superbowl.  I got them in October, but will give a recent update.  They also make good soft pretzels which I will also be getting, will report back.

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I like their pretzel rolls for sandwiches, especially big subs like what I am going to make Hubby for Superbowl.  I got them in October, but will give a recent update.  They also make good soft pretzels which I will also be getting, will report back.

 

The laugen brotchen.

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It freezes well and can easily be reheated.  We always have a bag of these in the freezer.

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I remember riding my bike from my parents house in Arlington past the old Heidelberg location, which is now Randolphs, to school at St. Agnes. The smells coming from that bakery always made me stop for a pastry.

Sometimes you've just gotta say what the fuck.

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There's a tip jar at Heidleberg's? I do not see it and thus have not used it.

As many times as I've been to Heidelberg (and I've been dozens of times, including in their old location), I don't have any active memory of leaving a tip; on the other hand, it seems like I'd remember if I didn't - maybe it's because the counter is so high or something like that.

Regardless, you've given me a donut craving, so I'll go and let you know - usually when I go, I buy enough to use a credit card, and I can't remember if there's a space for a tip or not - but I think you might be right.

I'm so desperate to find places that don't take tips that I'm raving about counter-service take-outs that don't - that's pretty sorry.

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Stopped by on Saturday, bought a vanilla cake with buttercream frosting, and they added a personalized inscription right on the spot! It also served more people than they claimed, and came in at the reasonable price of $21.50. M&M cookies were also hoovered.

ETA: On Saturday they also have a grill outside the entrance serving german sausages of various kinds. I got a brat with kraut, which was solid (if not worth going out of your way for) for $7.

I stopped back the following morning for some breakfast sandwiches, and while they were fine, they aren't made to order like other places near me, which i prefer.

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1 hour ago, Dr. Delicious said:

ETA: On Saturday they also have a grill outside the entrance serving german sausages of various kinds. I got a brat with kraut, which was solid (if not worth going out of your way for) for $7.

For sausages, *the* place in Arlington is German Gourmet - even though the sausages aren't made in-house, they're still wonderful (and while they're grilling them, you can pick up a six pack of good, German beer). The people who work there are fun - you feel like you're a stone's throw from Bavaria.

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For me the attraction at Heidelberg is the bread. Not only is the variety impressive, but the rye breads such as the corn rye are easily some of the best I've had since the sissel breads of my youth in RI. The breads with various other seeds are really good too.

The hamantaschen are excellent too, available year round, and I am pretty sure they even have mun (poppy seed paste) in addition to the apricot and raspberry filled. Maybe even the nontraditional chocolate?

We've also enjoyed various of the pastries, such as the cream cheese slabs with blueberries and other ooey-gooey delights.

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