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BakeHouse, Niall Cooper and LIndsey Morse's Bakery & Coffee Shop on 14th and T Street NW - Closed Sun, May 22, 2016 and Focusing Only on Wholesale


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I only recently became aware of this new entrant in the booming DC coffee shop scene despite it being open a couple of months. Did a quick search here on DR.com and, though I found a hiring post, didn't see a thread or report so here you go. Most of the other food websites/magazines/blogs have announcements or articles about it including Washingtonian, Eater and Y&H.

In short, BakeHouse is a very nice place with a nice back story and a few smart points of differentiation (aka good reasons to visit). Briefly, BakeHouse was founded by a young married couple who hatched the idea while working in a small museum in South Georgia (the island which figured in the Falklands War and, of course, Shackleton's Endurance expedition; not Savannah/Valdosta).

I like this place. It's small but modern with a bright and airy design. Approximately 15 seats not including some outdoor sidewalk seating. For this time of year (July), I can attest their A/C works quite well.

More seriously, they have all the essential requisites. Quality coffee (more on that below), some complementary (actually more locomotive than caboose) food items, free & fast wifi, and a mix of seating types (counter, sofa, tables). Just west of 14th on T, so close to metro, bus lines, bike lanes, landing strips and whatever other transport options.

Just a fundamentally nice and pleasant place.

With that backdrop, two things at BakeHouse really stand out.

The first is signaled by their name. Different from most coffee shops with plasticene (or worse) food, this place is really and firstly a bakery cafe that also has a very good coffee program. That versus the more typical coffee house with a couple of cellophane-wrapped biscotti options and uber-sweet muffins. The BakeHouse folks seem to love baking and they do it well. I tried a good-looking cinnamon roll. It tasted good too (!) and, interestingly (appreciably for me), it was served warm with the frosting on the side. Tarts, scones, pies, cupcakes, cookies and a full array of breakfast and lunch sandwiches are all part of the mix here. Much better grub than most coffee shops. The baked goods and casual, grab-and-go foods are themselves an excellent reason to visit.

Second, of course, is the coffee. I love the places in town we now have that are really coffee forward. By that I mean spots owned and operated by coffee obsessives who care intensely about their equipment, technique and, of course, their beans. But, alas, an achilles heel of such places is they tend not to emphasize food very much, if at all. Filter, Peregrine and Qualia are good examples. All top of the heap in terms of the very best, painstakingly-made cups you'll find around here but, if you want a truly great muffin or scone to go with it, well, have to go elsewhere for that.

BakeHouse is a slightly different animal. They're using a very good coffee not yet well known in DC called Zeke's. Zeke's is an 8-year-old, small, family-owned Baltimore roaster that's been a presence at many of the area farmer's markets for a few years. They will be opening a shop themselves at Conn and Rhode Island later this summer, where they'll be surrounded by several of the other higher-end independents now clustering in the Dupont/Downtown/Shaw/Logan/14th St area. At BakeShop, I tried a single-origin pourover from Bali and a cortado. Though maybe not quite as precise concoctions as other shops, both were quite good. BakeShop uses a Cecilware Venezia espresso maker and a Mazzer grinder. Pourover rack looked to be filled with Hario v.60s.

BakeShop is bringing some new mojo to the booming small, artisan coffee scene in DC (Yes, Msgr, Furstenberg--talking to you here :P ) with much-better-than-the-norm baked goods, a new local coffee roaster and a respectable coffee program. It's a nice shop. They even welcome dogs outside with peanut butter treats though that's hearsay for me since noone is outside sipping hot joe on 95-degree days. :)

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Second, of course, is the coffee.  I love the places in town we now have that are really coffee forward. By that I mean spots owned and operated by coffee obsessives who care intensely about their equipment, technique and, of course, their beans.  But, alas, an achilles heel of such places is they tend not to emphasize food very much, if at all.  Filter, Peregrine and Qualia are good examples.  All top of the heap in terms of the very best, painstakingly-made cups you'll find around here but, if you want a truly great muffin or scone to go with it, well, have to go elsewhere for that.

I have to disagree with you here. We source our baked goods from some of the city's top talent including Paisley Fig, Whisked and Thunder Pig. We bake it on site, throughout the day as needed for optimum freshness. Don't know when the last time you had a scone here, but I think our baked goods are very competitive and a great complement to our coffee.

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I have to disagree with you here. We source our baked goods from some of the city's top talent including Paisley Fig, Whisked and Thunder Pig. We bake it on site, throughout the day as needed for optimum freshness. Don't know when the last time you had a scone here, but I think our baked goods are very competitive and a great complement to our coffee.

If you're sourcing from Paisley Fig, you're sourcing from top talent. Kudos to *both* you and darkstar for keeping each other on your toes.

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