Dirt Cheap Eats 2007: Crown Bakery

Cafes & Carryouts

A cluster of old men cracking jokes and greeting passersby forms a welcoming committee for the Trinidadians who stream through this bakery at all hours of the day. All the baking is done in-house, and every day you’ll find as many as nine varieties of savory pastry, or “patty.”

Patty isn’t the same thing in Trinidad and Tobago as it is in Jamaica—the pastry is flaky, not smooth, and comes in a variety of shapes. The square contains callaloo, the famous green-leaf stew; a log shape holds salt cod. Round is for beef. You could make a satisfying meal of one patty ($2.25) and perhaps a container of the terrific corn soup ($4.25 small, $6.25 large). On the sweet side, there are coconut rolls, oversize cookies called biscuit cakes, sliced currant rolls, and a rich almond-cream layer cake. It’s hard to resist filling up a bag with goodies.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.