Bayou Bakery has been closed since March due to Covid—but that doesn’t mean chef/owner David Guas hasn’t been cooking. When Arlington public schools closed in early March, the Louisiana native started swapping muffulettas for mushrooms at his Courthouse bakery, and went on to serve thousands of free, plant-based meals to school kids and their families.
Now, on the eve of the New Orleans-style bakery’s tenth anniversary, Guas has revamped the restaurant and kitchen space. He reopened Bayou for carryout service this morning.
Bayou Bakery’s public service isn’t finished. Chefs Feeding Families—the project Guas co-founded with non-profit Real Food for Kids—has partnered with other local restaurants like Rasa, Silver Diner, and Pizzeria Paradiso to serve over 80,000 meals to families in the greater DC area; Guas will continue to distribute meals on certain days. Meanwhile, his counter-order restaurant is back in action with its homemade buttermilk biscuit sandwiches, warm beignets, gumbo, po’ boys, and other Louisiana specialities.
Guas overhauled the decade-old space with some Covid-era amenities, such as a hands-free mechanism to open the bathroom door; touch-free faucets and soap dispensers; and a high-tech air filtration system designed to weed out both germs and the ever-present smell of Benton’s bacon in the air. (“Pleasant for some but not for everyone,” Guas says). Service will be carryout only to start, and Guas has set up delivery within a five mile radius. Guests can also bring their food and drink to the patio. Eventually, Guas plans to reopen the indoor dining area as well.
The pared-down menu goes back to Bayou Bakery’s roots with fresh-baked goods, sandwiches, salads, and plates like blackened turkey meatballs and pimento cheese (you can also get the latter two as “grab-and-geaux” market items). Fresh to the lineup are carryout-friendly frozen cocktails from a new daiquiri machine, including a frosty hurricane made with a bunch of fresh fruit juices and rums, and a white Russian-style slushy with Counter Culture coffee, house-made vanilla bean syrup, vodka, and Kahlua. The drinks are available in personal pouches or shareable half and full-gallon milk jugs for you and your pod.
Bayou Bakery. 1515 N. Courthouse Rd., Arlington.