Based on the review from the Washington Post, I tried out this new bakery:
After fighting the parking lot that Merrifield has become, I was happy to find there was plenty of real parking in new Merrifield town center. In the condo building are parking garages and behind the building where Pastry XPO is is plenty of parking, too. The cafe/bakery itself is nice--simple and calm. There is a section of wrapped chocolates, fondant flowers, hand made truffles in the first case that catch your eyes as you walk in. Then long cases of cakes, pastries, cookies follow. A nice selection, not overly large but it's still new and everything looked good. In the back, is the cafe w/ premade sanwiches, coffee and tea bar. I had a smoked salmon sandwich; my daughter had the salami pizza. Everything looked pretty but is premade which might be the biggest drawback. It's hard to keep a premade sandwich--the bread starts getting soggy, especially w/ the cream cheese on the inside. The smoked salmon sandwich was good, with tomatoes, romaine lettuce, capers, herbed cream cheese. I think it would have been excellent if it had been made fresh but refrigerated crusty bread loses it crispness and the bread gets harder. The salami pizza is also premade but then heated. It was very good--not really pizza but round puff pastry topped w/ (I think) bechamel and cheese, a few chopped tomatoes, dried oregano. The salami was more like Canadian bacon which I thought better than a heavy salami. My daughter loved it and had every bite, except the few I took. On the way out, we picked up a couple of sables, chocolate and raspberry, and an eclair. I liked the eclair, thought it was far better than the one we had from Cenan's the day before. The crust was soft (again, hard to keep pate choux long w/out losing the crispness in the pastry), unlike the drier one from Cenan's. Cenan's was far prettier but this tasted better--more cream, though chocolate, better pastry. The cookies were okay, not quite Dorie Greenspan's World Peace cookies, but good. On the way out, we were offered a taste of the bread pudding--with peaches, raspberries and almonds flavoring. Very good, fruit seemed fresh, very light hint of almond that didn't overwhelm and nice and light bite. I'd go back just for that. Overall, I'd definitely visit again and I'm picky about bakeries. Still little kinks to work out but it's so new. There were quite a few items that caught my eye, nice flaky croissants (good sized--not too big which is one issue I have with croissants), scones that looked great. I'd love to see this place succeed--nothing like a small business w/ owners who try hard. I'd add a link but it doesn't exist yet.