Made from Scratch: Baker’s Crust
At Baker’s Crust, the chefs arrive by 6 a.m. so when Inside Loudoun recently walked in at 11 a.m. for a tasting of cocktails and lunch, no one blinked an eye. The food at Baker’s Crust comes from a scratch kitchen, meaning that no ingredients are pre-made. Not the salad dressing. Not the margarita mix. Not even the pizza sauce. It’s an old-fashioned concept (cooking from scratch takes precious time, after all) with very modern results.
Seated at a banquet overlooking a dog-friendly patio and the lake, Baker’s Crust reveals its contrasts: It’s known for breakfast, but the lunch selections impress; It’s the newest location for this bakery-turned-restaurant but service feels incredibly polished; The large dining rooms and jammed happy hours might have you thinking that food and drinks are mass produced, but the server specifically asks about food allergies, special needs and offers custom adjustments.
Baker’s Crust uses farm-sourced ingredients, though most of the farming is done closer to the company’s home base in Virginia Beach. The fresh flavors shine in starters and salads. The avocado toast trio stands out with roasted beets on one baguette, while chipotles and corn nod at tex-mex on another, and the third riffs on breakfast with bacon and a quail egg. The tuna poke arrives looking like savory layer cake, with gorgeous contrast between the faro, avocado, seaweed salad, mango and tuna.
Perfectly seared ahi tuna tops my salad while my companions’ grilled salmon over greens, ordered from the Gluten-Free menu, and the turkey-topped cobb salad, highlight crisp greens and avocado, nicely ripe but still firm.
The baking that gives the restaurant group its name has a chance to shine too. The lamb burger comes on a brioche roll worthy of nibbling on its own. In combination with feta, tomato and arugula, the sweetness gives the lamb a nice lift. Neapolitan pizza crusts, baked in a stone oven, and a good selection of hot sandwiches pair well their toppings. The buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with bacon is their best seller but the simplicity of a prosciutto and tomato pizza, topped with house-made mozzarella cheese, shouldn’t be overlooked.
The same care taken with the food extends to the bar menu where seasonal cocktails feature purees, fresh fruit, smoked herbs and house-made mixes and syrups. Our server explains that drinks can take up to 10 minutes to make individually. The results are worth the wait.
The Honey Crisp, with it’s dried cranberry garnish and spicy cinnamon notes, is delightfully light and crisp, as the name suggests. The Cayenne and Orange, another vodka-based cocktail, surprises by keeping the spice on the sugared rim and not in the drink itself. A rotating selection of craft beer and wine, both on tap, means that deciding on a drink may be the most difficult part of the meal.
Go for breakfast – the Baltimore Eggs Benedict with crab cakes is insane – but return for a lunch or dinner to dig in to Baker’s Crust. The artisanal focus sets the food apart and the care taken with special orders and gluten-free selections shows that service is part of the equation – and the magic – happening here.
Baker’s Crust, 19890 Belmont Chase Drive, Ashburn VA. They are open Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Friday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Brunch is served on Saturday & Sunday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Lunch & Dinner are served daily from open-close. https://bakerscrust.com/>