Unique Bakery, Fairfax, VA

Unique Bakery is one of those typical strip-mall bakeries you don’t know about – sometimes you don’t know about them even if you live only a couple miles away (it’s in Twinbrook Shopping Center on Braddock Road). But they’ve been open since 1999, and they specialize in wedding cakes (which presumably give them the revenue needed to keep chugging).

The owner, David Behnam, was adamant about both the Butter Croissant ($1.45) and the Apple-Raisin Strudel (also $1.45) being put into the microwave for about twenty seconds – ‘in this cold weather, the butter needs to come back to temperature,’ he said. Greedily, I ate the croissant while driving out of the parking lot, and I was left unimpressed – it was a decent croissant, but croissants are nearly impossible to make well.

However, I followed Behnam’s advice for the strudel, and I’m glad I did. It was a fine piece of strudel, and with a cup of Quartermaine coffee, it was a real treat. If you ever ferret this place out, give the strudel a try.

I also bought a loaf of German Bread ($2.60), which I had sliced, and nibbled on. Like the croissant, it was adequate, but not a repeat for me. ‘This makes great French Toast,’ he said. ‘You put it in your toaster, add some butter, and top it with some preserves.’ A neighborhood bakery, to be sure, the items meant to be taken home and adorned.

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