Friday, March 19, 2010

Pastry Xpo

8190 Strawberry Ln
Merrifield, VA 22082
(703) 642-0249

Visited: March 19, 2010

Ugh...major buyer's remorse here.

At the most, I'd give this place 2.5 stars.

First off, is this the place to get your sweet fix? No.

Is this the place you go to surf the 'net (free wi-fi) in peace in the middle of an urban neighborhood overlooking a closed-run-down movie theater? Yes.

We had decided to visit the Pastry Xpo after a friend of our was RAVING about the deliciousness of the sweet offerings. From the description, you would've thought one would see angels after eating any treat from Pastry Xpo as they happily serenaded you with trumpets from heaven as you stuffed your gluttonous face.

So yes, were were looking forward to trying out this place...

When the wife and I walked into this place with our two monkeys, I had high hopes based on the selection of pastries that the merchandise would taste as good as it looks. After scanning the display case, I settled on a slice of the chocolate log with macadamia nuts. The wife chose a Napoleon with a latte while we ordered two small chocolate chip cookies for the twins.

As soon as I locked eyes on the chocolate log (we call it la Buche de Noel even when its not Christmas), my mouth was salivating. Thoughts of the tasty Buche de Noel from the French embassy pastry chef popped in my head and I couldn't resist. I paid for everything and was surprised that it came out to be almost $20 for not a lot 'o stuff.

Here's a final list of what we ordered:

- 1 slice of the Buche de Noel
- 1 piece of Napoleon
- 2 small chocolate chip cookies
- 1 small latte

Sitting down, I gave the twins their cookies and immediately dove into my Buche de Noel. Ummm? No. Enh... The cake was so dry I took a sip of my water to wash down the first bite. The chocolate portion of the pastry wasn't that flavorful and I already felt let down after just one bite.

I took a bite of one of the twins' cookies and was unimpressed. I've tasted better cookies from a frozen Toll House cookie packet bought at a local supermarket. By the time I finished tasting the bite of the cookie, the wife chimed in with, "This is the worst and driest Napoleon I've ever had...ugh"

I took a bit of her Napoleon and found it forgettable due to the "old" flavor of the filling and the soggy texture of the supposed-to-be flaky dough layers. Both the Buche de Noel and the Napoleon appeared to have been a few days old, frozen or made at some other far off store. Heck for all I know they were made at some far off store, frozen and shipped to the Pastry Xpo a few days later.

Whatever the case of when or where the pastries were made, they were not worth their price. I leaned over to the wife and told her I would've preferred to have gone right next door to Cold Stone Creamery for some ice cream had I known the Pastry Xpo pastries were going to be this bad.

To be nice a list of positives:
- The place was very new, quiet and clean.
- Free wi-fi
- Not too many people inside contributing to the quiet atmosphere.
- The wife said the latte was tasty

So will we return to Pasty Xpo? Nope. I'd rather drive a few extra miles to Praline or even indulge my sweet tooth by visiting Locolat. I think Pastry Xpo would do good to learn from these other places as the quality of their treats is what will bring us and other customers back over and over matter how far away we live.

If I was ever in this area and was dying to satisfy my sweet cravings, I'd definitely go next door the Cold Stone...

Pastry Xpo on Urbanspoon

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