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A heavy flow of patrons made their way to Bayou Bakery this weekend for what was supposed to be a gentle, soft opening of David Guas‘ homage to the food and drink of New Orleans, his hometown. I was among those who couldn’t wait for the doors to open at Arlington’s latest eatery.

Guas purposely limited his menu this weekend in order to ease into things, but he still made sure to include a few items that are sure to become Bayou Bakery staples, like the decadent beignets, the bacon biscuits, and the chicken-and-sausage gumbo.

The space is actually rather cool, though I say that fully acknowledging that, in some way, my heart will always be aligned with Bardia’s New Orleans Cafe and its bowl of steaming gumbo. Bardia’s beignets, however, have nothing on Guas’.

When I closed my eyes and breathed in Bayou Bakery’s beignets, all hot and fresh, I felt as if I had been transported back to Cafe Du Monde in the Crescent City. With my small French press of chicory coffee, I was enjoying the classic Big Easy combo right in Arlington. The only thing missing was a brass band in the street.

Despite my affinity for Bardia’s gumbo, I admired the one here, too. Guas’ version had great flavor and when hit with a shot or two of Louisiana’s Pure Crystal Hot Sauce, the gumbo packed a real nice punch.