By Bob Tagert
Meet Me At the Junction!
Junction Bakery & Bistro
Last month the long awaited Junction Bistro & Bakery opened in the space formerly occupied by Mancini’s on Mount Vernon Avenue in the Del Ray area of Alexandria. Noe Landini was looking to open a bakery to supply fresh breads to their restaurants, Landini’s and the Fish Market in Old Town as well as their new project, Bar Deco, in D.C.’s Chinatown. The idea began to take form when Noe was introduced to Nathan Hatfield, a very good friend of Landini bartender Tami Hatridge. Hatfield had previously worked for Le Diplomate, Society Fair and Restaurant Eve. The more the three talked, the more Junction took shape and the Bistro/Bakery was opened in mid-July with Hatfield as chef and head baker and Hatridge resigned her position at Landini’s to take over general manager responsibilities at Junction.
For the first month Junction worked on a soft opening and was only open from 7 am to 3 pm. The bistro/café was busy from day one and the bakery began their operation at 3am in order to make the breads and pastries for their restaurants. Hatfield has standing orders from other restaurants as soon as they can get the operation working smoothly and they can handle the increased load. By that time the bakery will be operating around the clock. Hatfield is also the chef for the kitchen and is assisted by his wife Margaret, who is also a chef as well as an instructor at the Academy de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
As I write this piece, the Bistro is serving their first dinners to family and friends, and by the time you read this Junction will be open from 7 am to 10 pm serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
The lunch and dinner menus offer small and large plates, sweets and food choices for the “little ones.” Small plates range from vegetables and salads to soups and the large plates from smoked turkey and roasted chicken breast to short rib grilled cheese to confit chicken leg and thigh. The dinner menu will mirror the lunch menu but will offer more choices.
The coffee served at Junction is made in Culpeper, Virginia by a local roaster. The company is called Commonwealth Joe and their coffee is terrific. I have gotten in the habit of stopping by every morning for my cup of Joe. They also provide the new kick in coffees…nitro cold coffee. This is high test, nitrogen infused coffee out of a beer tap. Not only does the nitro coffee taste great, it will certainly give you a boost.
To make this a true family business, Noe’s wife Kimberly has established the Grateful Juice Co., which makes fresh, natural fruit juices in an array of flavors. They are dedicated to “putting the best things into your body, to get the most magnificent version of you”. The juices are made daily and are also available at Zweet Sport Yoga Studio in Old Town.
Even though it was a soft opening, the Junction Bistro & Bakery is well on its way to becoming one of the more popular stops along the avenue. If you haven’t been, stop by and “Meet me at the Junction!”
“Come ride the little train,
That is rolling down the tracks,
To the Junction.
Forget about your cares,
It is time to relax,
At the Junction…..” – Compliments of Flatt and Scruggs