Monday, July 21, 2014

Allergen free bakery in Alpharetta

Another find on is Mama Bakes Safes Cakes in Alpharetta, GA.  Honestly, there are very few gluten-free, vegan cupcakes I've found worth eating so when I tried the goodies from this bakery, I tried to keep an open mind.  Understand that I've had delicious vegan cupcakes before - just not that many of them.  Even though I'd still choose a cupcake made with butter and eggs over any other version, the cupcakes and frosting from Mama Bakes Safe Cakes were surprisingly good!  Like 'I can't believe the're gluten-free and vegan' good!  My husband won't usually even taste any vegan baked goods, but I convinced him to try a cupcake and even he was impressed.  HE asked me at least twice if I was sure there were no eggs in the cake or butter in the frosting.

The staff at the bakery takes great care to explain which allergens their various goodies are free of (gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, etc.).  There are many things available to order to even pick up from the freezer out front at the bakery.  One such item that got my attention was lemon cookies coated in powdered sugar.  I don't recall the name of them, but they were by far the favorite thing we tried and I will be going back just for those incredible cookies!

If you're in need of gluten-, egg-, dairy- and even soy-free fresh baked goodies in the ATL, you might want to check out the wares from Mama Bakes Safe Cakes.  They accept walk in sales, but if you want to check out the cupcake flavors of the day, you can find them on the company's FB page.   

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Gluten-free crepes in the ATL!

Crepe Revolution went out of business quite a while ago.  I can't speak to the gluten crepes there, but the three gluten-free options were less than impressive in my opinion.  Because I love crepes, I routinely google 'gluten-free crepes atlanta' and what normally pops up are regular crepe places that don't have gluten-free options.  Then a few weeks ago, that changed.

Meet Crepe Cafe in Marietta!  The 500 degree griddle is cleaned (possibly with water only) before being used for the gluten-free batter.  Since I've successfully had crepes made that way before, and knew that the cafe serves many gluten-free patrons with celiac, I decided to give it a try.

We got one savory gluten-free and one regular crepe for lunch and a gluten-free dessert crepe for dessert.  Each gluten-free crepe was delicious...light and airy...just like a crepe should be!  All I could think was 'I hope they didn't mess up and give me the wrong batter' - it was seriously that delicious!  The regular crepe that I couldn't try was said to be not quite as light as the gluten-free version, but it was none-the-less tasty.  My only complaint is that there is only one location of this gluten-free gem of a cafe in the area!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Gluten-free brunch in North GA!

Buffet-style meals can be hit or miss when it comes to being gluten-free friendly.  Knowing what the safe options are and the placement of those dishes are equally important.  That said, you can find wonderful buffet meals here and there.

With the heat continuing to rise in the ATL, we wanted to head to the cooler climate in the North GA mountains recently.  We enjoyed the wine tasting flight at Wolf Mountain Vineyards a few years back and remembered how lovely the view was there.  This trip we decided to check out their Sunday brunch which has two seatings - 12:30 and 2:30 pm.  Since we wanted to sit on the covered patio, we chose the 12:30 option and let them know in advance I needed a gluten-free meal.  As always, I let them know I wasn't eating gluten-free for fun (although it's more fun than ever these days!).

The brunches at Wolf Mountain Vineyard have a theme each month and for July, the theme is BBQ.  Overall, the menu was fairly gluten-free friendly.  The options on the day we visited included, three types of meat, one BBQ sauce, beans, potato salad and gourmet salad.  Since it was my birthday weekend, I requested a gluten-free dessert (if possible) that wasn't fruit, ice creme or creme brulee.

The meats were all wonderful, but the chicken thighs were my favorite of the three.  So tender and juicy and smothered in a fabulous BBQ sauce!  The potato salad was also very tasty and far from the run-of-the-mill version I'm used to.  It had bacon in it which makes almost everything better.  I skipped the beans because the salad was insanely delicious and I had two helpings of it!  Fresh mixed greens topped with avocado, white cheddar cheese, seriously fresh tomatoes and house made dressing - what's not to love?!

My husband enjoyed the French toast casserole so I'm going to try to make a similar version with the new bread from Pure Knead (I call it gluten-free wonder bread!).  I've made a pretty good recipe for this using a well known gluten-free bread, but it takes a soft and fluffy bread to make it perfect in my opinion.  I'll let you know how it turns out later...too hot for that right now!

OK - back to the brunch.  I was pretty full before my dessert arrived, but once I saw the huge portion of crust-less key lime pie, I could not resist eating at least a 1/3 of it!  My husband usually gets my dessert left overs and he was surprised that this time, his portion was less than normal.  He had the cobbler dessert which he very much liked anyway.  And to the credit of whoever made my dessert, they did more than just pour some key lime filling into the dish.  There was a layer of pie filling, then some custard or whipped cream in the middle and then another layer of pie filling.  There was a scrumptious raspberry sauce drizzled on the pie filling and a dollop of fresh whipped creme on top!  If I'd had a cooler in the car, I probably wouldn't have shared it at all.  It was that delicious!

Between the wonderful meal, the fun live entertainment and the incredible view and the wine tasting downstairs after brunch, we had an absolutely wonderful afternoon at the winery.  We'll be checking out the brunch menus in the future in case there's another one that looks like a good bet for gluten-free options.

For anyone interested in the wine tastings at Wolf Mountain Vineyards, you might want to take your own cheese straws from Marilyn's (sold at Whole Foods in the ATL) or order the cheese plate without crackers.  Since we were full from brunch, we didn't need a snack.  They put out regular bread sticks for the tastings.  There are several nice wine included in the tasting, but the Sunset Rose is a perfectly light wine for the long hot days of summer!