Gluten Free Friendly Restaurants and Health Food Stores in Eugene, Oregon: Cafe Yumm Review

May 5th, 2009 yum Posted in Eugene, Gluten Free Dining, Or, Oregon, Vegetarian 12 Comments »

yummbowlLast year when I wrote about gluten-free restaurants in Portland, a reader told me about a great restaurant in Eugene with many naturally gluten free options called Cafe Yumm. This Spring when we drove from San Francisco to Portland, we stopped in Eugene for a tasty and healthy lunch at the Cafe Yumm. They have locations in Beaverton, Bend, Corvallis, Springfield as well as Eugene.

The Cafe Yumm menu is based around healthy rice bowls with beans, but the inspiration for the name comes from what they call Yumm sauce- a creamy sauce made from nutritional yeast, soy, and chickpeas that happens to be gluten-free. The sauce contains no wheat, dairy, gluten, eggs or sugar, so it works well for additional allergies as well as a vegan diet. Unfortunately the Cafe does not have a gluten-free menu as such, but they do have a book at the counter with all of the ingredients of each dish, and the servers are really helpful about looking through the book with you and helping you find a dish that will work for your diet.

When we walked up to the counter, I was a little nervous and had no idea what to order, but the really sweet girl at the register helped me look through the book. The Yumm rice bowls are most suitable for a hearty gluten-free meal, and the DH and I chose the Original bowl as well as the Smoky Bowl. All bowls come with Tillamook® cheddar, diced tomato, fresh avocado slices, sour cream, black olives, & cilantro as a topping. The Original bowl has brown rice and organic black beans with Original Yumm! Sauce® and organic salsa. The Smoky bowl has Organic brown rice, Original Yumm! Sauce, house-made chipotle chili, and organic salsa. The DH considered getting tofu skewers, but we couldn’t find them in the ingredient book and the server said they were made off site, so we didn’t order them as they seemed likely to not be gluten-free.

What did we think when the bowls came? I was quite hungry, and it was really nice to get a big bowl of brown rice with lots of yummy tasting, fresh toppings. I liked the fact that almost all of the ingredients were simple and fresh, and I knew that the one ingredient that was more complex (the yumm sauce) was confirmed gluten-free. That being said, I did find the original Yumm bowl to be a little plain for my taste, and the DH and I both preferred the Smoky bowl with the added kick of chipotle chili sauce. The restaurant did make a great, hearty and gluten-free food stop, and best of all, I felt great after eating there. I’ve always enjoyed the health food stores and cozy college atmosphere in Eugene, and now I have one more reason to stop there- Yumm Cafe. The Yumm sauce IS one that is based in a vegetarian or vegan flavor palate, so not everyone may love it, especially if they aren’t use to the flavor of nutritional yeast. I thought it was great, though, and was happy to purchase a bottle of the Yumm Sauce to take home with me to make my own tasty rice bowls and to use as a topping for baked potatoes. The only thing I wish was that the cafe had a gluten-free menu or easily accessed gluten-free menu chart as it would make it faster and easier to find an appropriate dish. Also, even though the sauce IS gluten-free and is advertised as such on their website and in their literature, the serving girl did not know that it was gluten-free, so I actually had to tell her that it was safe- but I really did appreciate how helpful and patient she was, even untrained, at helping me find something safe to eat from the menu.

Have you eaten a gluten-free meal at Cafe Yumm? Tell me about it in the comments!

List of Gluten-Free Restaurants in Eugene, Oregon
*of special interest: Chinese restaurant Lok Yaun has a Gluten-free Menu*

List of Natural Health Food Stores in Eugene, Oregon

One of my favorites is
748 E. 24th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97405
7am -11pm

While they don’t have an especially fancy gluten-free selection of prepared baked goods or anything, they do have a good vegetarian, mostly vegan deli that “features many raw foods entrees. The prepackaged cooler is available from 7 AM until closing time at 11 PM. The soup, green salad, raw entrée, and prepared salad bar is open from 9 AM until 9 PM, and the hot buffet is available from 11 AM until 9 PM”. (from their web site, confirmed in person) Offerings are generally labeled with ingredients and staff is great about helping you confirm ingredients. Some offerings are from local places, so they might have to call them to confirm some things- and that will require them to actually be open and answer the phone. However, I’ve gotten some very tasty and safe vegan/vegetarian meals from Sundance that I thoroughly enjoyed.

What are your favorite gluten-free stops in Eugene? Tell us about it!

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The Best Gluten-Free Bakery and Restaurant Stops from the Bay Area to Portland: Coffee Plant, Corbett Fish House, and more

April 29th, 2009 yum Posted in Gluten Free bakery, Or, Portland, Portland Oregon 4 Comments »

cpbeansoup3Corbett Coffee Plant
5911 SW Corbett
Portland, Or
Next Door to Corbett Fish House!!!
Open 7 – 5 M-Sat, 9 – 3 Sun

I know that I’ve reviewed this place before (in Sep 2007). Nevertheless, this very local and very cool casual Portland coffee shop that just-so-happens to have a small all gluten-free bakery still amazes me every time I go. Since I went in 2007, they’ve got more space (I think) and are selling some pre-made gluten-free supplies like Ener-g Foods gourmet GF crackers, GF pretzels, and alternative milks, as well as some GF certified oats. But the real reason to go remains the amazing baked goods. Last time I was wowed by their gluten-free chocolate chip cookies… Let’s see, how did it go? “Congrats to the brillig baker at Coffee Plant for single handedly creating the PERFECT chocolate chip cookie. Can I give a 10/10 again? Is that bad? It was a darned tasty cookie.” It is still a delicious cookie. This time the DH got into the cookie chomping action and I found him wanting more than his fair half of MY gluten-free cookie! I had to send him back to the front to buy more. According to him, they are indistinguishable from gluten chocolate-chip cookies, and darned fine cookies at that. We also tried a day-old double chocolate chip cookie from them that was just as good two days later. I love the nice, big chocolate chips they use, and the flour mixture is perfect.

One thing that was DIFFERENT this time is that we went earlier and so they hadn’t sold out of anything yet.
They had two main offerings on their menu; a spicy vegetarian black bean soup, and a quiche, along with all the items in their bakery case and things in a small refrigerator case.

cpquiche3I hadn’t had breakfast, so I was ready to do some serious damage. I ordered the soup AND a quiche and figured I’d share with the DH. They heated both up for me, and I was thrilled with both. The soup was complex and rich, with a serious spicy kick, and it tasted deliciously vegetarian and it was perfectly to my taste. It was served with Ener-g Foods GF Gourmet crackers and I couldn’t have been happier with the combination. The quiche had a delicious gluten-free crust that was the perfect thickness, and nicely rich. It also complimented the cheesy quiche filling quite nicely. Both went well with the Coffee Plant’s lovely chai and half of a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie. But then, most things do go well with chocolate chip cookies.

Since we were traveling by gypsy van (RV camper to you) and had a small refrigerator, I decided to purchase their gluten-free vegetarian wrap and gluten-free Cabbage Salad with Gingered Tofu to take with us. We also picked up some cookies and some of their famed gluten-free scones. In this case, I bought the walnut scone and chocolate chip scone.

cpsandwrapHow was the wrap? Well, first, if you’ll recall, I absolutely loved their gluten-free sandwiches, but alas, they don’t seem to offer them any more. It does seem that you can get a loaf of their bread IF you request it ahead of time, but they don’t seem to keep it on hand. I was excited to see the wrap, and very curious about the mediterranean filling. Unfortunately, when I actually tried it, I was a bit disappointed. The wrap was quite egg-tasting and there was a strangely sweet element that somehow clashed with the savory feta-tomato filling. I only ate half, and the rest went to waste. The cabbage salad with gingered tofu was a bit more to my taste but the tofu had a rather heavy and flat flavor that I didn’t completely love. I would try anything they offered, and love that there are so many vegetarian options, but I really wish they still had their gluten-free sandwiches. Next time I’ll have to order their bread and make some of my own…

cpsconesThe cookies were perfection, as I mentioned, and the scones were also delicious. The DH said they tasted just like gluten scones (seems to be a theme with this place)- all I know is that they are the best gluten-free scones I’ve ever had.

On the Coffee Plant’s website, it states that:
“Currently, in addition to our gluten-free cafe at 5915 SW Corbett Avenue, you can enjoy our gf coffeecakes and granola at The Fresh Pot Hawthorne (3729 SE Hawthorne) and a selection of gf pastries at Coffee Plant Downtown (724 SW Washington Street). And now, Divine Cafe (located in NCNM campus in Southwest Portland) as well as Food Front Hillsdale are selling our gluten-free goodies. Hooray!”

So, if you find yourself at another Coffee Plant location or other coffee shops, you can still enjoy some delicious gluten-free goodies!

My Sep 2007 Post Reviewing Corbett Coffee Plant

swpotatofries2News from the Corbett Fish House and its gluten-free cousin the Hawthorne Fish House:

They now have gluten-free hamburger buns, as well as a gluten-free locally made vegetarian burger. So even strict vegetarians (non-pescatarians) can enjoy their fries and a burger as well as an extensive gluten-free dessert menu. yeah!

My earlier (pescatarian) post reviewing items at Corbett Fish House and Hawthorne Fish House
Hawthorne Fish House Web Page
Corbett Fish House Web Page

Looking for more gluten-free bakeries in Portland?
I got a hot tip from another Coffee Plant Customer that a new gluten-free baking team is rising on the horizon- New Cascadia Traditional According to their site, their “retail location is in NW Portland on NW Glisan just West of NW 21st Ave, next to Trader Joes and in front of Sammy’s Flowers. We can also be found at the PSU and Eastbank Portland Farmers Markets.” They are a dedicated gluten-free bakery that uses the newer and more nutritional flours to make hand crafted artisan breads, pastries and gourmet cookies. (They don’t use soy or bean flours, however.)
You can reach them by Phone at: 503.887.4392
And their hours as posted on their web site are:
Tuesday – Friday 11:00a.m. to 6:00p.m.
Saturday 9:30a.m. to 5:30p.m.
(I do hear they sell out early, so call to verify that they have the products you are interested in.)

Also, here is my recent review of the Gluten-Free Products available for bulk order through Angeline’s dedicated gf Bakery in Portland

So, there you have it- proof that Portland, Oregon really is the gluten-free mecca of the United States. *Sigh*

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