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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The Best Gluten-Free Bakery and Restaurant Stops from the Bay Area to Portland: Angeline’s Bakery

April 23rd, 2009 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Gluten Free Product Review, Or, Portland, Portland Oregon, breakfast 11 Comments »

Gluten-free bakeries are wonderful places, but sadly, I don’t get to go to them very often. It is very rare that I get the opportunity to walk into a room filled with the aroma of freshly baked gluten-free goods. This week I had that very experience when I walked into one of Portland’s best gluten-free secrets- the gluten-free branch of Angeline’s Bakery. The master gluten-free baker was in the process of cooling exquisite smelling loaves of gorgeous orange cinnamon bread, and the room smelled like absolute heaven. I have never coveted gluten-free bread more in my life. Now, lest you get too excited, Angeline’s Bakery in Portland is NOT a retail outlet, nor is it a cafe. Angeline’s started in Sister’s Oregon as a non-gluten-free bakery and gradually they became interested in expanding into the gluten-free market. The bakery was set up when Angeline’s formed a relationship with Wild Oats to produce gluten-free products for them- but alas, when Wild Oats was taken over by Whole Foods (which has its own in-house gluten-free bakery and line of products) that deal fell through. We’ve seen the phenomenon before where the acquisition of small companies by a large corporate chain results in less variety for the consumer. However, in this case it may be a blessing in disguise as Angeline NOT having an exclusive contract with ONE company means that you can find their products at a wider variety of places. This is their list of health food stores in Oregon and Washington offering Angeline’s gluten-free products. And, keep an eye out at Fred Meyers for their products as well- if they don’t have them in stock, they can order them for you. As I understood it, their products are frozen for shipping, so you can’t get them fresh at the markets unless you buy the frozen dough mix that you bake yourself OR the store defrosts them. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to try many of Angeline’s gluten-free products thanks to the kindness of the master baker, Paul. I am very grateful for his kind hospitality on a very busy and stressful baking day, and really appreciated his taking the time to talk to us and show us his operation as well as sharing some tasty treats with us here at the Book of Yum. Here’s my review of those products:

angelbread3 In my opinion, the real star products of Angeline’s Bakery are their gluten-free breads. Their best seller is their White Rice Sandwich Bread, but they also have an Orange Cinnamon Swirl Rice Bread, and a Brown Rice Millet Poppy Bread. Thank goodness Paul took pity on me, drooling as I was over those heavenly smelling cinnamon breads cooling by the door, and let me try a loaf. To my mind, this is their most unique and delightful product, and would be something I would be thrilled to see in national distribution. My picky glutenoid DH also gave a very big thumbs up to this flavorful, orange and cinnamon infused loaf, and we enjoyed it as morning toast and also in absolutely divine french toast. I would give it a 9/10 for flavor, texture, and overall yuminess, and would recommend it to anyone. I would even consider ordering a case of it, if I had the freezer space to store it. The white rice sandwich bread was good even two days after baking, and could almost be eaten untoasted. I did prefer it slightly toasted. It made an excellent sandwich bread and was nice eaten simply with butter or jam as well. If it were convenient to buy in a local market, I would occasionally pick one up to have on hand, although I do favor homemade gluten-free bread recipes. I would give it a 7/10, and the DH found it fine in sandwiches but not especially memorable. I have a feeling that I would have loved the brown rice bread, but unfortunately I was not able to try it. Its flavor combination of brown rice flour, millet, rice bran, poppy seeds sounds quite delicious and hearty. If anyone reading this has had the opportunity to try their brown rice bread, do share your impressions in the comments.

gfcinnamonbread gfsandwiches
Angeline’s cinnamon toast with eggs, and Angeline’s white rice bread in tofu egg salad sandwiches and cream cheese, avocado, tomato basil sandwiches.

My second favorite product offered by Angeline’s is probably their gluten-free brownie. I like a very fudgey brownie, and while these brownies weren’t as fudgey and rich as Mariposa brownies (my absolute favorite gluten-free brownie), they were quite decadent and delicious. At $24 for 12, these brownies are about half the price of Mariposa Brownies, so if shipping costs weren’t a consideration, I would definitely consider buying some. If any of my local coffee shops carried them, I’m afraid I would definitely be eating more than is good for me. I would give them a 7.5/10.

angelcookeisAngeline’s has four beautiful varieties of gluten-free cookies, and it was a real treat to get to see these beauties cooling on a baking dish fresh out of the oven. They looked just as gorgeous as any gluten cookie. The DH and I were very excited to try them. Upon tasting, we found that our favorites were probably the chocolate chip cookie, followed by the peanut butter cookie. I enjoyed the snickerdoodle and the ginger cookie, and thought they all had a very nice texture, but I’m afraid they did not entirely pass the glutenoid test. The DH had a bite of each variety but said they tasted rather gluten-free. He especially did not care for the snickerdoodle, and commented about some “gluten-free” aftertaste. I thought he might have been objecting to the flavor of the baking powder, but he couldn’t identify it specifically. I would buy one of these cookies if I found it in a local coffee shop, but I probably wouldn’t personally order them in bulk.

angelsconeI was very happy to try Angeline’s marionberry scone and very much enjoyed the fresh fruit element. I could taste the pure gluten-free rice flours, which happen to be flavors that I enjoy, but pleasant as it was to my taste buds, it was definitely not a baked good to win over reluctant glutenoids. I might pick one up with my coffee when I wanted a simple treat, but I wouldn’t order them in quantity.

You can order these products online and have them delivered to you through this online order form for Angeline’s GF Products

angelbakesignangelbakedoorIt is also possible if you live in or are visiting Portland, to order a case or so of their products and pick it up AT the bakery but you must give them as much lead time as possible, as they are very busy actually baking the products and it will take time for them to fill your order. (If you purchase through Fred Myer or other health food stores, as I understand it the product will have been frozen and possibly defrosted. You’ll get a much fresher product directly through the bakery.)

As their web site states,
If you live in the Portland area and would like to pick up your retail order, call the Bakery to arrange for pickup (do not drop-in, please!) and the shipping coupon code. You will then place your order and pay for it online, without shipping cost.
The Portland Bakery telephone number is: 503-236-2323

If you’re lucky enough to live near a health food store that carries their frozen bake products, you can try them as well. I haven’t tried them, but their Cheddar Chive Scones and Lemon Poppy Scones look quite intriguing and a little different than the competition. In general I’m not entirely sold on frozen cookie dough, which is the majority of their other offerings, as at least in the bay area, prices are often prohibitively high for what you get.. Usually homemade cookies are better and certainly a lot cheaper, but I will have to reserve judgment until I actually try their treats myself.

If you happen to be in Sisters, Oregon you can try to stop by their retail cafe location, but they do have a rather limited menu, so it might be just as effective to visit local Portland health food stores or make an order with the Portland gluten-free bakery.

Recipe using Gluten-Free Cinnamon Bread
For this post, I thought I’d share the french toast recipe I came up with on the road, using Angeline’s delicious gluten free orange cinnamon bread. I didn’t have any spices or things like vanilla, so I adapted around the ingredients in our RV pantry. The results were delicious and I hope you enjoy the recipe.

Gluten Free Honey Vanilla Cinnamon French Toast Recipe with Candied Walnuts
2 eggs, beaten
1 or 2 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. high quality vanilla yogurt with real vanilla
1 tsp. peach flavored honey (or other favorite flavored honey)

4 or more pieces of gluten-free cinnamon bread, such as Angeline’s Orange Cinnamon Bread

butter for pan
handful of walnuts
more honey or brown sugar

Combine eggs, milk, yogurt and honey in a bowl and whisk until smooth. It may help to warm the honey slightly so that it dissolves. Put mixture in a suitable dish so that you can soak the bread in it, first soaking one side and then the other.

Heat a little butter in a nonstick pan and gently pan fry the french toast. Turn when golden brown and remove from pan when both sides are browned to taste. In an empty space of the pan or a separate pan, heat a little butter and add your walnuts. Lightly toast them and drizzle with a little honey or sugar, turning. Be careful not to let them burn!

Serve your french toast with butter and maple syrup if you like, although it will already be naturally sweet. Sprinkle with the caramelized walnuts and add some fresh fruit on the side. Enjoy!

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