The Best Gluten-free Restaurant and Bakery Stops from the Bay Area to Portland: Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe in Davis, California
Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe
624 4th Street
Davis, CA, 95616
(530) 756 1862
This week we went on an epic road trip with our new gypsy van and stopped at many great gluten-free and gluten-free friendly places in California and Oregon. Over the next week or so I’ll be reporting on some new finds and some changes to some old favorites. I’ll begin with our first stop at Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe in Davis, California for dinner. I always enjoy visiting this place for its fresh, local produce and interesting gluten-free dishes. The economy has been hitting this little place pretty hard, so if you get a chance, definitely come by and lend your support to this little gem in Davis, California. The good news is that in the last month or so, the cafe has come up with a gluten-free french bread recipe good enough to please even regular glutenoids and so no longer offers any gluten products in the cafe whatsoever. (And- I’ve tried this bread- it is truly divine and even beats my favorite Bette Hagman’s french bread recipe!) The only downside is that for strict vegetarians, this bread (As well as their sandwich bun/rolls) does contain gelatin and so is not vegetarian. Vegetarians (and even vegans) can take heart, however. Although I would be happy to see more vegetarian dishes on the menu as there is definitely a preponderance of non-veg options, vegetarians can enjoy the salads, roasted vegetable dishes, soups (check on stock), a few veggie sandwich or tacos (note bread gelatin for those that are strict veggies), a veggie/casein free ravioli dish or pizza, and a rice curry dish or two. This time I had my heart set on gluten-free ravioli and was intrigued by the promise of shitake mushroom ravioli, but a sudden rush of customers meant they were out. Instead I had the butternut squash ravioli in a melted clarified butter sauce with garlic. (Marinara was also a sauce option.) I do enjoy their ravioli, but there was an awful lot of the butter/oil sauce (as well as a generous amount of garlic, but no other herbs) so next time I think I’ll go with a marinara sauce. The DH who is neither gluten free nor vegetarian in any sense of the word ordered the chicken salad sandwich with homemade pickles. (I had the pickles and let me tell you, those were some FINE and tasty pickles. I wonder if it is possible to order them with the veggie sandwiches…) He was extremely pleased with his sandwich and proclaimed the GF bread EXCELLENT. I was intrigued by the extensive dessert menu (those darned pregnancy cravings for sweets!) and ordered a strawberry lemon tart. Unfortunately there was an order mix-up and we very nearly lost our shot at the pie, but they were able to get together a last? piece of the pie for us that while not beautiful, was very, very tasty. Their gluten-free pie crust is a little thick but the filling was superb and exactly what I was hoping for with fresh strawberry slices and swirls of strawberry on a tangy-sweet lemon base.
Since we were going to be on the road for a week and I wanted to make sandwiches (and the DH couldn’t stop raving about the bread), I purchased a beautiful loaf of their gluten-free french bread, swallowing my guilt about certain non-veg ingredients that will remain nameless as well as one of their buns and a gluten-free, casein-free chocolate brownie. I have no excuse for the latter except that I have no defense against chocolate these days. The owner also kindly gave me a trial package of their newest gluten-free panko crumbs to try at home. The DH very much enjoyed these panko crumbs on the crab cake sandwich he had last time. They are made from their gluten-free breads so do contain you-know-what, but how could I possibly resist gluten-free panko crumbs?
If you are close to home or have a great ice chest, you can stock up on frozen gluten-free goods including genuinely vegetarian pizzas (some casein-free), ravioli, blueberry muffins, and more. They have a wide variety of (room temperature) dried homemade pastas that I should probably purchase- but due to the time consuming nature of pasta, they are a bit pricey for my budget at $12/lb. I’m sure they’re worth every penny, but since I can and do occasionally make my own (and I’m usually feeling guilty about how much I’ve spent on other things) I haven’t tried them yet.