Vegetarian-friendly restaurant coffee shop with Natural Gluten-free Options in Tehachapi, California
Mama HillyBean’s Cafe
426 E. Tehachapi Blvd,
Tehachapi, California 93561
This weekend we went on an impromptu trip to Death Valley, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. On our way out, we happened to drive by an unexpectedly appealing coffee shop in Tehachapi, California. They were closed at the time, but the sign featuring Rosie the Riveter and just plain appealing exterior made us think it was somewhere we’d like to visit. One great thing about coffee is that it is generally gluten-free as long as you keep an eye on flavorings and syrups. Granted, I’m pregnant so no longer downing the double-shot lattes as I once was, but there’s always decaf or herbal tea. On our way home from our long trip the DH happened to remember this coffee shop and so we made sure to stop. When we walked in the door, I was really glad we had. Funky, home-grown and eclectic artistic decor was everywhere- and a bright, cheerful menu sign immediately grabbed our attention, not just with an extensive coffee and tea menu but also with a light lunch menu. I had been eating gluten-free snacks and the odd microwaved potato or In-N-Out fries for days, and when I started reading their (largely organic and healthy sounding) menu, I went a little crazy. Note: this coffee shop does not have a gluten-free menu or any special gluten-free goodies, but they do have simple and natural ingredients and were more than willing to check on items for me. I was intrigued by their customizable salads and baked potato with broccoli-cheese toppings, although I didn’t check on the GF status of the latter.
Here’s what they say about their food:
“All of our food is made from scratch and is about 95% organic. If we can find it organic (preferably local), it is organic. All of our coffee and tea is organic and fair trade.”
Couldn’t sound better to me! (Unless of course there was something about gluten-free items in there too.)
After much agonizing, I ordered their vegetarian Cameron Salad, which featured fresh organic greens, artichoke hearts, roasted red pepper, feta and pumpkin seeds with a light and refreshing lemon olive oil dressing (house made). I also had an organic Chai latte, which is not only available decaf, in black tea or green tea versions, but can also be made with regular or nonfat milk, almond milk, soy milk, or even Hemp Milk! The DH ordered a VERY customizable (pescatarian) salad and this lovely creation called “Mary’s Kiss”- made with shots of espresso, chocolate, and (optional) real whipped cream. We sat down at one of their funky tables, listening to the hippie coffee shop music and the sound of the waterfall fountain (complete with koi). They have a great internet corner and free wi-fi for them as what wants it- as well as a fun collection of magazines. I sat down with some ecologically-friendly Mother Earth magazine and waited. Service isn’t especially fast, but it’s friendly and cozy- with a real small town hippie vibe. I couldn’t have been happier after all of the desolate post-mining towns we’d driven through- and it was even a great antidote for our very mass-produced Las Vegas, Nevada experience.