Back to Eden in Portland, OR, I bow to you.
Admittedly, I have only been to one dairy-free, GF bakery. But I may never have to go to another as long as I live within driving distance of Back to Eden. Holy nondairy cow.
I don’t know how many of you have to live dairy-free or GF, but let me tell you, walking into a place where you can get ANYTHING you want without worrying what’s in it…there are no words. It’s overwhelming really. Last week my friend Kelly took me for my first visit, warning me that it could be a bit shocking. I didn’t take her seriously, though, to my own detriment. Really, I thought, how mind-bending could it be? Very. If you don’t live with some kind of dietary restrictions, I don’t know that I can do it adequate justice, but imagine that you have not had some of your favorite foods for a very long time because every time (EVERY time) you do, they make you wish for a quick death just to end the pain in your gut. Now imagine some kind of magical, divine goddesses (i.e. the beautiful staff at Back to Eden) have made delicious, amazing, awesome in the literal sense recreations of your favorite foods that will not make you sick in the slightest (unless you eat ALL the chocolate coconut cream pies). You bow down to these people.
The only draw back, which is a totally foreseeable one, is that it’s a bit pricey, as is all dairy-free or GF food. But it’s soooo worth it. For my first trip I got:
- pumpkin coconut cream pie
- herb and garlic savory roll
- cranberry cashew cheesecake (there was another flavor but my mind is drawing a blank)
- mushroom and spinach cashew tart
And I mooched a little chocolate coconut cream pie off of Kelly.
I ate the tart at the bakery while Kelly and I chatted. The roll was gone a little while after I got home. The pumpkin pie actually lasted four or five days with me painfully pacing myself. And I think I actually have some of the cheesecake still.
I think my favorite was the pumpkin pie. It’s something that I miss a lot around this time of year. It’s always been tied with cheesecake as my favorite dessert, so it’s been hard finding workarounds for the dairy in it. None of the other dairy-free versions I’ve tried up until now have been very good. This one made me want to eat the whole thing in one go.
The mushroom tart was a very close second. It tasted exactly like a mushroom spinach quiche, with cashew product (milk or cheese, I don’t know) as the dairy step-in. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
The cheesecake was really good, but cranberry isn’t one of my favorite flavors and it’s strong in this one. What’s a true testament to its great flavor is even my mom said it tasted like “real” cheesecake. The woman working the night we went was really nice and gave me a frozen one just before we left so it didn’t melt while we hung out. I’m looking forward to trying out their other flavors.
The roll was really good too. It’s a very dense pastry. I really shouldn’t have eaten it in one night, but it was just so tasty! I think if I get it again I will break it out over a couple of days.
It’s been a little over a week since we were there, and even though my bank account wouldn’t be too happy with me, I’m itching to go back.