Flour Craft Bakery, the the first free standing 100% gluten free bake shop in Marin opened last week in downtown San Anselmo and we welcome it to the community.

Flour Craft is selling more than their hand crafted granola found at most bay area Whole Foods and gourmet markets. Artisan cakes, muffins, pastries, cookies, scones, and brioche are all made on location with the highest quality ingredients (they’re a member of Marin Organic). Granola and yogurt parfaits, home-made quiche, custom pies and cakes. There is so much I need to try. It has been challenging not to stop in every time I drive by, but I will admit I’ve indulged in their bread pudding, strawberry scones, sugar cookies and a loaf of their bread. It has all been fantastic. I’ve been to a lot of gluten free bakeries folks, this one is a keeper. Gluten free and vegan? they’ve got options.

 

 

Two months ago I became an organic farmer. Less than two years ago, I was working as an apparel designer in San Francisco hunched over a desk sketching garments that would be manufactured in China and shipped to department stores all over America wrapped 3 times over in plastic and cardboard.

Of course, this site is about gluten free food, so I hesitate to detail the nuances of my transition from desk to farm. In short, it was time for a big change. I took this road trip I’ve told you about, and made this movie, and now I’m farming on a beautiful hillside in Novato with a team of amazingly smart and enthusiastic people. The Indian Valley Organic Farm and Garden is owned and run as a team effort by the College of Marin and Conservation Corps North Bay. The 5.8 acre farm is only in its fourth year of existence, yet the crops and gardens are already thriving. With a strong backbone of individuals who have dedicated their lives to sustainable farming (including a pioneer of the organic farming movement), the Indian Valley Farm is becoming an unrivaled educational resource in the bay area. Every day we harvest fantastic certified organic produce that’s sold to the community from our farm stand and nearby restaurants looking to support local organic agriculture.

I’m telling you all of this because I plan to start posting once in a while about things I do on the farm and talk about amazing processes like composting and bee keeping and how to grow beautiful red russian kale and what fresh pressed olive oil from our beautiful young tuscan olive trees tastes like.  All of this in between the usual features of restaurants and bakeries and recipes I love. Thank you so much for following along!

Do any of you live in the North Bay? Stop by the Indian Valley Organic Farm on Wednesdays year round between 10am and 3pm for organic produce at the farm stand.

 

Just across the street from Fairfax’s grassy town park and weekly farmers market sits the modern wine bar and restaurant, 123 Bolinas. A definite player in the slow food movement, 123 Bolinas has everything from seasonal organic veggies to sustainable wines and close ties with farmers in the region. The intimate restaurant feels upscale at first glance, but it’s relaxed inside. The pretty interior lighting, reclaimed wood furniture, and large windows overlooking the nearby park make for one of the best restaurant atmospheres in town.  123 Bolinas doesn’t specifically cater to celiacs, but the waiters are knowledgable about every ingredient and will even have the kitchen whip up something special if the menu that night doesn’t suit your dietary needs. Check the chalkboard for seasonal small plates like grilled peaches, chevre and procuitto served over rocket greens, or order something more substantial like the pan seared rock cod with summer stew, turnip, and sweet peas.

 

Wild Goat Bistro is a charming cafe located just steps from the riverfront in downtown Petaluma. Serving up gluten free options galore, Wild Goat Bistro offers the lunch items you’re used to drooling over before having to order a salad without croutons. Gourmet pizzas, inspired sandwiches, and even pasta is all available sans gluten. Their in-season pizzas are topped with mouthwatering combinations like fig & goat cheese or grapes & gorgonzola with a pinot noir reduction sauce. Craving a traditional pizza, I opted for their margherita and loved it. I was also delighted to find that a few of their beautiful cakes on display were gluten free. The carrot cake was utterly fantastic.

*Wild Goat Bistro offers Still Riding Pizza crusts for all of their pizzas (aside from the one with meatballs) and local artisan gluten free bread for sandwiches.

Address: 6 Petaluma Blvd N # A5, Petaluma, CA

 

 

An endless search for gluten free friendly restaurants often results in dining at some pretty eclectic eateries. Places like Lydia’s Kitchen, for example, might make you feel like part of a modern hippie movement. Her food is organic, amazingly healthy, and 100% gluten free. The quirky atmosphere in her restaurant is just part of the experience.

Last weekend, I sat down for lunch at a cafe inside of a buddhist bookstore in San Rafael. The room was adorned with ornate sculptures, a small stage for enlightened guests, and ceiling high bookshelves. Patrons spoke in hushed tones, and the cafe’s speakers streamed the notes of traditional Indian instruments playing assorted Christmas tunes. At Radiance Cafe, customers order their organic gluten free vegetarian lunch at the counter. A small but well rounded menu features items like warm lentil soup, brown rice with a homemade cashew and vegetable curry, and a spring salad covered in delicious raw dressing. This seemingly sacred yet slightly kitschy space might just serve up the tastiest and healthiest meal you’ve had all week.

 

Table Cafe is a great little spot tucked away in Larkspur, a town just 10 or 20 minutes north of the Golden Gate bridge. A perfect place for lunch, Table Cafe offers gluten free dosas with a number of tasty fillings along with fresh salads, soups and homemade spritzers. All of their produce is local or organic, and their meats come from sustainable farms like Niman Ranch, Marin Sun Farms, and Prather Ranch. The cafe’s seasonal menu includes more than 10 different dosas, and an enticing lineup of daily specials. We ordered up two dosas, one stuffed with fresh asparagus and gruyere cheese, the other filled with curried cauliflower, pickled veggies, and wilted greens. I’m pleased to say, both were fantastic.

Most of the menu is gluten free, however there are some items that do have wheat (brownies, lamb meatballs). Be sure to have their friendly waitstaff confirm that your order is safe.

1167 Magnolia Avenue, Larkspur, CA

(415) 461-6787

 


Bliss Bakery in Santa Rosa has a 100% gf kitchen that serves up some excellent gluten free eats. Daily specials like savory bread pudding, warm vegetable soup, and grilled cheese with fig jam are written on a chalkboard along side a glistening case of artisanal gluten free baked goods. Having ordered one of almost everything, I was more than impressed by the quality and craftsmanship of every treat. At Bliss Bakery, dairy free and vegan options abound. They also have kombucha on tap. Located in the South Arts District of Santa Rosa, Bliss Bakery is slightly off the beaten path. In fact, the bakery is nestled in what appears to be a mostly residential neighborhood. Because of the lack of foot traffic, or maybe it’s just another sign of our times, this amazing little bakery is only open Thursday through Saturday from 10-5pm. Be sure to plan your visit accordingly!


463 Sebastopol Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95401-8502
(707) 542-6000