Upstate NY a Gluten-Free Haven Part One: On the Road

With the bevy of farmers markets and abundant veggies and fruits available in the summer FullSizeRendertime, summery travels and gluten-free eating feels a little bit easier.  ( Imagine finding a field of wild blueberries on a hike – free food! free gluten-free food at that.)
Lucky enough to spend a few days in Columbia County, NY, aside from a cool and beautiful respite from the city hustle and bustle, upstate NY, also proved to be a haven for Gluten-Free baked goods, and fresh food finds as well, at many a turn.

Driving along the Taconic Parkway, just before hitting Pawling NY, I was ready for a loo pit stop and a coffee.  A beacon on the road, low and behold, not a McDonald’s rather there was The Todd HillTaste of NY rest stop.  On line for said loo, I was surprised and totally delighted to find baked goods from gluten-free twinkling star Ella’s Bellas.  Hold everything!  Essentially, if I am to eat a chocolate chip cookie, I want it to be from Ella’s Bellas.  Naturally I had to buy a bag ( ok two) of the chocolate salted chocolate chip cookies.  I would have been a fool not to!  En route to visit my sweet niece, (diagnosed just about 3 years ago with Celiac Disease) isn’t that what an auntie is for, to create diversions from their otherwise healthy, homemade eating? (Shhhh).    ellas

Lo and behold, there on the shelves, also, another fave, gluten-free bread and biscotti from near by Chatham Bakery and Cafe.  We make our image1specialty Levine’s General Grilled Cheese sandwiches with this bread, purchased at Union Square farmer’s market, but had never been to the actual cafe. I knew we would be hitting their cafe – so I left that purchase for later.   Other snacks abound, with Certified Gluten-Free labels.  This was not your average rest stop for sure.

A lovely afternoon lunch was had over the weekend at Our Daily Bread, Chatham Gluten-Free Bakery. Finally I could experience the cafe first hand.  Everyone who works at the cafe, is knowledgeable, friendly, and wholly accommodating. My niece had specially made gluten-free waffles with fruit.  I had a classic veggie sandwich on the “rye” caraway bread.  Blissful simplicity.  The only suggestion I would make ( okay, I’m making it) is that I find their bread is better when lightly toasted.  What’s better than a lightly toasted sandwich anyway?  All and all it was just really nice to be out and about, and feel safe with good fresh foods and gluten-free baked goods.

chathamb  Below: Upstate NY Gluten-Free Haven Part Two:  Happy Belly Bakery of Hudson…

Advertisements

Sunday June 1st The Gluten Free EatUP! Market is here

Free to Attend!

A marketplace of locally crafted, gluten-free goodies takes bite.
Sunday June 1, 2014   1pm to 6pm
627 Fifth Avenue, South Slope Brooklyn, NY
Between 17th and 18th Street
R Train to Prospect Avenue Station
B63 Bus to the bar door!

Gluten Free Beer.  Eclectic Outdoor Seating Area. A Good Time Afternoon Hang.

Sample. Purchase. Test Skills at Home 

🙂  Tease your Taste Buds Imported Italian GF Pasta from Gee’s Gluten Free Imports paired with fresh small batch sauce from City Saucery.   Purchase said pasta and sauce and make your own creations at home.

🙂  Bring Your Appetite for the finest tastiest GF Grilled Cheese or Grilled Kimcheese around, from by Levine’s & Kimcheelicious kimchee on Chatham Bakery Bread. Served with chips!  Purchase said bread and kimchee and practice your skills at home.

Also on deck…

🙂  Savor This  Levine’s General Store returns with their signature Yum Pies savory the Knishka potato and kale and the Chana chicpea and sweet potato.

🙂 Try a New Favorite  Warm spicy Ssamanja on rice with pepitas from Kimcheelicious. Also available to take home.

🙂 Awesomest of Chocolate Chip Cookies and Baguettes from Ella’s Bellas of Beacon NY, gluten free dedicated bakery and cafe. Mind blowing treats. Cookie mix to take home too!

🙂  Sweet Vegan that’s Good  Gone Pie graces us with her decadent baked goods and sweets and…of course, pie. 

🙂  Brazil is in the House   Polvilho Bakery puffed cassava crunchy satisfying snacks, a favorite of Brazil.  Stock up for your World Cup viewing parties. 

🙂   Stay Together with Nuts and Bolts’ organic, vegan, baked goods, special treats and granola.

🙂   Fortify & Energize newcomer Bija Bhar a vegan, gluten free, 100% organic, seed based snack that eats like a treat while supporting the demands of your day. 

 

**Children permitted in the backroom only, accompanied by an adult.

See you at The EatUP!

 

Meet the Maker: Carley Franklin Hughes of Ella’s Bellas

 

Image
It was a hot hot summer day, last June.  I was on an architectural salvage day trip with my friend Phyllis of Reclaimed Home  (now a store in Brooklyn, you should go).
Phyllis used to live in Beacon NY, and we stopped by to visit some of her friends, one of them being the owner of Beacon Natural Market, the local grocery.  I was heavily into gluten free product research at the time and Kitty, the owner said “You must go to Ella’s Bellas down the block – all gluten free bakery – it’s delicious.”
That was an understatement.  Greeted by the tastefully rustic, cozy cafe environment, soups, salads, quiches on offer  – I felt like I was standing in the kind of establishment I could only dream of going to in Brooklyn.   It was late in the day, and they were clearly sold out of many items ( not surprisingly! ).  In awe, I just pointed to a few items – that, that, that, that – paid, and we shuffled off back to Brooklyn.   How was I to know I was going to bite into, the most favorite chocolate chip cookie of my life?  Note I did not say the greatest gluten free cookie of my life.   Oh yes, it was gluten free alright, and delicious, not just “delicious for gluten free” as people tend to say.  Gooey, with a crunch, not too sweet, masterfully indulgent, delicious. Period.  Don’t get me started on the cinnamon bun.
ImageAnd thus began my “courting” (stalking?) of the creator of this charming bakery.  Carley Franklin Hughes, is the baker and vision behind Ella’s Bellas, named after her five year old daughter.  Despite numerous attempts we have yet to meet, (clones, we need clones!).  But through emails and phone and another visit to the bakery ( when she wasn’t there) it easy to learn that she is a sparkling powerhouse, a woman on the go, with humor and wit, and a growing amazing cafe, (now with alcohol!).   Our begging has finally pulled off, and Levine’s General Store, is pleased to finally announce that Ella’s Bellas of Beacon will be setting up shop at the June 1st  EatUP!
Carley started her business doing wholesale in 2009 and gradually with the support of her husband and the demand of the citizens of Beacon, expanded to the storefront cafe that now delights residents and visitors of the Hudson Valley.   On June 1st, you don’t want to miss the chocolate chip cookies, baguettes, and other baked surprises.  A year in the making – Beacon is coming to Brooklyn – by way of Ella’s Bellas!    Can you tell we are excited?
Be sure to visit when in the area, or make a day trip!
Yay! ImageImageImage
Image