It was one of those weekend mornings that I just didn’t feel like cooking. We were done with our yoga and I suggested we go out for breakfast. Not an abundance of vegan and gluten-free places to eat, much less organic or GMO-free. But there is Amy’s Drive thru. Its’ completely GMO-free and vegan plus gluten-free. So, we had our smoothies (gotta have something before we leave) and headed off to Amy’s. Well, we got there only to find out they had recently changed their hours. A nice lady came out to tell us they had also lessened their breakfast menu. She was very nice and gave us a coupon for one free menu item. We thanked her and got back in the car. Obviously still hunger, and growing hungrier by the minute, we decided to go to whole foods to grab a bite since we had to go there anyway for groceries.
We got to Whole Foods, and it was relatively empty. We acquired our groceries and headed to the ready made and salad bar section. Last time I picked something from the ready section it was sooo old, I didn’t feel like taking that chance this morning. So, we decided to go with the salad bar. Yes, I often have salads in the mornings. Sometimes I even have spaghetti and salad, mmmmm spaghetti. I went and grabbed us a couple of boxes and we started picking our salad ingredients. I was so hungry that I ignored the fact that the bins looked like they were there from last night. Maybe there was a rush in the morning? But the why then did all the greens look wilted? Oh well I thought, at least everything I was getting was organic. Plus, I had been craving artichokes, and I got to pick a bunch of artichoke hearts for my salad. Then I nose caught a whiff of the greasy breakfast section. I wanted to barf at the giant thing of bacon they had, and a lady has heaping it into her box like someone was after her or something. I tried to ignore that and focus on the tater totes that looked extra good. Again, with a fuller tummy, I probably would not have made that choice, but I wasn’t thinking clearly and I didn’t care. I even forgot to ask what oil the tater toes were cooked in. Oh well, we paid for all our goods, and sat down in their little café to eat. The café was clean and it had a bunch of windows, and that was nice.
You want to know what wasn’t nice? Our freakin salads. Clearly everything was stale and old and just plain disappointing. Last time I had a salad there (summer last year) it was crisp and fresh! The salad dressings weren’t much help either. My avocado dressing was bland. But of course, the tater toes were ok. They didn’t taste totally fresh or anything, but they were fried potatoes, so it’s hard to go wrong there, I mean they are fried. I did endeavor to eat most of my salad as I did pay almost $10 for it. So, I almost finished it and it was just barley acceptable, but at least it was organic, its only saving grace. Serves me right for not bringing a snack along!
Still kind of unsatisfied with our meal, and kind of sleepy now, I opted for some caffeine. We went to the drink bar right by their bakery. Of course, I get stuck in the bakery. Everything looked so good! That glass case full of cakes and pies, and cakes and tarts, and cakes. Yes, I love cake.
It has been the elusive rascal in my baking repertoire. I want something so precise, that 2nd best won’t do for me. And if I thought making a good gluten-free cake was difficult, it is a cinch compared to both gluten-free and vegan. So, I drool at standard cakes, wishing I could make something close to what I had as a kid. I took a deep breath and decided I was brave enough to ask the bakery employee if they had something gluten-free and vegan. Luckily, she was very nice and cheerful. She showed me the pies, and then two sets of cupcakes.Cupcakes??!? With frosting and everything? There was chocolate ones and lemon/lavender ones. I went for the lemon lavender hoping it would be heavy on lemon light on lavender. I skimmed through the ingredients one more time to make sure, and wouldn’t you know it, it was safe to eat!
We bought some tea and the cupcakes and sat back down. The Earl Grey was blah, maybe I got the ‘house’ tea and should have asked for organic or something. Then I couldn’t wait another second, I took a big frosting filled bite out of the cupcake.
“Awww man”. I said in my dismay. It was so stale you guys. Super bummer. It must have been there for weeks. Jay took a tiny bite and made a yuck face. “Here, I’ll just throw these out.” Jay said as he reached for the cupcakes. All of the sudden I was like:
“What?! What?! No one takes away my dessert!” Those puppies cost me $7 for two cupcakes! I’m taking them home. Jay laughed as he knows I am dessert crazy and then we went to finish the rest of our errands.
Later that night at home, I decided to give the cupcake another shot. I took off the frosting and put it onto a plate. I placed the remaining cupcake in a warm oven for about 8 minutes. I took it out and tried it again, and you know what? It was good! Oh, that poor cupcake maker, if I didn’t bring it home and reheat it, I would have thought the products sucks. But heating it up gave it new life, and gave us a taste of what it might have been like eating it on the day it was baked. I looked up their company and it is a bakery in Sacramento called Sugar Plum. It looks super cute. Not sure if I would buy their stuff again cause they do use palm oil, and I make an effort not to buy products with that in it. But perhaps they will change that, they are on the right track anyway!
I have got to say how incredibly disappointed we have been in the past many months with Whole Foods. Though their staff has remained nice and somewhat friendly (I mean they are no Trader Joe's crew), however the quality of the food seems to have plummeted. I cannot find as much local produce, and they seem to hold on the product until it rots. Good thing we have Community Market and Andy’s kind of near us. They both have always come through with fresh and local produce for us. It’s worth the drive. Until then, I really hope Whole Foods gets back on track.
In the meantime, all this talk has got me hungry. I'm off to make a super tasty salad for a snack. Next week, I'll share with you some great salads to munch down on. Thanks for reading!