Mom gave these to me when we picked her up from work to take her out to dinner. I with the Raspberry Coconut ones were available for delivery.
One of the places I had my eye on before we even left on the road trip was 2Good2B in Encinitas. My friend and fellow blogger/author T.H. Hernandez told me about them. If you’ve been following me from the beginning (or near it), Theresa and I first met as gluten-free bloggers when she was doing her Gluten-Free Comfort Food blog. We fell out of touch when she stepped away from her blog and when I least expected it, she found me on Twitter as I was working on Family Ties and she was working on The Union. So when she recommended them I knew I had to get there come hell or high water.
On my birthday, we spent the morning at Moonlight Beach before heading over to 2Good2Be to meet a high school classmate for lunch. She was running late so we ate dessert first. When in doubt – or if it’s your birthday – always eat dessert first.
If we lived in Encinitas I would be at 2Good2B daily for the Raspberry Coconut cupcakes. They remind me of Raspberry Zingers and I loved those things. The desserts here are really out of this world, some of the best I’ve had from 100% gluten-free bakeries/restaurants.
Once my friend arrived, we ordered lunch. Somehow when the orders went back to the kitchen, my sandwich got left off and it took a while longer for them to prepare it.
While I loved that they use Terra Chips (one of the few ways for me to enjoy taro chips on the Mainland) and the chicken salad was delicious, the bread left me wanting. It was too dense for a baguette. They should be light and airy inside with a crisp crust. The full bread loaves they had out for sale were all heavy and based on that, my guess was they were all as dense as the baguette.
Don’t let my opinion on the bread deter you, though. There are many healthy lunch options and everything they had behind the glass looked yummy. I would go again to try something different.
What I did pick up for later were some muffins. Since the cupcakes were light and fluffy, I suspected the muffins would be too and I was right. The Lemon Poppyseed and Blueberry were just as delicious as the cupcakes.
If I could I would order all the muffins and cupcakes to be shipped to me daily. Okay, maybe not daily. Just weekly.
I feel like I won’t be able to do True Food Kitchen justice. They aren’t 100% gf but before Chaz and I went to the San Diego location, Hordus took me to the one in Newport Beach for lunch with his oldest son a few years ago, the day after taking me to True Shabu. I was overwhelmed by how many things on the menu were gf since I’m used to having just a handful of options.
Menu from the Newport Beach location.
I know it’s hard to tell from the photo but there really were a lot of options and I wanted every single one of them. At the Newport Beach location, I had the Honey Lemonade with added matcha and we shared the Tuna Tataki as an appetizer. My main course was a turkey wrap (the wrap on the menu now is different) with sweet potatoes and kale as my sides. I wasn’t able to finish my sandwich or the sides so I got the leftovers to go and had them in Hordus’ fridge while hanging out with him and his kids. Guess who left the leftovers in the fridge?
I was thrilled when we discovered a location in San Diego. Chaz and I had already spent the day with two of my author friends (separately) – one we had lunch with and the other we walked around Balboa Park with and saw things like koi trying to eat the ducks. Which would explain this huge koi we saw outside Inamori Pavilion. It was so big I had to reference it as a joke in my latest book.
Back to True Food. I started with the Matcha Horchata
It was so good I had two. Next was Chicken Noodle Soup. No joke. Real gf chicken noodle soup on a menu. It was glorious. *queue up choir of angels*
And then you’ll never guess what happened. I ordered the special. Who gets to order the special when they can’t have gluten and aren’t at a 100% gf restaurant? Turns out, in this case, me. It was sea bass and it was scrumptious.
Last – yes, there’s more – there was dessert to be hand and it wasn’t ice cream or creme brulee. It was gf Frangipane with pear compote. To. Die. For.
If you can’t take my word for it, how about my friend Valerie? She seems to have traveled (for work) to all the areas where there is a True Food Kitchen and she has a lot of photos on her Instagram like this one.
We drove up to meet Hordus at Dana Point, a sort of meet in the middle since we weren’t able to see him while we were in L.A. If he looks familiar to you it’s because I’ve done a restaurant post with him in before, and if you follow my Chocolate Wasteland blog, I just did a post about him being one of my best friends.
We lingered over lunch before driving down to the marina to wander around and then sip on some wine. Before we knew it, it was time for him to leave because he had dinner plans.
We drove back down to Encinitas so I could ground myself in the sand and watch the sun set.
Cardiff State Beach is the setting for some scenes in my first novel, Family Ties, but none of the scenes take place at sunset. If you’d like to see more real life settings I used, you can check them out here.
We then drove up 101 to Solterra Winery & Kitchen for dinner. Pro tip: make reservations if you want to eat here. We didn’t have reservations but they had a high top for two right outside the entrance. This place is not 100% gluten-free but when we asked the hostess about a gluten-free menu she was knowledgeable about my needs without me asking questions, pointed out what wasn’t marked gf that could be gf if I wanted it, told our server before she came to our table about my needs, and checked on us twice to make sure I was doing well.
Solterra offers cask wines and I couldn’t pass that up – why bother with the middleman…er bottle? I tried the La Sureña (white) and Chaz had the Ainsley Reserve (Cab blend). If we were to go back, it would be my mission to have every single wine they serve. They also have a wine club. *wink wink*
We ordered the Cheese & Charcuterie plate and they gave us housemade gf crackers to go with it – I didn’t even ask for them!
And because it was important to eat our veggies we ordered Roasted Brussel Sprouts.
I would go back to Solterra in a heartbeat. Who wants to go with? I’ll even make the reservations.