Gluten-Free in Encinitas: Healthy Creations

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Hotel room keys can make jokes.

We headed south again after leaving Los Angeles. Destination: Encinitas. When we got in, we had enough time to check-in to the hotel before picking up Mom (my best friend’s mom) from work and take her for dinner.

We went to Healthy Creations, a 100% gluten-free bakery and restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch. They close at 6 pm, so we had an early dinner. It wasn’t packed while we were there, so it made conversation easy.

Since the place is 100% gluten-free, it meant everything was safe and everything on the menu looked good so it was hard to choose. Eventually, I settled on a California Wrap (it was a teff wrap).healthy-creations-4

Mom ordered a BLAT on ciabatta and wanted her sandwich to be part of my food porn. I was more than happy to oblige.

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Don’t they look good? They use fresh ingredients and who in the world doesn’t love a good California avocado? The only thing better is a Hawai`i avocado. After having both types, Chaz says I’ve ruined him for avocados. He didn’t know he was missing out before.

I also got a chocolate “malted” with almond milk. There is no malt in the “malted” and even though I haven’t had many in my life, it did taste just like I remember them to be.

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Chaz went back for some of the baked goods and a few drinks (soda for him and local cold brew coffee for me)  before we left. The pastries we tried later were pretty good, but the cupcakes weren’t my thing. Chaz really liked them so that should tell you something since he’s the gluten eater. As you can see in the next picture, they do have gf specialty products for sale as well.

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We took Mom home and kept her up past her bedtime, chatting. (I’m such a bad influence)

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The sun was setting over the Pacific on the way to Mom’s. Too stunning to not share.

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Drank the cold brew coffee another day. It was good stuff and the restaurant had repurposed some of the old bottles, which is what brought my attention to it. Cold brewing coffee is a great way to keep the acidic content down if it bothers you. It’s also the best way to make coffee if you’re going to use it for iced coffee drinks.

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Gluten-Free In Los Angeles (Burbank): Bea Bea’s Cafe

beabeas-1Chaz found another restaurant with a dedicated gluten-free waffle iron. Yes, you read that right. I was excited for gluten-free waffles even though the walk was longer than we realized it would be. Bea Bea’s was pretty crowded when we arrived (it was mid-morning) and I found out pretty quick when I verified that the gf waffle iron is dedicated that it was also broken. Bummer. They still took good care of me and I and ordered the Happy Mornings.

This was what I found exceptional at Bea Bea’s, the side offerings. Usually, when you order a breakfast it comes with toast/biscuit/pancake or some type of potatoes. Some places will offer fruit as well. Not only does Bea Bea’s offer those they offer tomato slices and cottage cheese (not together). Sometimes I want colorful vegetables with my breakfast, not fruit, and I don’t want to have to order an omelet to get them.

While breakfast wasn’t quite what I expected (waffles) I was still able to find something I like as much (corned beef).

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Content that he has a comfy lap but he has “his ears on.”

Since I shared many pictures of Obi-Wan and Mara Jade in the previous posts, I thought I’d give this guy his own space because he hasn’t been the center of attention in over ten years. Manny is a spirited chihuahua who mostly has a worried expression on his face when he’s awake. He barks at anything moving or making noise outside (someone has to fight Communism, yo). He kicks it up a notice when it’s someone coming to the door. He is the Sentinel of the pack but he’ll steal the kids’ food without remorse if they leave it within reach.

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He loves to burrow in blankets and sleep in his sunny spot in the living room. He will dance for a treat and follow you around if you have food in your hand. His trembles when he’s excited in any way. He’s always looking for the next open lap to climb on so he can lick your face, beg for belly rubs, and take a little nap.

He’s one of my favorite dogs.

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One of the things we like to do in L.A. is to go to Universal City Walk (Dawn lives two blocks away). We walk around, check out the shops, eat at one of the restaurants, and go to AMC for a movie. This trip we saw Crimson Peak. One of the fun things about this AMC is sometimes there are big displays outside. The display this time around happened to be a little walkthrough for Crimson Peak. It had display cases inside with various props from the movie, including this wall hanging. The walkthrough was set up like one of the hallways from Allerdale Hall, so while it was cool walking through before the movie, it was even cooler after the movie. I liked the movie so much that I created a character who likes gothic horror in my last book.

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And a trip to L.A. wouldn’t be complete without enjoying sunsets from my favorite place in L.A.

Gluten-Free in Los Angeles (Toluca Lake): Paty’s Restaurant

 

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Gluten-free BananaBerry Cakes (pancakes)

While we were in L.A. we stayed at a hotel instead of at Dawn’s because with two kids, the house is a wee bit full for a week long stay. As a result, we ate out a bit more than usual. And the hot breakfast at our hotel tasted like hope died and was replaced with despair and disappointment. Luckily, I had my purity protocol oats with me for that breakfast. There were a couple of places within walking distance that while they weren’t 100% gluten-free, they did gf right which is why I’m sharing with you. There were far too many places on the road trip (and in some other travels) where we ate breakfast where the menu said they had gf toast, gf waffles, or gf pancakes but they didn’t have a dedicated toaster or waffle iron or clean griddle. You all know the disappointment of being excited for the thing you usually never get to order in a restaurant only to find out it’s not truly gf.

Chaz found Paty’s Restaurant online. They not only have a dedicated gf griddle for gf pancakes but a dedicated gf toaster too. UNICORN!

So, yes, we went more than once. Our first time was actually for dinner. Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? I had the BananaBerry Cakes. They went a little wild with the whipped cream in the kitchen.

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Next visit I had the Lox & Scallion Scramble with hash browns and gf toast! When was the last time you had gf toast at a restaurant? Those pancakes in the background were Chaz’s Bada-Bing Cakes – chocolate chips and bananas!

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The last breakfast there was an omelet without cheese and hash browns. I love my potatoes and I have a hard time saying no to them.

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This was the statue we passed walking to and from Paty’s. He’s kinda menacing from this angle, yeah?

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There was more of Obi-Wan wanting to play with Uncle Chaz. Uncle takes chess seriously and took the time to teach Obi-Wan some strategy.

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But then there was Chutes & Ladders where Obi-Wan was making up rules as they played. As one does.

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Mara Jade was enthralled with the shape sorter I found at the toy store during our trek to Rodeo Drive. She had difficulty with the mechanics of it so Uncle was helpful in propping the shapes in the right hole and letting her push them in.

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Big brother really loves his little sister. This is my favorite picture of the two of them. Although my favorite memory of them is a new form of the tickle game I used to play with Obi-Wan. This time I’d carry Mara Jade, chasing Obi-Wan, in an effort to tickle him. In an effort to say “tickle” like I was, Mara Jade said “tcka tcka tcka.”

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It was mid-October and Dawn set up her Dia de los Muertos altar while we were there. I helped make some of those tissue paper flowers. Because we craft, yo. And I feel at peace while creating with my bestie.