*GLUTEN FREE CREATIONS BISTRO IS NO LONGER OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AS OF NOVEMBER 2006. YOU CAN STILL ORDER VIA ONLINE, PHONE OR AT LOCAL ESTABLISHMENTS.
Central Phoenix is not usually at the top of your sightseeing list when visiting Arizona. Hidden like the bat cave behind a barber shop and nestled between a wings joint and cabaret club is the curious entrance to a top gluten-free bakery. As I opened the door apprehensively I was pleasantly surprised to find a cute-as-a-button little bakery inside.
LynnRae Ries, who you could call a "famous celiac", met me graciously with her posse made up of Gaye, Joanne, Tanya and culinary graduate, Terry. These cute ladies evidently worked almost all night using my visit as an excuse to complete all of the finishing touches to the adjoining bistro room. This was the first official Saturday that the bakery was open.
If you are not familiar with Lynn Rae Ries, here is some background: This now hearty Swedish lady was of short stature and sickly when diagnosed with celiac disease seven years ago. After her second doctor’s visit she decided to write a book, since she found no readily available information about the disease. Thus, the creation of the handbook What? No Wheat Ries also helped launch the Phoenix celiac support group. She started baking and taking goodies to the meetings and people kept encouraging her to write a cook book. This led to the birth of her second book, Delicious Gluten-Free Wheat-Free Breads. She now has authored a third book, Waiter, Is There Wheat In My Soup? which is a guide to gluten-free products, dining and travel. This has all led to her business of consulting, along with research and development for gluten-free enterprises.
Now this tireless contributor to the gluten-free community has opened the first totally gluten-free bakery and bistro in Arizona. On May 30th they became the first and only bakery to be certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group and now they are also recognized by the Celiac Sprue Association. As of June 1st they had the first enriched gluten-free breads for sale. For now you can either drop by in person, order online or by phone. Eventually they plan to go wholesale, nationally. Special orders are always welcome.
Knowing how kids have different temperaments when it comes to food, Ries innovatively came up with tastings just for children. Call ahead and for twenty dollars your kiddie can sample the goods, so you don’t waste money again on food your little peeps won’t eat. The twenty dollars goes toward whatever you end up purchasing. Susan, one of the regular customers I met, told me that her daughter’s favorites were the hallah for french toast and the euro bread, since it makes a perfect homemade Egg McMuffin.
Ready-made meals to stay or to go (clockwise from top left): Lasagne, pizza, tuna noodle casserole, chicken pot pie, gyro, and children’s pizza. I enjoyed the pot pie and my friends said the gyro and lasagna were very good.
Ever wanted to enter a club and couldn’t get past the velvet rope? Well, Gluten-Free Creations will soon be introducing Cheesecake of the Month, Bread of the Month, and Cookie of the Month Clubs that anyone can join. We’ll let you know when they are ready to accept members.
So, now there actually is a tourist attraction in central Phoenix! Like the welcome mat says, "The happy place to be is here."