This past Monday night I was invited to a tasting in my neighborhood at Tula Gluten Free Bakery. I've been to Tula a few times and I am quite fond of their Vegan Gluten Free Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies. (one of my top 5 CCC of all time in fact) I was very excited when I found out that this tasting was going to be focusing on Tula's lunch menu. I've always noticed it but I usually grab a cookie and a latte and boogie. Big mistake! Little did I know I've been missing out on some of the best tempeh in the country. More on that in a second.
Tula originally started out selling at farmer's markets in Bend. After husband and wife team Mieke and Caleb Johnson moved to Portland they opened Tula at it's current location on the corner of MLK and Alberta. The thing that strikes me most about this cafe is the drive for excellence and safety for people with allergies. Their bakery case is color coded so that people who have gluten AND dairy allergies can look at a glance to see what they can eat. Also they have a lot of vegan and even more vegetarian options! Mieke sat down and chatted with us during the tasting. She was warm, inviting and full of energy. You can tell that Tula is a work of love from how much attention she pays to ingredients and presentation.
First up, was a selection of panini, on vegan gluten free focaccia. There was a roasted tomato, arugula and Pesto. There was another one with arugula, pesto and tempeh. Oh this tempeh, is amazing. Not chalky or dry or hardly warm or worst burnt. It was exactly what you would expect tempeh to be. Now let's talk about the GF focaccia, it is out of this world good. Has nice texture and stands up to being pressed and best of all you can't tell it is gluten free. Not a trace of the sandy texture that usually sends me running from Vegan/Gluten free options.
Next up was a course of their new layered dishes. I love this concept. It's like all the best bits of a good sandwich piled on a plate with some different breads on the side. My favorite was the indian inspired one. (bottom two panels of the photo) Sweet potato and spinach is one of my favorite veggie combos to begin with. Now Layer that with a great indian spice and amazing GF flatbread I'm in heaven.
Next up was dessert! There was a lovely plate of Curried Pecans, Chocolate Hazlenut Roll and Cranberry and Raspberry tart with a almond flax seed crust. I am obsessed with this tart. the crust is so crunch and the combo of cranberry and raspberry is one i would't have thought up but I am going to try to make up into a jam for christmas morning.
It was such a fun and delicious night at tula with the other bloggers. Thanks again to Lisa Hill PR for inviting all of us to the event. I'm off to bundle up and go try their hemp chai! But if you aren't lucky enough to live in the Portland area you can get some of Tula's greatest hits by mail. Including my personal favorites the Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies.