I would say my recent Portland trip was medium in terms of my gluten-free exposure and how aggressive I was in visiting/finding places. Added a couple new places to the list. However most trips I make a visit to Crave/Kyra’s Bakeshop in Lake Oswego to get some of their gluten-free goodies. This trip I was visiting some friends in LO who don’t mind eating gluten-free, but unfortunately I didn’t pay attention to when Kyra’s closed on Saturdays and we missed it. I was a pretty bummed, because they have a new larger location and I’m hoping that means an expanded menu/options. Besides Petunia’s, I hadn’t really been to a special gluten-free place this trip, which seems like a shame given all the great places in Portland.
Luckily right before I left I rectified that. My parents’ best friend (who is pretty much an aunt) is also gluten-free and suggested we meet for lunch at Tula’s. I had known about Tula’s for a while and had it on a list of gluten-free places like New Cascadia. I am a pretty big Kyra’s fan, so I hadn’t even really ventured out to other gluten-free bakeries until my last summer trip (despite Kyra’s being all the way in Lake Oswego). Last summer New Cascadia had been at the top of my list to visit and I had gone. This trip I hadn’t set my sight on a new gluten-free bakery (if I did it probably would have been Tula’s). Very very very glad I was invited on a trip to Tula’s, because it is awesome!
First thing I liked about Tula was that it had a nice balance of savory and sweet options. I am a big savory person and I’ve found a lot of gluten-free bakeries seem to be more sweet focused (especially if you’re not counting bread). I luckily didn’t let myself get sucked too much into the display case and saw on the menu that they do sandwiches and pizzas. I went for a panini with three cheeses and salami. I then ordered a couple things from the display case- a ham and cheese roll (which I had heated up), a cheddar Parmesan scone, two sea salt chocolate chip cookies, and a vanilla chocolate chip cupcake.
I put the scone, cookies, and cupcake to the side and “patiently” waited for my other food. The ham and cheese roll came out first. WOW it was awesome! I don’t like to admit how much gluten I ate as a teenager when I had my first bit of freedom, but I’ll mention it when I can say that something gluten-free is on the same level as the regular gluten-y version. This ham and cheese roll reminded me exactly of the kind they had at Boyd Coffee Company across the street from Lincoln High. It was delicious! It was flaky and savory. Oh so good. It was gone like that too!
My sandwich came out next and it was really good. The bread was delicious and it was nice to have a cheesy gooey sandwich. It was hearty with the salami inside. It was also nice to have it as a real panini. Other places that have gluten-free bread I never would do a panini because of the high risk of cross-contamination from a panini maker (even doing a gluten-free sandwich at a regular restaurant is risky in itself).
I had a great lunch, but I still couldn’t get my mind off the ham and cheese roll. So I decided to order another one. My plan was to bring it home later, so I didn’t have them heat it up. But I only made it back to my car before eating it… I really am embarrassed at how little self control I have! Especially because it wasn’t as delicious unheated, but it still was really good! I can’t rave about the ham and cheese roll enough.
I then made it about 10 minutes (and that’s probably only because I had been driving) before I dug into the stuff I had set aside for later. I went for one of the sea salt chocolate chip cookies. From the get-go it doesn’t really look like a normal cookie. Kind of like a flattened cookie. But don’t let that deceive you! It’s delicious. I would say I usually go for slightly gooey cookies, but I didn’t mind this one being pretty crispy. The flavor was just super on point. I would say one of the closest things I’ve had in taste to a regular gluten cookie. The sea salt was a nice touch too. The second one I gave to my mom, who really enjoyed it. Luckily she only wanted half of it, so I was able to enjoy some more of the cookie. My favorite thing along with the ham and cheese roll.
Later in the day I had the cheddar Parmesan roll and the vanilla cupcake. The roll was good. I think it would have been better heated up at Tula vs. me saving it for later and using my microwave. But I still really enjoyed it that way (which is a good sign). The vanilla cupcake was good too. The cupcake itself wasn’t too crumbly or dry. The frosting also wasn’t too sweet. It didn’t overpower like some gluten-free cupcakes can. Overall a really nice sweet treat.
SO SO SO SO happy I visited Tula. I still will have much love for Kyra’s (and know I will make some visits), but given Tula is way closer and has so much good savory gluten-free goodies, I think I’ll be hitting up Tula as my go-to gluten-free bakery. Can’t wait for a Portland trip to go back. It will definitely be filling my Portland dreams for many months until the summer. Pics of the food and space below!
Tula Gluten-Free Bakery Cafe- 4943 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd Portland, OR