Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gluten Free Bakery & Cafe in Temecula

(plus vegetarian, vegan...and a bunch of other good stuff)

Tucked into an unassuming corner space in the Armstrong/Michaels shopping center on the corner of Ynez and Rancho California Roads in Temecula is All of the Above Incorporated Bakery & Cafe.

Mother-daughter owners Lorilyn and Caitlin Teasdale rolled out their bakery, the first of its kind in Temecula, a few weeks ago, and word is quickly spreading.

All of the Above is a little hard to find, but it's well worth the search for locals from Temecula and Murrieta (and even gluten-free folks in Fallbrook, North County San Diego, Menifee, and other Southwest Riverside cities within easy driving distance of the bakery.)

And as Lorilyn Teasdale points out, "We may be hard to find, but once you know where we are, we're really easy to get to. We're right off the freeway and right here in the middle of town."

Lorilyn Teasdale is well known in the local autism community and has been baking gluten-free for her own family for years. You could say she is "gluten free OG."

Today more and more people are switching to gluten-free diets, whether by diagnosis of celiac or suspected celiac, as a treatment or adjunct to therapies for autism spectrum or other conditions in kids and adults, or for a dietary intolerance to gluten.

Many people interested in gluten-free products like to eat healthy, but the Teasdale team point out that they are a bakery, not a health food store. Their goodies are more gourmet than crunchy-granola, which is good news for gluten-free folks searching for special goodies like muffins, cupcakes, and cookies.

The display cases clearly label each product, with All of the Above's signature checkmarks informing patrons whether products are gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, or contain nuts.

This bakery will undoubtedly become a lifeline for families who follow special diets, whether for everyday or weekly goodie shopping, or for occasions like birthday parties. It would also be a great way to be extra inviting to guests with special dietary needs when entertaining at home; rather than labor through a new and untested recipe, present your guest with her own safe to eat warm pumpkin muffins, iced cupcakes, or "yellowies" (yellow cake.)

The interior of the space is clean, airy, and inviting, so this also is a welcome addition as a neighborhood hangout/cafe. In fact, whether or not you have special "kneads", an afternoon spent with a cup of tea and one of All of the Above's cookies or pastries would be simply heavenly.

Please visit Lorilyn & Caitlin Teasdale at their All of the Above Incorporated Bakery & Cafe in the Allstate Building in Tower Plaza (near Armstrong/Michaels), 27423 Ynez Road, Temecula, (951)693-4000. Hours: 9-5 daily except Sundays, when they are open 12-5; closed Tuesdays. You can follow them on Twitter, and while you're at it, follow me too!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New at the Promenade Mall in Temecula: The Lazy Dog Cafe

Welcome to the 'hood, Lazy Dog Cafe!

Regulars at the Promenade Mall in Temecula have been anxiously awaiting the opening of this small local chain (seven locations throughout Southern California) ever since the big mall expansion a year ago.

The Daily Temecula crew got a sneak peek this week before they open to the public tomorrow.

Rachel was there. Bethany and Loren from Taste of Temecula were there. Diane was there (though we couldn't find her! She tweeted about her apple cobbler. "Who did you serve apple cobbler to?" "Everyone! It's our most popular dessert.")

Here's a picture of our dessert, a luscious brownie decadently topped with both whipped cream and ice cream.

I want to support small local businesses like California Tea & Coffee Company and Public House, but there is a stereotype about the Temecula Valley that says that only chain restaurants do well here.

So if we have chains -- since they are the ones with the bucks and wherewithal to get the prime locations -- we should at least have good chains. Luckily Temecula has moved past TGIFriday's and Applebee's and we now rate our own Yard House, PF Chang's, and Shogun.

The Lazy Dog Cafe is the brainchild of Chris Simms, son of Tom Simms, founder of mega-successful chain Mimi's.

Chris Simms, CEO & Founder of Lazy Dog Cafe

They are going for a fun, casual, comfortable atmosphere that they describe as "Frank Lloyd Wright meets Ralph Lauren." (Our waitress told us that during the last few weeks before they opened, the very pregnant wife of the founder was in the store daily, taking measurements and making finishing touches on the decor.)

This week's media preview day was also a Spirit of Philanthropy recognition lunch for local volunteers. The 14 year old honoree volunteers locally at Sterling Senior Communities. Here she is being recognized by CEO Simms:

Director of Operations Roshan Mendis (who also got his start at Mimi's) was also on hand here in Temecula:

So was chef Gabriel Caliendo:

Their menu is very eclectic and there are a lot of choices. This would be the perfect place for larger parties with different tastes to share the same table. I can absolutely visualize our family (vegetarian with little kids) eating here with my New Yorker inlaws who eat according to Atkins, my meat-and-potatoes loving Dad, and my adventurous diner mom.

Maggie's Salad:

Our table shared the hummus trio appetizer:

Any of their burgers can be made with a Gardenburger patty. The Lazy Dog Cafe bleu cheese burger:

My vegetarian kids would enjoy Gardenburgers and fries, salads, Margherita pizza, and the hummus trio, and they have an ample kids' menu too, with choices for the littlest diners and a separate bigger kids' menu with larger portions and more options.

The Lazy Dog Cafe also offers a happy hour menu. The buzz is that PF Chang's had to add a happy hour menu to compete with its neighbor, Yard House. Lazy Dog will be a new contender for the after-work drink crowd. Word is they are employing 200 local residents (many part time) so that's a good thing too.

Lazy Dog Cafe - NEW Temecula location
The Promenade in Temecula
(outside the mall directly across the street from PF Chang's
Follow them on Twitter
11 a.m. to midnight daily (offering brunch on Sundays)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Where is @dailytemecula today?

Daily Temecula is in transition. On hiatus. Going from something small and independent to something larger, more interdependent, and collaborative. And it is FUN. When I created Daily Temecula in the spring of 2009, my #1 rule was: if it gets to a point of not being fun (for me) anymore, I was outta there.

It has always been fun, but it got to be a bit unmanageable. I'm pretty dynamic frenetic, but I'm only one woman.

So I'm learning from the past and asking for help, teaming up, buddying up, and sharing the experience with friends.

We will be back SOON!

For now, follow me on Twitter and keep up with me on my other blog (and here too!).

Where is @dailytemecula now?

* #temeculatweets tweetup at California Tea & Coffee Brewery
* Temecula Duck Pond
* Old Town Temecula farmer's market
* Stellar Cellar
* Walmart, Target, KMart, and Costco
* Temecula Little History Museum
* Lazy Dog Cafe
* Go See Christy's Pink It Up pink carpet grand opening
* Junior League of Riverside annual meeting (where I'm presenting the Spirit of Volunteerism Award in memory of Bonnie Polis)

Whew! Now go do something fun in Temecula today. Don't forget to follow me on twitter and mark your posts to me with #dailytemecula.