Updated: Jan 13
For those of us living Gluten Free north of Boston, life just got a little sweeter! Twist Bakery & Cafe is making its highly anticipated Burlington debut at the 3rd Avenue Shops, as they open their doors to the public for the first time this Tuesday, May 7th at 8am. I was fortunate enough to attend their private Friends & Family opening last week and excited to share my experience with my GFSavvyMama followers!
Twist is not new to the GF bakery scene. Their original location in Millis, MA opened in 2011. Owner Kathryn Ernst's story is very relatable, as she started out as a busy mom on a mission to accommodate her own food allergies and feed her family well. Kathryn carefully selects high quality ingredients, uses no artificial colors or corn syrup, and has a long list of "No-No Ingredients" (check out their Philosophy here). Each menu item is hand crafted. This dedication to quality has paid off. Twist has been voted the "Best Gluten Free Bakery" in the Country by "USA Today's 10Best", as well as "Best Dedicated Gluten Free Restaurant" in Boston by meandgfree.com. You can read more about the Twist backstory here.
Twist is what I would call a safe haven for those with Celiac, gluten intolerance and food allergies. They are 100% dedicated gluten free AND nut free (with the exception of coconut), mostly dairy and soy free, and also offer some egg free and vegan options. They offer a wide variety of baked goods including muffins, pastries, breads, and cakes.
Cafe offerings include breakfast popular dishes like avocado toast (with an option to add bacon!), egg sandwiches and oatmeal with some pretty fanciful toppings like "house-made apple pie". What sets their baked goods apart is that they are not overly sweet and heavy, like many other gluten free pastries I have tried. They also offer salads and sandwiches, as well as hot meals like their highly regarded chicken pot pie. The menu for the Friends & Family event was limited and they have not yet published a menu for their Burlington location, but you can check out the full menu from their Millis location here.
The bakery case was stocked with so many good looking treats, I wanted to try one of everything! I sat down for breakfast at the coffee bar (coffee drinks are made-to-order) and devoured my egg sandwich along with a coconut milk latte (no almond milk folks, they are TRULY nut free). First, let's talk about the roll...this is NOT your average GF freezer roll folks.
This might be one of the best gluten free rolls I have ever tasted. It is no surprise that Kathryn spent an entire year perfecting her recipe for gluten free bread and rolls...it paid off! Warm, soft, flakey, slightly dense (but not too heavy), I could have just eaten that roll and been satisfied. The thick, generous slice of baked spinach & tomato frittata had roasted cherry tomatoes that popped in my mouth. The sausage patty (bacon was also an option) was perfectly seasoned and delicious. I was WAY too full to eat anything else, so I made several selections from the case to bring home to my family. They are the toughest critics! Here's a rundown of the baked goods we tried:
We sampled Chocolate Banana, Corn and Blueberry and all were exceptionally fresh, with a wonderful texture that you don't often find in a gluten free muffin. They each had the perfect amount of sweetness and a sprinkle of crystalized sugar on top that gave them a satisfying little crunch. My family fought over the last one! We had a hard time picking a favorite, but since I'm a chocolate lover, I have to go with the Chocolate Banana.
We tried two types of scones: cheese and raspberry. They were equally good, firm on the outside, moist and dense on the inside, like a scone should be, for those of us who remember the *real* thing. We heated up the cheese scone and it was absolute savory perfection.
Lemons Squares: It's clear why these are one of their best selling items. So.Good. The lemon filling, made with "hand zested, fresh squeezed lemons" was rich, sweet and tangy. It was complimented with a soft and slightly salty crust. I'm usually a chocolate girl, but these were out of this world.
Mini Cheese Cakes:
We tried the chocolate and lemon varieties. I LOVE cheesecake and this did not disappoint. We preferred the lemon flavor over the chocolate (shocking!). The filling was rich and creamy, and not too sweet. With the delicious crust like the lemon bars.
I recommend the new Twist Bakery & Cafe in Burlington as a safe place to eat for those with Celiac, Gluten Sensitivity and several other food allergies (always let your server know). I anticipate long lines in the opening weeks, as this is sure to be a hot spot, and the staff is all newly trained. So, plan ahead and let me know what your favorites are!
Twist Bakery & Cafe
62 Second Ave.
*Check hours on their facebook page during their soft opening period*