HU Kitchen: A Gluten Free DREAM

Human Element MuffinsIf you are gluten free you have dreams about things that you miss. For me, I WISH there was a place to sit quietly over a cup of tea and slowly eat a muffin in the morning. A place where I could get an excellent coffee – not a mediocre EXCELLENT – and an delicious muffin gluten free.

It turns out THIS IS NOT A DREAM!!!

Enter Human Element.  Its rare that I am stunned living here in NYC but this morning I could not even speak as I stood there taking in that the entire place was gluten free.  Not only could I get a muffin or a breakfast sandwich (yes you are reading this correctly!!) I could order GF French Toast, GF Pancakes. I could order lunch…dinner…..maybe I will move in?

This is a gluten free breakfast dream. This is DREAMS becoming a reality.

This place is cool as well – NYC cool. Its somewhat spacious for the city, has a great vibe and seems like a great place to caffeinate, eat, and perhaps have some wine and a treat. HU calls its food “human conscious”  - clean healthy food without GMO’s, with a focus on particular oils… it is a healthy place. BUT ITS ALSO A GLUTEN FREE DREAM because its good.

Go there. Now!

Neighborhood: Union Square

Address: 78 5th Avenue 


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My Gluten Free Birthday in New York City

Its my birthday. And I am very pregnant.

My Gluten Free Birthday

But still having a great time! I am two days overdue. I guess I should call myself +2? I started my birthday celebration two days ago as part of a distraction strategy. My husband and I didn’t want to be sitting around on my due date wondering “where is this baby?”

I ate at The NoMad one of my favorite NYC restaurants and last night I ate at Blue Hill here in New York City. It was fun to create a distraction while enjoying some delicious food.

Today my husband ordered me a delicious cake from Tu-Lu’s Bakery in the East Village. There are a few things I absolutely love about Tu’Lu’s one of which is their birthday cakes. They remind me of my grandmother.

When I was little my grandmother always had a cake on a cake stand in the refrigerator when I went to her house. It was so delicious. I remember always checking (on the sly) once I arrived to see if she had made a cake. I was rarely disappointed.  I never saw her making the cake, perhaps this also added to the mystery of it. It was like poof! beautiful fudge cake in the refrigerator ready to eat.

For some reason this cake was so delicious. I learned later it was made out of the box mix!! It was the aura around it that made it delicious. And probably the fact that it was chilled. Chilled cake is so delicious to me. I have never been a huge fan of icing so keeping it cold – for me – make it better. Maybe I should say keeping it cold makes it more like ice cream.

The cakes from Tu-Lu’s remind me of that simple chocolate cake with chocolate icing, but they are FAR SUPERIOR to that boxed cake I used to adore. The cakes are rich and velvety, moist and the frosting is fabulous.

Address: 338 East 11th Street



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NYC Gluten Free Bakery: Pip’s Place

It surprises me at times that NYC doesn’t have more gluten free bakeries. Perhaps I don’t know enough about the economics of running a bakery to really comment on this but it does feel like there should be a GOOD one (there are people in NYC making kinda crappy gluten free cookies and cupcakes and we are putting up with it) in every neighborhood.

Pip's Place Gluten Free BakeryPip’s Place just opened on the upper east side. For those of you that don’t live in Manhattan you might think it ridiculous that going to the Upper East side – a mere 2 miles from my apartment – is “far” but this is how we New Yorkers roll. I asked my friend Angela a few weeks back if she wanted to go with me and she said “no way am I going all the way up there.” Its “far” from Union Square for New York standards at 89th streets and 1st avenue.

But, I went anyway. I can’t resist trying out every possible place for this blog and reporting back! It was worth the trip up there in the end…even at 38 weeks pregnant!

Pips place new york city gluten free bakery

Pip’s Place Cakery is the NICEST bakery I have ever been in. It blew me away. Every other bakery in NYC that caters to the gluten intolerant has major issues with their air conditioning. I can’t tell you how many times I have waited at some of these places (and some I have refused to return to) and found myself getting so furious while I was dripping with sweat. There is something unsettling about being forced to wait in the blistering heat because you have no other options. It feels like prison.

Pip’s was a cool breeze. The interior is gorgeous! with a few stools to enjoy whatever you select from the case.

I tried the Almond Apricot Cake, the Sour Cream Coffee Cake, a chocolate chip cookie, a double chocolate chip cookie and a slice of vanilla layer cake. No, I didn’t eat all of these at the same time!! I wanted to try several things to get an understanding of what their capabilities were.

I was very impressed with the chocolate chip cookie. It was not as thick as the cookies are made at Tu-Lu’s bakery, my neighborhood favorite. But it was very good. I liked the simpler approach as it felt like a homemade cookie. The chocolate chocolate chip cookie was ok. I would steer people back to the basic chocolate chip version.

The Almond Apricot Cake was good but I liked the actual slice of cake much better because it had much better moisture. The Sour Cream Coffee Cake was excellent.

What I appreciated most about Pip’s Place was its approach to everything they baked. It felt like the difference between getting something homemade and getting something outrageously over the top because it was sold in a bakery. The former is Pip’s. You feel like Pip’s mom is in the back cooking away – oh wait, she is!

And this is what really struck me about the shop. It felt like a wonderful mom was ready and willing to offer up something delicious when you entered. And perhaps this is what I miss the most being a celiac, that impromptu offering of something delicious that I can actually eat.

Address: 1729-31 First Ave


Neighborhood: Upper East Side

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