Sometimes, a girl or a fella simply wants a gluten free donut or muffin with their cuppa joe. Or tea. Or beverage of your choice. Sharing my compiled list of Michigan coffee shop gluten free offerings across the state!
My husband has three foodie loves in life. Beer. Cheese. Coffee. We have a deal. When we check out a gluten free restaurant or bakery, he gets to visit the nearest coffee shop. However, I always lament that there are no safe gluten free “goodies” around. After reaching out to my baker friends, I realize Michigan baristas offer lots of options!
No coffee shop gluten free offerings to my knowledge at this point.
Wish that a coffee shop near you carried gluten free products? Show them my list of dedicated gluten free bakers, and help them connect! Know a coffee house serving 100% gluten free baked goods? Leave a comment below!
By now it’s mid-may and most of the Aldi gluten free special buy products have left the building. Never fear, because I’ve done the detective work to help you find them again. From their original makers! (Or something similar!)
I took the time to research and compare each ingredient list. Some are simply brands we know and love, in a new box. Others are products that Aldi likely asked brands to tweak a bit, to get them to a lower price point. Either way, you don’t have to be completely sad that May is over!
Many of the Aldi gluten free special buy products come from established gluten free companies. Aldi simply repackages them in their own labeling. These products have identical, word for word, ingredients on the label. (Photos in this section courtesy of the brands they represent.)
Live G Free Gluten Free Fettuccine and Alfredo Noodles
The ingredient label for the Aldi noodles matches exactly with Taste Republic gluten free noodles. Find them at Whole Foods or order from their website.
Live G Free Gluten Free Chocolate Frosted and Glazed Donuts
If you thought this Aldi gluten free special buy tasted familiar, you’re right. Katz makes both of these donut flavors. (And many more!) Order from their website, Amazon, or use their store locator to find them in a store near you. (Can’t eat egg? Try my basic gluten free baked donut recipe and dip them in Enjoy Life Chocolate!)
Live G Free Gluten Free Cheese Ravioli
I thought Conte’s made the Aldi ravioli. Wrong. A company named Celentano produces them. The “dried whole eggs” as an ingredient in both brands clued me in! Use their “where to buy” feature to find them near you.
Live G Free Gluten Free Empanadas
I only know of one company making gluten free empanadas. Enter Feel Good Foods empanadas. Find their products at Meijer or Target stores with a complete grocery section. Or, order them directly from their website.
Live G Free Gluten Free PB + J Bites (and other flavors)
Without a doubt, I knew Michigan’s own The GFB made the Aldi gluten free special buy “bites.” Order from their website, Amazon, or use their store locator to find them near you!
Live G Free Gluten Free Cheesecake Sampler
The biggest showstopper in the Aldi gluten free special buy lineup is the gluten free cheesecake sampler. Alas, Atlanta Cheesecake Company appears to only offer them at a store called Dierberg’s in Missouri. While they don’t make a sampler, you may want to check out Gem City Fine Foods to fulfill your gluten free cheesecake craving.
Incredibly Similar Ingredients
These Aldi gluten free special buy products contain ingredients VERY close to certain brands. Sometimes, Aldi will ask them to reformulate a product to make it slightly cheaper. I share why I believe these are the brands you’re looking for.
Live G Free Gluten Free Spinach, Artichoke and Kale Stuffed Sandwiches
I know. The stuffed sandwiches aren’t really an Aldi gluten free special buy. However, they are Michigan made, which makes me proud! You can find these, made by Gluten Free Delights, at various stores, including Fresh Thyme.
Live G Free Gluten Free Hamburger and Hot Dog Buns
When I searched Google for the ingredients in these buns, Little Northern Bakehouse showed to be the closest. The ingredients listed are almost identical to the Aldi buns, minus the millet and chia. Bonus, these contain no eggs!
Live G Free Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Is the Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin bread your favorite May Aldi gluten free special buy? Little Nothern Bakehouse makes an almost identical product as well! You can order a case of them on Amazon.
Live G Free Gluten Free Plain Bagels
“Cultured rice flour” clued me in, leading me to believe Canyon Bakehouse may make these Aldi bagels. No other brand I know of uses that ingredient. Use Canyon’s store locator, order from their website, or even Amazon.
Gluten Free Cheese Pizza
This comparison proved to be the trickiest. Looking at ingredients, this pizza uses a crust identical to Sonoma Flatbreads gluten free cheese pizza, and a sauce identical to Sabatasso’s Gluten free cheese pizza. (Available at Costco). So, buying either should get you pretty close!
No Comparison – Unique Items
I performed my best sleuthing. However, I failed to find exact or even incredibly close replicas of these May Aldi gluten free special buy products. Therefore, I mention brands that offer great alternatives.
Live G Free Gluten Free Skillet Meals
I almost bet that Conte’s produced the Aldi gluten free special buy skillet meals. However, the ingredients didn’t match at all. However, I imagine they taste similar. Order directly from Conte’s website, or from Gluten Free Mall. (P.S. They make gluten free stuffed shells, too!)
Live G Free Gluten Free Croutons
These croutons list rice milk as the first ingredient. Despite my searching, I found no identical gluten free crouton counterpart. However, I highly recommend Aleia’s gluten free croutons! Order from their website or use their store locator.
Live G Free Angel Food Cake Mix
The only commercially made gluten free angel food cake mix I know of is produced by Kinnickinnick in Canada. While the Aldi LiveGFree mix is not identical, the Kinnickinnick may be a good alternative. Order it through their website or Amazon. Also, Meaningful Eats created a perfect gluten free Angel Food Cake recipe!
Live G Free Lemon Cake Mix
Love that lemon cake mix? (It pairs so nicely with my mother-in-law’s lemon curd filing!) Authentic Foods makes the closest replica I could find. Order it online through the Gluten Free Supermarket site or use their store locator.
Live G Free Key Lime Cake Mix
Friends, I’m at a loss. I found no gluten free cake mixes with key lime flavor. If you crave key lime flavor, you might want to try this new Gluten Free Banana Lime Bread from GF Jules. Someone mentioned that they used King Arthur Measure for Measure in Trisha Yearwood’s Key Lime Cake and it tasted fabulous.
Well friends, there you have it. Hopefully this list helps fulfill your Aldi gluten free special buy longings, all throughout the year. In addition, I hope I introduced you to some new brands to support. Feel free to check out my list of Aldi gluten free products available year round.
**This page contains Amazon affiliate links. A small portion of the sale is credited to me, but does not alter the cost of your purchase. Thank you for supporting my advocacy and my website.**
Make any day instantly better with this basic gluten free donut recipe. Created with egg free and dairy free eaters in mind, these taste delicious dipped in top 8 allergen free Enjoy Life Foods chocolate! This post is sponsored by Enjoy Life Foods.
Donuts: Something We Can All Agree On
My husband likes to listen to talking head news analysts in the morning. At 6 am, it’s really the last way I want to start my day. I mean, my head contains enough self – criticism and negativity on its own. Instead, I prefer to start my day with donuts. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.
Recently Aldi offered their large selection of gluten free special buys in May. (I say recently, because after two weeks, my store was completely cleaned out.) However, one person mentioned she couldn’t enjoy the chocolate glazed donuts, because they contained egg. Therefore, I created this VEGAN basic gluten free donut recipe. #COMMUNITY
So, baking dairy free (in my opinion) is much easier than baking egg free. Many options abound for replacing eggs. Many people use flax + water as a substitute. However, flax seeds do something to my gut. I’ve used applesauce in my vegan chocolate chip cookies. Therefore, I chose to play with aquafaba this time.
What is aquafaba? It’s the liquid in a can of beans. Wild, right? It magically whips up like egg whites. Many people recommend using 1/4 of aquafaba to replace one egg. However, when I do so, my baked goods always sink. Therefore, I used three tablespoons in my basic gluten free donut recipe. It worked like a charm!
What to do with the leftover chickpeas? Make my hummus recipe, of course!
Life Is Better With Chocolate
Now, you can make this basic gluten free donut recipe plain. My non-gf husband thoroughly enjoyed them that way. If I remember correctly, his exact words were “I’d buy these!” But, IMO, life is always better with chocolate. Some days with copious amounts of chocolate, amiright?
Remember those chocolate glazed donuts from Aldi I mentioned above? Those donuts are dipped in chocolate on both sides. I tried that. MESS ALERT! Therefore, I grabbed the sprinkles from my cupboard and decorated away. Life needs a touch of color, don’t ya think?
Why I Love Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate
When it comes to chocolate, I use one brand almost exclusively. Enjoy Life chocolate. Enjoy Life products are certified gluten-free, free-from 14 common allergens, verified Non-GMO, and certified kosher. Staff use allergen testing to ensure products meet strict standards and that our community can trust what they make.
Since my Celiac Disease diagnosis in 2001, I rely on brands like Enjoy Life Foods who take my health needs seriously. With their new teal packaging, I can easily find safe products at the store. Plus, they give back to the community, supplying top 8 free snacks to our gluten free camp every year. I truly couldn’t run camp without their support.
Donuts are meant to be shared. Know who I’d share with? My fellow advocates who bless me with their support and encouragement. Sometimes it’s a quick text message or even a comment on a post that makes my day. While we may live far apart, I know those in my “E.L.F. family” support and encourage me. Examples include:
I tried this recipe using egg, regular milk, and butter with King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure flour. It baked up a bit more dense. Therefore, maybe use a bit less flour. In addition, I made these vegan, using Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 baking flour. I would recommend using 2-3 tablespoons flour less, as they turned out much more dense.
I tried this recipe with applesauce instead of aquafaba, with great results. They may require a bit more baking time, maybe 12 minutes instead of 10. I did not try this recipe with flax egg. This recipe makes 6 donuts. I have not doubled it to test the results for a full dozen. However, I think you should easily be able to do so.
**This recipe is based on alterations made from King Arthur Flour’s baked doughnuts recipe.**
1 1/4 c flour (I used King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure, 155 grams)
1/2 c rice milk or your milk of preference
For chocolate glaze
1 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
1 tbsp coconut oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a small bowl, melt coconut oil in microwave for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and allow to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, measure milk in a 1/2 measuring cup and also allow to come to room temperature. If using a regular egg, also get this out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature.
While those are coming to room temperature, combine baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and flour in a small bowl. I personally prefer weighing my flour instead of using a measuring cup, and I sift my flour prior to adding it to the other ingredients. Set bowl of dry ingredients aside.
Place melted coconut oil in bowl of stand mixer and allow to "cream" for up to 2 minutes. To that, add the oil, white and brown sugars, and vanilla. Cream ingredients together for 3-4 minutes.
Add aquafaba and whip for up to 1 minute.
Add bowl of dry ingredients and milk, alternating half of each until incorporated. Use a rubber spatula to make sure all flour is dissolved into the batter.
Lightly spray donut pan with cooking oil (like Pam) and fill the wells with batter. I do so by stretching a sandwich bag over the mouth of a tall glass, and pouring batter into the bag. Then cut the tip of the bag, and pipe batter into the 6 separate donut wells.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow to cool in donut pan for 5 minutes, then remove and place on cooling rack
While donuts are cooling, place chocolate chips and coconut oil in a large glass bowl. Place over a small pot of boiling water, and allow to melt. Dip completely cooled donuts in melted chocolate glaze. Shake excess off into bowl, and transfer dipped donuts to cooling rack.
Enjoy, with or without sprinkles.
Because it’s Celiac Disease Awareness Month AND Food Allergy Awareness Week, how about we celebrate with a giveaway?! One lucky person will win an assortment of Enjoy Life’s delicious gluten free chocolate. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. One winner will be chosen from random. Must be 18 to enter. US residents only.
**Enjoy Life Foods sponsored this post, and compensated me for my time and energy. This post does contain affiliate links. Purchases made through those links, or the Amazon search bar above, help support this blog with no extra expense to you. Thank you for your continued support!**
The Fuel offers Michigan diners a complete gluten free and vegan menu. Offering salads, sweet potato toast and juices, they’ve attracted quite the following!
Situated in the Green Oak Village Place, The Fuel offers a fresh option for gluten free and vegan diners. This Brighton, Michigan eatery connects to The Space (a yoga studio) and The Spin (a cycling studio). The uniquely shaped wooden tables and open lighting creates a unique and inviting atmosphere.
The menu at The Fuel is:
Mostly Grain Free*
Fish and Shellfish Free
NOT NUT FREE
(*they offer granola, made with certified gluten free oats, for their smoothie bowls)
Small Plates & Beverages
My husband joined me for lunch at The Fuel on a Sunday afternoon. Since he’s unable to eat pork, he was eager to try their BLT made with “eggplant bacon.” While he felt it didn’t exactly taste like bacon, he still thoroughly enjoyed his wrap, rolled in collard greens. He REALLY enjoyed his cup of coffee, from Good Sense Coffee.
I struggled on what to order, and finally decided on the Alfredo Zoodles. (It was between that and the sweet potato toast.) It tasted very fresh, and came with fresh tomatoes, green onions, and a vegan cheez crumble. It’s served cold, and I enjoyed their Indulge smoothie with it. The Fuel makes that smoothie with cocoa, bananas and dates.
Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls and Nice Cream Sundaes?
The Fuel offers unique dessert options. Being a grain free establishment, their “cinnamon rolls” are made from dehydrated banana slices, filled with date paste and rolled. They even top it with a dairy free icing. In addition, you can order a Nice Cream sundae. (Recreate it at home with my Dairy-Free Banana Ice Cream recipe!)
The Fuel is definitely a unique eatery. Offering a vegan menu, this eatery would be great for those with egg or dairy allergies. However, they create many of their dishes with nuts, so I would be cautious eating there with a nut allergy. An interesting addition to a growing list of dedicated gluten free restaurants across Michigan.
Other 100% Gluten Free Michigan Restaurants & Food Trucks
9689 Village Place Blvd
Brighton, MI 48116 (810) 844-0226 (must order ahead for parties larger than 6)
(Closes by 4 pm Sunday-Thursday, Open until 8 pm on Friday and Saturday) Website | Facebook | Instagram
**I paid full price for our meal, which totaled about $30 for two meals and two beverages. All thoughts and opinions are my own. If you can tolerate grains, make sure to stop by No More Belly Aching in Brighton as well!**
The words “Wing Lauk” roughly translate to “always happy.” With an extensive gluten free menu and caring staff, this restaurant in Waterford, Michigan truly is my happy place!
In college, my husband developed a tradition with his roommate. Since dining halls were closed at Michigan State University on Sundays, they dined at their favorite Asian restaurants. Every Sunday. For a while, we continued that tradition. That is, until I realized that most restaurants use wheat based soy sauce. That tradition quickly came to an end.
Lucky for us, there are places like Wing Lauk in Waterford that cater to those with Celiac Disease and other food restrictions. I reached out to my Facebook followers, after hearing great things about this place. They all gave glowing reviews, so I drove 30 minutes from Flint to try it for myself!
Wing Lauk’s Gluten Free Menu
I have to admit, the three page gluten free brochure at this restaurant offers is impressive. More impressive is their dedication to learning about the needs of gluten free diners. This special menu started after they learned a customer’s children had Celiac Disease. They learned from that parent, and the local Celiac Disease support group, how to take prepare food safely for their guests. They print the following on their gluten free menu.
Wing Lauk Gluten Free Preparation Practices
When ordering, please inform your server you are ordering from the Gluten-Free menu.
Wing Lauk uses corn starch to thicken their sauces.
Gluten Free dishes that call for soy sauce, Wing Lauk uses wheat-free soy sauce.
Wing Lauk sues fresh vegetable oils to prevent cross contact with wheat flour batters. They cook gluten free items in a separate fryer.
If you have a favorite dish not listed on the Wing Lauk gluten free menu, please ask. They are willing to modify a dish to suit your gluten free needs.
If you have other food sensitivities (such as msg), please ask for Tony or Diane, and they will make sure your dish is prepared properly.
So Many Gluten Free Options
With such a large menu, it took my husband and I a while to decide what to order. We both started with soup. I chose the egg drop soup, while he chose the Chinese Vegetable Soup. While mine was good, I really enjoyed his! I finally decided on the gluten free Orange Chicken, and he chose the gluten free General Tsao’s.
Knowing how much I love Gluten Free Orange Chicken recipe from Flippin’ Delicious, I wanted to see how this compared. I was immediately impressed with how crispy the chicken tasted. Coated only in corn starch, it had the perfect amount of crunch. I told myself I would save half my dinner, but couldn’t help myself from eating it all.
My husband really enjoyed their General Tsao’s Chicken. He’s so great, and often orders gluten free items, so I an try more than one dish. (Back of ladies, he’s mine.) Like me, he couldn’t help himself from eating the whole plate. (Want quick and easy General Tsao’s at home? It’s now a permanent grocery store item at Aldi’s!)
Ask for Tony
I want to mention that we had a fantastic young man as our server. He answered any questions we had, and seemed well versed on the gluten free menu. I did however, have the pleasure of meeting Tony Gee, the owner. So glad I did, as he shared about how this restaurant has been a part of his family for generations.
He stated his family originally moved to the United States to San Francisco in the mid 30’s. However, it was his grandfather who made the move to Detroit and started the family restaurant legacy. (Please read more about their fascinating story in their “About” section.) You can tell by sweet notes from kids in the hallway, and always happy customers, that Tony and this restaurant mean so much to the community. He’s just so … nice!
I’ve dined at Wing Lauk twice now, and I can see us returning again. Only a half hour from my house, Wing Lauk offers an amazing menu and great staff. I also highly recommend stopping in at Neiman’s Family Market,!down the street. This grocery store has a great gluten free selection!
What would you order first from Wing Lauk? What gluten free Asian recipes do you miss the most? Try you hand at making some of them at home with this round up of Gluten Free Asian Recipes!
**I paid full price for my meal and was not paid or compensated in any way for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Please click the following link for more Michigan gluten free dining reviews.**
Holiday meals feel incomplete without rolls. We may work hard to make our main dish and sides gluten free, but nothing compares to the enjoyment of fresh, warm rolls. These Gluten Free Crescent Rolls fill that void, and are a cinch to make!
Room To Grow
Last year I made Gluten Free Resurrection Rolls and EVERYONE loved them. The recipe went viral on Facebook. I think it reached something like 20,000 people. Well, almost everyone loved them. One person made them without the marshmallows, and said they were dry and awful. Therefore, I’ve been meaning to make straight up gluten free crescent rolls.
As a blogger, I’ve grown leaps and bounds from where I started almost 7 years ago. However, this old girl (after all, I am 40) still learns new tricks. So, I made them again. And again. And again, until I felt I got them right. Now of course, I have a freezer full of rolls and a waistline that doesn’t need them. Yeah, don’t need to grow there, lol.
Speaking of room to grow, make sure you to use a large vessel for your yeast to proof!
Dairy Makes A Difference
Extra butter. That’s what my recipe was missing last year. Not in the recipe, but ON the rolls itself. The picture above probably looks like shaggy flour, but it’s not. It’s dough covered with a thin layer of butter. Think of your circle of rolled dough as a pizza crust, and butter as the sauce. Make sense? Don’t skip this step, or your rolls will be dry.
Also, using less flour than before improved this recipe. Note, GF flours absorb moisture differently.
I conquered the dough for these gluten free crescent rolls. Next, to master the actual rolling. I based my recipe on the one from Betty Crocker. She recommended making 16 crescents. (Smaller rolls pictured above.) Can I be honest? Too small. If I’m gonna go to the trouble of making rolls from scratch, I want more than just two bites.
Therefore, in my next attempt I cut my circle to make 8 gluten free crescent rolls. Go big or go home, right? Next time, I may make 12 though. No need for carb overload, right? Two tips on forming your rolls. First, roll the dough forward from the outside edge, in toward the center.
Don’t Skip This Step
Second tip? Don’t skip the second proofing of the dough. On my second attempt at these gluten free crescent rolls, I shortened the time on the second rise. Know what happened? A dense roll that literally gave me heart burn. Nobody wants that. Trust me, cover the raw rolls and let them nap for a whole hour.
In that second attempt, the tops of my rolls burned. Therefore, I highly recommend basting your gluten free crescent rolls with a bit of melted butter. See this third batch above? Basted with butter. These babies are golden brown PERFECTION. Their aroma is almost intoxicating. I can practically smell them now!
Breaking Bread Together
While I could easily keep these delicious gluten free crescent rolls to myself, I recommend sharing them with those you love. One, because they’ll know you’re a baking badass superstar. Most importantly, we deserve to be included in social situations. Even if you just have a friend over for tea and rolls with jam, live gluten free, proudly.
1 3/4 cup Gluten Free Flour (I used 244 grams of Cup 4 Cup brand)
1/4 c. butter, softened, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp salt
Additional 3-4 tbsp softened butter for spreading and basting
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. (We are warming the oven to create an environment for proofing the dough. You will turn it off prior to putting the dough ball in the oven.)
To begin, proof your yeast. I use a glass 2 cup measuring cup to do this. Mix the yeast and 1 tbsp sugar together. To that, add your warm water and allow to proof for 5-10 minutes. It should easily double in size, if not more.
Meanwhile, in a stand mixer, combine the flour and chunks of softened butter. Using the paddle attachment, mix the flour and butter together. Do so until it all the butter is incorporated without large chunks. Transfer to a large glass bowl and set aside.
In the stand mixer, combine the egg, salt, 3 tbsp sugar and proofed yeast. Turn stand mixer on low, and allow to run until all ingredients are mixed together.
Slowly add the flour + butter mixture until a soft dough forms. Use a rubber scraper to make sure all bits of flour are incorporated.
TURN OVEN OFF.
Transfer ball of dough to the large glass bowl you previously used for the flour. Cover with a dry towel and place in warm, but turned off, oven. Allow to rest and rise for 90 minutes.
After the dough has risen, remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll into a 12 inch circle. Gently spread approximately 2 tbsp softened butter on top of dough.
Cut dough into 12 (or 8) sections. Working from the outside, roll each individual triangle towards the center to create your crescent. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, and repeat with remaining dough.
Place rolls back in warm (but turned off) oven. Cover with a towel, for a second rise, for 60 minutes.
After the second rise, remove rolls from oven, and preheat oven to 350 degrees. While oven is heating, melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter. Brush each roll with a thin coat of butter to prevent over browning while baking.
Once oven comes to temperature, bake rolls in oven for 12-15 minutes. I always rotate my pans halfway through the baking cycle.
After rolls are done, remove from oven, and serve warm. If desired, brush with any remaining melted butter.
Freeze any remaining rolls for later. (Confession - my husband's family is incredibly superstitious, so i added another step so it wouldn't end in 13, lol.)
This post is not sponsored by Cup 4 Cup. However, Plan It Products did give me a the Cooking Liner free of charge while I was at the International Housewares Show. It works like thin parchment paper, but is reusable. I have to admit, I LOVE it! Next I need to see how it compares to using a silpat versus parchment paper. Who wants cookies?
This post does contain Amazon affiliate links. Purchases made through those links, or the Amazon search bar above, help support this blog with no extra expense to you. Thank you for your continued support!
Recently, my readers found my University of Michigan and Michigan State University dining hall posts to be helpful. Therefore, I jumped at the opportunity to visit the new Oakland University G8 dining stations. They offer students lots of options, in a pretty fantastic setting!
A Campus Full of Surprises
If I could sum up my visit at Oakland University in one word, I would say, “surprised.” I previously failed to appreciate the expanse and beauty of the campus. I always thought of it as the little college I passed by on my way to Trader Joe’s. Boy, was I mistaken. (Oakland alum, please don’t hate on my for being oblivious!)
I recently visited Oakland University, with my plucky side reporter Mr. Gal. (Excellent note takre, that guy.) We meet up with Mark Mccormick, the resident district manager for Chartwells. Chartwells runs the food service program at Oakland University and 270 other universities across the country.
How Many Students?!?!
While the Oakland University G8 dining stations initially drew me to campus, Mark provided us a fantastic tour of campus. We started in the Campus Center, which features a Chick Fil A (the first one in Michigan!), a Moe’s Southwestern Grill, and a Plum Market station. Plum Market proudly serves Ethel’s Baking Company Dandies!
From there we ventured to Vandenberg hall, the older dining hall on campus. They offer a variety of different options, in separate dining stations. Mark stated that 3,000 of Oakland University’s 20,000 students live on campus. Both on and off campus students use the dining halls.
What is G8?
Mark thoroughly explained the Oakland University G8 dining stations to us. While other meals are prepared in a shared space, all meals prepared at G8 stations use their own separate cooking space. The name “G8” comes from the concept of being free from the 8 most common allergens, as well as gluten. Pretty spiffy. Staff even use separate, uniquely colored utensils to serve all meals in these stations.
In addition, they offer Udi’s gluten free bread and buns. They have a dedicated gluten free waffle maker and gluten free waffle batter. I totally could eat those for dinner, too! Dedicated, separate toasters are available at these stations as well. A sign hangs above them, explaining to other non-food allergy students that are for food allergy needs.
How Do They Handle Other Allergens/Diets?
Glad you asked. As stated on their website, they feel it is their responsibility to “provide safe and appropriate meals for all students on campus when possible.” They even offer to go the extra step and “create meals specific to each student’s needs.” Read more about this on their Special Diets section of their website.
Cooks offer halal chicken options at the Oakland University G8 stations, and kosher wraps are available elsewhere on campus. Stations at both Vandenberg and Hillcrest displays menu items, as well as highlight dietary restrictions in those meals. Students easily find this information on the school’s dining app.
Welcoming to All
Fridays on campus are BUSY. Anyone can eat there, student or community member for only $5. And they’re open until 7 pm!! Despite that, everyone we talked to was just so NICE. Mark took time to talk to students. Chef Joey gave us his undivided attention as we asked further questions. I instantly felt at home there.
Chef Joey explained they don’t always offer gluten free desserts, but when they do, they get eaten quickly. I suggested he connect with Gluten Free Specialties in Rochester for some gluten free donuts. I appreciated how receptive he was to new ideas! He always encourages students to ask him questions and give honest feedback.
Gluten Free Options Outside of Campus
Looking to venture off campus? Whether dining alone or as a family, Rochester offers many gluten free dining options. Close to campus you’ll find Buddy’s Pizza, Jersey Mike’s and BD’s Mongolian BBQ. Down the street at The Village of Rochester Hills, eateries include Chipotle, Bravo! Cucina Italiana, Mitchell’s Fish Market and P.F. Chang’s.
Looking to do some gluten free grocery shopping? Wander through Whole Foods at the Village, or go across the street to Trader Joe’s. Drive a bit further to Star Batt Drive, home to Gluten Free Specialties, Michigan’s longest operated, dedicated gluten free bakery! Find donuts, bread, muffins and more at their storefront.
So, what universities are you or your child researching? Have you found one outside of Michigan that’s top notch? Leave a comment below so we can help each other find more safe options!
Looking for the best gluten free breakfast options? You’ll find that and more at Honest to Goodness Bistro, located in Lake Orion, Michigan. I highly recommend the pancakes!
Food, For All
“People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.” ~Audrey Hepburn
While we dined at Honest to Goodness Bistro, this quote hung above our table. Various inspirational quotes adorn all the walls of the restaurant. After talking to owner Amy Harris, I feel the above quote summed up her vision for this eatery. Her determination to feed and renew all, regardless of dietary restrictions, fuels this place.
Taking Gluten Free Seriously
Like many restaurants I learn of, I found Honest to Goodness Bistro on the Find Me Gluten Free app. However, I use that as a spring board to contact restaurants and ask further questions. Amy graciously answered all questions, and even sent me images of ingredients to verify my ability to eat them.
Honest to Goodness Bistro uses a separate griddle for gluten free items and prepares them in separate areas. All employees change their gloves when preparing gluten free meals. They also maintain a dedicated gluten free toaster, which they used to make the gluten free “monkey bread” below. Complimentary for all!
For Amy Harris, providing gluten free items at Honest to Goodness Bistro stems from more than just a “fad.” Her daughter lives with 10 different food allergies, many which can lead to anaphylaxis. Therefore, Harris is extremely passionate about prevention of cross contact.
All this lead to opening her own restaurant. Like so many restaurant owners before her, Amy Harris’ family found it difficult to eat out. Therefore, she decided to start her own business. Her mission to support others reaches beyond her customers. She serves local meats, produce and coffee, and organic whenever possible.
Enough Talking, Let’s Eat!
I find breakfast to be the hardest meal to find gluten free options. Especially pancakes or waffles. Therefore, I immediately knew what to order. These gluten free cinnamon roll pancakes listed at the top of the menu called out my name. The last time I ate cinnamon roll pancakes was at Hudson Cafe, and it had been far too long.
These gluten free Cinnamon Roll pancakes may be the best I’ve ever tasted. Definitely some of the fluffiest And yes, they serve these all day! Eating egg free or living with other food allergies? Staff at Honest to Goodness Bistro can make them “allergy free,” using Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 Gluten Free Flour, and no eggs, dairy or soy.
Pork Free and More Options
If you follow me at all, you know my husband becomes ill from eating pork. (Or shellfish.) Therefore, we always rejoice when restaurants offer pork free options. My husband was beyond thrilled to learn Honest to Goodness offers three pork-free breakfast meat options.
His gluten free Chicken Avo Delight breakfast sandwich arrived stacked with apple chardonnay chicken sausage, avocado, eggs, arugula and lemon aioli. While served on gluten free sandwich bread, he felt this may work better as a wrap. He ended up eating it open face with knife and fork. Regardless, he loved every bite.
Honest to Goodness Bistro is also well known for their smoothies. In line with their mission, they offer dairy free substitutes for those with dietary restrictions. Order yours with almond, rice, soy or coconut milk. They mark their entire menu with allergen notations, which further helps customers order safely.
Pleasantly full, we passed on ordering one. However, the Peanut Butter Chip looks right up my alley! We left, fueled for the day, both from the food and great conversation. Do what we did, and head north 15 miles and stop at Heavently Cakeballs! You’ll find the most amazing treats prepared in a dedicated gluten and peanut free facility.
** I was not paid or otherwise compensated for my meal, thoughts or opinions. We thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience and would be excited to return. Find this and other Michigan Gluten Free Dining Options on my website.**