IMG_0198One of the things I miss since going gluten free is donuts. Sure I can buy some frozen at the grocery store, but most of them are pretty bad (with the exception of the Katz powdered sugar donuts).  There’s no hopping in the car and picking up a dozen donuts on a Sunday morning. I miss the variety, and the racks with all the choices.

On a recent visit to LA, I found the antidote. If you’re in the LA area, you cannot skip Donut Friend.  It’s a bit off the beaten track in a unremarkable neighborhood, but you won’t regret visiting.

Donut Friend has gluten-free and regular donuts. The gluten people can pick theirs out of the case. However, those of us who are GF can customize our donuts. Here’s how it works. There’s a giant menu board on the wall that lists fillings, toppings, sprinkles, and everything else you can imagine wanting in or on a donut. You start with a basic cake GF donut. They cut it in half and insert any fillings you want. I went with Bavarian cream and strawberries. Then you decide what you want on top. I went with chocolate and almonds. You can eat the donut in the shop or take it to go.  There are enough toppings that you could go back again and again and not eat the same donut.

This was an incredible over the top treat for me. More like dessert than just another dry donut. My gluten eating companion also left thoroughly satisfied with her choices. I wished I’d had more than one after I was done!

pancake house2pancake house 1Apparently I was the last person to know the Original Pancake House has a gluten-free menu. The OPH is a national chain and it’s known throughout the GF community for being one of the only places you can get a GF breakfast that is more than just eggs. We went on a late Saturday morning to the Williamsville location. It was crowded as always and we waited about 10 minutes for a table in the dreaded back room. We were given a card with the gluten free choices, which are only pancakes, pancakes or more pancakes. You can only get the dollar size, but you can choose from a variety of flavors and number of pancakes. I got plain. The husband got chocolate chip and pecan. We also had bacon and hot chocolate. The children had regular menu items. The service was slow, hectic, and forgetful. It was almost impossible to get all of our food and it took several reminders about missing items. Despite the craziness, the food was good. It was nice to go somewhere and have a real breakfast I didn’t make myself. We would be happier if they had real maple syrup (I am tempted to smuggle a jar in myself inside my purse next time). The pancakes were excellent and the flavored ones the husband ordered had the nuts and chocolate chips inside the pancakes as well as on top. They definitely know how to make pancakes here. The bacon is thick. The hot chocolate is rich. We brought tons of leftovers home (although we had to go to the serving stand and take some containers ourselves since there was no chance we could get our server to do it). It’s definitely a better experience if you don’t go on a weekend morning, but honestly, when else are you going to order pancakes? Once a year, it’s worth doing.