I never thought I’d say this, but I actually found a gluten-free bakery that I really enjoy.

Not to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I generally stay away from baked goods made with gluten-free flour. They never taste quite right to me and I’ve tried quite a lot since I have several friends who eat gluten-free diets. I don’t mind making sweets that are naturally gluten-free, like flourless cakes or ones uses glutinous rice flour (aka mochi), but I have never really enjoyed cookies, cakes, etc that are made with gluten-free flour.

So I was really happy to discover 2Good2B. I found goods here perfect for my gluten-free friends and even for myself even though I don’t generally buy/eat gluten-free desserts.

2Good2B, which I’m guessing is a play on the phrase “too good to be true,” is a gluten-free bakery and cafe that offers a variety of muffins, cupcakes, and other baked goods as well as savory items like pizzas, pastas, etc. Everything is gluten-free and all the breads and bakery items are baked fresh in-house.

We were invited to come check it out, and since we already had lunch plans, we stopped in mainly for the sweets.

First, we tried a sample of their mini cupcakes: lemon, carrot, orange, coconut, red velvet, chocolate.

The first few cupcakes I sampled had a white cake base. I thought they had a pretty good flavor to it (i.e., chunks of coconut in the batter for the coconut one), though the texture of the cupcakes were a little dry. They were, in my opinion, pretty good for gluten-free, but I could tell they were gluten-free.

Then we tried the red velvet. And to my surprise, I really enjoyed it and I couldn’t taste that it was gluten-free. I’ve tried the gluten-free red velvet at Sprinkles and did not enjoy it at all, so I was happy with the rendition at 2Good2B. DH doesn’t even like red velvet cupcakes normally, but he really enjoyed this version.

However, the big winner for me was the chocolate. The chocolate went beyond “good for a gluten-free dessert,” and was instead one of the best chocolate cupcakes I’ve ever eaten– gluten-free or not. The manager had told me that they use chocolate ganache in the batter. As a result, the cake ends up being tender, fluffy and packs a powerful chocolate punch. I’ve baked a lot of chocolate cupcakes over the years, and one of the biggest frustrations is that most tender and fluffy chocolate cupcakes have a very light chocolate flavor. I’ve only come across two chocolate cupcake recipes that were light, fluffy, and had a strong chocolate flavor without the needed help of frosting or a filling. These chocolate cupcakes were even better than my go-to chocolate cupcake recipes. I was definitely in love and so was DH.

Next we moved onto the brownies.

The brownies were very rich and chocolatey. They tasted great, but I wasn’t as impressed since it’s not as hard to make a gluten-free brownie since brownies don’t use that much flour.

Can you believe Thanksgiving is in two weeks? I’m starting to stress out because I’ve now realized that I won’t get a chance to test out all the pumpkin and other potential Thanksgiving recipes I wanted to before the holiday.

Each year I try to make some non-pumpkin baked goods for Thanksgiving, so it’s not an overload of pumpkin. I’ve been searching for a good dinner roll recipe, and I think this one is a winner. It’s slightly more complicated than some of the other ones I’ve tested, but it also tastes worlds better.

If you enjoy dim sum and a bargain, I highly recommend checking out Monterey Palace next time you’re in the Monterey Park area. With all items priced at $2.09, this was one of the cheapest dim sum experiences I’ve had and the quality of food is pretty good too.

DH and I recently stopped for lunch on our way to see our friends’ adorable new baby. I got the recommendation from my friend KFP, who informed me that the chef is actually the former chef from Elite, which is one of our favorite high end dim sum spots in the area (along with Sea Harbor).

The LA trend for dim sum has been to do away with the cart system and use the menu checklist ordering system, which I prefer. Yes there is a certain charm in seeing the foods pushed around in the carts, but it’s also frustrating waiting for that one cart to come around with the item you want. Through this ordering system, you check off everything you want, pass the sheet to a server, and soon hot, steaming dim sum is delivered to you in a hurry.

I thought the item choices were slightly more limited than some of the other dim sum places I’ve eaten at in LA, but it was still a decent selection, especially priced at $2.09 a plate.

Steamed Shrimp Dumpling

Shrimp and Scallop Dumpling

Steamed Bean Curd Roll

Baked Egg Tart