I spent Labor Day weekend eating my way through Denver. During my first 24 hours in the gluten-free mecca, I may have consumed more calories than I typically eat in a week. I found “YES Land” (also known as Deby’s Gluten-Free Café and Bakery) on my first full day in Colorado.
Haven’t you been told NO enough? That is the mantra employed by Monica and Doug Poole, owners of Deby’s Gluten-Free Café and Bakery in Denver, CO – hence the name “YES Land.” And trust me, for anyone living gluten-free, Deby’s is a wonderland of food worth a trip to the Rocky Mountain State.
Deby’s Gluten-Free Café and Bakery opened about two years ago. Named after Doug and Monica’s daughter, Deby, they initially offered 175 gluten-free products. They have since expanded to more than 400 different gluten-free items. They have everything from bread, muffin and cookies to ravioli, chicken nuggets and lasagna. While the location is a little off the beaten path from downtown Denver, visitors from every single United State (including Alaska and Hawaii) and seven different countries have made the pilgrimage to Deby’s. The less traditional location for a restaurant and bakery keeps rent low and enables them to keep prices affordable, especially compared to typical gluten-free baked goods.
Needing to taste as much as I possibly could – my friend Sean and I shared a rather extensive brunch: an omelet with hash browns and cinnamon raisin toast, a breakfast burrito with green chili sauce, dollar pancakes, an English muffin, glazed donut holes, french toast, a biscuit, a pumpkin spice muffin, a salad with croutons and two diet cokes. For all of that food our check totaled a mere $24. Seeing a gluten-free muffin that costs only 85 cents and tastes just as good as a “glutened” version, was almost enough to inspire Ms. GF Guide to move to Denver.
Monica and Doug are two of the warmest people I have ever met. They are passionate about bringing good gluten-free food to everyone and are working in the community to make it easier for restaurants to cater to gluten-free customers.
Before leaving, I ordered a few items to-go, a luscious lemon bar, a decadent chocolate brownie with german chocolate cake frosting, a white chocolate macadamia nut cookie and two of the new muffin flavors (buy one get one free!). These were all consumed before I managed to get any good photos – a sign of some delicious vittles.
After our huge brunch, Monica and Doug gave me a tour of their kitchen complete with pizza oven, waffle maker, bread slicer – (ah, the comfort of crumbs that won’t make me sick!) massive amounts of gluten-free flour, and more. Monica and Doug are zealous advocates for the gluten-free lifestyle after seeing dramatic improvements in their health when they eliminated gluten from their diets. Monica has been gluten free for over 8 years, since being diagnosed with Celiac disease. Today the entire family, Doug, their 13 year-old daughter Deby and their twin 11 year-old boys are all on gluten-free diets. They are all feeling significantly stronger, healthier and eating better than ever.
While I highly recommend making the trip out to Deby’s in person, you can order from a huge selection of items to be delivered straight to your home. Not getting to taste EVERYTHING during my trip to Denver, I ordered two boxes to be shipped back to my apartment in NYC. In fact, I hosted a gluten-free tasting/dinner party at my apartment this week. (I’ll report back soon on how all of my gluten-glutton friends enjoyed Deby’s offerings and more culinary highlights from my trip to Denver. )
If there is anything you have been craving since going gluten-free, call/email/visit Monica and she will find some way to tell you "YES." She recently developed a tempura batter - yes, I had a gluten-free onion ring! What have you been missing?