Forewarning: I feel like I rambled a little bit longer than usual on this post, so if you’re here to learn more about Joey’s Home Bakery than please scroll down a little bit to get to the main point of this post. If you’re looking for some comments on the gluten-free scene in South Florida then you might enjoy my tangent in the first few paragraphs-
Miami has certainly improved its gluten-free options over the last six years (coinciding a lot with the gluten-free trend), but many times I still find myself yearning for the options of cities like Portland, San Francisco, and Chicago. Miami has Bunnie Cakes for gluten-free and vegan cupcakes (sometimes some vegan savory items like a black bean empanada), unReal Food makes excellent gluten-free-vegan sweet baked goods at different farmer’s markets, there once was the 100% gluten-free restaurant Oolite (R.I.P.), and then up north near Fort Lauderdale there is an excellent gluten-free cafe Weezie’s Gluten-Free Kitchen. There are also a lot of options I haven’t mentioned (plus a lot of incredible Latin restaurants that have many naturally gluten-free items), but I still am craving a more comprehensive gluten-free bakery/cafe in Miami (along the lines of Tula’s Bakery in Portland), especially with more savory items. Weezie’s is along these lines (more restaurant than bakery), but unfortunately it’s a little bit of a drive from Miami.
I always am on the lookout for new gluten-free options. I do this through Yelp, Twitter, Google searches, and pay close attention to articles about new restaurants opening up (as gluten-free tends to be mentioned these days if it’s available). I also have widened the scope of my searches. I began to look more up in Broward and Palm Beach, especially near the 95 for when I drive up to Delray. I found some interesting places with potential. One was Insane Cookies, which can create gluten-free versions of their specialty, gourmet cookie batches. It’s almost on a Willy Wonka status. Strawberry dough, caramel sauce, peanut butter cups, peanut butter dough, and every combination of those types of things and more. They’re more of an online business, but they mail across the country and can have quicker delivery in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties (plus you can pick-up at certain locations in Broward). I was strongly considering this, because there are some incredible flavors (and you can mix and match). I’ve been holding off for a more special occasion though since you have to order in relatively large batches (and they’re a little pricey).
Just after scoping out a lot of these options in Broward and Palm Beach, it was a family’s friend 50th birthday party up in Palm Beach. My aunt mentioned that a lot of people attending are gluten-free and asked if I knew of some places to pick up some gluten-free desserts. I definitely thought Weezie’s was a contender and had planned to stop there anyway for some of their restaurant food on my way north. It was a little too last minute to order from Insane Cookies, but I decided to do a quick search around Delray Beach to see if anything popped up I hadn’t noticed before (unfortunately Cupcakes Couture had gone out of business). Lo and behold a place called Joey’s Home Bakery- Gluten-Free showed up in Boynton Beach! I looked over the online menu and was very excited to see they have a wide range of not only desserts, but also savory items!
I did indeed stop at Weezie’s on my way north for a delicious burger on their gluten-free bun and a Reuben on their mock “Rye” bread (excellent excellent bread). I also got a few desserts to go like some cookies, cupcakes, and a German chocolate cake. I dropped this off at my family’s house, but I really couldn’t forgo a trip to Joey’s. Not after looking over the menu. Once I’m bitten by the gluten-free discovery bug…
Joey’s is in a detached building in a shopping plaza off Woolbright near a Home Depot and a Staples. You walk in and there are a few small tables, but most of the space is taken up by a lot of counters filled (filled!) with gluten-free options. They have a lot of vegan and paleo options as well. You can see behind the counters right back into the kitchen and prep area where they make everything in-house.
This is more of what I am talking about in a gluten-free bakery! Just almost any kind of dessert I can think of (plus others I haven’t) and then a lot of options on the savory side. This was really going to be a hard decision… Luckily I was also picking out items for the party, so I could go a little bit more crazy than usual (I already usually go relatively crazy at a gluten-free bakery). One of the owners, Joey’s husband, was manning the shop and was super friendly and welcoming. He gave me a lot of samples of their breads and then even when I had made some decisions he still wanted to give me samples of the things I picked (“just to be sure” he said).
For myself I went for a slice of vanilla cake with raspberry filling, a black and white cookie, a vanilla cupcake, a chocolate Swiss roll and a bagel. For the party I got a number of chocolate chip cookies, some sugar cookies, and some Linzer cookies with raspberry filling.
Once I had tried the samples I knew I was in for a treat. The bread was excellent! It’s some of the best gluten-free bread I’ve had and it really felt and tasted like local bakery bread (no offense to national brands like Udi’s). They also had breads like olive and sun-dried tomato. I’ve really never had anything like that. I’ve had celiac since I was two, so I am not a bread connoisseur, but I think even long-time bread eaters turned gluten-frees will be happy with this as a new alternative. I was more on a mission for sweets because of the party, but I couldn’t not get a bagel. Bagels are one of the top things I crave being gluten-free. Bagels are also one of the hardest things to make gluten-free. The gluten is just such a critical part of the texture and chewiness of a bagel. However taste-wise this bagel was very on-point and texture-wise was still very good. I had it with some delicious Michigan jam at my aunt’s and uncle’s (although I do slightly wish I had some cream cheese to go on it- next time!). Joey’s makes excellent savory baked goods, especially on the bread/bagel side.
On the sweet side I had the cake slice and vanilla cupcake first. The cake was a real treat. I haven’t had something like that in a while. The layers of frosting and raspberry filing was perfect. The cake layers themselves were slightly, slightly dry, however it was balanced out pretty well with the different layers of frosting and raspberry filling. It all came together to be a real treat. It made it a decadent slice of cake (not just something you can make from a box that turns out alright). The cupcake provided a similar reaction, although the cupcake itself wasn’t too dry. The frosting was delicious and complemented the cupcake well. The cupcake was pretty crumbly and a good texture. What I liked is that both weren’t too sweet. Both gave you enough sweetness to be satisfied, but not overly sugary where it made you feel sick afterwards (that’s important as I did after all eat a piece of cake followed by a cupcake…).
I thought for a minute that I had held off on anything more before the party, but now I am remembering that I ate the black and white cookie before the party too… This was my favorite cookie of the bunch (and probably my favorite cookie I’ve found in South Florida). The black and white coating was a great touch and the cookie was crispy (the right combination of crumbly cookie-ness without being dry or bland).
The comment above about not being too sugary is important about Joey’s. They don’t use any preservatives, any artificial ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup & no hydrogenated oil. If I’m remembering correctly from what the owner told me, they also don’t use any processed, refined sugar. With both the cake, cupcake and later the chocolate chip cookies that all was very obvious. The chocolate chip cookies were not super sweet. It reminded me in both taste and texture more of a shortbread cookie with chocolate chips added in (but not as dense as shortbread cookies). They got a bit of a mixed response at the party, but I think that was because of expectations around sugar. I personally enjoyed them. Despite all the pics I post of crazy gluten-free desserts, those are really more of a special treat/occasion. I don’t do a lot of sugar otherwise. So I like that these desserts are a little toned down on the sugar end. A lot of other people loved the chocolate chip cookies and raved about them. The few that didn’t as much I think were looking for the more traditional sugary chocolate chip cookies. The sugar cookie was also a bit toned down on the sugar end, but I think was more close to what people were expecting. There were only a few of the Linzer cookies, but I liked the effect of the raspberry filling and more of what I’ll call a “heartier” cookie. The big takeaway is that Joey’s sweets are relatively more “healthy” and aren’t super sugary. I think that’s a taste that a lot of people are looking for and will enjoy, but just set your expectations appropriately. You’re not going to always find it to be a gluten-free version of a sugary American dessert (but I do think you’ll overall be happy with it).
The next day I ate the bagel (described above) and also finished the Swiss chocolate roll. That was a cool thing to try. Of all the things I’ve either cheated on (by having the regular gluten-free version) or have found gluten-free versions of, I haven’t had as much of what I’ll call the “Hostess desserts” (Twinkies, Swiss chocolate rolls, Ho-Hos). I think the Swiss chocolate roll was similar to the other desserts in that it wasn’t overly sweet, but compared to the others I’m not sure you would comment on it being less sugary than usual. I think because it wasn’t too sweet and they use really wholesome ingredients I liked this more than I was expecting (in expecting more of a processed kind of dessert).I was glad to have tried something like that in general (in a cross off the bucket list kind of way).
Joey’s was truly a treat for the wide range of options they have, the top notch savory baked goods they have (will need to get a loaf of their bread next time), and for some wholesome and pure desserts that satisfied your sweet teeth, but didn’t put you in a sugar coma. The just massive variety of options is what I’ve been looking for in South Florida (even though it’s not super close to me in Miami…). There are so many things I didn’t get and didn’t mention! Due to the wide selection and the good quality (in both flavor and texture), I am rating this a must-do and worth-the-drive for gluten-frees. Vegans and paleos will also enjoy their options and a lot of the items I tried were vegan and/or paleo (couldn’t tell much of a difference). The owner was also so friendly and welcoming. Luckily their food is great, because I’d like to frequent this business a lot just given the ownership. I know when I am up in Delray I’ll make the short drive to Boynton and Joey’s. My family might even be happy that Joey’s existence tempts me to come up to Delray more often! Pictures of my selections (remember I was also buying for the party!) below.
Joey’s Home Bakery Gluten Free- 1532 SW 8th St, Boynton Beach, FL 33426