I’ve felt very guilty about the delay in this particular post, since this is about a visit from quite some time ago. I keep track of my blog post to-dos by picking one photo from the experience (restaurant, sight, event, etc.) and favorite-ing it on my phone (so it gets put into a “Favorites” folder). This is a nice way to keep track of remaining blog posts. That is except when the number of photos in that Favorites album is in like the 50s and 60s (after multiple trips outside of Miami and a coding class that took up 3 months of my life)… Then it’s kind of stressful. I also have a birthday meme I have favorited in that folder that I like to send to friends, so there were a lot of days where I went into the folder and was reminded of all the posts I had to go back and do…
I’ve felt particularly guilty about this post, because it was a place I was excited to visit and review. A while back on my main Miami/South Florida Gluten-Free page I got a comment from unReal Food about their vegan, gluten-free baking and sharing some info about their business. At the time there weren’t a lot of 100% gluten-free bakeries in Miami that I knew of (Bunnies Cakes is a shared bakery and Weezie’s is all the way up in Oakland Park), although since then a few potential ones have popped up on my radar (not totally sure, might need to report back). I was definitely interested and tried to find more information.
I scoped out their website and saw hours, but not a location. Yelp placed them right in the middle of Miami, but that was because the location was listed as generic “Miami, FL.” The Yelp reviews were all raving though. Five stars from everyone. The descriptions and pictures all made the baked goods look pretty incredible, so I was trying to figure out more and more where the location was to go with the hours. Most of the info I found was tied to placing orders in advance. I tend to not be the best at that since I don’t plan ahead and if I can’t more immediately satisfy a gluten-free craving when it hits then I just try and let it pass. Otherwise if I am always thinking about what desserts I could order in advance I’d go down an insane gluten-free rabbit hole… See the thing is that I have no self-control. So if I can power through a craving by there not being a store I can drive to right at that moment then I consider that a bit of a win. Slightly tied to that is if I ordered a batch of gluten-free baked goods I would eat them all at once probably (only like 1/5th kidding)… So I did some research on UnReal Food, but some uncertainty about its location caused me to file it away perhaps for some future reference.
I’m not sure what reminded me of unReal Food, but at some point maybe a few months later it came back to mind. I did some research again and stumbled across their Facebook page. I saw that the hours listed on their website tended to coincide with posts on the Facebook page at Farmer’s Markets (though I think some of the extended hours on weekdays are tied to times you can pick up orders). It indeed confirmed that there isn’t a physical storefront for unReal Food. Non “bricks and mortar” gluten-free bakeries make a lot of sense given that the demand isn’t always there for an expensive storefront.
On the Facebook page I also saw mention of a gluten-free ice cream sandwich and from that I was like “I’m in.” The fact I knew I could also visit a farmers market and more easily pick just a few items (to avoid going overboard or needing to plan ahead) highly increased the likelihood of a visit. Coincidentally this was either a Friday evening or a Saturday morning that I made this discovery and unReal Food is usually at the Coconut Grove Saturday Organic Market. I’ve also noticed them in Pembroke Pines, so Coconut Grove was far closer. That sealed the deal and in a matter of about an hour I was making the drive. This makes me think that I for sure made the re-discovery about unReal Foods on a Saturday morning, because I remember thinking “wow I really just pulled the trigger on this one.” I didn’t want to miss my opportunity that Saturday and end up regretting it.
Once I was in the Grove I found the market on Grand Ave and Margaret Street. I strolled through the market and kept my eyes peeled for unReal Food. I found it and began to survey what was available. Tom, the owner, had a couple options still left (this was mid-afternoon so the pickings weren’t slim, but I think a few things had run out). Definitely encourage you to go there in the morning to have the best selection. There were cupcakes and cookies, plus Tom had some vegan soups and different juices. I went for a chocolate mocha cupcake and a chocolate chip cookie.
The biggest thing I took away from both the cupcake and chocolate chip cookie was that Tom has really worked hard to get the texture right for his baked goods. I think this is even more impressive when you remember that these baked goods are also vegan (I kind of forgot, which is an excellent sign for a guy like me that is probably the farthest thing from vegan). The cupcake was moist and the frosting fluffy. The cookie was on the crispier side (for those who have strong thoughts about crispy vs. gooey. I just want a good cookie), but it was crumbly without being dry and also was still moist. It’s the way a cookie should be if you like the crispy (still a hint of gooeyness). Again I was very impressed with the texture of both. These are probably as close to “the real thing” in terms of texture that I’ve come across (even when including some of the incredible gluten-free bakeries in places like Portland, San Francisco, Chicago, etc.).
On taste I was very happy with the chocolate mocha cupcake. I think the mocha addition was an excellent decision (on Tom’s part for baking it that way and on my part for choosing it- although Tom needs to get way more credit clearly). More recently I’ve come to realize I enjoy chocolate, but I don’t LOVE chocolate. After some visits to gluten-free bakeries in other cities recently I noticed that I usually go for very chocolate-y cupcakes or cakes when I have options. But I don’t love chocolate enough to really think they are incredible and ultimately end up a bit disappointed. The mocha with that coffee addition on this cupcake though was the perfect addition to make me love this cupcake and not think it was too chocolate-y. I also appreciated that it wasn’t super sweet (the opposite of what I’ve generally found with other vegan baked goods when they need to compensate for the lack of dairy). I also can’t disregard the effect of the great texture on how much I enjoyed this cupcake, but I know that the taste was on point by itself.
The cookie I also really enjoyed. First bite it was a little “un-nerving” (but in a good way) how much of that rich “cookie dough” taste came through in each bite when we’re talking about a gluten-free, vegan cookie. I mean I was almost like “what magic is this?” Each bite had a bit of an aftertaste I really couldn’t place though. To be honest part of me was like “oh okay this is where the vegan part comes in.” It wasn’t a bad taste, I just couldn’t place it. Then I realized there were walnuts in the cookie. The menu online clearly states it’s a chocolate chip walnut cookie. I’m also pretty sure I saw what looked like chocolate chip cookies and just pointed at them without asking what all was inside. So I made some assumptions about the cookie and that ended up throwing me off. Once I realized it was walnuts I was tasting, the tastes all came together and again I was very impressed with the cookie.
At the time of purchase I was kind of glad I wasn’t there first thing in the morning to have a full selection. I picked a cupcake and a cookie, which I thought would be a good sampler. Again I told you I have no self-control. Quickly after eating the cupcake and cookie (mind you it was in my car. I didn’t even wait to drive home…), I wished I had gotten maybe an extra cupcake or cookie. Now writing this I am also deeply craving them (especially the cookie). There is absolutely a side of me that is unleashed by excellent gluten-free baked goods…
The texture on the baked goods I had from unReal Food were so on point. Excellent. The taste was also very good and I am really impressed given that it’s gluten-free and vegan. For those who need gluten-free or vegan desserts for a special event (like a birthday party) I would highly recommend ordering from unReal Food. Even if you’re just looking for gluten-free, I think the quality of unReal Food’s products are worth forgoing the dairy/eggs (again I’m the farthest thing from a vegan you can be and I’m saying that!). For those just looking for a nice gluten-free and/or vegan sweet then I would rate this absolutely worth-the-drive. Follow unReal Food on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram (you’ll probably drool) to find out what farmers markets they are at (Coconut Grove on Saturday and Pembroke Pines on Thursdays are ones I’ve seen). The Cafe at Books and Books (at least at the Arsht Center) also has some of their baked goods, so check that out if you’re there. I need to make a visit back ASAP. I only haven’t because I’ve been a bit busy (excuses) and trying to eat healthy (and I’m not confident I can only get two things again on a return visit). But unReal Food provides some delicious gluten-free and vegan treats for Miamians and I highly encourage you to check them out. I just hope I don’t turn into the Cookie Monster on my next visit (that’s only partially a joke…)!
unRealFood, LLC.- http://www.unRealFood.com 305-218-7808 Facebook: unRealFood Twitter: @unrealfood Instagram: @unreal_food