Last Sunday, I ducked into a place in historic Ellicott City I’d never been before, Bean Hollow Coffee and Confections. While I was ordering a cup of joe, I happened to see chocolate raspberry tarts and chocolate dipped cheesecake in the pastry case labeled, “gluten-free.” I was absolutely euphoric. I couldn’t believe I’d stumbled upon a place where not only could I get a gluten-free treat, but I also had to a choice to make: tart or cheesecake.
In the end I went with the tart, promising to go back for the cheesecake soon. The tart was truly decadent and the coffee equally satisfying.
The next day, I called Bean Hollow’s owner to thank her for having gluten-free goodies in the coffee shop. She told me she’s been carrying gluten-free desserts for over a year. She started offering them because she “tries to have something for everyone,” even for those with allergies and intolerances. All of her gluten-free desserts, which also include a chocolate mousse cake and pecan tart, come from the local Baltimore bakery, Sweet Sin.
The other great thing I noticed was that the gluten-free desserts had their own separate tray in the pastry case. Cross-contamination was covered. Pretty sweet.