Monday, August 12, 2013

Deeks Bakery and Cafe, Pearce

Just the other day Her Canberra did a post on gluten free friendly places to eat around town and this caught my eye instantly because of my food intolerance. I'm not a Coeliac but as I have mentioned in the past, I live by my 80-20 rule where I avoid gluten and grains as much as possible as my body just doesn't tolerate these things well. Having said that, the reactions tend to vary; I can eat cereal few times a week and feel generally ok but rice is an absolute no-no. I can have the occasional pasta and not feel too sick but the tiniest amount of bread makes me sick for days (insert sad face). I've learnt to live with these issues but every once in a while I get that craving for a nice fluffy slice of bread smothered with butter and Vegemite... a simple pleasure in life that I'm no longer privy to.

So when I read about Deeks Bakery & Cafe my eyes lit up like nothing else. Deeks bakes 100% gluten-free AND grain-free products. Say what?!! Gluten-free is one thing, but grain-free as well?! I could've been eating grain-free bread all this time?  Is this the answer to my prayers? How did I not know about Deeks till now? Their online product list was mind boggling; quinoa loaf, pumpkin and pepita seed loaf, onion and parmesan bread, olive and herb bread, fruit logs, chocolate logs etc etc... all of these are 100% grain-free, with quinoa as the main ingredient used.

As excited as I got, I then had the afterthought that this "answer to my prayers" probably came at the complete sacrifice of taste but the optimist in me was willing (or hoping rather) to be proven wrong. Deeks has two outlets; one at Dickson shops and one at Pearce shops so off I went on my grain-free adventure to Pearce earlier this week. 

I walked into the cafe as excited as a kid going into a candy store. The lovely lady behind the counter was ever so helpful in explaining their products and recommending things. I decided to go for a quinoa loaf, which is their basic bread (you will find a full product list on the website including a full list of ingredients). 

Now, let me just say this was the most expensive loaf of bread I have EVER purchased! At nearly $9 (!!!) you get a nice looking loaf, about 3/4 the size of a normal supermarket loaf. I was told that the bread has an expiry date of five days only so the best thing to do is put it in the fridge or freeze it if I really wanted to make it last. But judging by the size of it, even if one was only to have two slices per day, this baby wasn't really going to last beyond the five days anyway.

There was a cabinet full of a very tempting selection of sweet and savoury treats that I just couldn't look away from. I was informed that all the cakes, slices, muffins, tarts, friands, chocolate ├ęclairs etc etc were all grain-free and gluten-free but unfortunately NOT sugar-free. Bummer! But they are working on their recipes and considering going down the sugar-free path in the future. Yay! So after a bit of umming and ahhing I treated myself to a piece of carrot cake, in the name of research of course.

Deeks does cafe style lunches and I spotted things like sandwiches, quiches, pies and even pumpkin soup on the menu (all grain-free and gluten-free of course). I read on the website that they also do sit down breakfasts so that will be going on my to-do list for sure. 

So, I rushed home in anticipation of the moment of truth, wishing and praying that my $9 loaf of bread will taste better than cardboard. 

When I cut a slice I was pleasantly surprised at how soft the bread was and how easy it was to cut; I really was expecting cardboard or worse. It was airy and soft to touch as well. And then the taste.... I was amazed at how nice it was! When I first started cutting grains out of my diet I tried gluten-free bread made by several different baking companies and then stopped buying bread altogether because I came to the quick realisation that gluten-free bread = taste-free bread. But this quinoa loaf was so different; it was moist, light and I didn't have to chew it forever to get it down either. Plus it had a really pleasant non-grainy taste! Who would've thought?! Of course at $9 a loaf this could prove to be an expensive discovery but hey, beggers can't be chosers, right?

As for the carrot cake, that was also alarmingly delicious! You could tell from the texture that it was freshly baked that day; it was moist, light and delicious. It actually tasted better without the icing and I don't ever think that about carrot cake normally so that says something about how good this cake was!

So the verdict: Dear Deeks, where have you been all my life?! Or rather, have I been living under a rock to not know of your existence? Either way, I'm glad we found each other because now I have an options other than cardboard next time I get a bread craving. I will definitely keep an eye out to see if the sugar-free changes get implemented in the near future too. Whether you have a gluten intolerance or not, if you are after a healthy alternative to regular bread laden with poisonous grains and sugar you should definitely check Deeks out! 

Deeks on Urbanspoon


  1. I love Deeks! You can buy the quinoa loaf in my local supermarket, and I think a pumpkin one too, I really enjoy it, I find it lasts me a while because I cut thinner slices as its quite filling, but it definitely is a pricier option! I haven't had it for ages actually, you have reminded me to pick up some xx

  2. Half the restaurants and cafes in Canberra that serve your breakfast eggs on gluten free toast are using Deeks so you've probably eaten it before. Some supermarkets and health food stores stock Deeks and they have a Dickson store too.

    My favourites are the Besan loaf (has no soy) and the mango/coconut muffins.

    Another good option is the Bagel cafe at Fyshwick fresh food markets who make a very white bread type gluten free bagel as well as a loaf of bread.

  3. eeeh grains aren't poisonous though! they are a staple part of many cultures diets and alot of people don't suffer any ill effects...