Review: New Cascadia Traditional Bakery

Those of you who read our last review of the New Cascadia Traditional Bakery will know that we’re really excited about it. We think it’s a great place to get gluten-free food. We would like to make it clear that although the two reviews for today aren’t exactly gushing with praise, we’re still very much enthused about the bakery and think it’s one of a kind.

Today we’re going to sample their gluten-free cinnamon rolls and a sugar cookie. Let’s get to it.

You might not guess it because I’m usually so humble, but I consider myself a world-class expert on the subject of cinnamon rolls. I have even come up with a classification system for cinnamon rolls which you will no doubt find edifying for today’s review. There are three distinct cinnamon roll traditions in the world. These are:

  1. The classical pastry dough cinnamon roll. This is the dense, usually small cinnamon roll which most often features raisins, and a thin glaze. Very often these are baked a light brown. These can also sometimes have pecans.
  2. The huge bread-like pan cinnamon roll. These are the fluffy kind of cinnamon rolls you get at airports that are more of a cream color, rarely feature raisins, and have thick white frosting on them. These are more like what you get from the store in those tubes you smack against the counter to open.
  3. The donut cinnamon roll.  These are the flat cinnamon rolls that donut shops offer.

If you’re with me so far, you’re probably trying to figure out which is your favorite. I personally lean towards number 2, but only straight out of the oven. Number 3 is the best bet at a truck stop. Number 1 is more like what they made when I was a kid and can be good or bad, depending.

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The cinnamon rolls at New Cascadia are type 1. They are dense and have a thin glaze. They don’t have raisins. They smell divine in the oven, but unfortunately they didn’t live up to our hopes and dreams. The flavor was right, but while we didn’t exactly get them fresh out of the oven and thus think they may be better in the morning, we felt like ours were too dense, and also wished that they had more cinnamon in them.

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Next up are the gluten-free sugar cookies, which apparently are made with coconut flour. All I can say about these cookies is that they’re awesome! If you have celiac disease and have been dreaming about a real sugar cookie and wondering where you could get one, you should go there today!

That’s it for today’s review. We definitely have plans to keep going back to New Cascadia and will give you updates as they arrive.

Times we have visited: 1 (So your experience may vary)
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Somewhere around twice as expensive.

New Cascadia Traditional
2120 NW Glisan St
Portland, Oregon 97210

Comments

  1. sheryl says

    I will not go back to Cascadia. Their customer service stinks! They advertised free cupcakes with their anniversary celebration. I drove there with my 3 year old, who was excited about the cupcakes. I saw 3 plates of tiny cupcakes, which I figured were the free ones. After waiting in line for the urban grunge hippie sales girl to finish her 5 minute conversation with the previous customer, I ordered a loaf of bread and two of the small cupcakes. I asked if they were the free ones and they said that, no, they decided giving out samples of cake would be easier, but they didn’t have any cake ready right now. Although they had 3 plates of tiny cupcakes (and 2 or 3 plates of regular cupcakes) they refused to give any away (mind you , there were only 5 people in the store and a line of about 1 or 2 people behind me). Of course i had to get my little girl a cupcake anyway, so they charged me $1.25 for the 2 bite cupcake. I don’t give my money to people so smug and inconsiderate.

  2. kat says

    Its a bummer, because people want gf vegan bread, and a nice friendly place to go to but I’m hearing more and more that these people are rude and it seems true from what others are saying. From my experience they arent too helpful and don’t respond when you email them either.

    • Dave says

      That’s too bad. We’ve only had good experiences with them. We’ll have to stop by there again and see what’s what.

  3. Laura says

    I’m sorry to hear the above reviews. I absolutely love this bakery. Yes, they are expensive, but there is nothing this good GF anywhere else so I think it is well worth it. And yes, sometimes they are so “easy going” that they aren’t always on top of the “customer service flow” that you expect and receive at other expensive bakeries. I agree that a few times recently when I have been there, the staff has been a bit aloof. But, overall they have been great. When I first found out I had celiac, this bakery was a lifesaver — both for great tasting bread and sweet substitutes, and for education/support. Many times I could have been the person that the clerk was talking to for five minutes ahead of you…

  4. April says

    I love your review of cinnamon rolls but I must take exception with the classification system. Swedish cinnamon rolls deserve their own number. They are small, never glazed, yeasty but not so sweet, with always a hint or more of cardamom. I mean, in Sweden we even celebrate cinnamon roll day (Kanelbullsdag). One of my fondest memories is of a day at a local lunch restaurant when after explaining my gluten free status the lovely waitress said, “I think we have gf cinnamon rolls.” They were frozen and she warmed them in the micro, usually not a treat, but those who are afflicted with the gf lifestyle will understand the bliss of biting into that warm cinnamony goodness.

  5. April says

    p.s. Forgot a key feature – Swedish cinnamon rolls nearly always come with a sprinkling of “parlsocker” crunchy sugar pearls. Haven’t ever seen this in the U.S.

  6. Dom says

    D- for being jerks.

    The customer service is terrible.
    The store front is dirty.

    They used to have “normal” breads when at their location on 23rd. But they don’t make french bread, baguettes, or white breads any more. Everything had seeds in it, or on it. Which is fine, if that’s what you want. But the selection was underwhelming.

    More importantly, the staff were jerks. Un-helpful, unwilling to check in the back for more product, and unwilling to answer questions about the breads (like, what is the taste like, what is the constancy, et).

    Totally not worth the trip across town into the warehouse district to get a $6 loaf of bread.

    I’m sticking to making the Bob’s Redmill Breads.

  7. Michelle says

    I have mixed emotions about them. I live 3 hours east of Portland and am not able to get there often enough. When they were on Glisan things were fine. After they moved I visited once and liked it. I had them make my 40th birthday cake and it was divine.

    A friend of mine was in Portland last year, we agreed on her way home she’d stop and pick me up a few things. I called about an hour before she’d get there to order and pay for it. I wanted my friend to not have to hassle with selection and payment.

    The staff person I talked to was very abrupt and said that wouldn’t be possible (what?). I had to call at least 48 hours in advance for a pick up order. I told her I just wanted a couple cupcakes that was all, that I lived 3 hours away and my friend was in town, and I wasn’t aware of the policy. She wouldn’t budge. I was really upset. It’s hard enough as a celiac when you often have to say to yourself “nope, can’t have that” to then have a place who makes what you can eat say no!

    I spoke to one of the owners who explained their policy and why. Apparently too many people called in orders, it would take up a lot of their days supply, then walk ins wouldn’t have anything. Well in my business that would be a great problem to have, make more! Sales are sales! Now what’s happened is a person who widely distributed their business cards east of the Cascades now doesn’t want to ever go back. It floored me when she asked what I thought she should do for me. Why ask me? Offer! Offer me a coupon for a discount or a cupcake next time I’m in town. That would have made me very happy.

    They really have excellent products and at the moment are the only game in town that makes GF at that level (that I know of). It won’t be long though, someone else will come along who actually GETS customer service and solid business principles + great food. I still recommend them, although not as enthusiastically. I just can’t withhold the info from newly diagnosed celiacs, I remember how it was!

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