Twist Bakery and Café makes gluten-free dining a luxury


Kate Kelly

Twist Bakery and Cafe open from 8:00-4:00 on Sundays.

Kate Kelly, Staff Writer

Pizza, pasta, and many other popular foods in the culinary world are wheat-based. For the 2 million diagnosed with celiac, a gluten intolerance disease, and the 25% of the population in the US that is gluten-free, finding quality food can be a serious challenge. 

Kathryn Ernst, owner of Twist Bakery and Café, experienced this firsthand. She learned of her allergy when she was a teenager, and in 2011, opened an entirely gluten, nut, and peanut free café. Even though their dishes lack a seemingly important ingredient, I found their food to be even better than an average diner. 

Walking in at around 10:30 on a Sunday morning, the place was packed. Twist is located in Burlington and is adjacent to a downtown shopping district, making it perfect for a morning out with family or friends. 

The inside of the café is lined with wall-sized windows, giving the place a lively illumination. There are tables scattered throughout the modern decoration, along with high-top islands lining the exterior. It is a kid-friendly environment, with access to both highchairs and eye-level displays of their countless pastries. 

We got to seat ourselves, both a struggle and a freedom, and then ordered at the main counter. Twist has dishes for breakfast, lunch, and even dessert. Some might think that dietary restrictions would limit meal selection, but the bakery clearly proves them wrong.

One of the biggest compliments I give to Twist is their service. My family was served only seven minutes after ordering. I was shocked, especially considering how busy the café was. Additionally, the staff maintained a kind-spirited energy, showing that their values lie in the mission of Twist.

After a year of experimentation, Ernst created her renowned bread recipe, which ended up helping to bring a fluffy stack of pancakes to my table. They were served with a container of their homemade syrup, which was my personal favorite. It wasn’t too thick or even sticky, but rather a sweet lathering that pairs perfectly with their handcrafted butter. As a side, I received bacon and scrambled eggs. The bacon was cooked well with the perfect mixture of crispiness and chewiness. The eggs were presented lightly, garnished with a wafting cloud of steam lingering above the plate. 

If you’re looking for breakfast on the go, the “Handheld” sandwich is for you. This dish turns a fast food norm into a delicacy. The mouth-watering ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the sandwich and the bread is flaky, yet simultaneously infused with a warm, buttery aftertaste.

Considering the quality, presentation, and sensibility of the food, I would say the prices are also reasonable. Main course dishes range from $6 for items like the Handheld, to $14 for larger items like the omelets. Pastries are between $3 for treats like cookies, to $4 for larger desserts such as the lemon squares and cupcakes.

If you’re craving a little bit of everything, I recommend the 3-egg omelet. It is a classic dish that tastes as delicious as it is healthy. Plus, Twist’s homemade toast with butter and jelly is a treasure in itself. Furthermore, I urge you not to stray away from the french toast. Fluffy, moist, and flavorful triangles are powdered with a sugar dusting and drizzled with their signature syrup. As someone who is a french toast die-hard, Twist did not disappoint.

The portions are filling to just the right extent, and pair perfectly with the Cottage Fries. This side dish was a mixed bowl of diced potatoes and a variety of other veggies, combining a dash of salt, spice, and sweetness. It is priced at $6, easy to share, and even easier to enjoy.

Finished with my brunch, I was overwhelmed between the pastry and dessert selections that followed. Twist Bakery offers a new, creatively designed treat each month and I was able to try the vanilla seasonal cupcake. The frosting was cool, melting in your mouth and serving a refreshing aftertaste. The “Birthday Cake Cookie” was crumbly, but the organic sprinkles and generous icing definitely compensated.

Lastly I tried out the lemon squares, the item Twist is known for. The bottom of the square is a pie-like consistency that slowly ombres to a lemon-gel filling. This is not my typical dessert, but I was pleasantly surprised after trying it. The citrusy flavor woke me up with each bite and I now understand its growing popularity.

My trip to Twist Bakery and Café was ultimately enjoyable, both in food and experience. They even offer pancakes, flour, and other mixes to make gluten-free meals at home. After dining at Twist, I didn’t leave with the sickly-full feeling many other restaurants bring. Whether you eat gluten or not, I think you should visit Twist for a pleasant weekend brunch.