Marathon Grill. I ordered a light breakfast because I knew the big stop of the day was up next. My brother was dying to take me to Sweet Freedom. He's never been to Babycakes with me so he didn't have a yardstick with which to compare gluten free baked goods, but the fact that he would willingly go to the bakery and eat the products knowing they were gluten free spoke to the quality of the treats.
We were some of the first customers and asked a lot of questions to the girl working behind the counter. What did she recommend? What else does the bakery make? What is business like? Do you have a lot of foot traffic visiting? She graciously answered all of our questions and helped guide us through some of the options. Morgan and Jeff were the veterans there to help me in my decision-making (and to have snacks for themselves, of course).
On that first trip we shared a slice of banana chocolate chip loaf, a cookiewich, and some other assorted items. Probably more important than what I ordered is how the items were. They were astonishingly delectable -- awesomely moist as I remember gluten-filled baked goods while still being good for those of us with sensitive stomachs. The entire bakery is free of corn, gluten, eggs, dairy, soy, peanuts and refined sugars. Days later, as I sit here and write this, I'm still reeling from how delicious Sweet Freedom's baked goods are without having any of that nasty stuff listed above. I also appreciate that the bakery lists the ingredients of each of its products.
Of course, my visit to Philadelphia wouldn't be complete with just one stop at Sweet Freedom. No, I had to go back for more with my sister Alyssa when she arrived. When I visited with Alyssa it was a Friday afternoon and the shop had mint chocolate chip cookie sandwiches. Mouthwatering, insanely succulent cooke sandwiches, that is.
This may be pushing... but I visited the bakery for a third time. I just couldn't get enough! My family and I had an early breakfast on Sunday morning before they went out to the 'burbs and I was left to fend for myself in the city. My flight was at 4pm, so I didn't need to be at the airport until about 2pm -- plenty of time to walk over to Sweet Freedom's location. They had a delicious chocolate crumble cake being served up -- how could I say no? The photo to the left is the half-eaten slice of chocolate crumble cake that I indulged in. Every single item I tried from this shop was amazing, there wasn't one stinker. Oh, well... I didn't love the magic bars, but that was more my personal preference instead of the bakery's skills with the ovens.
As I talked to the co-owner, I tried to convince her to open up a shop in Los Angeles. She said she was more prone to open in La Jolla down by San Diego. I'd accept that, if only so I could have Sweet Freedom Bakery's awesome treats a little closer to home. They do ship nationwide, but shipping charges to Los Angeles looked a bit steep: $60-something dollars for overnight shipping. Eek!
Next time you're in D.C. or New York City and are thinking of a day trip, why not make your way to Philly and indulge in some awesome treats? It's relatively close and I really enjoyed my time in the city. There's so much history there and it's small enough to be totally walkable.
Do you love it or do you love it?
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1424 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19146 (Map)
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