Before celiac, I loved Blue Heron. If you're only gluten sensitive, it's probably fine. I can eat the oatmeal without issue, and they do have tasty homemade gluten free bread. But. After a sandwich in August of 2019 and a baked dessert yesterday, I can say that their baked goods are NOT celiac safe. I had to cancel my classes because I was so ill last night after eating the peanut butter bar I had purchased that morning as a snack for later. It's sad, especially since there are so few places for anyone gluten free to eat in Winona, but I just can't recommend Blue Heron.
First, let me say that the coffee is amazing. Great atmosphere. Cheerful staff. I love to go to a small biz over a chain when I travel, and this place was highly recommended. They are NOT cross contamination/celiac friendly, however. They had GF cranberry bread openly displayed on a lower shelf of a pastry case with gluteny pastries above it. When I pointed out the danger of this, they shrugged. If they are careless about CC in front of you, what's going on in the kitchen? My celiac son had a GF cowboy cookie that was displayed separately and said it was delicious and had no issues, but they prepare all their food and could not even make a plate of scrambled eggs for him. The frittata that day had red peppers and onions, which my boy won't eat, so we didn't order. They offered GF toast, but to be honest, I was so creeped out by the pastry case situation, we declined. I would say it's a great place if you simply avoid gluten. But if you are celiac, come for the coffee and eat somewhere else. The only reason for the one-star rating is so folks see that they really are not celiac friendly. In all other areas, I'd give it 5-stars.
Great food. Homemade using local sources. Friendly helpful staff. Relaxing atmosphere.
Great sandwiches with gluten-free bread (the bread was very lightly toasted). Neat atmosphere, quick service, and they even had a few gluten-free dessert options.
We're had the sausage and cheese frittata for breakfast. It was excellent. The frittata was very tasty and it came with great, hearty gf bread, and some fruit garnishes - grapes, watermelon, and an orange slice. Two of these and Nantucket drinks for $19. From ordering to getting food took about 10 minutes. The service was friendly and timely.
Offer Gluten Free soups, salads and sandwiches. GF bread is not good, very tough and dry (maybe would be delicious warmed or toasted?), but no complaints as they take GF ordering seriously and I'm not as worried about cross contamination as I normally am.
Outstanding gluten-free bread. They make it in-house. The inside is moist, and the outside has a wonderful crust. It's like an artisan bread. Also excellent espresso. It's some of the best I've had in the world. Not the bitter stuff from those Seattle chain stores.