Veg Out: Gluten-Free Tamales

Marilyn HawkesApril 26, 2020
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Photography by Mirelle Inglefield
Photography by Mirelle Inglefield

Throughout the 30-plus years U.S. Egg has been a Valley breakfast and lunch spot, customers have clamored for the restaurant’s secret protein pancake recipe. “We’ve attempted to do a batter and a dry mix, but it was never really right,” owner George Gebran says.

Then, about three years ago, Gebran had an aha moment: “Why don’t we do a pancake protein bar, as opposed to making a mix?” Along with his brother, chef Mario Gebran, he hit the kitchen to develop a take-home product with all the trademarks of their beloved protein pancakes. The bars ($2.50) sold like hotcakes. The only problem? They were a fresh product and had very limited shelf life. So the brothers sought out a manufacturer to make the bars en masse with a natural preservative.

The bars have 20 grams of protein and 5 grams of sugar, are GMO-free and have no artificial colors or flavors. These high-protein portables contain all the elements of U.S. Egg’s protein pancake that customers love, including blueberries and cinnamon, Gebran says. “They’re gluten-free, keto- and paleo-friendly, and people like the flavor.”

Undaunted by the flood of protein bars already on the market, Gebran sells upward of 6,000 bars a month through his restaurants. “The demand is there, but it’s a niche market,” he says. “I’m in the right niche.” Find U.S. Egg Protein Bars at any of the restaurant’s six Valley locations.

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