Sunday, February 11, 2018

&Pizza Review

When it comes to pizza options in Washington D.C., it's hard not to miss &Pizza, the District's homegrown and hip fast-casual pizza chain. Self-described as the "anti-establishment establishment," &Pizza is built around a core value of creativity, and caters each store to reflect the ethos and individuality of their surrounding neighborhood. 

In the same way, &Pizza's creations are as unique as the customer ordering them, because one can choose the sauce, toppings, cheeses, and finishes that speak to them. Flair is the name of the game, and &Pizzas upend the status quo. 

I visited my local &Pizza shop is located in Brookland, located near the Catholic University of America and the Basilica of the National Shrine. It's been a while since I last enjoyed a good gluten-free pizza, so my hopes were high for this visit. 
Saturday, February 10, 2018

Bibibop Asian Grill Review

Although I am by no means a big fan of sports, there's something about the Olympic Games that gets me really excited every two years. This year, the Winter Games are taking place in the South Korean city of PyeongChang. After waking up before the crack of dawn to watch the Opening Ceremony live this past Friday, I decided to forego my usual morning excessive of deciding what to pack and instead opted to find something to eat in the Penn Quarter neighborhood where I work. 

Inspired by the Olympic Games, I decided to try out Bibibop, a Korean restaurant chain with lots of gluten-free options and multiple locations around the District (and in several states). Always intrigued when I can get safe Asian food, I was excited to see what my experience would hold.
Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Red Bandana Bakery Review

If there's one thing the world needs, it's more dedicated gluten-free bakeries. These magical cafes are places where sweet and savory treats are in abundance and fear can be left at the doorstep. 

The latest gluten-free bakery to pop up in the DC region is The Red Bandana Bakery in Bethesda, MD. While not a newcomer by any means (they have been a Bethesda farmer's market staple for years), their brick and mortar location is a newcomer to the city's bustling Wisconsin Ave corridor. 

Although The Red Bandana Bakery opened in November of last year, my college graduation, moving, and starting a new job in D.C. have consumed all of my spare time recently. This past weekend however, I made sure to carve out time to stop by and see what they were all about. I have previously tried and enjoyed their treats at the 2016 D.C. Gluten-Free Education Day and Expo, and was eager to get the full experience of this bakery-cafe in its full glory.
Sunday, January 21, 2018

Jersey Mike's Subs Review

Subs. Hoagies. Heros. Submarine sandwich. 

Whatever you call them, they're really hard to find gluten-free options at sub shops, much less find one that knows how to prepare them safely (shared knives and counters are a cross contamination danger zone!). 

In my six years of going gluten-free, I have never found a place where I could walk in and order a sub and reclaim the normal experience I so enjoyed in my pre-gluten-free days. Of course I have made subs at home on a few occasions, but I have longed for this every time I pass by a sub shop or the deli counter at my local grocery store. 

That's why I was floored when Jersey Mike's Subs, a nationwide chain, announced that they were going gluten-free. I met the news with skepticism, after all, I can point to plenty of examples of chains rolling out gluten-free options that are dangerously cross-contaminated or are considered "gluten-light" for those who follow the diet due to preference rather than medical necessity. Could Jersey Mike's boldly go where no sub chain had gone before? Even more, could they pull off the taste and texture of these iconic sandwiches minus gluten?
Sunday, December 31, 2017

Citizen Burger Bar Review

After spending Christmas with my family in North Carolina, it was time to head back north where I have officially moved to DC. Road trips are always trying- especially when dealing with holiday traffic, but I looked forward to stopping for lunch in Richmond, Virginia because it would be an opportunity to explore a new restaurant there.

After combing for a good place to stop for lunch, Citizen Burger Bar kept coming up as a great place to find gluten-free eats. When I saw they had gluten-free buns and a dedicated fryer, I knew this would be a hit.

Citizen Burger Bar not only has options for those on special diets, they also have a constructed a menu off of a core belief that good burgers need good ingredients. CBB sources local ingredients and uses hormone and antibiotic free meats to craft burgers that don't just taste good, but are good for you too.

Viva Chicken Review and Allergen Menu

As a gluten and dairy-free diner, I meticulously research restaurant options whenever I know I will be dining out. Most of the restaurants I visit are selected from this process, but in the case of Viva Chicken in Charlotte, NC, my decision to dine there was based purely on a whim.

I was visiting North Carolina for the holidays, and my mom and I were out running errands after Christmas. We had already planned on stopping by Sabor Latin Street Grill (a place I had reviewed before), when we spotted Viva Chicken. The location was convenient and was closer to the stores we wanted to go to, so we pulled in to see what (if any) gluten-free options were available. Once confirming they were allergen-aware I couldn't wait to to put their food to a taste test. Without spoiling the review at the get-go, I can definitely say that this surprise find of a restaurant delivered one of my favorite dining experiences all year. 
Saturday, December 30, 2017

Grabbagreen Review

In the past few weeks I've let pending reviews pile up, because I have been in the midst of graduating college and moving to DC in addition to the usual stressors of the holiday season. Now that the pace of life has slowed a bit, I am excited to share a new foodie find I discovered in my last week as a Maryland resident: Grabbagreen.

While Grabbagreen can be categorized as a fast food restaurant for their quick-serve model of service, don't mistake this restaurant with others in the category who cut corners and value speed over quality ingredients. 

Grabbagreen builds their menu using fresh, farm-to-table, locally sourced ingredients to craft juices, salads, and meals that nourish and satisfy. This is a place you don't have to feel guilty stopping at if you need to eat on the fly! 
Sunday, December 3, 2017

Fresh Kitchen Review

Although my return to Central Florida for Thanksgiving was brief, I did manage to get some foodie tourism in. After touching down at Orlando's airport, my mom suggested checking out Fresh Kitchen for lunch. With a 100% gluten-free menu and allergy-awareness for other allergens, I was easily sold.

Fresh Kitchen is a Florida-based chain with locations dotted around the state. The location I visited (Waterford Lakes) opened just a few months ago, and Central Florida will be getting a second location soon (in SoDo). 

Promising "chef-inspired" bowls, Fresh Kitchen uses premium ingredients but prepares them in an accessible way that is approachable for anyone regardless of dietary preference. 
Thursday, November 23, 2017

Fruitive Review (Food)

Image credit: Fruitive
Of all the smoothie/acai bowl places I have found in Washington DC, Fruitive holds a special place in my heart because they have a 100% plant-based menu and their smoothie bowls (my review) are always swoon-worthy. 

Staying overnight in Washington DC one weekend, I woke up wanting to find some place to find "breakfast" food. Usually I opt for a piece of fruit and a protein bar as my preferred breakfast when traveling, but on that occasion I just wanted something more substantial. I decided to head out to Fruitive for an acai bowl, but realized when reading their menu that they have new gluten-free offerings- waffles, soups, and collard tacos. 
Monday, November 20, 2017

PekoPeko Ramen Review

In Baltimore's Charles Village/Homewood neighborhood near Johns Hopkins University, there have been many welcome additions on the foodie scene in the recent year: Honeygrow, Bird in Hand (coffeeshop), and now PekoPeko Ramen. As a college student who's also a foodie, I totally appreciate that these eateries serve great food, have a welcoming vibe, and are affordable for dining out when I want something that's 

On a recent blustery, chilly Sunday, I decided it was the perfect time to try PekoPeko Ramen. Lured in by the promise of noodles and rice bowls, I was eagerly anticipating my meal, which was fitting, as PekoPeko loosely translates to "let's eat."