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." 
Sunday, November 12, 2017

Ardenne Farm Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin, Pumpkin Streusel Muffin, & Snickerdoodle Mixes Review

Ardenne Farm is one of my favorite gluten-free companies, because their fool-proof mixes always yield gloriously delicious and crowd-pleasing baked goods. Whenever I serve up sweets to my friends or family, usually the "secret recipe" is Ardenne Farm's mix. 

The company's three newest mixes are their lemon poppy seed muffins, pumpkin streusel muffins, and snickerdoodle cookies. All three are gluten-free and vegan, which makes accommodating multiple allergens less of a headache. As the temperature has been falling here in Maryland, I figured it was prime time to test out these mixes out.
Monday, October 30, 2017

The Happy Tart Brunch Review

I adore the Virginia-based bakery The Happy Tart. This 100% gluten-free patisserie is dream come true for celiacs or anyone who cannot have gluten, as each pastry is more tantalizing than the next. 

With my mom visiting for the weekend, we decided to plan on enjoying The Happy Tart's weekend brunch. Although I have popped in several times for cupcakes, cookies, and bread, I was excited to partake in their full service brunch, and have been waiting for an occasion to stop by and celebrate.

Brunch at the happy tart is a festive affair, with plenty of sweet and savory options to peak your interest. While dairy does limit some options nothing beats the peace of mind of knowing that everything is safely gluten-free.
Sunday, October 22, 2017

Frontera Frozen Taco Bowls Review

As a college student, I am ashamed to admit that I don't eat as healthily as I should. I know that I need lots of fruits, vegetables, and protein in my diet but between class, work, and other commitments, I find that I rarely have a spare hour in the kitchen to whip up a balanced meal. 

I turn more often than not to frozen, canned, or packaged meals to get me through my jam-packed schedule, so I try to find options that use real food and still taste good. On a recent grocery trip through my local Safeway, I spotted Frontera's new frozen taco bowls. The company is already one I trust from their line of delicious chips, salsas, and their gluten-free friendly restaurant in Disney Springs so I couldn't wait to see if these frozen creations could deliver the quality I have come to expect from this brand.