Sunday, March 26, 2017

Cafe Frida Review

On my second full day in New York City, my family decided to wander around Central Park and visit the American Museum of Natural History. As a light rain began to fall and we all started to hit a wall we decided that it was an ideal time to pick a lunch spot. 

After doing a quick Find Me Gluten Free search, I found Cafe Frida, which was located a block away from the museum- which was super convenient. Mexican food is reliably safe gluten-free-wise, so that knowledge combined with good reviews made me confident that Cafe Frida would be a great place to grab lunch.

What is awesome about Cafe Frida is that they place an emphasis on curating authentic Mexican flavors on their menu- this isn't a stereotypical Americanized Mexican eatery. Using real food made from scratch every day, it was clear to me that Cafe Frida was a great find on the fly.
Saturday, March 25, 2017

Senza Gluten Review

As a gluten-free eater, I am used to constant vigilance. I play 20 questions at every restaurant I visit and often feel more skeptical than comfortable with the answers kitchen staff provide. I am used to navigating around typical gluten-free problem zones: shared pasta water, utensils, and free-flying flour. 

Italian food is the arch-nemesis of any gluten-free eater because it's basics- pasta, bread, and pizza- are all traditionally flour-based. As a dairy-free diner, I find it doubly challenging to find safe eats, because cheese tends to be as abundant as wheat flour on Italian menus. 

That's why when it came to deciding on my birthday dinner location in New York City, I had no hesitation in selecting Senza Gluten, a 100% gluten-free Italian restaurant in the heart of Greenwich Village. Here, celiacs can sit down to a worry-free meal, and for a rare moment let down their guard and truly enjoy the experience of dining out. 

Gluten-free food gets a bad rap of being a lesser imitation of gluten-containing fare, but at Senza Gluten, the food is no second-place contender. Authentic and artfully crafted, Senza Gluten offers both peace-of-mind and a culinary adventure.
Friday, March 24, 2017

Bareburger Review

Planning any trip is hard- especially when making a return visit because it's tough to find a balance between returning to beloved finds or seeking out new eats. 

On my second day in New York City, my family decided to give BareBurger a try because it promised both gluten-free safe food and had a menu we all could agree on. Located just a few blocks from the heart of the financial district, this Bareburger location is convenient and just far enough away from the height of the hustle and bustle. 

Bareburger is not-your-average burger place- and definitely stands out in a city laden with burger joints ranging from cheap to high end. They believe in sourcing real, organic ingredients from local farms- something you don't often find at chain restaurants. 
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sonoma Flatbreads Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Pizza Review

The white whale of being gluten-free and dairy-free are safe versions of typical gluten and dairy-laden comfort foods. While a gluten-free option can be found, so often the product contains dairy (or vice-versa). 

As a college student, my freezer looks a bit different than others' in my dorm because mine is missing one of the staples of college life: frozen pizza. For three years now I have survived late night study sessions without frozen pizza to get me through, but at Expo East last year, I discovered a product that would change everything: Sonoma Flatbreads' gluten and dairy-free Fire-Roasted Vegetable pizza.

Yes, there are other companies that have attempted the gluten and dairy-free frozen pizza, but what I've determined are the hardest parts to master is the crust and cheese. No one wants to eat a gooey, oily mess atop a cardboard crust, which I thought was the epitome of gluten and dairy-free frozen pizza. However, with Sonoma Flatbread's innovative new product, you too will join me as a believer that gluten and dairy-free pizza has finally arrived.
Saturday, March 11, 2017

Enjoy Life Foods ProBurst Bites Review

In the gluten-free and allergy-free world, Enjoy Life Foods is a total rock star. Their products are all free from the top eight allergens, and make enjoying food non-scary. Although there are several gluten-free brands out there, few have as many options as Enjoy Life Foods with their chocolates, baking mixes, cookies, and other snacks.

Their latest product launch is their ProBurst Bites, which promise the power of protein with the pleasure of chocolate- a total win/win. In four delicious flavors, they promise to be a versatile solution to your snacking needs. Made with plant-based protein, these bites may taste like decadent truffles, but they are actually good for you (at least compared to other sweets). 

One of the cool things about being an Enjoy Life Foods official blogger is that I have the opportunity to sample and spread the word about their new products. These ProBurst Bites are definitely a product to take note of! 
Saturday, March 4, 2017

Food Allergy Bakery Review (Carolina Cupcakery)

While I love finding good places to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner on the road, I am always on the hunt for gluten-free bakeries- but often come up short. Finding safe baked goods (that I don't make myself) is the ultimate treat, and once I discovered that Food Allergy Bakery had allergen-free options, I knew I'd have to make a stop in Chesapeake, Virginia before heading back to the Norfolk airport. 

Food Allergy Bakery is an offshoot of Carolina Cupcakery, a Cupcake Wars veteran that was founded on the belief that cupcakes can both taste good and be made with real ingredients. 

Although housed in the same location, Food Allergy Bakery products are made in a dedicated kitchen, with rigorous protocol in place to ensure no cross contamination (including dedicated air systems). If you've been craving the experience of going to a bakery and having tons of options to choose from, read on, because Food Allergy Bakery might just be the bakery of your dreams.
Thursday, March 2, 2017

Baker's Crust Bread Market Review

In passing through Norfolk, Virginia last week, I sought out a restaurant that had lots of gluten and dairy-free options and high recommendations on Find Me Gluten Free. After searching through the results, Baker's Crust stood out with both rave reviews and many options.

Baker's Crust seems to be a counterintuitive name for a gluten-free friendly restaurant, but if you look beyond the name, their options for gluten-free dining are pretty expansive. Pizza, pasta, and bread are all on the menu, and the staff are trained to recognize the importance of allergy-friendly dining. 

Baker's Crust is a regional chain in Virginia with several locations in addition to the one I visited, located in the Ghent neighborhood. Surrounded by cute shops and cafes, it was a nice location that was easily accessible from downtown Norfolk where I was staying.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Nona Lim Soup Cups Review

Soup is always a good go-to for lunch or dinner, because it's endlessly versatile and satisfying. When I typically pack soup-to-go, it involves packing soup in one container and bringing along a glass container to warm it up in the microwave. While that's a solution that works- it's annoying to have to pack so many accessories just to heat a bowl of soup.

The culinary engineers over at Nona Lim have come up with an intuitive solution to this dilemma- soup cups that go from fridge to fully heated all while in the same container. Better yet- consuming them is a task that can be done without utensils. Picture this: the functionality of a coffee mug filled with the deliciousness of gourmet soup.


I first encountered these soup cups at Expo East 2016 (see that post here), but have only recently spotted them on store shelves near me. The full line of soups includes both both soups and broths, but I could only track down the soups. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Gluten-Free Options at Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI)

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I wholeheartedly and absolutely love my local airport: Baltimore Washington international Airport, BWI for short. It's conveniently located, easy to navigate, and has plenty of food options for a traveller with dietary restrictions. I've flown in and out of the airport several times, making mental notes about gluten-free options but finally decided to put (metaphorical) pen to paper so that you can use this resource next time you are traveling.

From fast food to fro-yo, smoothies to sit-down restaurants, BWI has options any time of day for travelers. In fact, it was ranked the healthiest airport in the country (read more)! Because this is a compilation instead of a review, note that gluten-free options can vary and change, and you should always ask to speak with staff about your dietary restrictions before dining out.
Saturday, February 18, 2017

Larabar Bites Review

Larabar is a company that has made its name in making energy bars that provide a nutritional boost while also featuring more indulgent flavors. Before their new energy bar bites caught my eye at Target, I assumed their products were not safe, but was floored when I found out that they are all gluten-free.

These new energy ball bites combine the functionality of the bars with the presentation of a truffle for a snack that is both sweet and satisfying. Made with real, pronounceable ingredients irresistible in their flavor profile, they promise to make treating yourself good for you as well.

The bites come in four flavors that have less than ten ingredients each: double chocolate, mint chocolate, cherry chocolate, and chocolate macaroon. Because I am not a huge cherry or coconut fan, I decided to focus my review on the mint chocolate and double chocolate bites.