Thursday, March 21, 2019

Krumville Bake Shop Review

If there's one thing I know for sure, its that the real MVP of the gluten-free world are gluten-free bakeries. These dedicated bake shops not only serve up sweet and savory baked goods, but provide an all-too-rare experience of normalcy for those who have to live free from the number one ingredient in cakes, breads, and so many other sweets. 

When Antonella from the Brooklyn-based Krumville Bake Shop recently reached out offering a sample of her dairy-free products to review on the blog, I enthusiastically agreed. 

What sets Krumville Bake Shop apart from other gluten-free bakeries is that their artisanal products are made in small batches with carefully selected ingredients, including their own proprietary flour blend. Their ultimate goal is to make products that not only compete with their gluten-free competitors, but can stand up to (and apart from) gluten-containing baked goods. As I reviewed their website in eager anticipation of my order, I got the sense even before my samples arrived that Krumville Bake Shop was going to impress me.
Sunday, March 17, 2019

Beyond Bread Review

Wherever my travels take me, I try to seek out and support 100% gluten-free establishments. Few and far between, these dedicated cafes, bakeries, and restaurants are truly an oasis in a gluten-full world and provide the rare experience of dining out without fear. 

That's why as soon as I landed in London, I started my first morning in the city with breakfast at Beyond Bread, a lovely little gluten-free bakery whose stellar reputation put it on my radar long before my plans were set to visit the UK. I've seen countless other gluten-free bloggers and foodies share mouth-watering photos of their gluten-free baked goods and couldn't wait to have my turn to enjoy their delicious offerings.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Oliver's Fish & Chips Review

Of course I couldn't travel thousands of miles to the UK without seeking out one of Britain's most iconic food pairings: fish and chips. 

After crowdsourcing recommendations for the best gluten-free fish and chips eateries via social media, Oliver's Fish & Chips in Belsize Park quickly made my short list of restaurants to visit. Not only do they have an abundance of gluten-free options, but they dedicate each and every Wednesday to going completely gluten-free.

Dedicating an afternoon to the enjoyment of fish and chips and exploring nearby Camden Market area, I eagerly anticipated enjoying one of my favorite pre-gluten-free meals on UK soil. 
Sunday, March 10, 2019

Leggero Review

For gluten-free diners, dedicated gluten-free Italian restaurants are the closest thing we have to the iconic "candy room" scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. You mean everything on the menu is safe? Even the pasta and bread? Absolutely. Therefore, any opportunity to visit such a restaurant makes me want to burst out in spontaneous song. 

In doing my pre-trip homework on eateries I wanted to dine at in London, Leggero topped the list not only because they were a 100% gluten-free establishment, but the pasta, bread, and other dishes on the menu are all crafted with care in-house. Promising attention to detail and an innovative take on Italian cuisine, I made sure to arrive at Leggero with a hearty appetite and culinary curiosity. 
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Leon Review (UK)

Leon's Oxford location.
I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the United States because I live and work in the only US city (to date) that has Leon. This British fast food chain wowed me last year with their American debut and impressively delivered gluten-free friendly fare that was not only healthy, but absolutely delicious. 

As I was planning my recent UK trip, I knew for certain that stopping by one of Leon's many locations in London was a must, both as a comparison to their stateside shop as well as to try their highly-regarded gluten-free chicken nuggets, a menu item that has not made it across the pond (yet). As it happened, I was able to stop by Leon twice while overseas: I had lunch at their Oxford location and breakfast at Heathrow Airport before jet setting back to the States. 
Saturday, March 2, 2019

Gluten-Free Options on United Airlines International Flight (2019)

Up until now, my frame of reference with airplane food is the pint-sized and often gluten-laden snacks handed out at cruising altitude. Now that I've been gluten-free for several years, I've learned to approach any air travel like a chipmunk, stashing snacks in my carry-on to ensure I'm never without safe sustenance when traveling. 

However, when booking tickets for my first international flight to London, I was excited to see a gluten-free option listed as the meal selection option. While I would still plan to have plenty of snacks (because I guessed there'd be a high likelihood of dairy showing up in the meal), I was excited to see what would be served, and how edible it was (or looked). 
Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Jaleo Review (Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week Menu)

Here in DC, Jose Andres is one of the district's most beloved residents. Not only are his restaurants excellent and very allergy-friendly (I've reviewed Oyamel, Jaleo, and China Chilcano), but Andres is the founder of World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization to empower and strengthen communities around the world with education, training, and social enterprise. 

Of his many restaurants, Jaleo is definitely a crown jewel, and features an exciting menu of Spanish tapas, paella, and sangria in a colorful and energetic space. With a recent visit from my mom coinciding with the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington's winter restaurant week, I knew we had to make plans for lunch at Jaleo to seize this unmissable opportunity to sample several courses off the menu. Although I have dined a Jaleo once before (several years ago), this visit would be my first time dining at their flagship location in Penn Quarter so I eagerly anticipated this opportunity for the full experience.
Monday, February 11, 2019

Shouk Review

If there's been a theme emerging in my recent blog posts, it's that I've been delightfully surprised by new-to-me fast casual restaurants that have elevated the build-a-bowl model to exciting new levels. As such, I was excited to give DC-based Shouk a try, as their website promised a fresh take on bowls inspired by Israeli cuisine.

What's notable about Shouk is that the restaurant's menu is completely plant-based. They use no animal byproducts, and rely on fresh vegetables, grains, legumes, and nuts and seeds as the building blocks for bowls. That means everything is dairy-free, and much of the menu is gluten-free friendly too (but be sure to skip the pita). 
Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Little Sesame Review

If you are a hummus-lover, this review is especially for you, because DC's Little Sesame elevates the middle eastern spread from a grocery-aisle staple to the star of the show. 

Located in the bustling Golden Triangle neighborhood (in the former home of Veloce, may it rest in peace), Little Sesame brings a decidedly different take on the current fast-casual bowl craze. With a fun and inviting space and focus on real, artfully prepared ingredients, the restaurant is a refreshing break from the mold of my usual go-to bowl places around the city.

Enticed by rave reviews and an intriguing menu, I was excited to see how Little Sesame would measure up compared to some particularly impressive experiences I've had lately.
Saturday, January 26, 2019

Momo Yakitori Review

After doing quite a bit of travel to New York City recently, I have definitely been looking forward to pay renewed attention to gluten-free eats in my home city of Washington DC this month. 

As it happened, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington's (RAMW) winter restaurant week, occurring right in the middle of January, was the perfect excuse to seek out new eats in the new year. The beauty of RAMW restaurant week is that the menus are structured so that you get the rare opportunity to have a multi-course meal for an unbeatable price at some of the region's top restaurants.

RAMW's website makes searching by neighborhood and cuisine a breeze, which is how I discovered Momo Yakitori, a Japanese restaurant in the quiet Brookland neighborhood. Serving up creative takes on the traditional yakitori style of street cuisine, Momo Yakitori's menu also happens to be completely gluten-free, which sold me on dining there in an instant. Excited to discover another dedicated gluten-free restaurant in DC and have a rare opportunity to enjoy Japanese fare, I eagerly anticipated my dinner each day leading up to it.