Sunday, January 13, 2019

Dig Inn Review

Over the past few months, I've been lucky enough to find myself in NYC for both work and for fun. On one such trip, I received a tip from an Instagram follower (thank you @shrinkmuch!) to check out Dig Inn, which serves up seasonally-inspired bowls that are made with farm-fresh ingredients that are naturally gluten-free.

With this description I'm sure Dig Inn sounds like every other fast-casual, healthy fare, build-a-bowl concept that is popping up in these days. I must admit that I too was skeptical initially because this mold of restaurant has reached a saturation point. However, always on the lookout for quick, affordable, and (most importantly) safe food in New York, I decided to check my preconceived notions at the door and see if Dig Inn could break the fast-casual mold or stand apart from the pack.
Sunday, January 6, 2019

Mänchi Review

If there's one edge New York City's culinary scene has over Washington DC's, it's the abundance of 100% dedicated gluten-free restaurants. While I greatly appreciate non-dedicated restaurants that go over and above to accommodate gluten-free guests, there's just nothing like the peace of mind that comes from walking into an eatery and being to eat anything on the menu (or almost anything, as I am also dairy-free).

On my latest weekend jaunt up to city, I wanted to make a point to seek out new restaurants, as during my most recent trips I have revisited old favorites I have reviewed before. To aid my planning, I pulled up this list of gluten-free restaurants in New York City from Erin Smith (from the Gluten-Free Globetrotter blog). 

After reviewing her list, the fast casual Indian food eatery Mänchi jumped out to me. Located just steps from my arrival point, New York Penn Station, I knew this would be the perfect first stop in the city after my three hour train journey from Washington DC.
Monday, December 31, 2018

Top 5 Restaurants of 2018 (Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free)

And just like that, 2018 is in the books. I seem to say this every year, but I can't believe just how fast (and at times how slow) this year has gone. 

As years go, this one was marked by change, as I started a new job and completed a full year as a resident of Washington, DC. I didn't think it was possible to fall deeper in love with this town, but nevertheless I end the year far more enamored with it than I began. 

Between the restaurants I've discovered and the new recipes I have put to test in my (new) kitchen, 2018 has been a year of experimentation and widening my horizons. Speaking of horizons, opportunities to travel have brought me to the Midwest, South, and NYC, which have allowed me to explore beyond my beloved neck of the woods.

As I look back on the year that was, I wanted to share my top five restaurant discoveries from 2018 to celebrate great food and great teams that care about serving gluten and dairy-free diners safely. Year after year it is precisely experiences like the ones I share in this post that making blogging a true joy, and keep me engaged and excited to share them with you.
Friday, December 14, 2018

Ambar Review

Although I am celebrating my one year anniversary of becoming an official Washingtonian, I'm ashamed to admit I haven't been as adventurous lately with exploring my city's food scene. Wanting to break out of my usual routine and comfort zone, I was excited when my mom came to visit recently, because it provided an opportunity to get out and explore.

For a year now, I've heard absolutely glowing reviews for Ambar, a Balkan restaurant in the cozy Capitol Hill neighborhood. Because exploring the nearby Eastern Market flea market on the weekends is one of my favorite DC pastimes, I knew Ambar would be a perfect choice so that my mom and I could visit both without moving our car (a critical consideration in that area as parking is at a premium). 

As my first time visiting Ambar and my first time enjoying Balkan food, I was excited to see what this experience would have in store.
Monday, November 12, 2018

Indikitch Review

During my visit to New York City last month, I was excited that I had a several evenings to search for new food options after the workday was over. 

One such discovery was Indikitch, a New York City-based chain that spices up the fast casual assembly line model with Indian flavors and flair. 

I am a huge fan of Indian food and have been adding more and more Indian flavors and styles of food to my home cooking, but it's still such a treat to be able to enjoy Indian food when eating out. The cuisine is naturally inclined to be gluten-free friendly, and Indikitch's menu has a lot for gluten-free foodies to love.
Sunday, November 11, 2018

Gluten-Free Options at Grom (New York City)

In reading (and bookmarking!) my friend Alexis's recap of her recent gluten-free odyssey through Rome (on her blog Alexis's Gluten Free Adventures), one eatery she mentioned popped out to me: a gelateria called Grom. I knew that name rung a bell for me, and I quickly put two and two together that I had walked right by one of Grom's New York City shops this past summer. I had no idea that the gelateria was 100% gluten-free, and knew that I had to pay them a proper visit when I was next in the area of one of their stores.

That's why when I found myself with 20 minutes of down time before catching an off-Broadway performance in the West Village, I knew I wanted to head over to Grom to investigate further. Lured by the promise of my first visit to a 100% gluten-free ice cream shop, I was thrilled that I would have an opportunity to have the "normal" experience of visiting an gelateria without fear. 
Sunday, November 4, 2018

brgr Review

As a work trip brought me to New York City for a week, I had a chance to settle in and explore around the Chelsea neighborhood that was my temporary home. With the first feeling of fall in the air, the chilly weather sparked a craving for fast food, and luckily enough, brgr was a couple blocks from where I was staying. 

While brgr might seem like a dime-a-dozen fast food restaurant from the outside, looks can be deceiving, because they hold themselves to a higher standard, crafting each burger, shake, and fry with quality ingredients to ensure they both taste great and are better for you. Of course any place with a dedicated gluten-free fryer is worth stopping my book, so I was eager to see what kind of experience brgr would serve up. 
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

TAP NYC Review

Although I love Washington DC's food scene, it cannot rival New York City's abundance of 100% gluten-free restaurants and cafes. After spending an especially blustery fall morning exploring around Central Park, I walked a few blocks over to TAP NYC, one of such magical eatery where everything is gluten-free. The restaurant serves up crepes, salads, acai bowls, and coffee drinks in cute cafe setting so it was a perfect pick for a late breakfast stop. Crepes are one of those foods that are so hard to find both gluten and dairy-free, so I was excited to have an opportunity to choose from sweet and savory options.

TAP NYC's menu is built on the endlessly versatile tapioca starch (from cassava), which is native to Brazil. Of course I am familiar with tapioca in as far as seeing it in the ingredient lists for food I have purchased, but I was interested to see it placed center stage, as it is on TAP NYC's menu. 
Monday, October 29, 2018

Friedmans Dinner Review

Knowing that a work trip would bring me to New York City for several days, I decided to make the most of the opportunity and built in time for exploring the city a day before my official duties started. 

Of course if I can make it happen, seeing a Broadway or off-Broadway show is a must do for any New York City visit, and this trip was no different. With tickets to see the limited run play American Son in hand, I went to work researching potential restaurant options in the Times Square and Theater District area. I quickly zeroed in on Friedmans at the historic Hotel Edison. Having stopped by their Chelsea Market location for lunch awhile back, I knew their gluten-free options are unsurpassed, so I needed no further persuasion to make my decision. 
Saturday, September 29, 2018

Leon Review (USA)

Eating gluten-free has definitely gotten easier over the years, especially as I live in Washington DC with lots of fast casual and full service restaurant options for gluten-free dining. If there's one category of restaurant I miss though, it's fast food. 

Yeah, it has a bad rap for not being healthy in the least (and very gluten-heavy), but sometimes you just want a quick fix and to get in and out with your food in a dash- especially when your lunch break is short!  

When I heard that the UK-based chain Leon was crossing the pond to make their American debut in DC, I was excited to welcome them to the Farragut North neighborhood. Known for serving up fast and healthy fare in over 50 locations in London, Leon promises to fill a much-needed gap in the DC food scene and serve up "gut-friendly" fare at an affordable cost.