Saturday, June 9, 2018

Taqueria Local Review

While I started this blog as a quest to find and report the best gluten-free eats wherever I live or travel, it's really a documentation of my endless love affair with tacos. It's hard for me to ever turn a taco down, and I love that they are naturally gluten-free. Over the years I have found some pretty showstopping tacos, but that never deters me from the quest to keep seeking out new (and new-to-me) options near and far.

While walking through DC's Farragut Square recently, the bright facade of Taqueria Local caught my eye, and after some quick research, I decided to give them a try. A relative newcomer to the neighborhood, Taqueria Local promises to deliver authentic and fun tacos in a casual setting that promotes food and the community. That promise is more than just words too: by sourcing local food, paying the staff above minimum wage, and giving back through donations of food and a portion of their profit, they are the real deal- which definitely impressed me long before I had a bite of food.
Monday, June 4, 2018

Häagen-Dazs Non-Dairy Desserts Review

Summer is in full swing here in DC, and I am more than ready to trade in heavy coats and hot tea for sunglasses and dairy-free ice "cream" since winter weather lingered longer than usual this year. With the changing of the seasons, it's always exciting to see new arrivals in the freezer aisle of my favorite stores. 

When buying dairy-free ice "cream," I tend to stick to companies who cater exclusively to dairy-free consumers, but recently, I've notice more and more "mainstream" companies are venturing into the vegan and non-dairy game. One such company is Häagen-Dazs, an iconic ice cream maker who has introduced a new line of dairy-free delights. Of course I couldn't pass up an opportunity to try them when I spotted them stocked at my local Giant, and was excited to see how they measure up against an increasingly competitive field of gluten-free and dairy-free options.
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Tamale Co. 2-Go Mexican Street Food Review

Anyone who has followed this blog from its earliest days knows that I am a super fan of the Orlando-based food truck Tamale Co. This 100% gluten-free food truck introduced me to the magic of tamales, and is a staple of any trip back to Orlando now that I live in Washington DC. Since my last visit, they have announced an expansion to not only one, but two brick and mortar locations: a grab-and-go shop in Altamonte Springs and a soon-to-open location in Orlando's Hourglass District. 

With the former now open, I requested that it was my family's first stop after picking me up from the airport. While I enter most reviews questioning what my experience might be like, I entered this experience with the opposite problem- I wondered if my expectations were too high. Could Tamale Co. 2-Go live up to my sky-high expectations? 
Monday, May 28, 2018

Brio Tuscan Grille Review

Flying back to Orlando briefly for my sister's graduation, I was looking forward to celebrating after the ceremony at Brio Tuscan Grill. Although I have reviewed many gluten-free friendly Italian restaurants in my years as a food blogger, I have not yet had a chance to dine at this chain. 

In taking a preliminary glance of Brio's gluten-free menu, I was excited to see several entree options (including gluten-free pasta). As much as I enjoy making pasta at home, I also enjoy the simple luxury of ordering at a restaurant, so I was eager to see how Brio's ranked.
Saturday, May 12, 2018

Butterfly Review (ThinkFoodLab)

When people ask me for recommendations for gluten-free friendly eateries in Washington, DC my advice is simple: you can't go wrong with a José Andrés restaurant! As a city, we are lucky to be home to several of his inspired culinary concepts, including China Chilcano, Jaleo, Beefsteak, and Oyamel (can you tell I'm a fan?!), which present globally-inspired flavors in a fun and whimsical way. 

His latest concept- Butterfly- is taking a test drive at the Navy Memorial-adjacent Think Food Lab. Part popup, part test kitchen, Think Food Lab allows the chef to experiment with flavors and foods while serving up fast-casual fare. Serving up tacos, tortas (sandwiches), and salads, I'd say that Butterfly definitely has a bit of Oyamel in it's DNA. I couldn't wait to check out this welcome addition to the José Andrés restaurant family on my lunch break.
Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sweet Loren's Gluten-Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies Review

When it comes to gluten-free baking, I rely on boxed mixes to do the heavy lifting for me. Playing the game of having to mix seven different types of flours that many from-scratch recipes call for just isn't my cup of tea. With box mixes all I have to worry about is milk, eggs, oil, and maybe one or two other mix-ins. 

However there are times when even box mixes seem too involved when I want a quick fresh-from-the-oven cookie fix. Luckily, Sweet Loren's place and bake cookie dough can be ready and waiting in your fridge whenever a craving strikes. Magically able to transform from a refrigerated dough to delightfully fresh-baked cookies in under 30 minutes, Sweet Loren's wins points not only for eliminating complicated cookie prep, but also virtually eliminating most most the mess involved with baking.

Formulated to be gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free and vegan, I wondered if Sweet Loren's gluten-free chocolate chunk cookie dough was too good to be true when I first spotted it at my local Giant. The dough only lasted a few hours in my fridge before I couldn't resist putting it to the test.
Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Little Beet Review (Breakfast)

Whenever I travel I usually have luck finding gluten-free options for lunch and dinner but breakfast is more hit-and-miss. Hotel breakfast bars can be limited on options and many gluten-free friendly restaurants are simply not open for the first meal of the day. In these instances, I typically I turn to fruit and a protein bar for substance while on the go. 

However, while on a work trip to New York City last week I made a point of rising and shining earlier than I needed to so I could walk over to The Little Beet for a proper breakfast. I am already familiar with The Little Beet from their DC location, but their breakfast service was new to me, as my previous reviews covered lunch or dinner. Getting a full breakfast is a luxurious experience while traveling, and I had hopes this meal would set the tone for a full day of meetings ahead.
Monday, April 9, 2018

Schnipper's Review

When booking a matinee and evening Broadway show on the same day, I knew I needed to find someplace close to grab gluten-free fare in between shows. After considering all the nearby options using Find Me Gluten-Free's location feature, I decided to go to Schnipper's at 41st Street and 8th Avenue- just a few blocks from the heart of Times Square. 

I chose Schnipper's not only because they received glowing reviews on the app, but at first glance were the most affordable option available within a radius of several blocks. Not only that, but their gluten-free offerings feature rarities that are off limits for gluten-free diners: fish and chips, chicken fingers, and burgers. 
Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Counter Review

Knowing that my weekend trip to New York was going to be short and sweet, I made sure to squeeze as much sightseeing as I could into my visit- food-centered and otherwise. Knowing that I had tickets for a matinee and evening Broadway show on Saturday, I decided to spend my morning near Times Square exploring the magnificent New York Public Library in Bryant Park. 

For my lunch destination between the library and the theater, I chose The Counter, a gourmet burger bar that promises custom-built burgers that let you pick and choose toppings, sauces, and proteins to your heart's content. In choosing The Counter, I knew I was getting fast food- but fast food that wouldn't cut corners when it came to quality. 
Thursday, April 5, 2018

Hu Kitchen Review

When it comes to travel, I am not a huge sightseer. I don't pack my days with tours and places to be but instead focus on a few places of interest and see where the journey takes me. After arriving by train to New York City in the early afternoon, I decidedly made a bee line towards Hu Kitchen, which on this trip was definitely a destination that was topping my list of places to go. 

Hu Kitchen has the set up and feel of a grade school cafeteria, but one that is transformed fairy godmother style into the cafeteria of your dreams. Everything served is gluten-free, and most everything is dairy-free and grain-free, with a few rare exceptions. While this is a fantastic concept for anyone who's gluten-free or who is in a group who can't decide where to eat, it's also a huge conundrum. After all, how do you possibly choose what to eat when each item looks better than the next?!