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?! 
Saturday, March 31, 2018

Inday Go Go Review

The second I booked my weekend trip to New York City, I immediately began craving Inday. The 100% gluten-free Indian restaurant impressed me on previous visits, and was a reliable place to grab healthy, real food (check out my review). 

I was all set on going back to Inday's Nomad location for another visit when I saw on Instagram they had recently opened up a pop up at Urbanspace 570 Lex, a vibrant food hall near the Midtown East neighborhood. Promising gluten-free roti and a lineup of fun and flavorful eats, I knew I had to check them out. 

As a fan of food halls, Indian food, and Inday, my experience was almost custom-designed to make me happy. Without giving too much away, I can totally confirm Inday Go Go not only delivered but proved to be one of the best dining experiences I have had in awhile. 
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Merzi Fresh Indian Kitchen Review

Ever walk by a restaurant that looks interesting but dismiss it out of hand because you assume they don't have gluten-free options? I did. Working in the Penn Quarter neighborhood, the brightly colored storefront of Merzi Fresh Indian Kitchen caught my eye every time I came and went from work. 

With no menu markings, I assumed (incorrectly as I discovered) that nothing was safe. However, when looking for a place to grab dinner with my mom in town, I decided to reach out to Merzi over Twitter to see for sure whether there was anything there for me. Sure enough, a friendly staff member assured me that they had a wide selection of gluten and dairy-free menu items. I needed no further convincing to check them out that night.
Friday, March 2, 2018

Chef Soraya Eat-a-Bowl Review

Since graduating college last December, I have moved into a new apartment, started a new job, and adjusted to a new pace in my life. The greatest thing about my post-grad life? I finally have a kitchen I can call my own, and time to play around in the kitchen with new recipes. Good-bye forever dorm kitchen!! 

As much as I have enjoyed cooking up curries, soups, and other meals, it is taxing to try to keep up the creativity and clean up the mess involved with preparing several meals a day- especially during the work week. That's why when I spotted the Chef Soraya Eat-a-Bowl quick-cook soups at Fairfield, Ohio's Jungle Jim's International Market, I knew I wanted to see if they could deliver on their promise: healthy, delicious food that cooks in mere minutes. 

While the convenience factor certainly caught my eye, it was the real ingredients and tantalizing flavors that convinced me to give this new-to-me brand a try.
Sunday, February 25, 2018

Cooper's Hawk Restaurant and Winery Review

Cooper's Hawk Restaurant is a chain that I have heard quite a buzz about in the gluten-free world. I've read other bloggers' glowing reviews and have seen positive reports on Find Me Gluten Free, a website and app I use religiously. That being said, I approached this dining experience at Cooper's Hawk with dread, because I have eaten there once before (years ago) and it was one of the worst dining experiences I have ever had since going gluten-free. 

However, when visiting my grandparents in Cincinnati last weekend, the restaurant came up as a viable option for dining out because they had a menu that would appeal to everyone in the family and they had a reputation for great gluten-free accommodations. Although I was skeptical, I decided to give them a second chance, to see if my first experience was a outlier.