Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tommy's Brick Oven Pizza Review

In my nine short months as a gluten/dairy free blogger, I have enjoyed the adventure of showcasing my favorite restaurants and discovering new ones in my own backyard in both Maryland and Florida. 

Tommy's Brick Oven Pizza in Jacksonville is one such restaurant I have been wanting to showcase for awhile now. I came across this unsuspecting gem of a restaurant while in the Jacksonville area for medical treatment this past January. Before checking in as an inpatient to a local hospital, I wanted one last taste of non-institutionalized food and quickly sought out a pizza place to try. I knew I had found a good place to try in Tommy's when I discovered that they have a dairy-less pizza on their regular pizza! 

I was sold after my first bite and have been wanting to go back ever since. Upon discovering that most of the flights back to Maryland from Orlando's airport were either priced at a premium or sold out altogether, I hatched a plan to fly back from Jacksonville's airport- naturally providing an opportunity to pay Tommy's a second visit.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sea Thai Restaurant Review

After three months away from the sunshine state, I have long awaited my Thanksgiving return for a chance to enjoy home cooked meals and taste a new restaurant or two. It's amazing how refreshing a break from dining hall fare can be for this foodie freshman. 

Although I've been able to sneak of campus here and there, a recent string of papers, essays, and exams- in addition to cold weather- have limited my ability to get out and find gluten-free friendly restaurants in Baltimore. Taking advantage of a cross town trip to visit friends and run some errands with my mom while back in Orlando, I requested a stop at Sea Thai Restaurant, which has been on my "to-do" list for a while. 

Sea Thai annually earns top marks from area newspapers and magazines as one of the city's top Thai restaurants. I could not wait to see if their fare held up to the hype.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

MyBread Gluten Free Pita Review

Although I am gluten-free and cannot eat the majority of breads out there, people would be shocked to see that bread remains a staple of my diet. Ever on the search for breads beyond the simple sandwich variety seen so often on store shelves, I couldn't wait to try MyBread, a gluten-free flatbread pita, when I spotted it on a recent Whole Foods run.

Made by a 100% dedicated gluten-free bakery in Chicago, IL, I had the highest of hopes that the pita would be able to fill a much needed vacancy in my gluten-free repertoire. After all, gluten-free and pita rarely appear on the same package. 

From the moment I spotted MyBread, my mind raced with all the possibilities of this simple bread. As a pocket-less pita, it could easily become a pizza crust, gyro wrap, hummus holder, or sandwich flat. Since one pack of pita contains six flatbreads, I couldn't wait to let my culinary imagination run wild.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Foster Farms Gluten-Free Corn Dogs Review and Giveaway

When it comes to collegiate dining, the name of the game is quick and easy eats. One only has to look at my main dining hall to see that one of the most popular stations are the ones with comforting classics such as pizza, grilled cheese, chicken tenders, hamburgers and hot dogs. Not normally a fan of these greasy, gluten-laden offerings, there are some days when I wish I could eat these "normal" college foods alongside my peers. 

That's why when offered the chance to review Foster Farm's newest gluten-free offering- corn dogs- I jumped at the chance to get to reunite with the long-lost taste from my childhood. These cornbread-covered franks immediately appealed to me because the franks inside are not red meat based but instead are made with 100% chicken. Also catching my eye was that fact that these gluten-free snacks on a stick are certified gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group. From the moment I agreed to sample them, I eagerly watched my email inbox for the magical notification that my corn dogs had arrived.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Noodle Charm Review

Having gone many months since my last encounter with Thai cuisine, I made a goal of seeking out my favorite dialect of Asian food this weekend as cooler temperatures called for comfort food. After considering the many Thai restaurants in and around the Baltimore area, I selected Noodle Charm as my intended destination as it is a sister restaurant to one I've already visited (Spice and Dice Thai) and nearby a bustling shopping center with a few stores I wanted to check out.

Like it's sister restaurant, which is located literally next door, Noodle Charm's menu is centered around authentic dishes crafted with care. As I soon found out, their name is pretty fitting as I found both noodles and charm in this cute little restaurant.

Zia's Cafe and Juice Bar Review

When I made the decision to be a reverse snowbird of sorts- going north for the winter- I was warned by my fellow Floridians of the evils of snow and cold temperatures. Though I may be a Florida girl at heart, I'm no means a stranger to hard, cold winter as I spend four precious years of my childhood in the Buckeye state.

The cold temperatures I was warned about are starting to creep into the picture as fall foliage is starting to dim and a chill is creeping into the air. On a particularly blustery day today with high of  52 degrees, the combination inspired me to venture up to Towson to a cafe that has been patiently waiting on my to-do list: Zia's Cafe and Juice Bar. Located in the heart of the bustling city center and steps away from Towson Hot Bagels (as reviewed earlier), Zia's strives to serve everyone a healthy, hearty meal whether they are meat-lovers or vegans. Specializing in raw, gluten-free, and sustainable foods, I couldn't wait to taste and see what Zia's was all about.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Favorite Products: October

Happy Belated Halloween! Fall is in its full glory, and Maryland does it in a spectacular way. With the chill in the air and the dizzying array of colors on the last leaves on the trees, I have fallen head over heels for a season we don't get in the Sunshine State.

So far, college life is everything I had hoped it would be and more. I am loving the freedom of being entirely independent and the exciting feeling of discovery that comes with exploring a whole new culinary landscape of grocery stores, restaurants, and gluten-free expos and events. My college's dining services keep me well fed and happy with an array of gluten-free offerings including omelets, asian stir-fried noodles, imitation burrito bowls, and weekly specials such as Indian and green smoothies.

As I have adjusted to life as a college student, I find that I often have far fewer hours in a day than I have things to complete on my to-do list. Naturally, my academic work comes first, then my extracurriculars such as clubs, cleaning, errands, and blogging. Given my jam-packed weeks, I have not been able to write as much as I would like, but have been discovering new products I want to share but for lack of time, I cannot devote an entire post to. 

In an effort to share the spotlight and recognize what I'm loving every month, I've decided to start a monthly round-up of new products called my "Monthly Mentionables" that will be posted on the last day of the month. Although it's a day later than I had hoped to post this, I'm starting strong with a review of October's finds.