Monday, October 12, 2020

Soupergirl Review

The covid-19 pandemic has, and continues to, disrupt every aspect of daily life. Though I really miss seeing my colleagues and friends in person and the other perks of living in Washington, DC (museums, performing arts, public transport), I've sort of settled into a "new abnormal" routine. 

Despite the difficult reason it has to be this way, a small silver lining of social distancing is that with a slower pace of life, I have had a renewed focus on what I'm cooking and eating, and where I'm sourcing it from. The highlight of my week every week is the Saturday farmers market in my neighborhood, and I've found that small businesses and restaurants have responded to the crisis nimbly and have gone over and above to feed the gluten-free community.

Though I have had fun experimenting in the kitchen and trying out new recipes, I hit a wall a few weeks ago and simply lost any motivation to meal plan, cook, or wash dishes. Enter a literal super hero to save the day (well, at least mealtime anyway): Soupergirl. This woman-owned business serves up seasonally-inspired soups (and more) sourced from local farms and purveyors in a battle against the industrial food movement. Already a fan of their soups (which can be found locally across the DMV region), I realized it was more than overdue to dedicate a blogpost to this super awesome company. 

The Federalist Pig Review

In what seems like a never-ending stretch of social distancing, I have diligent about sticking close to home over the past six months, venturing out only on rare occasions. While I have enjoyed trading in my evening commute to be more creative in the kitchen, I've missed the simple luxury of going out to eat and the only potential danger was potential gluten and/or dairy cross contact. 

Luckily, a recent visit from my mom and aunt allowed a rare opportunity to explore beyond my neighborhood, and finally stop by a restaurant that has been on the top of my to-try list for ages now: The Federalist Pig. It's reputation totally preceded it, and it has earned high regard for serving up top-notch fare and relaxed, casual atmosphere. Not only that, but with a clear allergy guide and lots of gluten-free options, I was pretty excited to finally be able to pay The Federalist Pig a visit and see if it lived up to the hype.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Seoul Spice Review

In light of the ongoing devastation of the coronavirus epidemic, it's more important than ever to support restaurants and companies that cater to gluten-free diners. Covid-19 considerations or not, being a gluten-free diner can be challenging, so any eatery or product that makes life more navigable to those of us with dietary restrictions are the MVPs of every community. 

One stalwart in my community of Washington, DC is Seoul Spice, the 100% gluten-free fast casual restaurant serving up Korean comfort food with style. I realized it's been ages since my I first posted about them (back in 2016!) and they are more than overdue for an updated review. With one of their restaurants conveniently located near me in Northeast DC in the NoMa neighborhood, I made a day of stopping by for some takeout to take advantage of the nearby Metropolitan Branch trail. Good food, fresh air, and a day below 90 degrees on a summer day: the perfect trio for an enjoyable (and socially distanced) day. 

Saturday, June 13, 2020

MYBREAD Gluten-Free Breads & Pizza Crust Review

From the earliest days of my blog, literally in its first year, I have been a huge fan of MYBREAD and their line of gluten-free pitas. They've managed what I once thought was impossible when I first went gluten-free: a soft, yet sturdy, pita bread that doesn't compromise on form or flavor despite being flour-free.

Recently, MYBREAD expanded their product line beyond their pitas to branch out from their flagship pitas. When they reached out to share all about these new offerings and generously share samples, I jumped at the chance to give these breads and pizza crust a test drive.

What's great about MYBREAD is not only are their products gluten-free, they are free from dairy, eggs, nuts, and soy. Plus they're also vegan! 

This attention to allergies and ingredients means MYBREAD products can safely fill a bread basket or be the foundation of pizza night to bring people together despite managing multiple dietary restrictions. 

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Gluten-Free Friendly Black-Owned Businesses in the DC Area

At a national, regional, and local level, the last two weeks have unleashed a swirling storm of emotions: outrage, exhaustion, heartbreak, but also renewed hope the "more perfect union" generations of Americans have dreamed of can be realized.

That can't happen however, without the clear and unequivocal acknowledgement that Black Lives Matter. 

By typing, saying, or shouting those words in protest, millions across the country are uniting to reject the national paradigm that has for too long subjugated people of color through systemic economic, educational, and institutional inequity and racism. 

We have to do better. We must do better. Each and every one of us has a part to play in promoting equality in the communities we live in.

One such way is to support local Black-owned businesses, which not only have been impacted by inequality, but the negative impacts of covid19-related closures. Inspired by similar lists and articles, I've compiled a list of gluten-free friendly Black-owned restaurants and food businesses in the DC area. 

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Vegan My/Mo Mochi Review (Dairy-Free)

Though it still doesn't quite feel like it yet, Summer is definitely upon us, and with it comes my renewed search for the latest and greatest in gluten and dairy-free frozen dessert options.

The latest such products to catch my eye are the vegan mochi offerings from My/Mo. While I've seen My/Mo in most every grocery store I've been in, their dairy-full version of this bit-sized treat are usually what's stocked. After seeing others rave about these desserts, I was so excited to finally find the dairy-free version to try.

Now what exactly is mochi? It's a sweet rice cake from Japan that makes for a portable, yet substantial meal. My/Mo puts a decidedly sweet twist on the substance, by wrapping cashew-based ice cream with an outer coating of sweet rice dough.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Taza Chocolate Virtual Factory Tour and Tasting Review

With an all-but-cancelled spring behind us and a rather uncertain summer ahead, like many of you, I've been slowly coming to terms with the "new abnormal" we are now living in.

As such, I've tempered my disappointment about canceled travel and events with closer-to-home adventures that have allowed me to re-discover my DC neighborhood and connect virtually with friends and family. 

Given that I'm not going anywhere any time soon, when I saw that Taza Chocolate was offering virtual tours of their Somerville, Massachusetts factory, I jumped at the opportunity to take a virtual trip to learn more about one of my favorite chocolate companies. I am already a huge fan of their line of completely gluten-free and dairy-free products! 

This online adaptation of their factory tour (via Zoom) not only includes a behind-the-scenes look at  ingredients and processes, but also comes features a delicious and interactive component- a bean-to-bar tasting!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants in DC to Support During the Covid19 Crisis

Like all of you, it's been really disconcerting to have the daily fabric of my life ripped apart by the coronavirus epidemic. Gone are the simple pleasures of workplace banter and high fives and my favorite things about Washington DC, which are the vibrant arts scene and delicious restaurants. 

It's clear this is a crisis unlike anything the world has ever seen, and it's going to have ramifications for the foreseeable future. In cities like mine, businesses large and small are reeling and seeking any kind of stable footing they can get. 

I've always been impressed by the solidarity of the DMV area and generosity of the gluten-free community, which is why I wanted to put together a post with a round up of local businesses in the area you can support to not only ensure local businesses can weather the storm, but that your pantries and freezers can be stocked with safe gluten-free food. If ordering out at this time is something you are not comfortable with, you can also order gift cards to lend your support now, and enjoy the benefits later once we are through the worst of this (with every hope that time comes sooner rather than later).

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Dairy-Free Oui by Yoplait Review

In recent months, the yogurt aisle at my local grocery stores has gotten a lot more crowded in the best possible way with mainstream brands introducing new dairy-free lines and already dairy-free brands introducing new products. It's certainly a great time to be in search of dairy-free yogurt and a long way from the sad days of off-textured and off-flavored versions I tried when I first transitioned away from all things dairy. 

I'm not going to lie when I say that I've enviously eyed the yogurt offerings of Yoplait's sub-brand Oui for years. The cute glass jars and focus on thick French-style yogurt with fruity fillings made with real ingredients seemed like a winning combination from afar. That's why when they rolled out their new coconut-based dairy-free line, I kept a close eye on local stores to see and taste them for myself. With the bar for dairy-free yogurt getting higher and higher, could these earn a place as my go-to choice for yogurt cravings?

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Commissary Review

When it comes to dining out, I disproportionately go for lunches and dinners rather than breakfasts, especially in DC. 

It's not that I'm not an early riser (which I am), it's that too often gluten and dairy-free options on a breakfast menu are so limited I'm stuck with very few options that don't exactly translate to something I can't make at home (such as omelets). 

In looking for brunch options during a recent visit from my dad, Commissary in Logan Circle caught my eye with rave reviews on Find Me Gluten-Free and versatile menus with gluten-free and dairy-free options across breakfast, lunch, and dinner service. Excited by the prospect of adding another reliable brunch go-to restaurant to my rotation of DC favorites, I eagerly made a reservation to take advantage of my dad coming to town to visit.

Monday, February 17, 2020

North Market Pop Shop Review

Whether you are a city person or prefer wide, open spaces, living in or around DC offers the best of all worlds because there are so many places and geographies to explore within a reasonable distance of the Distract's boundaries. 

In light of the almost-spring-like temperatures we've had of late, my dad and I decided to take a short trek up to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to take in the historic battlefields (it's less than 2 hours by car). While I didn't see too many promising gluten and dairy-free options in the town itself, I was intrigued to see that our route would take us through Frederick, Maryland's second-largest city. 

In going down a gluten and dairy-free rabbit hole, I stumbled across what for me is a unicorn: a gluten and dairy-free ice cream shop. Always up for a short detour in the name of safe ice cream, we set our course for Frederick's North Market Pop Shop as the perfect stop for an afternoon pick-me-up in route back to Washington.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Sweet Crimes Popup at Ice Cream Jubilee

While I wait in eager anticipation for Sweet Crimes' 100% gluten-free bakery to open in the Capitol Hill neighborhood this year, the next best thing is their ongoing popup at Ice Cream Jubilee's storefront on bustling 14th Street in Washington, DC. 

I fell in love with their irresistible, fresh-fried donut holes at the Navy Yard foodie-emporium Smorgasburg last year (read my review). In this popup iteration, they've expanded the amount of items on offer to include a wider array of donuts, sweet treats, and savory sandwiches. 

What I love about Sweet Crimes is that they are committed to making gluten-free baked goods that aren't just "good for gluten-free" they actually hold their own and would pass any taste test, GF or not. 

The master baker behind the company, CK, is passionate about her baked goods, and that passion is born from a shared experience with many of her customers. After learning of her gluten intolerance, she founded Sweet Crimes in 2016, and has been perfecting her recipes at DC's own Mess Hall food incubator ever since. 

This popup at Ice Cream Jubilee is open daily from 8am-2pm and serves as a full service bakery during these hours and a pick-up distribution spot during off times.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Stone's Throw Hash Review

My absolute favorite place to eat in Baltimore is R House, the Remington food hall that has loads of gluten-free options and is a short walk away from my favorite museum in the city: the Baltimore Museum of Art.

While R House is home to several stands that have been there for years, what's cool is that every time you visit odds are there's something new to try at the dedicated pop up stand, which features homegrown fare from small businesses in the area. 

At reported by Andrea at the excellent Baltimore Gluten-Free blog, the most recent popup to take up residence at R House was Stone's Throw Hash, a dedicated gluten-free brunch lover's dream, as they menu consists of various iterations of organic and locally-sourced hashes. 

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Karma Modern Indian Review

Cementing January as a food-lover's wonderland in this area, Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week was conveniently timed right on the heels of the Bethesda's iteration. With so many great restaurants and tempting menus to choose from, I look forward to a perfect excuse to try restaurants that have been on my radar awhile but I just haven't stopped by yet.

Karma Modern Indian certainly falls into this category. Located in the Chinatown area downtown, conveniently located near Gallery Place, Karma caught my eye for their creative takes on Indian cuisine. As a huge fan of Indian fare, the prospect of a three course restaurant week feast cemented Karma as my choice for this year's winter Restaurant Week choice. 

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Little Beet Table Review

At last year's Washington DC Gluten-Free Expo, the most exciting piece of news to emerge from the event was that the DC area was getting its first dedicated gluten-free full service restaurant: Little Beet Table. 

A New York City export, Little Beet Table serves up seasonally inspired fare in the rare restaurant environment that is completely free from gluten. Not only can they cater to celiacs and other gluten-intolerant diners, they have plenty of dairy-free options too. 

Although they opened last November, I've been meaning to take the Metro red line journey to the restaurant's Friendship Heights location for some time. With Bethesda Magazine's annual winter Restaurant Week in full swing (January 10-19), I finally firmed up my plans, enticed by the promise of a prix fixe adventure through their menu offerings.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

True Food Kitchen Review

One of the best times of the year for DC-area foodies are local restaurant weeks, where DMV eateries roll out the red carpet and offer prix fixe menus that showcase seasonal flavors for a special price. I always keep a close eye to what's on offer for restaurant weeks in Bethesda and DC, and when I spotted True Food Kitchen's menus, I immediately made reservations. 

I've encountered True Food Kitchen once before, a few years ago in Atlanta and was impressed by the health-conscious and special diet-friendly menu. With this location so close to DC, I'm long overdue for paying it a visit and Bethesda Magazine Restaurant Week was the perfect excuse to finally stop by. 

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Nanee's Kitchen Review

As I mentioned in my last post, the dawning of a new year (and a new decade!) has prompted me to catch up with blog posts and reviews that have fallen to the wayside amidst the many December festivities I was juggling.

As such, I'm happy to have finished this review so I can share one of the gluten-free gems I discovered in Philly last November. Though I've mentioned it in an earlier post, Nanee's Kitchen gets the full top-line billing it deserves in this review as a fantastic find in the bustling Reading Terminal Market. 

As a huge fan of Indian cuisine (because it's so gluten-free friendly), paying a second visit to the food stand was a great opportunity to score some of my favorite food as well as see if it was as good as I remembered it to be on my first visit many years ago. 

Bangkok Joe's Review

I love the period of transition between one year to the next. There's nothing more exciting than looking ahead to all the possibilities that await in the next 365 days and I relish the opportunity to reflect on the year that was and set goals for the coming year. 

As the new year has turned, I can't quite begin with a clean slate yet because I have to wrap up a few reviews and updates from dining out in the past month or so. One such review I'm excited to finally post features Bangkok Joe's, a Georgetown restaurant I had heard incredible things about but only now got around to checking it out. 

While Asian cuisines tend to be friendlier than most to gluten-free diners, Bangkok Joe's menu offers a dazzling array of options including noodles, curries, rice-based dishes, and dumplings that show off the styles and flavors of Japanese, Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese cooking. Excellent word of mouth accolades on their gluten-free dumplings totally put the restaurant on my radar, but as you'll see, that's only where the gluten-free magic of this restaurant begins.