Trend Watch and Chit Chat: Winter Holidays and Cheesecake Factory

I’ve been doing some traveling and am now in a hot weather area to visit family. That means I had to lug out the suitcase that stores my alternate season clothes to pack my bags. To see the fashions I’m wearing this week, check out my Instagram:

Back in the cold weather states, I’m a fan of outfits that (1) are holidayesque (that’s now a word) and (2) have matching shoes/scarf/bag and winter/holiday pins on my winter coat. Here are some ideas for you.

Sweater from The Limited, boots from Anne Klein, jingle earrings from Franscesca's

Sweater from The Limited, boots from Anne Klein, jingle earrings from Franscesca’s

I recently went to a holiday dinner with a bunch of gluten free friends at the Cheesecake Factory, which now marks gluten free items clearly on its menu. We had a pretty good experience – the food was good, but there was some definite cross-contamination and lack of knowledge in the staff. I had the salmon salad, which was very nice and VERY large! I personally had no issues and was happy with both the taste and the size of my dish. I also ordered fries because not only are they gluten free but they use a separate fryer! If you want to order fries in your local Cheesecake Factory, make sure you double check about the fryer; Red Robins have gluten free fries, but not all of them have a separate fryer, and that can make a difference in whether you react or not.

Puppy is into fashion too :)

Puppy is into fashion too 🙂

We all shared the sweet corn tamale cakes, which was wonderful. The cakes were indeed sweet, fell apart easily, and had all kinds of salsa on top. We opted to put the sour cream on the side. I liked that appetizer so much that I immediately craved it after we left the restaurant.

One of my friends got a kale and quinoa salad with grapes and sunflower seeds, which she loved, but she did discover a piece of food that didn’t belong in her dish and had migrated there somehow. It looked like a corn tortilla chip, hopefully not flour, but she decided not to complain. She also got the Godiva cheesecake, which is gluten free, and that was OUTSTANDING. We all had a taste and loved it!


White sweater by Loft, black Pixie Pant by J. Crew, houndstooth heels by Chinese Laundry, white drop earrings by Francesca’s

Another gluten free friend got an omelette, which she’s had before and loved. Even though she specified gluten free for her meal, her omelette came with English muffins on the side of her plate. She asked the server if they had wheat, and he said no. When she continued to question him about it, the English muffins were, of course, not gluten free, so the whole meal had to be remade because of definite cross-contamination. Other than that, her omelette was great. If you’re wondering why you would order a gluten free omelette, it’s because some restaurants like IHOP add pancake batter to their eggs to puff them up, so always ask if your eggs will be gluten free.

I love pairing my houndstooth shoes with a matching scarf and bag. They all came from different stores and go well together, so don't be afraid to mix and match!

I love pairing my houndstooth shoes with a matching scarf and bag. They all came from different stores and go well together, so don’t be afraid to mix and match!

My final dining companion had the lemon herb roasted chicken with mashed potatoes, carrots, and watercress. He really enjoyed it and had no issues with it. I have also had that dish and could go for that pretty much any time. It’s a classic!

A final note about the cross-contamination issue: I read online that someone else had asked for a gluten free burger, but it was served on a regular bun. I would be (and will be) very careful about checking my food and double checking with my server whenever I visit since there seems to be a 50/50 chance that there will be cross-contamination or a mistake in the order. But if you’re willing to take the chance, the food is really great and doesn’t taste like you’re missing anything at all. I myself am looking forward to going back again for some sweet corn tamales and crispy fries!

Keep on living the wheat free life!


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