Archive for the ‘Restaurant’ Category

Pizza Hut Offers Gluten Free Pizza

Pizza Hut will be introducing gluten free pizza to select stores starting January 26. Before you get too excited, they say they’ll only be putting it in select stores, so they’re probably going to try it out and see if it’s worth the effort before offering it everywhere. They have loads of useful FAQs on their site, so check out the details here: https://order.pizzahut.com/glutenfree.

The crust will be made by none other than Udi’s! Many of you have heard of thus completely gluten free brand, and when I used to eat processed gluten free bread, theirs was my favorite. They make mean muffins, too. If you’re wondering about what ingredients are in their pizza crust, here is a list: http://udisglutenfree.com/products/pizza-crusts-2-pack/.

Whether you decide to try Pizza Hut’s gluten free pizza or not, this is a pretty big step in the line of chain pizza restaurants. They haven’t been willing to bend to gluten free as much as regular Italian restaurants and pizzerias, so it’s about time!

If you try the pizza, comment down below and let us all know how it is!

Keep on living the wheat free life!

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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: http://instagram.com/livingwheatfree.

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!

houndstooth

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!

WildFlour Bakery/Cafe: A Gluten Free Treasure

Gluten free bakeries are few and far between – and small, cozy ones where you can see the owner baking behind the counter all day long are even more rare. WildFlour Bakery/Cafe is a gem in Lawrenceville, NJ that you absolutely must visit. With gluten free sweets that are appealing not only to the tastebuds but to the eyes, plus full, creative breakfast and lunch menus AND ready-to-go sweet and savory breads, it’s worth any drive for the luxury of eating completely safe and excellent food in a serenely artistic ambiance.

Let’s take a tour through some of the baked goods and the cafe itself, shall we?

apple danish and earl gray tea

Now this is how to start a fall morning. A hot cup of tea and an apple danish.

apple danish

The gluten free apple danish is sweet, has just the right amount of crispness, and the apples aren’t overcooked. The glaze you see on top is what lends most of the sweetness.

Brazilian cheese puff

This Brazilian cheese puff was something I’d never tried before, but it proved really impressive.

Brazilian cheese puff in half

The outside is crunchy while the inside is airy and the cheese taste isn’t overwhelming, quietly balancing out the pastry and the filling.

napkin holder

The owner of WildFlour Bakery/Cafe, Marilyn Besner, is also an artist. One of the types of art she creates is pottery, and you’ll find her work around the dining room and in the windows. These lovely rustic napkin holders were made by her in her own studio. Isn’t it wonderful how an artistic person can use her talents in so many ways? Jennifer Cohan, Marilyn’s PR agent, was so right when she mentioned the incredible tactile connection between Marilyn’s baking and her pottery: both kinds of art require love, attention to detail, and serious dedication.

apricot mini pie

Isn’t this apricot mini pie adorable?

apple crumble mini  pie

This apple crumble mini pie is a perfect addition to any holiday, gluten free or not – or just because you deserve it!

pecan pie

And who can resist pecan pie? It’s one of my favorites.

tray of gluten free desserts

Look what had just come out from behind the counter while I was there. It was extremely hard to resist picking up just one of each!

madeleines

I tried one of these madeleine cookies and they were bliss. Buttery, soft with crispy edges, and sweet.

pumpkin muffin

What a creative way to make a muffin! This pumpkin muffin has pumpkin seeds on top as well as lightly sweetened ginger. The whole muffin is so moist and light, you can’t tell it’s gluten free at all.

rugalach

RUGALACH! How often do you get to eat gluten free specialty baked goods?!

rugalach inside

The rugalach I had was raspberry, perfectly balanced, and the pastry was wonderful.

glazed chocolate oat muffin

Did someone say glazed chocolate oat muffin? Yes please!

homemade granola

WildFlour even sells their own homemade granola for you to take home. Since you already know it’s made in a gluten free facility, it’s much safer than many granolas you find on the shelf.

main dining room

Look at that lovely view in the main dining room. The pottery on the window sill is Marilyn’s own work.

sitting room

Upstairs, there are two more rooms: one with a long table for larger parties, and this one with a comfortable lounge couch. Perfect for the creative mind to run free.

sitting room 2

Beautiful space in the same room. I could sit here and write all day!

chickpea burger

Back to the food. Chickpea burger anyone? Maybe this will be one of the many things you’ll learn to cook in WildFlour’s gluten free cooking classes! Keep your eyes out for them this winter.

bread pudding

This was one of the best culinary moments of my life, which you may have seen on my Instagram. Gluten free bread pudding with homemade caramel sauce and fresh strawberries. I melted into a pile of joy when I tasted this. One of my friends recently got bread pudding at a restaurant and I drooled as I watched him savor each bite. Now I could finally do the same!

chocolate chip cookie

The classic chocolate chip cookie done right. This slightly chewy chocolate chip cookie had just the right amount of vanilla, and the chocolate was quality. I haven’t had a cookie like this since I went gluten free 10 years ago!

macaroon

This is a mix between a coconut macaroon and a meringue. It’s light and fluffy with the sweet, sugary taste of meringue on the outside and the shredded coconut on the inside. Fantastic!

ginger nut cookie

I didn’t get the name of this cookie, but it’s the quintessential fall cookie. It tastes like maple and spice and nuts. This one is sure to impress at your dessert table with its slight chewiness and just the right amount of sweetness.

cream puff

And finally, a cream puff! It’s just like a regular one – I couldn’t tell the difference. The pastry tastes and feels exactly the same, the chocolate adds just a hint of sweet cocoa, and the cream inside is rich and dense but not heavy. This is another thing I haven’t had since I went gluten free, and WildFlour nailed it.

takeout box

After seeing all these goodies, I’m sure your mouth is watering! So stop in and have a cuppa with some outstanding gluten free pastries or order some in advance for your upcoming party or get-together. Wow all your gluten free friends with this well-kept secret – and wow your non-gluten free friends too! They’ll never know it was gluten free!

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Connect with WildFlour on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! You’ll want to see their upcoming cooking classes and events.

Pizza Fusion Restaurant Review

Gluten free in New Jersey? Dairy free, even? No problem. Gluten Free/Dairy Free NJ has you covered. Check out his amazing list of gluten free and dairy free restaurants throughout New Jersey (and some elsewhere too!).

The author of the blog and I recently took a trip to Pizza Fusion in Red Bank, NJ for some great food, the most exciting of which were gluten free hoagies! I’ve never been to a restaurant that could make a gluten free hoagie, and it was really excellent. They also had a few gluten free appetizers, brownies, and all their pizzas are now gluten free.  Check out the full review here.

Which Asian Noodles Are Gluten Free – And Which Are Not?

I’m sure you have the same problem I have at Asian restaurants: which noodles can I eat and which have wheat? I hate looking at all those lovely noodle dishes on the menu and deciding not to have any, just to be on the safe side. So I’ve compiled a checklist of the most common types of noodles found in Asian restaurants.

Yes = rice noodles, meaning wheat allergy sufferers can eat them!
No = wheat noodles, meaning wheat allergy sufferers cannot eat them.

Chow Fun: Sometimes – see comments section below. If you can’t be sure, don’t take a chance on these.
Chow Mein: No
Egg Noodles/Dan Mien: No
Ho Fun/Lai Fen: Yes
Hokkein Noodles: No
Hong Kong Noodles: No
Lo Mein: No
Lo Shee Fun: Yes
Mei Fei: Yes
Ramen: No
Sha He Fan: Yes
Shanghai Noodles: No
Soba Noodles: No
Udon: No
Vermicelli Sheets: Yes
Wonton: No

You can use these resources to check out the full list, complete with Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and other names for each noodle type. The list also includes how to make these noodles, where they are most popular, and what you can substitute for them:

Rice Noodles: http://www.foodsubs.com/NoodlesRice.html
Wheat Noodles: http://www.foodsubs.com/NoodlesWheat.html

And when you’re eating all these lovely noodles, make sure to watch In The Mood For Love, a movie where many noodles are bought and eaten 🙂 Great movie review and brief summary here: http://foreignfilmsfrenzy.wordpress.com/2010/09/22/in-the-mood-for-love/

Or read Family by Pa Chin, which has no noodles, but is the epitome of excellent Asian literature.