Archive for August, 2011

Gluten Freedom’s Travel Tips

Posted in travel, Uncategorized on August 30th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

I do quite a bit of traveling.  I love travel, whether vacations, outdoor excursions, visiting family or even a last minute trip.  But traveling can be stressful for me and involves quite a bit of planning.  After our recent vacation, I’ve been thinking about some basic tips for traveling.  Leaving your home, and your kitchen, can be overwhelming for those of us with special food needs.  Here are a few pointers to make your trip as stress free as possible.

-       Think about rentals: If you’re in the planning stages of your vacation, think about renting a condo as opposed to staying at a hotel.  This way you can actually have your own kitchen so you don’t have to eat all of your meals out.  And, quite often, a rental is a much more economical option.  Cheaper housing and you’re not forced to dine out every meal.

One of my favorite rentals ever...in Mendocino, CA

The backyard of our Mendocino rental!

-       Call the hotel in advance: If you’re going to be staying in one place for an extended period of time, you want to make sure they can accommodate you.  Particularly if you’re going to a nice place, they will absolutely bend over backward to meet your needs…and they should!  It’s good to give them a heads up so they can be prepared and take whatever extra steps to make special treats for you!

-       Do your research: Take advantage of technology and look online or use your iPhone to find restaurants, grocery stores, etc. that will be near where you are.  See if there’s a local celiac support group near your vacation destination as they might have a great list of dining options for you to use.

I Heart my iPhone

 

-       Ask for an empty fridge or check out your space in the mini-bar: When we arrived at the St. Regis, the fridge was stocked full with pricey beverages.  David and I rearranged so that we could fit in yogurts, fruit, and hummus.  Of course if you can get an empty fridge, that’s great too.

-      Plan non-food related activities: When traveling, think about things that don’t involve food, such as hiking, horse back riding, rafting, etc.  Then everyone in your party can enjoy them without worrying about their diet.  Often, these are great outings on which to bring picnics!

A walk on the beach in Oregon

Horse back riding

-       Bring snacks: Lara Bars, Glutino pretzels, and cereal are some of my go-to snacks that I include in carry on or suitcase.  Sabra hummus now makes a great travel size packet that is perfect for taking on a plane.  JIF makes travel size PB too.  Your flying companions will be jealous while they pay too much for mediocre airplane food!

Travel size hummus...perfect with Glutino pretzels

-       Locate the nearest grocery store: David and I walked to Gelson’s on our first full day at lunch time to stock up on GF food.  This way we could do a little shopping, plus get a lunch off of the hotel property for a much better price than pool-side Cobb salad.

What are some of your travel tips?  Anything that you’ve found works well for you?

Dining Highlights in Laguna Beach

Posted in Restaurants, travel, Uncategorized on August 26th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

We wined and dined on vacation and I’ve got to admit, I loved taking advantage of the opportunity to splurge. Our trip to Laguna was such a fun celebration of our marriage (we had our 7th wedding anniversary this summer!!!!), and a rare opportunity to spend time together, free from work, computers, house projects, and distractions.  Aah…so nice.

As I mentioned earlier, we hopped in a cab to Laguna Beach to access a few more dining options with a lower price…

Nirvana Grille: Located in downtown Laguna, Nirvana has both indoor and upstairs patio seating.  David and I both loved our meals here and more importantly, they have a very clearly marked gluten-free menu, which states what gluten-free diners can enjoy, and specifically lists what modifications need to be made.

David and I shared the artichoke, spinach and parmesan stuffed poblano (with bread on the side, for David).  It was so delicious we devoured it before I could even think to take a photo.  I’ve given you the pitiful remnants below.

The remnants of our stuffed pepper

For my entrée, I chose the Coconut Curry Tofu and loved it.  After a lot of heavy eating, the curry tofu was a different and lighter option and yummy!  Nirvana also has plenty of vegan and vegetarian options as well and the entire menu has lots of variety so all diners have plenty of choice.  Also, a great wine selection!  Definitely a must visit if you’re in Laguna.

Nirvana Grille's Tofu Curry

 

Another dinner spot that we checked out was Coyote Grill, located between the St. Regis and downtown Laguna (only about a $10 cab ride from the hotel).  There’s nothing fancy about Coyote but it’s ocean front location is not to be missed.  While they don’t have a gluten-free menu, I had read online before our trip that Coyote had lots of GF options and is familiar with the gluten-free diet.  I ordered the chicken fajitas with corn tortillas which came with tons of veggies, black beans, guac, and all of the delicious additions I love.  The meal was huge and David and I definitely could have split it, but he went with the ribs at the suggestion of the waiter.  Coyote is also known for their brunch but we didn’t make it back to check it out for ourselves.

BJ’s Restaurant: This casual, family-friendly restaurant on the Pacific Coast Highway in downtown Laguna, makes gluten-free pizzas!  I’m always eager to sample a new variety of GF pizza and there’s was delicious.  Their thin crust pizza has a hint of sweetness to it, with rosemary baked into the crust.  All of their toppings, except their meatballs are GF.  I ordered a pizza with sausage and artichokes and loved it.  Half was plenty for me so I took the leftovers back to the hotel for lunch the next day.

BJ’s also has a gluten-free/allergen menu so all dietary needs can be taken into consideration when dining here.  If you’re not in the mood for pizza, try one of their salads or giant stuffed potatoes.  BJ’s also sells GF ciders and Redbridge beer, a perfect addition to a pizza dinner!

BJ’s doesn’t take reservations so be prepared to wait a little while for a table as it has a pretty small dining area.  You can call 30 minutes ahead, to get your name on the list.  BJ’s is a great choice if you’re looking for a more casual, laid back dinner in Laguna.  While I was sad not to be able to enjoy the glutenous deep dish pizza, my GF pizza was pretty darn good.

Ok, I’m finally done boring you with the details of our California trip.  Maybe I’ve inspired you to take a trip vacation of your own.

Hotel Dining in Laguna

Posted in meals, Restaurants, travel, Uncategorized on August 24th, 2011 by Betsy – 2 Comments

While we relaxed at the pool and lazed the day away in Laguna, the biggest decision of our day was where to eat.  Ah, that’s the life!

Before I get started on where we ate, I thought I’d share some  food related discoveries from the week of luxury:

  • Mojitoes: So refreshing, why not have a tasty adult beverage in the afternoon?
  • Champagne: I think I had one too many bad glasses of champagne in college and early adulthood…I’ve discovered it can actually be pretty good and a lovely way to start the evening.
  • Seafood: It’s more than just shrimp and crab cakes!  I continue to fall in love with fish.  I avoided fish most of my life (besides salmon) but now I can’t get enough of it.  So many varieties to try and almost always a good GF option at restaurants.
  • Hotel food is expensive, especially when ordered by the pool…a $5 Coke!!!!!  You’ve got to be kidding me.
  • As much as I love cooking, I really enjoyed a week without turning on the oven or washing a dish.  It was awesome.

Now to the dining…

Happy Anniversary, Friend!

David enjoying our Motif dinner (and champagne)

During our stay we dined at the St. Regis’ two restaurants, Stone Hill Tavern and Motif. While Stone Hill is the more well known of the two restaurants, we liked our experiences at both.  In comparing our gluten-free experience at the two venues, though,  we got the best attention at Motif.  They brought gluten-free bread to the table to enjoy with their homemade hummus and butter, which is always a huge plus.  Our server was one of the best waiters I’ve ever had, bringing us tastes of wine, and giving his honest opinion on what to order.  Everything was delicious and the servings were plentiful.

A fun (GF) anniversary dessert at Motif

While Motif felt a bit more laid back, Stone Hill Tavern was definitely a trendy, happening, spot.  There was quite a bustle and I felt like we paid the price a little bit since there was so much going on.  Our waiter was nice and willing to communicate with the chef but it felt like the chef didn’t really care much about my needs.  Fortunately, our waiter guided us to make the right decisions.  I understand that restaurants get busy and don’t have time to bend over backwards, but I just didn’t feel as comfortable with my meal here.  That being said, I devoured my delicious tomato salad and the short rib was out of this world.  So, I still had a very nice dining experience at Stone Hill, but don’t know if I would pay that price for that restaurant a second time.

Stonehill Restaurant at the St. Regis, Dana Point

Neither of these restaurants felt like “hotel food.” David and I did notice, however, that when staying at high end hotels and resorts (this was really my first experience at one), it’s difficult to find a simple dinner.  When evening rolls around, the only burger to be found involves Kobe beef and blue cheese crumbles.  So we ventured to downtown Laguna to enjoy a lighter meal, with a lighter price tag.  Stay tuned for those recommendations!

Our favorite view!

Also, Only a short walk from the St. Regis, we loved the bar at the Ritz, 180blu. It had our favorite view and the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever eaten.  Yes, I’m serious.  Perfectly crispy and a great GF bar food.  This was also our best venue for sunsets and people watching…

Enjoying 180blu at the Ritz

Ritz sweet potato fries...definitely got these twice!

Sunset over the Pacific

Summer Reading List Part II

Posted in reading, Uncategorized on August 22nd, 2011 by Betsy – 4 Comments

Yup, there are more books from my summer.  Maybe I should get another hobby?  David keeps trying to convince me that golf’s a good option…

The 19th Wife: David Ebershoff; Going with the Mormon theme of the summer, this unique book tells the story of Brigham Young’s 19th wife, as well as a modern day murder in a fundamentalist Mormon community.  The book flows well, even with the changes in time, place, and characters.  Polygamy, murder, history, and Utah: what more could one want in a book?  And it was on the “Buy 2, Get the 3rd Free” shelf at Barnes & Noble…I just can’t resist that deal!

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, Sherman Alexie: I wouldn’t have picked this book up except for the fact that it was on the 9th grade summer reading list at the school where I work.  This young adult fiction novel tells the story of “Junior,” a Native American adolescant straddling two lives: one on his reservation and the other at an almost all white school “off the res.” Junior’s “diary” is part journal, part doodles & drawings, as he processes tragedy, life, racism and being a teen.  While this one wouldn’t have jumped off the shelves at me, I thoroughly enjoyed this read and my students did too.  (I can’t say they felt the same about the next book.)

Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck: This literary classic was also part of the 9th grade summer reading.  “Don’t judge a book by its length,” I always warn my students when they first pick up this book.  Even though Of Mice and Men looks short, it’s deceptively complex and a tough read.  The story of Lennie and George is at the same time tragic and endearing, but if you’re going to read a Steinbeck novel, I’d always recommend East of Eden, over Mice. (Yes, it’s worth reading all those extra pages!)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot: If you haven’t gotten your hands on this book yet, this should be your next read.  Henrietta Lacks was my favorite book of the summer.  This incredible story beautifully blends history, science, and a human story.  Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman from rural Virginia, arrived at Johns Hopkins in 1950 with cervical cancer.  While receiving treatment, her cells were taken for research, and doctors quickly learned that Henrietta’s cells were immortal, as they reproduced more rapidly than any others.  For years, her cells have been used for research that has advanced science and medicine in many ways, from cancer research to the polio vaccine to in vetro.  Author, Rebecca Skloot, weaves the story of Henrietta’s life, the fate of her cells, and her extended family.  Seriously, this is a must read!

The Paris Wife, Paula McLain: This novel tells the story of Hadley Richardson, Ernest Heminway’s first wife.  Their story is full of passion, distraction and disappointment.  I enjoyed reading this book but I wasn’t completely convinced by the characters.  Some parts felt a little forced.  Maybe I felt this way because this is the type of book I envision writing myself: a true story about real people, but told with dialogue and artistic license.  I would love your thoughts on The Paris Wife if you’ve read this one.

So what are my my “Top 3, Couldn’t Put them Down, Reads” of the summer?

Here they are, in no particular order:

What are yours?

Oh, and I just started this one (and can’t put it down): David Nicholls’ One Day

Farm Burger Opening Soon in Buckhead

Posted in GF product, local food, Restaurants, Uncategorized on August 19th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

I love Decatur, but it’s hard for me to get down to that neck of the woods.  I wish it didn’t take 30 minutes to get there, but it does.  When I do venture to Decatur, I tend to gravitate toward Iberian Pig.  Because of these two things, I haven’t yet tried Farm Burger, which offers gluten-free customers Pure Knead buns, some of my favorite GF buns/rolls I’ve ever tried.  And they’re local!  Yeah Burger used to have Pure Knead buns but sadly, they’ve switched to another, not nearly as good, bun.

Good news for those of us that live north of Decatur!  Farm Burger is now opening a location in Buckhead.  I’m still not sure when the opening date will be but it’s looking like it should be soon.

According to the Jennifer Harris, of the Gluten-Free Examiner, all of their toppings are GF, except the crispy onions, fried eggplant, and barbecue sauce (which contains soy sauce).  Last time I checked, Farm Burger’s fries were not yet made in a dedicated fryer but hopefully this will change eventually.

Farm Burger takes pride in being dedicated to its mission, its farms, its team and its community.  It’s sustainable, local, and looking to “re-route our food system to look more like an ecosystem than a corporation.”  This phrase is a mouthful, but I’m liking it.

For those of you familiar with Farm Burger, what are your favorite toppings?  Anyone tried the pimento cheese?

I’ll keep you posted on the actual opening dates in Buckhead!

Farm Burger Buckhead – 3365 Piedmont Ave – Atlanta, GA 30305

Popcorn Indiana Giveaway!

Posted in GF product, Uncategorized on August 17th, 2011 by Betsy – 11 Comments

Looking for a trendy, GF snack?  Well, look no further!  Popcorn Indiana, one of my favorite sweet-salty snacks is being found in the hands of celebs.  Why do celebs gravitate toward this yummy treat?  Well, it’s delicious, satisfies cravings, is low in calories and doesn’t contain a lot of processed junk.  Compare the ingredients to a bag of Doritos and it looks very different…no dextrose, monosodium glutamate or malic acid in these popped kernels of goodness.  And it’s naturally gluten free!

Guiliana Ranic loves Popcorn Indiana

I’ve been eating Indiana’s Popcorn Kettlecorn for a couple of years so maybe I’m just a trend setter…

If you haven’t tried this popcorn yet, it’s a must!  I pack it in my lunch, grab a handful for a snack, and even take it with me on airplanes.  I almost always have it with me.  In fact, I’m chomping away as I write.

Whether you’ve not yet sampled this treat or you’re a long time fan, you should enter my Popcorn Indiana Giveaway.  If you leave a comment on this post, you’ll be entered in a random drawing.  There will be TWO winners, each of whom will receive THREE bags of Indiana’s Popcorn delivered to their door.

Seriously, if AC Slater loves this stuff, it’s gotta be good…

Leave a comment before noon on Monday, August  22nd and you could be a winner!

Re-Entry

Posted in travel, Uncategorized on August 15th, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

Re-entry is tough, especially after vacation.  We’ve been back in Atlanta for a week now and it’s been hard to adjust back to “normal life.”  School’s starting, work is ramping up, and I’m longing for Laguna.

David and I spent the most amazing week in Dana Point California, about ten miles south of Laguna Beach, California.  David had accumulated some free nights from his past work travel so we enjoyed the luxuriousness of the St. Regis.  (Yes, I know, I know…I’m officially a yuppy.)

We made a bet before hand about how many celebs we’d see.  Let’s just say I’m pretty disappointed by the fact that we basically saw a total of ½ a celebrity.  We came across one of the women from Real Housewives of Orange County but I don’t think she deserves to be counted as a full celeb.  Do you?

Our half celeb sighting...

 

Our week in luxury was unlike our typical Metcalf trips.  A friend recently said there are “trips” and there are “vacations.” This was absolutely, unashamedly a vacation.  Zero cooking, no camping, not even a rental car.  It was amazing.  Completely relaxing and rejuvenating.

I love sending postcards and I literally didn’t have anything to say on the cards I wrote.  A typical day in Cali involved sauna and steam in the morning, followed by a long coffee on our porch, a trip to the pool and an afternoon of golf for David.  (I would ride in the cart for 9 holes.) I read three books over the course of the week and got lots of quality time with my favorite person in the world, David.

Oh and of course, my favorite part, cocktails and dinner…

We wined and dined, at the St. Regis and cabbed it into Laguna some nights as well.  There were many delicious meals to share with you and some GF gems as well.

It was a lovely week…

A Mother-Daughter Evening at Posana Cafe: Asheville, NC

Posted in Restaurants, travel, Uncategorized, vegetarian on August 11th, 2011 by Betsy – 2 Comments

I’m fortunate to have a handful of friends that live gluten-free, making it a treat to go out to dinner with them and always a little more relaxing to dine in their homes.   One of those special people in my life is Carter, also known as “Chili-T.”  An academic, talented writer, and friend, I asked Carter to indulge my readers with the details of the experience she recently shared with her mom at Posana Café, an entirely GF restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina.  Asheville is on the top of my list of places to visit, but I still haven’t made the trek.  Well, I did go to Asheville once, when I was about 10 years old, but I only remember the fancy food elevator system at the Biltmore Mansion..

From Carter:

I’m not quite sure I’ve enjoyed a more delectable feast than the one my mama and I shared together at Posana Cafe during our recent weekend getaway to Asheville, North Carolina.  On the morning before we made our trek to the beautiful mountainous region of Western North Carolina, Betsy gave me the scoop about this particular eatery in that it boasts a Gluten-Free Food Service Accreditation and has been awarded for its commitment to safe gluten-free food service.  So, no sweat on the brow, no tremulous tummy aches, no nervous nail-biting worries at dinner.

Carter's mom in front of Posana

Because of the craziness of the concurrent Bel Chere festival taking place the same weekend of our “quiet escape” to North Carolina, we wisely made a Saturday night dinner reservation and had the choice of sitting outside or in.  Although the patio was quite spacious and provided beautiful views of the sites and sounds of the folk milling about downtown Asheville’s historic Pack Square, we decided to forgo the heat and people-watching distractions and enjoy the lovely ambiance inside.

Served by Cythera, our wonderful waitress, and an equally friendly serving staff, Mama and I were treated like queens during the entire meal.  We explored their beautiful menu from start to finish and delighted in seeing the names of actual local farms from which their delicious fare comes.  It was evident that we were in a restaurant dedicated to its community and equally dedicated to responsible, sustainable practices; even their literature that we picked up to review was made from recycled, post-consumer waste, chlorine-free paper.  Cheers to going green (Atlanta, step up)!

While their main entrees looked incredible (and reasonable!), and we were quite tempted by such seafood selections of trout and scallops, we decided to get a wider expanse of tastes by ordering a sampling of items from their appetizer, salad, and small plate sections.  Our first course consisted of two summer essentials: the soup of the day, a fresh gazpacho with cucumber-mint sorbet, and the Vietnamese spring rolls with shrimp, artfully wrapped and presented with gluten-free ponzu dipping sauce.  Taking one bite at a time, we savored every morsel.  Had we been in the company of our own home, I’m quite certain that mama and I would have each taken turns at licking clean our gazpacho bowl.  Neither of us had ever tasted a soup so refreshing, and the dab of cucumber-mint sorbet in the middle was an unbelievable accompaniment that really brought it to life.

Grilled Veggies

We were still savoring our first course when our next series of goodies arrived, and as Cythera and company presented the plates of our marinated grilled vegetables, ricotta gnocchi, and local kale salad, our eyes were on stems.  The vegetable plate consisted of thick, meaty slices of grilled eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash, alongside warm quinoa salad with wilted spinach, tomatoes, parmesan, and all drizzled with basil oil.  I had never before had gnocchi (potato dumplings), and our ricotta gnocchi was one of the most glorious things I have ever tasted.  My mouth somersaulted with delight over this particular dish that offered heaps of gnocchi, sun gold tomatoes, wild mushrooms, and local goat cheese, all swimming together in the most delicious sauce.  As if those two were not enough to satisfy and excite our palates, believe it or not, the local kale salad was our favorite.  It arrived as a magnificent mound, freshly tossed with pumpkin seeds, currants, manchego cheese, lemon, and olive oil.  It was seemingly so simple and yet so absolutely divine.

Kale Salad

Riccotta Gnocchi

While we did not want the evening, nor our grand feast to end, our parting gift came in the form of dessert.  As die-hard ice-cream lovers, mama and I shared a serving of Belgian chocolate sorbet and mint chocolate ice cream, both made from scratch in the restaurant.  We closed our eyes with every bite and could taste every single natural ingredient.  This truly sent us over the moon and completed our heavenly evening at Posana Café.

Delicious Dessert

Even though we only experienced dinner, it is also open for breakfast and lunch, and I imagine that ANY food made in this glorious restaurant is nothing short of fantastic.  Mama and I left feeling filled with good, REAL, natural food, and absolutely satisfied in mind, body, and spirit.  Thank you, Posana Café, for an unforgettable experience; we WILL see you again…the sooner, the better.

Guest Blogger "Chili-T" & "Mama"

“Take a Look, It’s in a Book:” Summer Reading

Posted in advice, favorite things, reading on August 10th, 2011 by Betsy – 8 Comments

In case you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m not very wild…I’m not at the clubs late night.  I’d rather split a bottle of wine and have a nice dinner.  I’m not very hip and cool.  I rely on Elaney for all of my fashion pointers and now that she’s not regularly blogging, I’m totally lost.  I don’t wear make up and haven’t dried my hair since I got a $20 haircut a month ago.  (I do like a good pedi though!) I’m helplessly a nerd, and I love it.  That being said, summer, for me, is about relaxing and diving into a pile of books.  I’m always overambitious, as I can’t resist many of the books that Amazon magically suggests for me or that I stumble upon in a bookstore.  My book-buying addiction is a bit of a problem that I definitely inherited from my father.

This has been a summer full of great reads.  Two of my favorite authors recently came out with new books and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them.  Here are a few of my summer reads to wet your palette.  More selections to come in the next couple of weeks!

Caleb’s Crossing, Geraldine Brooks: Author of March and Year of Wonders, Geraldine Brooks yet again does a superb job of taking bits of history and weaving it into a beautiful fiction story.  Brooks tells a story of the first Native American to attend Harvard, in the 17th century, and a fictional female character, Bethia Mayfield, daughter of a Puritan minister.  This novel takes place in what is today Martha’s Vineyard and Cambridge, connecting two different cultures, people, faiths and sets of beliefs.  Caleb’s Crossing touches on religion, gender, history, emotions, and love, all in one well told and voiced story.  A must read.

In the Garden of Beasts, Erik Larson: Another all-time favorite author of mine, Erik Larson wrote Devil in the White City and Isaac’s Storm. His newest nonfiction book transports the reader to Berlin in the 1930s, as Hitler rises to power.  The story is told from two perspectives: William E. Dodd, the U.S. ambassador to Germany at the time, and his daughter, Martha, whose wild love life will keep you turning pages.  Larson has a gift of using only primary documents to write a book.  While it reads like fiction, it’s incredibly true.  I was amazed by how the U.S. passively watched Hitler take over, and build up his totalitarian rule.  Even if you don’t consider yourself a historian, this book will hold your interest from start to finish.

New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance, Elna Baker: If you’re like me and couldn’t get enough of Rhoda Jansen’s Mennonite in a Black Dress, then you will love Elna Baker’s hysterical memoir.  Her tales of life as a Mormon in NYC are LOL funny, yet poignant.  I think every twenty-something woman can identify with her awkwardness, self-doubt, and questioning.  Some of my personal favorites include her experiences working at Nobu and “The Fortune Cookie Story.”  You can listen to a few of Elna’s stories live here.  I’m particularly drawn to Elna because she loves The New Yorker and has done pieces for This American Life and The Moth, two of my favorite nerdy radio shows.

The Children, David Halberstam: Definitely the biggest reading project of the summer (over 700 pages!!), this nonfiction book chronicles the civil rights movement through the stories of its Nashville leaders.  Starting with the Nashville sit ins and watching the Movement spread through the south, you will be blown away by the strength, passion and faith that these young leaders showed.  John Lewis, Diane Nash, Julian Bond, Marion Barry, and Jim Lawson are some of the central characters in The Children, so it’s a different perspective from the MLK focused Movement we traditionally learn about in school.  Halberstam clearly illustrates the shifts and changes in the Movement during the 50s and 60s, from nonviolent, Christian based and inclusive to all willing participants, to Black Power and somewhat isolationist.  Thanks to my brother-in-law for putting this book in my hands.

What did you read this summer?  I’m always looking for more books!  (Even though I still have Anna Karenina staring me in the face, begging me to read her.)

More GF Options in Norfolk: Carolina Cupcakery

Posted in bakery, dessert, GF product, travel, Uncategorized on August 7th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

Another place I checked out while in Norfolk was Carolina Cupcakery.  This delicious sweet spot, on Colley Avenue, makes a variety of cupcakes to accommodate special diets (vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, etc.)  For their gluten-free cupcakes they use a rice and tapioca flour blend.  The woman I talked to was extremely knowledgeable about gluten-free and told me that they make their GF cupcakes at their Chesapeake location and they have a designated area of the bakery and equipment to use for these items.  They arrive at the Norfolk store already packaged individually so no cross contamination to worry about.  Good work, Carolina!

After a day of unpacking boxes, everyone deserves a treat, right?  I tried the variety with vanilla cake, chocolate chips and chocolate icing.  So yummy!  I love icing but it was a lot of icing, even for me.  My brother will love this place once he arrives.  I really liked the texture of the cake and the taste of icing and cake…it wasn’t a fondant type of icing.  (I’m not a big fan of fancy cake…I want something that tastes freshly made, for a high school bake fair, not an “over the top” wedding reception, if you know what I mean.)  They have multiple varieties so it’s nice to have choices!

I really enjoyed this sweet treat and I’ll absolutely be returning to Carolina Cupcakery when I head back to Norfolk for a visit.

 

 

 

 

Carolina Cupcakery: Colley Ave.

Carolina’s Cupcakery – 2019 Colley Ave. #102 – Norfolk, VA – 757.531.1548