Archive for November, 2011

Here, There and Everywhere…Fall Travels

Posted in travel, Uncategorized on November 17th, 2011 by Betsy – 3 Comments

Life has been busy. Good busy. David and I’ve been traveling a lot the last few weekends, enjoying the beauty of fall, all over the country. Our first weekend away took us to Charlottesville, Virginia, one of our favorite places in the world.

Fall in Charlottesville is pretty hard to beat

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

We spent the weekend reading, walking around grounds, and we even made a visit to Monticello, the home of Mr. Jefferson. I’m embarrassed to admit that neither of us had been to Monticello since our senior years of high school. It was definitely worth the trip!

The gardens at Monticello

The following weekend we headed to Vail, Colorado. This trip was a bit more work than play. We stayed at the Westin Beaver Creek and enjoyed the gluten-free pasta on their menu. Delicious! (They also have GF pizzas available too.) While in Vail I filmed a “sizzle reel’ for a potential travel show. This was quite an experience, as I’ve never been on camera before. I will say, it did help that I taught for five years, so am used to having an audience. I won’t have much more information on the show until spring but the hope is that Food Network or Travel Channel will pick it up. I’ve got to admit, it was pretty hysterical to be referred to as “The Talent” all weekend. Stay tuned…

Not many photos from the weekend, but here's one.

For the shoot, I did all kinds of fun fall activities (zip line, ice skating, shopping, etc.) and of course some delicious dining! The highlight for me was interviewing Kelly Liken, chef and owner of Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail. I tend to be star struck by chefs and I was particularly impressed by Kelly’s finesse on camera and ease with which she answered questions. (Perhaps Kelly’s comfort in front of the camera comes from being a finalist on Top Chef DC and competing in Iron Chef.) She also made me some delicious, gluten-free food to try. Restaurant Kelly Liken takes very seriously food allergies and special food needs. They don’t label items as “gluten free” on the menu because they are extremely accommodating to all diners and willing to tweak a dish so to fit the needs of the customer. It was truly a pleasure to interview Kelly and get to know her.

I’ve got more to share with you about our travels, dining and fall adventures, but wanted to give you the quick update! I can’t believe Thanksgiving’s exactly a week away. I’ve barely even begun to think about it.

Figo Pasta Introduces Gluten-Free Meatball

Posted in Atlanta, GF product, local food, Restaurants, Uncategorized on November 9th, 2011 by Betsy – 3 Comments

Figo is one of my favorite casual Atlanta spots and I think they have one of the best GF pastas around!  Their gluten-free fusili pasta can be mixed with any of their sauces for a delicious gluten-free meal.

Last week, Figo added a new item to their gluten-free menu: the gluten-free meatball!  Made with rice flour and rice, instead of bread, Figo’s Gluten-Free Maria Meatball also includes a yummy mix of ground beef sirloin, carrots, onions, celery, potatoes, parmesan cheese and an herb & spice blend.

If you don’t feel like pasta, think about trying one or two of their meatballs with a salad to add protein to your meal.

The new GF Maria meatball will be offered at all seven of Figo’s locations so check their website for the restaurant closest to you.  You might have already gotten a sneak peak of the meatball at the Atlanta Gluten-Free Vendor Fair a few weeks back.

 

Top Chef Texas Premieres

Posted in TV, Uncategorized on November 8th, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

I can only hide my love of reality TV for so long.  I know, it’s shameful but I just can’t help it.  Last week, Bravo started its new season of Top Chef, and this time they’re filming in Texas.  As you know, Top Chef is one of my favorite shows, but I just wasn’t into it last week.  Starting out with 29 chefs, and only giving our 16 chef jackets makes for quite an anti-climatic premier, especially when you don’t even see everyone cook on the first episode.

I’m not a quitter though, so I won’t give up on the season yet!  Read what the AJC’s talented and witty Jon Watson had to say about the first episode:“Top Chef Texas Recap: Trimming the fat, part umlaut”

Atlanta’s Honeysuckle Gelato

Posted in Atlanta, dessert, favorite things, GF product, local food, Uncategorized on November 3rd, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

Have you noticed that food trucks are all the rage in ATL?  Well, they are!  Sadly, many of the food trucks serve greasy sandwich type meals that don’t meet the needs of gluten-free diners.  BUT, I’ve discovered a food truck with plenty of GF options!  One of my new favorite things that’s uniquely local to Atlanta is Honeysuckle Gelato.  Native Atlantan, Wes Jones, decided to drop his regular job and start Honeysuckle Gelato with two of his buddies.  I, for one, am very thankful for his decision!  You can find his delicious gelato by following his stylish teal food truck.

Many of Honeysuckle’s flavors are naturally gluten free and so delicious.  Creamy, yummy and overflowing with natural ingredients, not a bunch of chemicals and artificial flavorings.  You might have seen Wes and Honeysuckle at the most recent gluten-free vendor fair.  If you were lucky enough, you tried his ridiculously amazing Salted Caramel flavor.  It is truly divine.  The salty-sweet flavors blend perfectly together and it’s the ideal evening treat!  If salted caramel doesn’t sound delicious to you, what about peanut butter honey or ginger molasses?  Go to their website to see more of Honeysuckle’s signature flavors.

Honeysuckle Gelato at the GF Vendor Fair

Honeysuckle also offers sorbets which are naturally gluten free and dairy free so there’s something for everyone!  Many of their flavors are naturally GF.  Mmm, chocolate mint or watermelon sorbet, anyone? Check out this southern inspired gelato for yourself!

Don't miss the Honeysuckle food truck!

Recently I asked Wes a few questions about himself and his new business.  Here’s what he had to say:

Gluten Freedom: Are you a native Atlantan?

Wes: Yes, I am.

Gluten Freedom: What do you love about Atlanta?

Wes: My wonderful friends and family and the amazing food! What are your favorite eats in Atlanta? That’s a tough one because there are so many great choices. Hal’s is usually up there and Fox Brothers has been a frequented place recently.  Other than that, anywhere in Decatur.

Gluten Freedom: How did you get interested in gelato?

Wes: My business partner, Jackson Smith, was making gelato in NYC at Il Laboratorio del Gelato and we first kicked the idea around of starting a gelato place here in Atlanta as a joke and before long we had talked ourselves into actually doing it.

Gluten Freedom: Where does one purchase a food truck?

Wes: The same place you purchase everything else…the internet.  We actually found our truck on eBay.  It was a New Orleans Shaved Ice Truck in a small town in Alabama.  We thought it looked cool so we convinced the people to take it off eBay for a couple days so we could come look at it.

Gluten Freedom: Where does the name Honeysuckle come from?

Wes: We we’re having a hard time coming up with something we liked that was catchy, southern and sweet all in one until Jackson had an epiphany. He called me up and said “I got it!! Honeysuckle!”  Before I had time to argue he hung up the phone.  Lucky for me, I loved it and it stuck.

Gluten Freedom: What’s your favorite GF flavor?

Wes: It changes weekly as we make awesome new flavors, but “Dock of the Bay”, our Sea-Salted Caramel, was my first love and I always feel guilty when I name a flavor other that.

Gluten Freedom: Where can we find Honeysuckle?

Wes: That’s the beauty of having a food truck – you can find us all over town! We post our schedule here - http://www.honeysucklegelato.com/contact-us/ – and we also tweet our daily menu and locations at @honeysuckleatl.  Our goal is to be in some specialty stores and select grocery stores in the area next spring so keep an eye out for us!

 

Thanks, Wes, for taking the time to answer my questions!  I hope everyone will check Honeysuckle’s website to find a location nearest you!  This is not just another ice cream place, I promise.

Two Things I Love…

Posted in Atlanta, local food, Restaurants on November 1st, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment



Urban Pl8 & ScoutmobClick here to get your Scoutmob for Urban Pl8.  This is one of my favorite spots on the Westside and their menu is almost entirely gluten free.  Make sure to tell your server that you’re gluten free so they know to make you the GF version of the dish.

Most recently, I went for brunch and got an amazing egg scramble, with a side of roasted sweet potatoes and GF toast!  Awesome.  Please support this local business that works hard to make delicious gluten-free food.  And paleo friendly too!

Some of my favorites on the menu:

  • Kale chips (don’t knock ‘em ‘til you try them!)
  • Grilled harissa chicken tangine (ask them for some toasted GF bread to dip in the amazing sauce!)
  • Paleo coconut shrimp

Yum!  I also love their mixed green salad with chicken and a side of sweet potatoes.  Sounds simple but they make it so good.