Restaurants

Farm Burger Opening Soon in Buckhead

Posted in Restaurants

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

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

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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”

“Welcome to Moe’s!”

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Moe’s just released a new menu, with clear ingredient and allergen information.  Unfortunately, they don’t offer corn tortillas, but their bowls look yummy.  Corn chips aren’t gf but you could always bring your own.  (Just don’t share your salsa or guac with the rest of the table!)  All of the meats are GF, as well as beans and rice, and lots of toppings.  Click here for more information about their new menu and clarification on gluten-free items.  Always make sure to ask servers to change their gloves when making your dish.

Moe’s is a great place to go for a quick and easy dinner.  Have you tried Moe’s new menu?  What are some of the highlights?  Did employees seem knowledgeable?  Never hesitate to ask to talk to the manager for clarification!  Better safe than sorry.

An Abundance of GF Options at Fuego Mundo

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Recently, I ventured north, just ITP (that’s “inside the perimeter for you non-Atlantans) to Fuego Mundo in Sandy Springs.  My friend, Sarah, and I met up for lunch at this self described “South American Woodfire Grill,” that was definitely worth the drive.

Don’t let the setting in a strip mall deceive you…Fuego is deliciously unique!

Not only was the food delicious, but almost everything is gluten-free.  In fact all of their entrees and sides are naturally gluten and dairy free.  Wow!  I love having choices and not worrying about contamination.  You get your choice of a side included with your order of an entrée, and their selection was right up my alley.

The grill where the cooking happens. No worries of contamination on this grill.

I ultimately went with the chicken skewers as my entrée and “The Health Nut” for my side dish.  The chicken skewers were so yummy, perfectly blackened on the grill.  The “health nut” included quinoa, black beans and baked plantains.  Delicious.  I like to mix everything on my plate and this was the perfect combination.  It’s hard to beat a good batch of quinoa and I’d never thought to mix black beans and quinoa, but I will definitely be doing this at home too.  I could have used about twice as many baked plantains, but otherwise, the serving sizes were very generous!  (I ate my leftovers for dinner the next night.)

Chicken skewers and plantain chips

The Health Nut

Other items on the menu that tempted me were the lamb chops (a little pricier) and the steak skewers.  Fuego also has a large selection of fish on their menu, ranging from tilapia to salmon.  There’s even tofu for vegetarians.  The Veggie Lovers Stir Fry with quinoa came in as a close second to the Health Nut, for my choice of side, but I think I’ll stick with the Health Nut because it was so good.

Also, I didn’t realize this when I went to Fuego Mundo, but Jennifer Harris, of the Gluten-Free Examiner recently informed us that Fuego is now offering gluten-free carrot cake.  A-mazing.  It’s a must that I go back and sample the carrot cake.  Anyone up for a lunch or dinner date?

Fuego Mundo at the Prado:

5590 Roswell Road
Suite A120
Sandy Springs, GA 30342
404-256-4330

Phantom of the Opera & Taqueria del Sol

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On Gluten Freedom, I’ve shared with you many things about me.  Many nerdy and quirky things about me.

You know that I love ‘The Bachelorette.’  Did you see last night’s episode??  Frank is pitiful.  I once again vowed that I’m never going to watch another episode of the show.

You know that I love famous chefs and folk music.  Um, Indigo Girls are playing in Atlanta on October 15th.  Mark your calendars!

You know that I dream of someday being a farmer.  Now that I’ve spent some time working at Serenbe Farm this summer, I’m not sure I have the stamina for that career.  (Bugs like me too much…I’m covered in chigger bites as I write.)

One of the other things that I love which I haven’t really shared with you is musicals.  To quote Tobias Funke from ‘Arrested Development,’ (a great show, by the way…much better than ‘Bachelorette’) I love the “theeeater.”  As a child, my favorite family trip was to New York City where we saw three musicals in 48 hours.  This trip would be my husband’s worst nightmare, but he politely puts up with my love of musicals, nonetheless.

Can I sing?  Nope.  Did I ever act?  Not once.  Do I still love shows?  Heck yes.  Why, I’m not quite sure.  Maybe it’s because that’s what we listened to in the car when I was little.  (I had no idea how racy “Les Mis” is until around age 18.  The song, ‘Lovely Ladies’…Wow.)

So last week, when our friends, Peyten and Stan, asked if we would like to see ‘Phantom of the Opera’ at the Fox Theater with them, I quickly accepted before asking David what he thought about the idea.  I hadn’t seen ‘Phantom’ in 12 years, and they’re claiming this is the last national tour of the show.  (Probably just a marketing ploy, but I fell for it nonetheless.)

After accepting Peyten’s offer, then came the question of where to go for dinner before the show.  An 8:00 start time limits one’s options, especially for me, who always worries about being on time.  (I don’t want to risk missing the overture.)

Peyten suggested Taqueria del Sol as it’s apparently a quick stop for a meal, despite the long line that’s always stretching out the door.  I had never been to this beloved Atlanta spot, as I’m weary about places that serve food quickly and en masse.  Thanks to blogger, Celiac Eats, who loves Taqueria del Sol, I was willing to give it a try.  As the time for dinner got closer, I became more anxious about the impending meal.  (I know that’s weird for you non-celiacs, but going out to dinner can be very scary, especially when you’ll be confined to a theater seat for the next three hours.)  I texted my friend, Anne, (also celiac) and asked her opinion.  She was lukewarm on Taqueria so I began to plan on eating dinner prior to the Taqueria stop.

David encouraged me to call ahead, just in case, and I did.  He’s full of great ideas.  The manager, with whom I spoke, has a gluten allergy herself.  She knew everything I could eat and was very specific, which I love.  She even told me that I can have chips if I come for lunch, but not for dinner because at that point the fryer is contaminated.  Such helpful information!

Most of the enchiladas are totally gluten free and the corn tortillas can be substituted for the tacos.  They were some of the best corn tortillas I’ve ever eaten.  For dinner, I ordered one Memphis taco and one Veggie taco, with a side of the Charros beans.  I also got some guacamole because I can never resist guac.  The brisket taco is also gluten-free so I’ll try that one next time.  Both of my tacos were delicious.  The Memphis comes with smoked pork, jalapenos, bbq sauce and cole slaw.  A perfect combination.  Sweet, salty and crunchy.  (I love weird combos and combining textures.)  The veggie taco was delish as well!  I enjoyed my meal while sipping on a tequila and tonic.  Yes, a tequila and tonic.  Don’t knock it ‘till you try it.  I promise, you’ll love it.  Just think margarita, without the too tart, too sweet grime that stays on your teeth.

As I mentioned, Taqueria has an intimidating line out front, but it’s worth it.  You can walk to the bar and order a drink to enjoy while you wait in line.  The line moves fairly quickly so it looks worse than it is.  I’m so glad to discover another spot in Atlanta where I can grab a quick, and relatively cheap meal, that’s gluten-free friendly.

And of course, we made it to the Fox in plenty of time and I thoroughly enjoyed the show, trying not to sing along.  Afterwards, I did have trouble explaining to David why I think ‘Phantom of the Opera’ is so good.  It just is.

Gluten-Free Pasta at Figo

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Craving pasta?  Great news!  Figo Pasta now offers gluten-free pasta at all of their locations.  Not only do they serve gluten-free pasta, but their new menu indicates everything on the menu that’s gluten-free by putting “GF” next to it.  All of Figo’s 18 pasta sauces are gluten-free so you have lots delicious of choices, ranging from cream based sauces to pesto.

I tried Figo recently and found the gluten-free fusilli pasta to be tasty, with good texture.  It was cooked just right and went well with my pollo sauce, a tomato based sauce with peppers and chicken.  My friend, Colleen, chose the pesto sauce, which was also delicious.  The noodles didn’t turn to mush like some gluten-free pastas.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Figo, it’s a perfect place for a casual and inexpensive dinner.  You order when you walk in and they deliver your food to the table.  It only costs $9.00 for a nice pasta meal.  All of Figo’s wines by the glass are between $4.75 and $7.50.  Figo is definitely a restaurant, not fast food, but with affordable prices.  I went to the Peachtree-Dunwoody location and all of the staff was super friendly and very attentive.

I don’t cook pasta all that much at home so I’ll definitely be going back to Figo when I get a pasta craving.  Maybe eventually they’ll serve gluten-free bread too!  Let me know what sauce you enjoy at Figo.

Metro Fresh Menu Notes “GF” Items

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Metro Fresh is a local spot that in the past few days, I’ve had multiple Atlantans tell me about.  Metro Fresh, located in Midtown, creates a new menu every day and the menu always lists “GF” next to items that are gluten-free.  What great news!  Some of today’s gluten-free menu items include:

  • Turkey Chili
  • Thai Veggie Soup with Lemon Grass and Tofu
  • Fresh Butter Bean and Corn Salad with Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Pesto
  • Chicken salad with basil and honey roasted peanuts, red grapes with dijon balsalmic dressing

Check out Metro Fresh’s menu for yourself!  If you go to their website, you can sign up for their daily menu via email.  I just learned about Metro Fresh so haven’t yet tried it, but I’m salivating over the menu and all of my many options!  Let me know if you’ve tried Metro Fresh’s gluten-free options.