Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta’

Cafe at Pharr

Posted in Atlanta, Uncategorized on February 8th, 2013 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

Hello, Friends.  I am so long overdue on a post; I don’t even know where to begin.  I’ve dined at new restaurants, read new books, traveled to some cool places and even cooked some a few new dishes.  Most importantly, our sweet Laney is 7 months old!  She is a reminder to me of how long it’s been since I’ve given this blog any TLC.

A couple of recent photos of Miss Laney

 

My inspiration for getting back on the blog is Café at Pharr…

Today I ate lunch at Café at Pharr and enjoyed delicious chicken salad that rivals Zoe’s.  Yours truly loves a good chicken salad!  I went to the Westside Location (on Chattahoochee) but they have multiple locations.  I enjoyed the curry chicken salad served on a bed of greens with a yummy sesame dressing that’s also gluten free.  All of the Café Pharr’s chicken salads are gluten free.  I will definitely be going back again soon, as it’s very kid friendly and not crowded.  Great service and our server knew what I was talking about the moment I mentioned celiac.  Check them out at their Westside, Buckhead, Brookhaven, Vinings or Miami Circle locations.

The “New” Watershed Restaurant

Posted in Atlanta, local food, Restaurants on June 6th, 2012 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

Last weekend, David and I went on a date night to the new Watershed Restaurant.  For those of you that don’t know about the first Watershed, this Atlanta favorite was located in Decatur and owned by Indigo Girls’, Emily Saliers.  The restaurant was well known for its fancy southern fare and famous chef, Scott Peacock.  Sadly, last year Watershed in Decatur closed, but there were promises that it would reopen in the future at a new location.

A couple of weeks ago, this promise became a reality and the new Watershed (still owned by Saliers) opened on Peachtree Road, between Uncle Julio’s and Mellow Mushroom.  While both the décor and the clientele offer a different ambiance (think Buckhead prepster verses Decatur hipster), the restaurant still makes delicious food and celebrates southern cuisine.

I get a little nervous about going to a “southern” restaurant due to my fear that everything will be battered and deep fried.  Last week their menu still wasn’t up online (now you can find it on their website), so I called and they assured me that I would be able to find gluten-free options at the new Watershed.  We decided to give the revamped Watershed a try and we were not disappointed.

Once we arrived and valet parked (of course it’s valet, we’re in Atlanta), we were immediately seated.  The bar was bumping with a well dressed stereotypical Buckhead crowd and the room with the bar was extremely loud.  There are three rooms at Watershed and I would suggest asking to be in the room farthest from the bar if you want to converse with your date.  Fortunately, we were put in the far room and while there was still good people watching, I wasn’t completely distracted by everyone else’s conversation.

Yummy, pimento cheese cornbread

The menu immediately looked intriguing and I felt reassured about my options the minute that I saw a gluten-free beer on the drinks list.  I spoke with our server and he went through some of my options with me.  I was particularly impressed when he told me that the pimento cheese cornbread, which comes with the veggie plate, is gluten-free.  I had him double check with the chef multiple times since usually cornbread is not GF at restaurants.  He assured me that it was in fact GF after talking to the chef.  Even though I didn’t order the veggie plate, they let me enjoy the cornbread as a side.  David and I shared this snack and it was one of the best items I’ve ever had at a restaurant, being that it combined two of my favorite things: cornbread and pimento cheese.  The texture was perfect and the flavor combination was so yummy.  The cornbread was not dry at all and the perfect balance of salty and sweet.

Beautifully cooked salmon

I decided to go a little healthier for my entrée, selecting the salmon a la plancha with zucchini ribbons.  As I look at the menu online today, however, it says this dish comes with faro.  It did not include faro on the menu last week so I’m guessing their menu changes.  Always make sure to double check with your server or the manager.  I’m sure they would be willing to take out the faro…they were extremely accommodating to me.  My salmon was perfectly cooked and crispy on the outside.  There were no batters or fancy sauces and the cold zucchini ribbons offered the perfect texture and flavor compliments.  David enjoyed the deconstructed jambalaya for his entree, which was not gluten free, but he loved it and would recommend it to any gluten eaters.

Overall, we had a great experience at the new Watershed.  The ambiance is quite different than the original in Decatur now that it’s located in an apartment building in the middle of Peachtree Road, but the quality of food will not disappoint.  We had great service and I felt that my food needs were well accommodated.

Have any of you tried the new Watershed?  What are your initial thoughts?  Any other new restaurants in town worth checking out?

Watershed Restaurant – 1820 Peachtree Road NW – Atlanta, GA – 30309 – 404.809.3561 (Reservations Recommended)

Where Have I Been? (And Recent Favorites)

Posted in favorite things, GF product, local food, meals, Mexican Restaurants, product, vegetarian on May 31st, 2012 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

Well, it’s been awhile.  I apologize for my absence, and I wish I could say that I’ll be back at my frequent posts, but I’m not sure that is the case.  The school year finished up at its normal, crazy pace, allowing little to no time for blog posts.  My creative juices also haven’t been flowing as much as I’d like because at the end of the day, I’m wiped, and would rather watch an episode of “Ellen” or “Around the World in 80 Plates” than write.

A photo of the baby bump from a sweet baby shower hosted by friends a month ago

I’m 35 weeks pregnant so we’re in the final stretch.  Baby Girl Metcalf is healthily growing and I’d like her to keep baking for at least a few more weeks.  It’s a relief to get to this point though because if she made her debut today, she would be just fine.

I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite things in the last couple of months.  I’ll give you more in the next few weeks but here is just a “taste”…

Talenti Gelato: This gelato has been my go-to weeknight dessert.  They clearly label which of their gelatos are gluten free.  It is creamy, delicious and a fun splurge.  My personal favorites are the chocolate peanut butter cup and sea salt caramel.  Check out all of their flavors here.

Verde Taqueria: Verde has existed in the Atlanta area for awhile but in the last year they’ve opened one close to us.  Verde notes all of the items on their menu that can be made gluten free.  My favorites include the Verde Salad with grilled chicken and the veggie taco.  Just make sure you clearly explain your dietary needs.  If you’re in the mood for chips and guac (which are delicious), just check with your server to see when they were prepared that day.  Usually they fry them first thing in the morning before the fryer gets contaminated.  While I love Taqueria del Sol, Verde has a bit bigger menu (i.e. the salad option) and you don’t have to wait in line.

Burge Organic Farm CSA: I participated in this CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) in the fall and renewed for the spring and summer.  Getting these weekly veggies has revived my cooking and creativity, making me experiment with produce that I wouldn’t necessarily pick out at the store.  I enjoy swiss chard once I make it, but it’s not at the top of my culinary list.  If you’re feeling like you’re in a cooking rut, you should definitely think about joining a CSA.  What better way to welcome summer, than cooking with the veggies that are the freshest?

Palmetto Pimento Cheese: This amazing pimento cheese has become a staple in the Metcalf household.  We discovered it via our friends, Peyten and Stan, and were thrilled to find it in our local Publix.  I’ve always liked pimento cheese but this brand stands above the rest.  They were recently out of Palmetto at Publix so we went with a different brand and there was no comparison.  We didn’t even finish the container.  And, all three of their varieties (orginal, jalapeño and  bacon) are gluten free.  They use Hellman’s mayo, which is gluten free.

 

What are some of your favorite things right now?

Lululemon is coming to the Westside

Posted in Atlanta, favorite things, GF product, Uncategorized on March 22nd, 2012 by Betsy – 2 Comments

This is dangerous.  A new Lululemon store is opening on Howell Mill Road, in the Westside Provisions District.  I just saw the sign this weekend and I immediately snapped a photo to send to David.  He already knew of this news but he (smartly) had elected not to share it with me.  The store is scheduled to open this summer and I’ll need to avoid making eye contact with the store during my (probably frequent) trips to Yeah Burger, as I survive my final month of pregnancy.

If you aren’t familiar with the brand, Lululemon, you should check them out.  I wish that I had invested in them.  I’m not someone who’s into name brands, expensive clothing, but Lululemon’s workout pants are worth every penny.  These yogaesque pants are flattering on anyone’s butt and thighs…even a pregnant woman.  (They don’t make maternity clothes but I bought a size up for the coaching season.  Again, totally worth 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.

 

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.

Perfect Sunday: Pizza & Football at Mellow Mushroom

Posted in Atlanta, favorite things, GF product, Uncategorized on October 13th, 2011 by Betsy – 3 Comments

How did I not (re)discover Mellow Mushroom pizza earlier???  Of course I remember Mellow Mushroom from my college days in Charlottesville, sitting outside, after a long day of tailgating.  Nothing went better with a pitcher of beer than a Mellow Mushroom pizza and pretzels.  Mmm, just thinking about that crust and those late afternoons makes me miss college and my gluten-eating days.

While I had read that Mellow Mushroom has a gluten-free pizza, I just hadn’t made it over there yet.  What was I thinking?  One Sunday afternoon, David and I decided to head over to the Mellow Mushroom on Peachtree Road and try out the GF pizza.  Not only was the craving for pizza pulling us toward Peachtree’s Mellow Mushroom, but their flat screen TVs and the NFL Sunday Ticket.

We’ve discovered our perfect spot for watching the Redskins when they’re not on the Atlanta networks.  Mellow Mushroom was just the right place for an early Sunday dinner with four football games happening around us.

Kosmic Karma with sausage: so many toppings. I love it!

I was very pleased by the GF pizza at Mellow Mushroom.  Of course it’s not the same as the pizza I remember from my C’ville days, but it’s pretty darn good.  And, they don’t skimp on the toppings so it’s not overly bready.  I went with the Kosmic Karma pizza with sausage and it was amazing.  I can’t resist anything with pesto!  The sundried tomatoes, feta, and spinach are an awesome combination.  Since my first visit, I’ve ordered the Kosmic Karma with chicken, another good protein addition.  (Going with just the veggies is plenty of food and flavor, so don’t feel like you have to order a protein topping.)

Almost all of Mellow Mushroom’s toppings are gluten free, and our server was very knowledgeable as to which ones contained gluten.

Unfortunately, Mellow Mushroom does not currently offer gluten-free beer on their menu but hopefully if more people request GF beer, they’ll add it to their beverage list.

 

Will I be going back to Mellow Mushroom? Um, already have.  Thanks, Mellow Mushroom, for making a delicious GF pizza that satisfies my carb and greasy food cravings!  I’ll look forward to more Sunday afternoons with you.  You can also call ahead and order takeout too.  Another great option for an easy Sunday dinner! The Vinings location also sells gluten-free pizzas, if that’s closer to your neck of the woods.

Note: I found that reheating the GF pizza worked best in the oven, not in the microwave.  The pizza returns to its normal state in the oven, but is not so good in the microwave.

Mellow Mushroom – 1770 Peachtree Street NW – Atlanta, GA, 30309 – 404.687.4766

Family Fun in ATL & Leon’s Full Service

Posted in Atlanta, local food, meals, Restaurants, Uncategorized on October 10th, 2011 by Betsy – 2 Comments

Last week, my brother and his family came to ATL for a visit.  We had the best time showing off our city to Rob, Alden, and my two nephews, Pete and Chip.  Of course we shared many of our favorite restaurants with them too!

Time in the backyard with Rob, Pete and Chip

Some of the highlights of the weekend included, homemade pancakes, Taqueria del Sol, Mellow Mushroom, Star Provisions, YEAH Burger, the Georgia Aquarium, and lots of playing outside.

Chip waiting for lunch at Taqueria

Chip with his new football

 

Sweet Pete!

On Saturday night, my sweet friend, Michelle, offered to baby sit for Pete and Chip so we adults decided to have a night on the town.  We took Rob and Alden to Decatur to see a different part of the Atlanta area.  After a drink at Iberian Pig, we headed over to one of our new favorite restaurants, Leon’s Full Service.

Night out in Decatur

In the last couple of months, David and I’ve been looking for any excuse to go to Leon’s.  We absolutely love their French Fries and dipping sauces that accompany them.  Fortunately you can order multiple sauces because David and I can’t agree on which one we like the best.  (I’m a sucker for the curry and David loves the smoked tomato mayo.)  Leon’s uses a dedicated fryer for their fries so you don’t have to worry about contamination.  Since we’ve discovered Leon’s, we’ve always gotten great service and delicious food.  Don’t be discouraged by the bustle and busy-ness of the restaurant when you walk in: you will be well taken care of from the moment you put your name on the wait list. (PS: Leon’s doesn’t take reservations.)

Best fries in ATL

...And the dipping sauces (yes, we ordered 6!)

Our waiters have always been well aware of the gluten-free options on the menu and I always feel like I have lots of choices.  Even though the restaurant is always full of people, I get great attention from servers and I don’t feel rushed to make my decision. On our most recent visit, however, we learned that the folks at Leon’s have now made a gluten-free menu for their customers.  Now I have even more reason to go to Leon’s!  It’s a good thing we don’t live closer to Leon’s because I would eat there all time!

Leon's GF Menu!

If you haven’t been yet, you must go to Leon’s.  The menu has both casual/light fare as well as fancier entrees.  And they highlight seasonal, fresh ingredients from local farms.  Gotta love that!

Gluten-Free Highlights on Leon’s Menu*:

  • French fries with masaman curry & smoked tomato mayo
  • Grilled pork chop, field peas & greens, carolina gold bbq, red cabbage chow chow
  • Pan roasted domestic snapper baby bok choi, masaman curry butternut squash, lime-mint butter, toasted cashew

Always so sad when the fries are gone

Oh, and make sure to hang out at the bar before you get seated.  The mixologists at the bar are fabulous and they create all kinds of seasonal beverages.

*The menu changes seasonally so expect to find new items when you go (except, of course, the fries).

Leon’s Full Service – 131 E Ponce de Leon Ave – Decatur, Georgia – 404.687.0500

 

Save the Date: October 22nd!

Posted in Atlanta, event, favorite things, local food on October 6th, 2011 by Betsy – 2 Comments

It’s almost that time…the Atlanta Gluten-Free Expo, one of my favorite events in our area, is happening on Saturday, October 22nd.

This will be my third trip to the expo and I can’t wait for a morning of indulgent eating, with no worries about contamination.  It’s the one time of the year that I can literally eat everything in the room.  Nothing’s off limits!  Check out what I had to say about the 2009 and 2010 GF Expos by clicking here and here.

A shot from last year's Gluten-Free Expo

So here are the deets: From 9:00 to 2:00 on Saturday, October 22nd, come to the Hilton Hotel in Norcross, GA, to indulge in many glute-free items.  Cost of admission is $10 and children under 12 are free.  This great event is hosted by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) and organized by gluten-free expert extraordinaire, Jennifer Harris.  For more information on the day’s speakers and events, click here.

Hope to see my fellow Atlantans on the 22nd!  What are some of your favorites from last year?