Posts Tagged ‘celiac’

What’s Happening in ATL…

Posted in Atlanta, bakery, event, local food on May 2nd, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

Here are a few things happening in the Atlanta area, related to all things gluten free:

Sally’s Bakery has recently changed their hours of operation in response to customer’s requests and will now be open on Saturdays:

Sally’s Bakery New Hours of Operation:

  • Tuesday – Friday: 10:00am to 5:30pm
  • Saturday: 10:00am – 3:30pm

On Saturday, May 7th, Dinner A Fare in Northlake will be hosting a gluten-free event from 11:00-3:00.  The folks at Dinner A Fare will be offering samples of gluten-free items from their May menu and a local gluten-free baker will be selling her cakes, pies and pasta.  Yum!  If you’re interested in pre-ordering, send an email to northlake@dinnerafare.com.

And don’t forget May is Celiac Awareness Month!

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Dining at Westside’s Miller Union

Posted in Atlanta, local food, meals, Restaurants, vegetarian on April 26th, 2011 by Betsy – 5 Comments

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David and I met at  Miller Union for dinner on Thursday night to celebrate the end of my successful lacrosse season and the conclusion of David’s most recent work project.  It was a perfect venue for a romantic and delicious date.

I have a confession: David and I went to Miller Union for dinner the month it opened (over a year ago) with our friend, Chris.  The three of us sat at the bar, and were a little disappointed with our dinner.  At the time, there weren’t many items on the menu, the service was mediocre and the food did not meet my expectations based on all of the hype Miller Union had been receiving.  This underwhelming meal made me sad, as I really like Chef Steven Satterfield, a frequent customer of mine at The Local Farmstand, and I love Miller Union’s mantra of minimal, fresh, local food.

Chef Steven Satterfield (photo from Food & Wine)

Chef Steven Satterfield (photo from Food & Wine)

Since that dinner, David and I have returned to Miller Union for drinks (we love the bar), and I’ve enjoyed lunch with friends at Miller Union.  Their seasonal vegetable plate is one of my favorite dishes on the Westside and perfect for a lunch date.  The ambiance at Miller Union is bustling, yet relaxed, with the perfect amount of people watching but not so loud that you can’t talk to the person with you.

But last Thursday was our first time splurging on dinner at Miller Union since our so-so evening nearly 18 months ago.  I’m glad we gave it another try.  Nearly everything on the menu is naturally gluten-free, literally almost everything.  The only red flags were the “farrotto” that accompanied the New York Strip and the cream grits fritters appetizer.  (It turns out that the “grits fritters” are normally gluten-free but that night fried chicken was the special so the fryer was contaminated.)

So I oohed and ahhed over the menu for awhile before discussing my top choices with David.  It turns out we were on the same page and were intrigued by the same two entrees.  Since everything we wanted was gluten free, we decided to split two entrees so we could enjoy both.

David went with the fritters for an appetizer and I ordered the soup of the day: spring pea soup, which came highly recommended by our waiter.  Beautifully green, my soup was light yet very flavorful.  A great way to start the meal.

Spring Pea Soup

Spring Pea Soup

The first of our entrees was the grilled pork loin, with cranberry beans and braised greens.  The pork loin had an amazing kick to it, due to the apple cider vinegar they use while grilling the pork.  Juicy, flavorful, and meaty, this pork dish is a meat lover’s dream.  Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with plenty of food on the plate.  You won’t go hungry with this order.  The cranberry beans tasted meaty themselves and I loved combining them and the pork in one bite.  The greens were braised with onions and were delicious by themselves, in the juices of the pork.

MU pork

While David started with the pork, I began to work my way through the sautéed quail with dirty rice and arugula.  I usually stay away from restaurant entrees that involve rice, simply because I just don’t find it all that exciting and I’d rather a vegetable, quinoa or risotto.  Miller Union’s dirty rice, however, is not your ordinary rice.  As much as I love vegetables, everything tastes better with pork and this rice affirms that statement.  The dirty rice is a mix of wild rice with Miller Union’s homemade pork sausage and bacon.  Wow.  I could have eaten just the rice as my entrée.  The quail was also yummy, and simply cooked, with crisp skin and flavorful meat.  I followed the waiter’s suggestion, and ate with my hands.  (If you use your fork and knife, you won’t get very much meat.)  The arugula added a nice bite to the dish and beautiful color on the plate.

MU quail

I would highly recommend Miller Union for a date night.  While it’s a little pricey, the quality of food and ingredients make the price worth it.  Chef Steven Satterfield really uses as many local, seasonal vegetables as he can access, and supports local farmers.  Many chefs say they do this, but don’t always live the principle (to quote my new favorite show, “Big Love”). I’ll definitely be returning to Miller Union for another date night.

I only wish that I could enjoy Miller Union’s daily ice cream sandwich special!  (Not GF.)

Dogwood Restaurant (Midtown)

Posted in Atlanta, local food, Restaurants on April 14th, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

One of my new favorite discoveries in Atlanta is Dogwood Restaurant, located in Midtown, on Peachtree Street.  When my parents were in town last weekend, we took them to Dogwood for dinner Friday night.  We had a great dining experience and all of us left satisfied, despite our distinctly different palettes.  (Let’s just say my dad was mostly excited about going to the Varsity on Saturday.)

dogwood Dogwood is great venue for a variety of reasons:

  • Dogwood’s spacious interior allows you to drop in for a last minute dinner on a weekend night and it’s okay not to have reservations.
  • Chef Shane Touhy not only has a menu with many options, but he understands gluten very well.
  • Many menu items are naturally gluten-free so I didn’t have to miss out on sauces and other aspects of the dishes that make them unique.
  • The wait staff is eager to double check with the chef and work with gluten-free customers so we can eat what we want on the menu.  Both times I’ve had a wonderful waiter who doesn’t take any chances, and always defers to the chef.
  • Dogwood’s not too loud.  I know, I know, I feel like an old woman saying this, but I’ve got to admit, I don’t like a really noisy restaurant.  Call me uncool, but it shouldn’t be a challenge to converse with the person across the table from me.  (But don’t worry, Dogwood’s not too quiet!)
  • The food is delicious.  Variety and flavor are prominent on the menu here.  Options range from grits to trout to pork loin to lamb meatballs, each with the chef’s unique spin on the dish.
  • Dogwood is entirely underrated.  Just because the chef wasn’t on Top Chef and doesn’t get featured in Bon Appetit regularly doesn’t mean the restaurant’s not worth visiting.  I actually think the food is better at Dogwood than some of the more hyped restaurants in Atlanta.

Both times I’ve been to Dogwood, I’ve had delicious salads.  Most recently, I ordered the local mixed greens, with red wine-mint vinaigrette, “Split Creek Farm” goats milk feta, and toasted pistachios.  The pistachios were delicious and I ate every last one of them.  You can’t go wrong with any of their salads.

I was disappointed that the short rib was no longer on the menu but Dogwood had plenty of other options for me.  On this visit, I went with the almond crusted scallops, with celery root puree, orange segments, green grapes, and brown butter-red wine vinaigrette.  Fruit, scallops and celery root?  I too, thought it to be an odd combination but it was delicious.  The almond crust gave the scallops a crunchy texture that other restaurants might use flour to create.  In every bite I tried to combine all of the action on the plate as I loved how it all fit together.

Who knew grapes and scallops could be so good?

Who knew grapes and scallops could be so good?

Check Dogwood out for yourself and let me know what you think!  If you’re going to a show at the Fox, enjoy dinner at Dogwood first as the theater is only two blocks away.

Dogwood Restaurant- 565 Peachtree Street – Atlanta, GA 30308- 404.835.1410

Lovely…dinner at Bacchanalia

Posted in Atlanta, local food, Restaurants on April 5th, 2011 by Betsy – 5 Comments

bach This weekend, David and I enjoyed the most amazing meal at Bacchanalia, with two of our friends, who are a big part of the reason we fell in love with Atlanta.  It was a perfect way to celebrate their friendship, and the fact that we are in ATL for good, as well as an excuse to spend an evening together.

I didn’t take any pictures of the meal because well, it just didn’t seem like the right place to be snapping photos, but I really wish I had.  Every dish was so beautiful you don’t want to eat it, yet so delicious that you savor every last bite.

For those of you that don’t know, Bacchanalia is owned by Anne Quatrano, who also owns Floataway Café, Abbattoir, and Star Provisions.  This restaurant is a special occasion splurge, a very special treat.  For $75,  you get a beautiful 4-course dinner, with multiple special treats between courses.  While $75 is a lot of money, for us DC folks, it’s a steal!

Many people have written about Bacchanalia, and we all agree that the food is divine.  I could talk your ear off about my grilled octopus with green curry appetizer or my lamb with spring pesto, followed by a cheese course with plum preserves, or the peanut butter ice cream with caramelized bananas, but I would just make you jealous…really jealous

I will tell you about how Bacchanalia created an especially wonderful for me.  When I made the reservations, they carefully noted that I have celiac and can’t eat gluten.  Normally, even when you tell a restaurant, you still need to remind them when you arrive.  At Bacchanalia, I literally didn’t have to ask a single question the entire meal.  I think every person employed by Bacchanalia knew about my dietary restrictions.  Upon being seated, they removed my bread plate and took care of me every step of the three hour meal.  Since I couldn’t enjoy the cheese biscuits with my dinner companions, the chef gave me a beet salad with micro greens amuse bouche, which was a perfectly refreshing way to start the meal.  (Who needs cheese biscuits anyway?)

One of my favorite treats of the evening was the pre-dessert Panna cotta.  Everyone else’s came with granola on top, but for mine they garnished it with puffed rice.  Pretty awesome.  I had no idea I was a fan of panna cotta but it was delicious, creamy and sweet.

At the end of this amazing meal, even though I’d been eating for the last three hours, I felt completely refreshed, free of bloating, stomach pain or any signs of contamination.  With a 4-course meal and added surprises along the way, there are many variables and chances for a mess up, but not a single mistake was made at Bacchanalia.  I confidently slurped every soup, ate every bite, and devoured each course, without any concern.  (When the server put the peanut butter ice cream and caramelized bananas in front of me, I momentarily panicked at the graham cracker looking, crumbly bits on the plate.  He quickly, and very pleasantly, assured me that it was just crumbled peanuts.)

If you’re looking for a restaurant to celebrate a special occasion, Bacchanalia is the place.  Particularly for those of us with special dietary needs, the chefs and servers will make sure that you have just as wonderful of a dining experience as your gluten-eating, dairy-loving, date.  When you make your reservations, let them know your needs, and they will be happy to serve you.

Have you ever dined at Bacchanalia?  What was your favorite part of the meal?  Highlights?

Spring Writing

Posted in reading, recipe on March 24th, 2011 by Betsy – 2 Comments

lw cover

Spring is full of new beginnings and new publications!  In the midst of lacrosse season, spring break trips to Japan, and getting my students ready for exams, I’ve had two new articles published that I want to share with you. (And, as you know, I always love seeing my name in print!) lw bio

Next time you’re at Whole Foods, check out the most April/May issue of Living Without Magazine, which includes an article I wrote about traveling through Montana and Wyoming.  This trip exceeded my expectations with outdoor adventures, beautiful scenery, and gluten-free dining.  It feels like ages ago that I was out west, hiking, fishing, spending time with friends and checking out the restaurant scene, but this article allowed me to reflect on that special time.

lw westward

The Spring 2011 issue of Atlanta’s Finest Dining (which is free, by the way) has an article I wrote called Simple Spring Grilling, which has the recipe for this yummy salmon as well as thoughts on spring cooking.  (You can see the whole article online by clicking here.)  David and I just purchased a dining table for our back porch, so this gives us even more reason to fire up the grill and enjoy the beautiful Atlanta weather.

afd salmon

Wall Street Journal Article on Gluten Sensitivity

Posted in advice, media on March 16th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal online posted an article entitled, Clues to Gluten Sensitivity.  The article discusses a recent study showing that gluten sensitivity exists and can trigger immune responses in people, such as IBS-like symptoms, bloating, and chronic fatigue, to name a few, and that following a gluten-free diet can help alleviate those symptoms.

This article is good news to me because I hope it will encourage people to consider trying a gluten-free diet who are experiencing some of these wide range of health issues.  As the article states, this study will help assure people that they are not crazy to think that they might feel better without gluten, even if they don’t have celiac disease.  Gluten sensitivity can cause much pain and will hopefully be taken more seriously by doctors as more and more research is done in this area.

Valentine’s Dinner at bhojanic

Posted in Atlanta, Restaurants, Uncategorized on March 9th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

bhojanic logo

David and I love Indian food.  We really love Indian food.  Until recently, we had not yet found a good Indian restaurant in Atlanta that I confidently felt could ensure a safely gluten-free meal for me.  Much Indian food should be naturally GF, as it’s centered around rice and yummy (flour-free) sauces but sometimes there can be a language barrier, which can make it difficult to be completely clear on what’s gluten-free and what’s not.

Upon recommendations from friends, David and I decided to try out Bhojanic, a Decatur Indian restaurant, for our belated Valentine’s date.  I emailed with the manager earlier in the week and they assured me that many of their items are gluten-free.  Bhojanic is located in a strip mall on Claremont Road (just off of I-85), not downtown Decatur.  It’s very easy to get to and parking is hassle free, unlike downtown Decatur.

When we arrived at Bhojanic, we were immediately seated and of course started salivating at the menu.  There were so many items on the menu, which made me feel confident that there would be something I could enjoy.  It was actually a bit overwhelming to know where to start with the menu, but our waiter was very patient and took the time to explain many of the dishes to us.  (David and I both ask lots of questions!)

bhoj all

In talking to our waiter, he was a bit overly confident that certain things were gluten-free.  For example, he assured us the cornbread was gluten-free, but we had him double check and it turns out that they do dust the bread in flour.  This was a good reminder to me that it’s always worth it to really make sure your waiter verify ingredients with the kitchen.  Even though I didn’t want to be pushy, I also didn’t want to ruin our Valentine’s date.  David is my biggest advocate when it comes to dining out, so he’s always willing to ask, if I’m not feeling as assertive as I need to be.  (Thank you, Valentine.)

We ended up ordering a handful of different items on the menu, but our meal centered around Chicken Tikka Masala, which is hands down my favorite Indian dish.  At each restaurant, tikka masala is a little different, so you never know exactly what you’re going to get, but it’s a tomato based sauce that is delicious, and varying in spice levels.  At bhojanic, you can order different sizes of this dish but David and I wanted enough for two (and leftovers) so we got the bigger serving.  We also ordered a rice bowl to share with our tikka masala.  The tikka masala had a bit of a kick to it, and was one of the best we’ve ever eaten and the leftovers the next day were equally as delicious.

Chicken Tikka Masala...so good.

Chicken Tikka Masala...so good.

Everything we ordered at bhojanic was gluten-free so  we could share all of our dishes.  It’s so much more fun when you can happily stick your fork in your date’s food and take a bite, without worry.  At this point, I don’t fully remember what we ordered (apologies!) but it was all delicious.  We enjoyed a chickpea side dish, a tapas dish that involved shrimp, and a cheese appetizer.  Bhojanic has a long list of specials each night so the menu online is not comprehensive and most of the items we ordered aren’t even on it.  Hence, I can’t tell you exactly what we ate, but you can see the photos.

Shrimp tapas

Shrimp tapas

Yummy cheese dish: Beware, those are jalepenos, not okra, like I originally thought.

Yummy cheese dish: Beware, those are jalepenos, not okra, like I originally thought.

I would definitely recommend bhojanic, but you want to make sure to check with your server or the manager about each specific dish.  Also, they do not use a separate fryer so I would avoid anything fried.  A successful Valtentine’s date night and David’s already advocating that we go back!  Next time, I’ll remember what I ate.

bhojanic – 1363 Clairmont Road, Decatur,GA 30033
404.633.9233

Gluten-Free Girl Scout Cookies?

Posted in baking, product, recipe on February 28th, 2011 by Betsy – 6 Comments

Last weekend, our neighborhood girl scout stopped by to bring David his Tagalongs.  As he dove right in to the box of chocolate peanut butter goodness, I was reminded of years of Samoas, Thin Mints, Tagalongs and Trefoils.

samoa Recently, I haven’t had much time in the kitchen, but my friend Wendy sent me this article, which has me inspired: Make Your Own Gluten-Free Girl Scout Cookies

dosido

Sounds awesome, right?  They have gluten-free recipes for Thin Mints and the equivalent of Do-Si-Dos.  (Do you remember those?)  Yum!  I was disappointed that they didn’t have a recipe for Samoas so I did some sleuthing on my own and found this recipe for gluten-free samoas, on Gluten-Free Betsy.  (Great name!)

thin mints 2

It’s not the same as ripping into the brightly colored box, I’ll admit, but it’s not too bad.  Have you tried making your own version of Girl Scout Cookies?  What’s your childhood favorite?

Pure Knead Bakery Opening for Retail

Posted in Atlanta, bakery, event on February 21st, 2011 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

If you love the hamburger buns at YEAH! Burger than you’ll want to keep reading the following press release from Pure Knead

We are *delighted* to announce that our retail shop will open on Saturday, February 26th!  A few of the many products you will see include our well-known buns (both original and multigrain), hoagie rolls, rosemary bread braids, olive boules, baguettes and croutons! Of course, you can’t have a great bakery without great dessert! You haven’t had bread pudding until you’ve had our Pure Knead bread pudding, and our brown sugar chocolate chip cookies are simply heavenly! Ok, now that your mouth is watering (mine is), here are some details…

pure knead_7Dai

We will be open from 9am to 1pm, with both fresh and frozen options for you. The bakery address and phone number are at the bottom of this message.

We will have monthly specials to take advantage of our amazing local agriculture system, so sign up on our facebook page to get the inside scoop on those offerings!

You can certainly call ahead and place an order for pick up, or simply come on Saturdays and see what strikes your fancy!

Many of you have asked us for products that are free of allergens other than gluten. Just a quick reminder that all Pure Knead products are certified gluten-free, and are also free of dairy, soy, nuts and shellfish- we don’t use them in our facility. Most of our current products do contain egg and corn. In the bakery, you can look at the ingredient list for every product we sell; we are proud of what we put into our products, and think you should know what you are eating. For the Opening, we will not be offering specialized products, but I promise that we are working on egg-free and other options for you! If you have a question, please don’t ever be shy about asking!

The Grand Opening is special to me for so many reasons, and we are going to celebrate! You will be able to sample many of our products on the 26th- try before you buy! And the first 20 people through our doors will go home with a special goodie!

We are so excited to welcome you to the bakery; so much time and care has gone into this effort, and I can’t thank the Pure Knead staff enough for helping me make this a reality! Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday- and bring a friend or two!

So here’s where to find Pure Knead:

186 Rio Circle, Suite C – Decatur, GA 30030 – 404-377-5567

If you are familiar with Dekalb Farm’ers Market, we are just down the street. Rio Circle is just off of Laredo Drive, which runs directly into the Farmer’s market. Look for the signs for Southern Sweets bakery; we are located in the same building (Suite C in the back half of the building). Mapquest will find us, so use it if you aren’t from around the Decatur area!

Foodie Publications Highlighting Gluten-Free Dishes

Posted in advice, reading, recipe on February 18th, 2011 by Betsy – 1 Comment

I always like seeing major publications giving attention to gluten-free dishes.  Of course my immediate reaction is, “Why can’t you hire me?” but then I move on and actually enjoy the recipes and appreciate the gluten-free shout out.

With the help of Gluten Freedom readers, I’ve found:

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Food & Wine’s website has a Gluten-Free Slide Show, with links to each of the recipes.  Of course the rack of lamb looks good to me!

real-simple-logo

Real Simple’s website has ‘Ten Gluten-Free Dinners’ for you to try.  I’m thinking about making their zucchini stuffed with quinoa.  Yum!

What looks good to you on these sites?  Have you seen any other foodie magazines recognize gluten-free cuisine recently?