Posts Tagged ‘Charlottesville’

Revolutionary Soup (Charlottesville)

Posted in travel on February 3rd, 2012 by Betsy – 2 Comments


One of my favorite (re)discoveries last fall was Revolutionary Soup in Charlottesville.  As a college student, this was one of my favorite lunch spots on the Downtown Mall.  Ten years later, they now have a location on the Corner, closer to Grounds, and they are great about labeling allergens in their various items.

When David and I visited Charlottesville this fall, (pre-morning sickness), we ate twice at Rev Soup.  It was a cold and rainy weekend, so their hearty soups were a perfect lunch for us. The lamb curry soup was deliciously spicy and meaty and the salad rounded out the meal nicely.  On our second stop I enjoyed the peanut tofu soup, one that I surprisingly loved.  The best part is they let you sample the different soups so you know which one you really want.  Rev Soup also labels soups that are vegan and vegetarian.

What are your favorites at Rev Soup?  Sadly, the grilled cheese is not gluten free.

Peanut Tofu Soup...delicious!

Revolutionary Soup:

108 2nd Street SW (Downtown Mall Location)
Charlottesville, VA 22902
(434) 296-SOUP (7687)

104 14th Street Northwest (Corner Location)
Charlottesville, VA 22903
(434) 979-9988

 

 

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.

Charlottesville Travel Article

Posted in travel, Uncategorized on September 6th, 2011 by Betsy – 3 Comments

If you went to the University of Virginia, you’re most likely as in love with Charlottesville, Virginia as I am.  We Wahoos can be a little snobby about “The University” and our favorite historical figure, Mr. Jefferson.  (That’s right, he didn’t go by “President” just “Mr.”)

I give Charlottesville credit for a lot of things in my life: a great college education, my husband (who gave me my tour of UVA my senior year of high school), wonderful memories, and my nerdy love of history.

Needless to say, when I was asked by Living Without Magazine to write a travel article about Charlottesville, I couldn’t resist.  Of course I had way too many gushing things to say about C’Ville, even though when I was a student, I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with celiac.  I’ve been back many times since and have learned to navigate the GF world in C’Ville.  I also enlisted the help of two of my former students (who are way cooler than me), Liz and Eleanor.  They are now living the dream as 2nd years at UVA…they also have celiac so could give me the scoop on all of the yummy spots they enjoy.

Check out my article on Charlottesville by clicking here or buy the October/November issue of Living Without at your local Whole Foods or health food store.  While I miss the delicious Take it Away sandwiches and Bodo’s Bagels, there are more and more options in C’ville for us gluten-freers.  I promise!

Two More Gluten-Free Spots in Charlottesville

Posted in Restaurants, travel, Virginia on October 20th, 2010 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

During my recent visit to Charlottesville, I did not get to check out two eateries that have recently been put on my gluten-free radar.  One of my former students, who’s a first year at UVA (I’m so jealous!), goes to Rise PizzaWorks, a new addition to the Charlottesville restaurant scene, that offers gluten-free pizza crust.  Most of their toppings are GF, as well.

risepizza

Also, while in town, a friend informed me that there’s a hot dog place on the downtown mall that’s gluten-free friendly.  I haven’t been there yet, but here’s the info:

The Downtown Hot Dog Company – 112 W. Main, Charlottesville, VA 22901

Have any of you tried either of these yet?  What’s the scoop?

Am I missing any other great gluten-free spots in Charlottesville that have gone under my radar?

Virginia is for (Fall) Lovers

Posted in bakery, GF product, local food, meals, Restaurants, travel on October 12th, 2010 by Betsy – 1 Comment

Georgia is now home and while I love being an Atlantan, there’s something about Virginia, that I just can’t tear myself away from…especially Virginia in the fall.  I get to spend two weekends in Virginia this month and I feel like one lucky girl.

Even though this past weekend was unusually warm, it still felt like fall in Charlottesville.  Leaves were starting to change; everyone wanted to be outside; I had no responsibilities for the weekend except hang out with college friends.  Beautiful.

IMG_0098

While I miss so many of the gluten-filled places I frequented as an undergrad, Saturday morning was a reminder to me that there are some gluten-free places for me in C’Ville.  Desperate to enjoy the beautiful weather, I wandered downtown to the Farmer’s Market, where of course, you can find table after table of beautiful produce, all gluten-free.  I even unexpectedly ran into three college friends while perusing the market…so fun!

farmersmktcville

It didn’t bother me that the cakes and breads at the market weren’t GF, because I headed right over to The Baker’s Palette and ordered myself a few of their gluten-free pumpkin muffins.  Baker’s Palette also sells GF banana muffins and biscotti, but I always stick with the pumpkin variety.  (They keep them frozen so I had to exercise major patience while I waited for my first one to thaw.  It was worth the wait.)

Baker's Palette: Just a quick walk from Charlottesville's Downtown Mall

Baker's Palette: Just a quick walk from Charlottesville's Downtown Mall

A wonderful, gluten-free, morning.  Sure, when I got to the morning reception I attended, I couldn’t eat the Bodo’s bagels that were set out, but by that time I had my perfectly thawed, delicious pumpkin muffin.

I didn’t have a lot of time to eat out at restaurants this trip because most of my meals were at University events, but on Sunday morning I discovered a new found love of smoothies.  Now, I’ve never really been into the ‘liquid diet,’ but on Sunday morning they looked so good, and it was delicious.  My friend, Nina, and I went to Calvino Cafe, at the Main Street Market, next to one of favorite lunch spots, Feast.

calvino

I inquired about the yogurt Calvino puts in their smoothies and they use the Kroger generic brand, so I didn’t take a risk.  Instead they subbed milk for yogurt and it was so yummy.  (My smoothie still tasted nice and thick, not too icy.)  Calvino also offers soy milk as an option, in case you prefer to go dairy free.  We sat outdoors, enjoying our breakfasts, before taking a walk ‘on grounds.’  (That’s what we, UVA folks, refer to as ‘on campus.’)  A perfect way to end my Charlottesville visit before heading back to my family in northern Virginia.  And, I’ll be back up in the Commonwealth of Virginia this weekend too!

Dorms, Tailgating, & Cafeterias: Gluten-Free College Advice

Posted in advice on January 21st, 2010 by Betsy – Be the first to comment

In the last couple of weeks, two of my former students have been diagnosed with celiac or gluten intolerances.  As the number of celiac diagnoses continues to increase in the United States, more and more teenagers and adults in their early 20s will be turning to a gluten-free diet.  Going gluten-free creates many challenges for people of all ages, but young adults have their own set of hurdles they must face as they adjust to their new dietary guidelines.

In emailing recently with a student who was just diagnosed with celiac, it reminded me just how difficult it is for teenagers and college-aged people with celiac to cope with their gluten-free diet.  When you’re living on a dorm or in an apartment with others, you have less control over the food that surrounds you and even what goes in your mouth.  You’re more likely to go out or be eating in a cafeteria, which means you’re not the one preparing your food.  I get a little anxious anytime I eat out or even go to a friend’s house for a meal, but for those at boarding school, in college, or even recently out of college, eating outside of your home is a constant reality.

Even though I wasn’t diagnosed with celiac until post-college, I can understand some of the issues young celiacs face in their daily lives, after living at a boarding school for the last three years and still being a “20-something” myself. I’ve provided some tips to help alleviate the stress that can come with celiac and putting your dietary needs in the hands of others.  Even if you’re not a teenager or in your early 20s, you might still find these tips helpful for you.

-       “Be prepared.” Yes, I know this is the Boy Scout’s motto, but it is key to living the gluten-free life.  I never travel anywhere without a small stash of food in my bag.  A Lara Bar, a bag of peanuts, and M&Ms are always on hand for me, no matter where I’m going or how certain I am that I’ll be able to consume a gluten-free meal.  You never want to be caught hungry and empty handed.  Believe me, it’s not a good feeling (and it becomes more tempting to eat gluten when you’re hungry).

-       Create your own late night snacks.  In college, there’s a lot of late night eating, for a variety of reasons.  People are up later studying or hanging out on dorm so there’s a need for more sustenance at unusual hours.  Also, alcohol consumption translates into thinking late night pizza is a good idea.  Well, it’s really not a good idea for you now that you’re gluten-free.  Make sure that you stock up on things that you can eat late night, if you enjoy this aspect of college life.  I met a girl with celiac who loves late-night pasta, so she always makes sure that she has some gluten-free pasta in her apartment to whip up when she feels the need.  Frozen GF pizzas might do the job as well.  I know it’s not the same as greasy, freshly delivered pizza, but we all have to make life adjustments.  (Good news!  5 Guys burgers are GF without the bun and their fries are gluten-free as well so this could be a good late night food stop for you if you’re feeling the post-bars food craving.)

-       Ask Questions.  It can feel awkward and even obnoxious to constantly ask questions about the food you’re eating, but it’s a must.  Especially since you can’t control how things are being prepared and what ingredients are going into them, you must be informed.

-       Make friends with the people who make your food.  If you are on a meal plan at college, introduce yourself to the managerial staff and the people who make and serve your food.  If they know you and understand your needs, they’ll be more able to accommodate your needs.  If you go to a certain restaurant a lot, ask to meet the owner or the manager.  I’ve found that people in the food service industry want to get it right and are well intentioned.  Don’t hesitate to try to connect with those people.  When they can connect a face to the ‘disease’ they’re more likely to want to help you out and go the extra mile.

-       Find gluten-free places you trust: When friends ask where a good place is for you to eat, have answers.  Your whole outlook on your city or college town will change once you’ve been diagnosed with celiac.  It’s worth investigating your options so that you can go to restaurants with friends and feel confident in your meal.  I attended UVA and now when I go back to Charlottesville, my entire trip is different because I’ve discovered places that make great gluten-free accommodations for me.  Charlottesville is a town that’s known for its sandwiches and great bagel places, but I’ve found delicious food for me too.

-       Go with your instinct & just say, “No.”: If it doesn’t feel right, skip it.  This piece of advice comes from someone who has not always gone with her instinct and regretted it later.  I tend to worry about hurting people’s feelings but my health is more important than feelings.  I now ask to look at jars and labels at friends’ houses, even though it can be uncomfortable.  I politely turn things down if I think it’s going to make me sick later.  In restaurants, the same principle applies.

-       Beware Tailgating: Tailgating is a favorite pastime for college students.  I, too, love a good tailgate, but sadly, I have yet to find any gluten-free friendly tailgates.  Issues of contamination are almost unavoidable when people are grabbing sandwiches and chips with one hand while holding their glutenous beer in the other.  While it might feel a bit awkward to have to say “no” to every ham biscuit or piece of Bojangle’s fried chicken that’s offered to you, it’s worth it.  Even if someone has nicely made a gluten-free artichoke dip, make sure that gluten-filled food products have not been dipped into the same dip.  If I’m going to be at a football game, I make sure to have plenty of food with me and eat a big breakfast earlier in the day.

-       Limit the variables: I often describe my body as a science experiment, so it’s only fitting that I discuss ‘controlling variables.’  When I am planning a weekend away, I make sure that at least a few of the meals will be in my control.  I like to bring my own breakfast food and snacks so that at least some meals I won’t have to worry about potential contamination or food issues.  I find that bringing some of my own food cuts down on the variables (potential for getting sick) and makes me feel more comfortable at my other meals.  The nice thing about breakfast is that you can always get coffee with your friends and still feel like you’re sharing in the meal and the social time.  Limiting the variables definitely applies for college students as well because there are so many times that your eating is left in the hands of others.  Give yourself some meals where you create what you ingest.

-       Find activities that are non-food related: It seems that most of the social events we do with others involve food in some way.  There are many fun things to do with friends that don’t revolve around a meal so think about what some of those might be in your town.  For me, I enjoy hiking, running, going to an athletic event and even wine tasting.  (Cheers to wine being gluten-free!)

Staying healthy on a gluten-free diet is about monitoring what goes into your body.  When you don’t create your meals, this becomes more difficult.  Try to stay positive, especially if you’re still adjusting to your new gluten-free life.  I promise, it’s worth it.  There will be ups and downs, but over time it will get easier.