Posts Tagged ‘gluten-free’

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.

Culinary Inspiration

Posted in baking, cooking, meals, recipe on June 18th, 2012 by Betsy – 1 Comment

Sometimes I need a little creative inspiration so I turn to other blogs for ideas.  I thought you might enjoy some recipes I’ve found recently that are/look yummy and of course can be made gluten free.

Pulled Chicken Barbecue (Eat, Live, Run)

Summer Corn Salad (101 Cookbooks)

Feta Cheese & Roasted Red Pepper Dip (6 in the Morningside)

BLT Corn Salad Wraps (Joy the Baker)

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas (Gluten Free Goddess)

Spiced Tomato Gratin (101 Cookbooks) *I think I would add fresh parmesan to this one

Thick, Chewy Granola Bars (Smitten Kitchen) *Just make sure you use certified gluten-free oats.

Almond Butter Cookies with Chocolate (Gluten Free Girl)

What are you excited about cooking this summer?  What are some of your favorite “go-to” blogs for recipe ideas?

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?

Miley’s Gluten Free “Party in the USA”

Posted in Uncategorized on April 11th, 2012 by Betsy – 1 Comment

So Miley is blaming her weight loss on going gluten free??  Clearly she’s not eating the Udi’s bagels and Mellow Mushroom GF pizza that I’ve been chowing down on over the last few months.

Check out this article (sent to me by reader Lucy) about Miley’s gluten-free diet.  Not so sure that it’s going GF that’s making her so thin.  I’m glad US Weekly actually has some educated things to say about going gluten free.  “Miley Cyrus Slammed for Going Gluten-Free”

Miami Spring Break 2K12 & Ola Restaurant

Posted in favorite things, meals, Restaurants, travel on March 20th, 2012 by Betsy – 2 Comments

Bienvenido a Miami: The view from our hotel room

David and I spent a restful five days in Miami during early March. We stayed at the brand new St. Regis hotel in Bal Harbor, enjoying his accumulation of hotel points in the past year.  We had the best time, relaxing, reading, and eating.  Always my perfect trip.  The folks at the St. Regis of course accommodated my GF diet and even had GF bread in one of their restaurants that they toasted for me for breakfast.  (Unfortunately I didn’t learn about this until the last day.)  One of my favorite meals was the quinoa salad at the pool restaurant.  I ordered it with chicken in order to get some extra protein.

One night, David and I went to a Miami Heat game to see LeBron and Dwayne Wade in action.  And of course, Duke alum, Shane Battier.  We wanted to explore dining options closer to the arena so the concierge recommended Ola Restaurant.  We called ahead to make reservations and they said that they could accommodate a gluten-free diner.  Well, let me just say that this was an understatement.  Ola had many delicious options for me and I didn’t feel restricted at all.

This Latin American cuisine restaurant, located in the Sanctuary Hotel in Miami Beach, is run by the internationally acclaimed Latin chef, Douglas Rodriguez.  The restaurant is cozy and we received amazing service.  Our waiter knew immediately what gluten was and he was well informed about what items on the menu are gluten free.  Regardless of what you order, you should inquire about whether any items in the dish are fried because they do only use one fryer for both gluten and gluten-free items.

Pan de bono=delicious

The meal started off with some of the most amazing bread I’ve ever eaten.  It is called pan de bono and it is made with tapioca flour, sugar, eggs, and cheese.  There might be some other ingredients but no gluten, at least not at Ola.  It was incredible!  The texture and the flavor were like nothing I’ve ever eaten before.  I couldn’t stop at just one piece.

My salmon entree

For my main course, I ordered the popular Panella Salmon, which is cured and seared, and is served with creamy quinoa, broken black olive vinaigrette, and jicama salad.  The salmon has a nice sweetness to it that goes surprisingly well with the quinoa and black olives.  The flavor combination was pretty amazing.  I also couldn’t resist a side of the mashed plantains with bits of bacon.  So good!  David’s dish, Puerca Asado (braised pork), was also gluten free as long as you ask them to not serve it with the piece of fried pork.  This slow cooked pork, served with steam yucca, was also packed with flavor, and tasted so different from my order.  (David’s beer braised short rib empanadas, sadly, were not GF.)

Overall, we had a great gluten-free experience at Ola and had some of the best service I’ve ever received at a restaurant.  I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to splurge on a Latin-inspired dinner while vacationing in Miami.  It is truly worth the price.  Enjoy!

And of course, the Heat game was great too..they wooped Chris Humphries and the NJ Nets.

 

 

 

Yummy Spoonfuls Baby Food…yes, I’m writing about baby food

Posted in Atlanta, GF product, pregnancy, vegetarian on March 1st, 2012 by Betsy – 4 Comments

I’ve never thought much about baby food before but now that I am going to be bringing a life into this world, I guess it’s something I need to think about.  I worry about what I put into my body so it’s only fitting that I should be concerned with what my baby gets in her body.

When I heard from the folks at Yummy Spoonfuls, I thought this could be a great opportunity to learn a little more about baby food.  (It’s a thrilling topic, I know.)

Yummy Spoonfuls makes organic baby food in 25 flavors and is committed to, “providing premium, organic, nutritious and fresh baby food that tastes good to even the most finicky baby.”  Each container of their food is made from scratch with all natural ingredients. Their products are free from salt, preservatives, gluten, dairy, additives, sugars and/or fillers. Sounds pretty healthy to me.  But will the little ones like it???

Connor pondering over how he feels about this new food.

Since my daughter is not yet here, I asked my friend, Meredith if she would be willing to try out Yummy Spoonfuls on her 7-month old son, Connor.

Here’s what Meredith had to say about Yummy Spoonfuls: Out of the three flavors (apple, pear, and butternut squash), Connor loved and gobbled down all of them, but I’d say he had a special liking for the butternut squash and was squealing for more after each bite.  I tasted all of them too and hands down they taste better than Gerber organic or earth’s best…definitely more flavor and less watery tasting.

Success! Connor wants more!

Looks like Yummy Spoonfuls isn’t just healthy but also appealing to little ones’ taste buds.  Have any of you fed Yummy Spoonfuls to your child?  What was their reaction?  Click here to find where you can get your hands on some Yummy Spoonfuls.

*Special thanks to Meredith, Scott and Connor for sampling and documenting Yummy Spoonfuls!

Perfect Weeknight Supper: Kettle Cuisine Soups

Posted in GF product, Uncategorized, vegetarian on February 22nd, 2012 by Betsy – 4 Comments

Recently I had the opportunity to try some delicious soups made by the folks at Kettle Cuisine.  I love making soups and stews in my own kitchen but there are times when the husband’s out of town, or I’m getting home late from a lacrosse game, that I just want an easy dinner that involves minimal work on my part.

Kettle Cuisine makes yummy, hearty soups, in many varieties, that only need to be heated before serving.  Perfect for a solo weeknight dinner or a Saturday lunch.  Most of Kettle Cuisine’s soups are high in fiber and lower in calories than your typical frozen dinner.  More importantly, ALL varieties (including their chicken noodle soup) are gluten-free!  Kettle Cuisine’s founder, Jerry Shafir, started producing entirely gluten-free soups in 2006.  Jerry’s daughter, Kate, was diagnosed with Celiac 20 years ago so he knows how hard it can be to find tasty, healthy, frozen meals that are gluten free.

Some of my Kettle favorites include the chicken soup with rice noodles, chicken chili with white beans, and Thai curry chicken soup.  These soups are filling and won’t leave you hungry. They don’t skimp on the good stuff, like meat, veggies and beans.  When eating one, you don’t feel like you have a bowl of broth in front of you.  I let David try the New England Clam Chowder and he devoured every bite.  He said it was one of the best clam chowders he has ever tasted.  (I’ll have to take his word because I’m not a huge clam chowder fan.)

Kettle Cuisine’s soups can be found all over the country.  Click here to find a location near you.  In Atlanta, you can find them at Whole Foods, Return to Eden, and even at the Kroger on Howell Mill Road.  Check them out for yourself!  You won’t regret sampling this perfect weeknight dinner.  (Warning: These meals will make you wonder why you’ve spent so much time in the past making soups from scratch.)

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

 

 

Highlights of 2011

Posted in event, favorite things on January 6th, 2012 by Betsy – 3 Comments

This year was quite a year for me.  Lots of travel, adventure and really calling Atlanta home.  There are many highlights so I thought I’d take a little walk down memory lane (clearly in no particular order)…

Bachelor Brad won, and broke, Emily’s heart.

Richard Blais brought home the “W” in Top Chef All-Stars

Articles published on my travel tips for Wyoming/Montana, Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville

Surviving an earthquake and tsunami in Japan, while also getting to spend such a special time with my brother, sister-in-law and nephews.  (I really wouldn’t take back the trip, even if I could.  I promise.)

Dinner at Bacchanalia…always makes the highlight list!

An amazing trip to NYC full of gluten-free yumminess.

Ashley lived up to expectations as a disappointing Bachelorette (but we still watched)!

Rice Krispies went gluten free!

A trip to Nashville to meet my new niece, Anna

A week in Laguna Beach with the love of my life…so awesome.

Rob, Alden and boys visit us in Atlanta

Filming a “Sizzle-Reel” for a TV show pilot in Vail, Colorado

Wow!  What a year!  While it’s sad to say goodbye to 2011, there are many good things to come in 2012.  Thanks for all of your support and continuing to read Gluten Freedom.  Apologies for nearly two months of being MIA.  Let’s just say I needed a little rest…