Monday, January 31, 2011

Rudi's GF Bread - Am I Dreaming??

Rudi's gluten-free bakery was kind enough to educate me on their products and send me a loaf of gluten-free multi grain bread to sample. Rudi's bakery has been at it 30 years and now has a gluten-free line, and for that, I am thankful!! Rudi's makes white, multi-grain and cinnamon raisin gluten-free bread.

Important to note, is Rudi's charitable side. For every dollar coupon downloaded on Rudi's website, Rudi's will donate one dollar (up to $20k) to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). Did you know there are an estimated 3 million people in the U.S. that have Celiac disease, but, only 160,000 diagnosed?? Alarming, huh? Thrilled there are socially conscious businesses, like Rudi's, that care to help make a difference...

On to the bread!

Let's just say WOOHOO!!! This multi grain bread, plain and simply R-O-C-K-S!! I have been searching for great gluten-free bread since I was diagnosed in 2010.

Best of all, it's kosher as well!

The texture feels like regular bread. Best of all, toasted with butter, it REALLY does taste like REAL bread!!! I've had non-Celiacs take a stab at this bread, and the conclusion is the same it tastes like real bread!!
Rudi's also shared some great recipes with me, that I'd like to share with you! For Gourmet Grilled Cheese and Bread Pudding, enjoy!!

I can't say enough about how thrilled I am to come across this product, thanks, Rudi's. I've already placed my recommondation to my local Publix to carry Rudi's gluten-free. Once you try it, you'll agree!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chili's - The Best Corn Ever! And a GF Menu!

Chili's Grill & Bar Restaurant has menu's catering to various food allergies, including egg, fish, wheat/gluten, dairy, shellfish, tree nuts and peanuts.

It may be surprising to some, but, my favorite food at Chili's is their CORN. It's incredible. Dripping with butter, salt and pepper rubbed on - I'm not sure what their secret is, but, it's always perfect sweet corn.

I also am a big fan of the margarita chicken, pictured below, with the corn on the cob and mashed potatoes.

Chili's has an email club, and offers coupons and free menu items for signing up.

Thumbs Up for Chili's!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Yard House in Coral Gables a Great GF Meal

There's so much I really enjoy about Yard House... where to begin. First of all, they have a GF menu, which is why I decided to try it in the first place.

I'm a huge fan of "SPINACH CHEESE DIP" and have been disappointed on a number of occasions as most restaurants seem to use some form of gluten in the ingredients. What's great about Yard House is there is no gluten in its Spinach Cheese Dip! It is baked with feta, jack, parmesan and cream cheese and typically served with crispy flat bread, to accommodate those on a GF diet, they were nice enough to give me carrot sticks and celery sticks the first time I went. I went back a second time before writing this blog, and got carrot sticks again. They are very accommodating, and look how nice the presentation is! 

You're right, I did take a big biteout of this before remembering to take a photo... can't help it!

Next, I had a ceasar salad, with extra parmesan chips - pure cheese, and I was assured they are GF. They had the same texture as croutons, which was really nice - as I was beginning to forget what croutons taste like.
Next up was a burger. Burgers typically come with fries, unfortunately, the fries here are NOT GF, but, they are nice enough to sub the fries for mash potatoes, which are GF and tasty.
What I was happiest about is the fact that Yard House has Woodchuck Pear cider on tap!! This is the first time I've seen Woodchuck on tap - its delicious. For a review of Woodchuck cider - check out my previous review here.
All in all, very pleased with Yard House, and happy to return again for a delicious GF meal. THUMBS UP!!

Yard House on Urbanspoon
Yard House on Urbanspoon

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Holland America - A 5 Star GF Vacation!!

I love food and LOVE cruising. Since my diagnosis with Celiac disease, I really didn't think cruises would ever be as pleasurable with my gluten issues. I was planning a much needed vacation and was THRILLED when I came across Holland America, whose tag line is "A Siganture of Excellence."

Holland America notes on its website its ability to accommodate vegetarian, kosher, gluten free, diabetic, and any other dietary need. The website alone wasn't enough to convince me - so I called. I was pleasantly surprised - it was true! Holland America gets Kinnickinnick products delivered to the ship, and EVEN has a GF special order form where you can order bread, pancakes, muffins, pizza, pasta and MORE prior to boarding the ship. Holland America requests this form one month prior to boarding, and does its best to make sure the items are ordered and on the ship for you.

Well... you fill out the paper and hope for the best when you get on the ship, but, you really don't have to worry on Holland America. They have the BEST service I have had on a cruise ship (reminding me of how cruise ship service was 15+ years ago) - service with a HUGE smile. The accommodations were unreal - the service was amazing, and MOST importantly, the GF meals were AMAZING.

Below, I have some snapshots of some wonderful GF accommodations made for me. P.S. - I was told there were 12 other Celiacs on the ship being accommodated, numerous vegetarian and kosher requests as well.  I was NEVER sick on the ship. The ENTIRE staff dealing with food was EXTREMELY educated on gluten free foods, even the staff on the buffet line on the pool deck knew exactly which foods were GF - and were always 100% correct!

GF Bread - I had multigrain, pumpernickel bread, english muffins, and even chocolate chip pancakes.  Best of all, room service even delivered it to my room in the mornings!

GF Potato and Leek Soup, Yum!
Lamb Chops!  (I had lamb chops 3/7 nights, YES Holland America does feed you quite well)!
Sorbet was ALWAYS a desert option
Our main server for dinner was Beni, he was plain and simply, THE BEST! This was the special dessert HE MADE HIMSELF for me nightly!!! Yes, I did tell him I loved him, on numerous occasions - in front of my boyfriend! =) Can you blame me??
The BEST accommodation yet!
Holland America gets a GOLDEN THUMBS UP!!  Thank you so much for a wonderful, healthy, happy, gluten free vacation!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Flanigans for Steak?

I'm a huge steak lover. On a great week, I can have steak at least once or twice a week. C'mon, what more does a girl need besides steak, potatoes and chocolate??

I never previously considered Flanigan's a place for steak... that is, until I tried their rib eye with a baked potato.

Great baked potatoes I love to eat plain, they're good enough to eat with nothing on them. The rib eye was cooked with slight seasoning, it really didn't need much.

Flanigan's has many locations all around South Florida. See their full menu - there are 3 steak options.

For a great GF steak and potato, Flanigans is an option I now choose.


Flanigan's Seafood Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Truclucks - Like Yoko's, A+ for GF Accommodations!!

Accommodating is an understatement for Truluck's, where the service is as 5 star as the food. I was impressed, to say the least. Truluck's has 4 South Florida locations, choose the one closest to you.

We were greeted by Doris Driscoll, our fabulous server, who I wholeheartedly recommend. Truluck's is smart, they provide servers with business cards, realizing great service is just as important as great food - its the whole package - and this is where Truluck's shines in my book. Doris is a gem, she took a genuine interest in us (it wasn't fluff to pass the time, you can tell the difference), she had a recollection of our comments, took great care to accommodate my GF needs - A+! As soon as I mentioned my gluten issues, she stopped and said she'd personally speak with the chef and come back, and she did. Here's Doris's card - don't forget to ask for Doris!

Truluck's provided us with an awesome $35 date night menu, it included a salad, steak (or any other entree you wanted) and desert! A great deal.

I started with a caesar salad, sans the glutenous croutons.

To my surprise, anchovies were included on the salad, I happily removed those. The parmesan cheese shavings and caesar dressing were sheer perfection. I asked for extra dressing, and this might be the best caesar salad.

Next, I had parmeasan truffled mashed potatoes and a filet. I eat dairy before meat, and moved the mashed potatoes over and had those first. To sum up the mashed potatoes in one word - WOW!!! The perfect hint of cheese and fresh thick potatoe taste, they are heavenly.

The filet was seasoned well (with salt, pepper, garlic), and I had the chimmichurri sauce brought on the side (unfortunately the bearnaise sauce contains gluten). It's a great steak, the kind of great steak that doesn't need any seasoning to be great, it is just great on its own.

Lastly, instead of the chocolate cake or key lime pie, Truluck's was very accommodating and provided me with the great tasting mixed berries. They were a perfect ending, to a perfect meal!

HUGE THUMBS UP for Truluck's - Don't forget to ask for Doris!!!!

Truluck's on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 10, 2011

Great Gluten Free Alternative to Beer - Have You Tried Woodchuck Cider??

Just because your diagnosed with Celiac disease, doesn't mean you can't have the food and beverages everyone else has - you just have to find great companies that can accommodate, GF style!

I used to love beer, at least I now know why I was so sick after having it now. Now, I LOVE cider. Woodchuck Draft Cider has lots of great flavors. My two favorites are the amber and pear, pictured below.

Woodchuck's Cider is a perfect drink when watching a football game, I bring it to tailgate parties and occasionally drink a pear one and add some blackcurrant juice just because...

It's a great drink, the amber cider tastes very similar to beer, I call it bubbly beer, its great to have the beer taste, without the gluten!

HUGE THUMBS UP for Woodchuck!!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Portofino - Dare I Say the Best GF Pizza Yet??

I have been a loyal Pizza Fusion fan since I learned of my Celiac diagnosis. Recently, I had the pleasure to try Portofino Coal Fired Pizza and OH MY.... am I glad I did!!!

Portofino has a GF crust shipped to them (so I was told) and take precautions to keep the GF crust, well, GF.

This pizza is PERFECT pizza. I don't think I stopped to breathe at any point in time. They serve personal pizza's - that's the only GF size. I was accompanied by 3 people that did not have to have GF pies, but, in my honor, they did. EVERYONE LOVED Portofino's GF pies (and these are people who eat real pizza all the time!).

The six slices are just the right amount of pizza. Of course, I had no issue taking the who personal pie down in no time. Check our the menu - note that it says "Gluten Free crust available upon request." The reason this is EVEN better than normal is Portofino ALSO makes NUTELLA PIZZA!!!!!!! Now this is the score of the century!!

The nutella pizza is the same size, but, you'll have to forgive me, I cared MUCH more about eating this deliciousness than taking a picture - can you blame me? I ordered the nutella and strawberry pizza for desert. Wow... it is as good as it looks! Above is my leftover, which I must say, I was pleasantly surprised when it was just as amazing for breakfast the next morning!

My only qualm - I WISH there was a location closer to me!! The two locations are in Homestead and Kendall -- there are franchise opportunities available! Anyone on Miami Beach want to give it a shot?? You SHOULD!

I'll drive an hour to see you again, it's just that good!

Portofino Coal Fired Pizza on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

By Far, My FAVORITE GF Snack!!

Hello, my name is Jen, and I am a Pirate's Booty junkie. I cannot open a bag without finishing the WHOLE bag in one sitting... it's bad. I know... There really should be a support group for this.

Luckily, Pirate Brands makes healthy, DELICIOUS, snacks (so it's not that bad when you kill the bag in one sitting - and they make smaller snack size bags for junkies like myself!). Pirate's Booty and Smart Puffs (Real Wisconsin Cheddar) are my two favorites of Pirate Brands products.
For those that can't have dairy, Pirate Brands makes a vegan chip - original tings, crunchy corn chips. I have not tasted a Pirate Brands product I don't love. Look how delicious Pirate's Booty looks! You don't have a yellow dye on your hands for a week after eating it, just a nice cheese coating that you can happily lick off your fingers in seconds, with no residue.

Pirate's Booty is PERFECT, Pirate Brands gets a HUGE THUMBS UP!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I just voted, did you?

Here's your chance to be a part of the First-Ever Best of Gluten-Free Awards!

Vote HERE.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Gluten Free Kabob's on Miami Beach

Rice House of Kabob, has four locations in South Florida, and importantly, makes delicious kabobs that are gluten free! I have been assured they are cooked on a grill with no gluten. I love the rice with the kabob's.

During my last visit, I, of course, wanted meat, meat and more meat. So, I ordered the meat lovers plate - or as Rice House of Kabob calls it, Combo II - ground sirloin and beef tenderloin.

Doesn't it look delicious? It is!! The tenderloin is my favorite. It's cooked perfectly, just the rice spices, and the rice tastes similar to a jasmine rice's consistency to me. It's all great together.
For a great gluten free meal, check out Rice House of Kebab! Thumbs UP!

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Oh, Mongolian Beef, how do I love thee!
'Top 5 things I love about P.F. Changs China Bistro:
  1. The have a dedicated GF Menu!!! YES!!! And it's not just 1-2 items, it's a great menu! My two favorite items are the chicken fried rice and Mongolian Beef, YUM!
  2. They use specific plates to identify foods that are GF (see image above with P.F. Changs China Bistro Rim -- strictly for GF items)!!!
  3. They have a 10% off club!! Sign up NOW!
  4. The GF food still tastes delicious! My Mongolian Beef tastes just like my older fond memories of non GF Mongolian Beef.
  5. There are 2 locations close by, it's so nice to have a place to run to after work when the last thing I want to do is cook...
I am a huge fan of P.F. Changs - THUMBS UP! P.F. Changs is nice enough to give you the recipe to GF Mongolian Beef - but, why bother, I'll just let the pro's handle it!
It belongs on the top 5 GF chains. Restaurants need to take a cue from P.F. Changs, get those GF Menu's ready!

P.F. Chang's China Bistro on Urbanspoon
P.F. Chang's China Bistro on Urbanspoon