Sunday, February 20, 2011

GF in the 713 does Portland!

I recently traveled to Portland, Oregon with my husband and son.  As a Celiac, you may be wondering if it's really possible to enjoy a vacation in a city you're unfamiliar with.  I can tell you without a doubt that there are at least three places in the world (I'm sure there are plenty more!) you can enjoy a great GF vacation.  One of them is definitely Portland!

We had such a great time that I thought I'd start a new series on the blog letting y'all know about the places I've traveled Gluten Free and the great restaurants, stores, and more I've discovered along the way.  That way if you decide to take off on a GF vacation you'll have a starting point.

The first amazing meal we had was at a restaurant in downtown Portland, called Pastini Pastaria.  The meal we had at Pastini was probably one of the best I've had since going gluten free.  Nearly every dish on their menu can be made gluten free with no up-charge!  They offer two different types of gluten free pasta, penne and spaghetti, so you can get the proper shape to go with the dish you are eating.  They also offer gluten free tiramisu for dessert!!!  The restaurant is nice, but definitely relaxed enough to be family friendly.

We were in Portland for a wedding, and the reception that we went to had two kinds of gluten free cake from a bakery called Piece of Cake Bakery.  Both the carrot and chocolate cake with raspberry filling were amazingly good!  According to their website, you can also stop in for cake by the slice.

We also enjoyed a wonderful meal of Thai food at Typhoon! restaurant.  They had a very extensive gluten free menu (especially for Thai food) and I ate delicious pad thai noodles. We also had an amazing coconut soup and a wonderful pumpkin curry dish.

Finally, after a long day of traveling up to the mountains, we enjoyed some take-out GF pizza from Sellwood Pizza Kitchen.  We had some very yummy thin crust pizza, but they also offer GF garlic bread, hot wings, and other appetizers.

There are SO many more great gluten free options in Portland and I wish we would have been there longer (and been there only to eat!) so I could have visited them all.  It's a great fun city with tons to do in the downtown area as well as beautiful coastline and mountains to visit.  In short, Portland is a wonderful gluten free vacation spot.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Restaurant Reviews: Ruggles Green

I don't know how I'm just now getting around to reviewing Ruggles Green, but for those of you who have never been, it's basically gluten free mecca here in Houston.  You name it- burgers, pizza, pasta, desserts - and they have it gluten free at Ruggles Green.

Not only is nearly everything on the menu gluten free, it is delicious.  The macaroni and cheese is out of this WORLD!  I often use my non-gf husband as a point of comparison, but let me tell you that he completely agrees.  They are also extremely careful with handling the gluten free dishes, so even if you are the most sensitive type of gluten intolerant person, I think you can feel very safe eating at Ruggles Green.

Ruggles Green is not cheap, but not overly expensive.  We often go for a weeknight meal and with two entrees, a couple glasses of wine, and maybe a dessert we never spend more than $50.  It's a really nice, but casual atmosphere great for family meals or a couple's night out.

So many delicious varieties of crispy delicious gluten free pizza!

Yummy burgers, buffalo burgers, turkey burgers, and other sandwiches... all available gluten free!

Fish tacos, salads, pasta and more!

I hope that if you haven't had a chance to go to Ruggles Green, you'll go soon.  It's been such a blessing for me to have a go-to restaurant where there are so many great options to eat and it's just so refreshing for a restaurant to be so understanding and accommodating to gluten free diners.  If you go, please let me know what you think!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Keeping Up with the Kellehers

Friends, just thought I'd let you know that I'm a little crazy apparently, and I've started another blog.  I just wanted to have a separate blog for family and personal stuff and generally more open ended then just being gluten free.  Hope you'll stop by some time!

Product Reviews: Osem Gluten Free Pound Cake

I realized the other day that I almost always write positive reviews.  I love to share great gluten free finds with y'all, but I think it's just as important to let you know when I discover something that you should definitely steer clear of.  One example?  Osem Pound Cake.

I found this cake at Central Market  a few months ago (don't worry, I ate this a while ago - just took me a bit to get around to reviewing it!).  I thought, "Hey cool! Gluten free pound cake!  That could be something cool to keep in the pantry for last minute guests."  So I picked it up and forgot about it.  Then about a month later I had a major case of the late night munchies and I found this and decided to try it.

Here's the package.   Gluten free and kosher... cool!

Once open it looks very moist and dare I say appetizing...

I cut a slice and it looks and feels like pound cake should, but has a slightly chemically smell to it. Hmm.

Well unfortunately, the chemically smell was merely a preview for the disgusting chemically taste.  I really wanted to like it.  I really tried to like it.  Yuck.  One and a half bites and the whole thing was in the trash.

Bottom line?  If it seems to good to be true (aka gluten free kosher pound cake that's shelf stable for 6 months), then it probably is.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Restaurant Reviews: Pink's Pizza

Okay, it's official: I have a new favorite GF Pizza. If you haven't tried out the new gluten free pizza available at Pink's, now is the time. This is, hands down, the best gluten free pizza in town.

Pink's looks a little ghetto from the outside, but don't let the exterior fool you.  They have great pizza and a lot of unique toppings and combinations.  My favorite pizzas at Pink's are the Hawaii Five O (canadian bacon and pineapple) and the This Guy (proscuitto, italian sausage, rosemary chicken, goat cheese, mozarella, spinach, and roasted garlic).  Seriously yum.  The crust is not exactly thin crust (think Ruggles Green) and not exactly hand tossed (like the Domino's you remember), but its somewhere in between and I personally love it. 

Caveat:  Pink's Pizza is expensive.  Period.  Even the non-gf pizzas are a little pricey, IMO, but with the up charge of $4.50 (for a 12 inch size pie- that's the only one available gf) our pizzas tend to cost around $20.  That's not exactly affordable especially considering that's barely enough for two... at least in our house!

Either way, I'm still going and I'll continue to go to Pink's for pizza.  I firmly believe that the more people that support businesses offering gluten free products, the more demand from suppliers will go up, and economies of scale will force the prices down.  Rice is not inherently much more expensive than wheat.  It's just that wheat flour is so prevalent that its relatively inexpensive to buy, while rice flour is relatively rarely used.

So go forth and enjoy some delicious pizza... its for the good of the GF community!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Product Reviews: GF Icecream Sandwiches

I was so So SO excited to see these in the freezer aisle the other day, at my local Kroger.  What are they?  Gluten free icecream sandwiches... yup, you heard me right.  And they are delicious!

Yum, right?

 These little beauties are made by Julie's Organic with the cookies made by Gluten Freeda.  They come four to a package in the cutest little cardboard tube!

I have to say that I was so impressed by these icecream sandwiches.  They look and taste exactly like an icecream sandwich should.  My not GF hubs was equally impressed.  I'm embarrassed to say that I was so excited when I bought them that I did not even notice the price, but I'm sure they were a little on the pricey side (as most things like this are). 

Bottom line:  Pick these up ASAP!