Saturday, November 26, 2011

Natural Grocers: My new favorite gluten free grocery store!

People often ask me what the best gluten free grocery store in Wichita is.

I often tell people "Food for thought" is the best but it's expensive
Then I tell people you should check out "Green Acres" but it's expensive.
Then I might suggest "Whole Foods" but it's expensive.

Now I will tell you to go to "Natural Grocers!"

My wife filling up her arms with flour

The first time I went to "Natural Grocers" I was in Colorado and couldn't believe the great prices.  It was wonderful!

My wife was skipping through the aisles singing a song to herself.  Yep it's pretty darn awesome.
Make sure you check out all the purple tags that mark if it is gluten free.  I would also make sure to check for other products that are unmarked.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tanya's Soup kitchen, put down your computer and go there now.

Several months ago I quit my job to help start City Life Church.  I sent Tanya's a message trying to lure them into giving me free food for a review on the website.  I think it weird-ed them out.   I just didn't have money at the time and I was hungry!  

Since things have gotten better financially I've called them about the gluten free options.  Usually I will hear something like chic-pea curry soup or Mango gaspatcho.   They sounded gross so we never stopped by.  However, I had a meeting at the Doughnut Whole today and we all crossed the street for soup.  It sounded good on a chilly winter day.

The place was packed.  We weren't allowed to order anything since all the tables were full!  They kept erasing soups from the chalk board as they were running out of them.   While waiting, they let me try out the two gluten free soups on the menu.  WOW!  Let me just say I hate tomato soups.  However the tomato soup they are serving at Tanya's soup kitchen is an object of my affection.  It is sweet and creamy.  I also tasted the roasted butternut squash and had to have it as well.  It has an almost smokey flavor with a wonderful curry aftertaste.  So what was I suppose to do?  Yep, I ordered two bowls of soup.  They were $3 each for a little bowl.  I was unable to finish them but I kept tasting little spoonfuls so as to enjoy it one more time.  

Okay so the soups at Tanya's are fancy.  Also they didn't give me free soup.  I guess they aren't running a soup kitchen. Ha.  From now on, no matter how weird the soups are I will get them and I will enjoy them.  Kudos to Tanya's.  I now have another fun place to share with my out of town friends.  First I probably should take my wife.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Red Lobster, suprisingly tasty!

Oh Red Lobster.  How you have taunted my dreams with those garlicy/cheesy biscuits.  I remember going with my dad to Red Lobster and hardly eating anything else.  Recently I googled Red Lobster to see if they had anything gluten free.  I was surprised to see they had a few yummy sounding options. 

The wife and I headed out with hoping we would still be full without the cheesy goodness.  I started out with a Salad which they say is not gluten free.  However, the waitress made our salad and most of the dressings are gluten free.  I didn't get sick and she made sure to not put any croutons on.  It was like any salad. 

One concern my wife and I had were the prices.  We spent more than usual but it'sa splurge worth it every once and a while.  The two item combo is about 12.75.  It comes with one side and the salad.  You can have a baked potato or mashed potatoes.  Stay away from the Broccoli.  Someone could also decide to go with the coleslaw but coleslaw is disgusting and you are gross if you like it.

As far as the main course there wasn't a whole lot to choose from.  So we enjoyed two servings each of garlic shrimp scampi.  Wow.  It was not healthy but it evoked a Pavlovian response in me.  These shrimp were swimming in a garlic butter.  If you are a terrible fatty like myself, you might dump the butter on your potato.  Hello, heart attack!  The shrimp was hot, salty and succulent.  The potato was hot as well and it was as good as a potato can be.  By the way, does anyone else type potato and hope you're spelling it correctly?  Thanks Dan Quayle.  Now I have potato typing fear.   Moving on...

We finished off the meal with a gluten free CHEESE CAKE!  There is no crust and it is listed on the menu as gluten free.  It was moist and not as heavy as most Cheese Cakes.  Covered in strawberries it wasn't overly sweet either.  It was about $6.  If you miss getting dessert, this is your place.

All in all it was a great night.  While not abundant in choices, it was an offering worth trying.  If you go, please call the survey on your bill so as to encourage them to offer more choices.  I told the manager I wanted more and he said that was the way to get it.   If you end up going please tell me how it was for you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

d'Sozo gluten free, vegan food.

It is what it is.
My wonderful "hippy" mom was in town a few weeks back and so I had a good excuse to try out our local vegetarian option.  Vegan is something I know I probably should do but never will.  I love steak.  

It took us two visits to finally try out d'Sozo but my mom felt it was worth the wait.  Make sure you find out the hours because they are not open for dinner and they have funny hours.  On our first trip we ended up having to go to the Lotus Leaf Cafe. 

However, the second time was success.  How did I feel about the meal?  Conflicted.  I ordered a pizza.  A vegan pizza is well, kinda not good but they managed to make it taste a little better.  When adding gluten free options to an already vegan meal, I can understand you have very little to work with.  The French chef at d'Sozo did a good job with what he had to work with but I would not return without my mom. 

She got a special with veggies and pasta which I envied.  When I go back I will update my review.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hog Wild has gluten??

Hey guys,
Someone sent me a message that Hog Wild BBQ has gluten in their dry rub.  Does anyone know anything about this?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Please vote for my band, Shine Like Stars by October 31st!

Vote Here!

We have the chance to open up at Intrust Arena with your help.  Please share as well. :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Quick list for eating out. (Updated 2-4-2011)

I've been thinking about how often someone will quickly ask me where we can eat and I never have a good list for them.  Well, I am making one for each part of town.  Hooray!  I will probably update this list and comeback to it for myself.  Let me know if I am missing anything.  Hope it helps you.   Also if a place has a "??" its a last resort!

East Side:
Five Guys
Red Robin
Bonefish Grill
Jason's Deli
Ya Ya's
Granite City
Doc Green's
PF Changs
Noodles and Co
Red Lobster
Wichita Pizza Company
Mulligan's Irish Pub (Open after 2)
Carlos O' Kelly's
Jimmy Johns
Outback Steakhouse
Jose Peppers
Hu hot
Buffalo Wild Wings
The Olive Garden???
On the Border??

Five Guys
Tanya's Soup Kitchen
Pig in Pig Out Barbecue
Lotus Leaf Cafe

West Side:
Five Guys
When Pigs Fly Barbecue
Red Lobster
Carlo's O'Kelly's
Pei Wei
Outback Steakhouse
Gobi Grill
Buffalo Wild wings
Jason's Deli
On the Border??

Godfather's Pizza
Wheat State Pizza (Derby)
Carlos O' Kelly's

Noodles and Company: Few choices but still good.

Fall is upon us.  Saturday we found ourselves hankering for something warm and yummy to combat the dark gloom of the rain our parched land sorely needed.  We called Tanya's soup kitchen to see what they had that was gluten free.  Of course is was cold fruity soup.  Okay, maybe next week. 

So the wife and I settled on Noodles and Company over at town east mall.  I dropped the wife off at the front and then traipsed back through the puddles, wishing I hadn't worn sandals.  Once back to the restaurant, I realized I left my camera in the car.  D'oh.  Eventually I made it back. 

The menu is not what you would call exhaustive.  Actually besides salad there is only really one thing: Pad Thai.  We enjoyed our pad Thai.  The chicken was tender, although the wife thought it was over-peppered.  It was sweet and slightly spicy.  All in all it did what it was supposed to do.  It warmed us up and made us smile.  (Good company always helps)

I am always excited to have one new place to go when all my non-celiac friends say the dreaded phrase, "Where can Dale eat?"

Friday, October 7, 2011

Gluten free at Big Lots!

Yes this box is already empty in less than a day.  Quit judging me!
I used to go to Big Lots with my family as a kid.  I used to spend my $2 allowance on all sorts of things.  I once bought a "Rocky 4" punching bag and a Michael Jackson's "Thriller" shirt.  I was sooo cool.  Back then it was called Pic N Save.  Also back then I could eat gluten.  Recently a friend tipped us off to the bounty available at Big Lots and we checked it out. 

We were fired up!  We found a pound of gluten free pasta for $2.  They also had 4 shapes of pasta for the same low price. 

If you are a Bob's red mill fan, they had that stuff too.  A lot of it. 

Finally they had several different types of cheese crackers ala cheeze itz for a very good price.  We went to the one on 21st and Woodlawn so I don't know about the other locations but I would assume they are just as good. 

If you find good things there, would you please share them with us?  Nothing lasts and I would love to try out some new awesome stuff.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Peach Wave: Gluten Free Frozen yogurt

Okay friends in Wichita.  I do believe this is the place to get frozen yogurt if you need to be certain it is gluten free.

They have all the allergen information out for you to read!

How awesome is that?

Anyways, I really enjoyed it.  The cheesecake flavor is also gluten free so I was pretty excited. 

Stay away from obvious stuff like, Red Velvet, Cookies and Cream.  Also watch out for the less obvious like Taro and Peanut Butter.  Or just read the information on the counter.  This is a win for Celiac peeps.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Gluten free BBQ in Wichita: Pig in Pig Out.

Having lived in Wichita for almost three years now, there are a few things I really miss about Southern California.  I miss my friends.  I miss my family.  I miss the weather. I miss surfing.  I miss Rubio's, In n Out etc.

I cannot look at this picture without considering a trip to the fridge for the leftovers. 
However, If I were to pack up and move back to So Cal tonight, I would definitely miss a particular type of food.  Barbecue.  Barbecue is an Olympic sport in Kansas.  I'm talking about fall off the bone, slathered in sauce, 100 napkins, and crazy heartburn barbecue.  Barbecue sauce defines a man here.  Did I mention I love Barbecue?  Now as a Celiac in Wichita, there are FOUR places I can eat great barbecue.  Pig in Pig Out is another incredible establishment to add to the list.  Walking in evokes a Pavlovian response in me.  My mouth seriously waters. 

Trophies and ribbons are redundant after tasting the food.
There are awards all over the restaurant showing how they fared in many exclusive contests.  They have certainly done well for themselves and the clients seem very satisfied. 

Okay, lets get to the food. 

Sadly the ribs were off the menu tonight but I had enough to try and I would love to return. 
I got the brisket and sausage with sides of corn and beans. 

First the not so great:  The Corn and sausage were cold to luke warm.  The corn had nothing on it and tasted fine.  Though it was nothing to write home about. 

Now the great:  The sausage had a little kick but wasn't too spicy.  It was reminiscent of a kielbasa and was quite savory despite the temperature.  The beans were piping hot and very tasty.  They were a bit spicy, a bit sweet and full of flavor.  They contained all sorts of beans (similar to "When Pigs Fly" which I recommend if you live on the West Side). You can go back for my review.  The Brisket was extra flavorful and while I squeezed on the BBQ sauce, my wife loved it "as is."   She also ordered the Turkey, which was exquisitely succulent.  You could tell they took great pride in their food.  The sauce is a little on the sweeter side, which is what I prefer but my wife didn't much care for it.

Juicy turkey like I've never had.  Sorry Grandma.

We left thoroughly satisfied and eager to try it again.  Several hours later I am feeling no ill effects on my stomach.

If Wichita were no longer my home, I would sure miss my friends but I would also miss eating BBQ with them, licking my fingers and trying to carry on a serious conversation.  Please make sure you patronize places like Dolce and Joe's, When Pig's fly, Hog Wild and Pig in Pig Out.  Seriously, Wichita could be a mecca for gluten free vacations.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gluten free pizza NOT going away (Updated)

Apparently the owners of Mulligans Pub are selling it.

However, I talked to the owner and they are training the new owners.

He said they will still offer gluten free pizza.  Yay.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Freddy's frozen custard, gluten free

Here is a letter I received from Freddy's Frozen Custard about the gluten in their food.  You can see they are trying.  Sorry to those of you that want fries.  I appreciate their trying for us, hopefully it will continue to get better.


Our custard is gluten-free, but of course you have to be careful with toppings.  Our Hot Fudge, Caramel, Butterscotch, Marshmallow, peanut butter, banana, cherry, and pineapple toppings are gluten-free.  Other gluten-free topping options include Butterfinger, M&M, Reeses and Reeses Pieces, and nuts.

Our steakburgers and hot dogs contain no fillers, and are completely gluten-free.  You can order these items wrapped in lettuce, or on a bed of lettuce for a salad (this isn’t necessarily on the menu, but can be prepared in any of our restaurants.)  Also, our Freddy’s Seasoning is gluten-free, so you don’t have to worry about what we’re using to season our steakburgers, hot dogs, and fries.  Our Gehl’s cheese sauce is gluten-free.  Our fries are gluten-free (the coating is rice flour), however they are fried in the same fryer as chicken strips and onion rings, so if you cannot tolerate even particles of gluten, you would want to avoid our fries.  Along those same lines, I should warn you that our hot dogs are warmed on the same grill as our buns, so there is a chance that particles of buns could come into contact with our hot dogs.  However, if you ask your server to wipe the grill clean of bread crumbs prior to warming your hot dog, they will do so!  Our chili’s current recipe contains oats and modified food starch, but we are working with our recipe to eliminate the gluten in the chili.  Our grilled chicken has modified food starch in the seasonings, so you would want to avoid it at this time (we are constantly working with our food vendors to re-work recipes to make them allergen-free).  Also make sure you pass on our veggieburger, as there is gluten in the ingredient list.

Coming soon:  Baked Lays.  The plain Baked Lays are labeled gluten-free, but the barbeque, which we will also carry, does contain gluten.

I hope this information will make it possible for you to enjoy a Freddy’s experience very soon!  At a minimum, you can get DESSERT at Freddy’s!

Please contact me if you have any other questions or ideas you think would work in our restaurants to serve the growing gluten-free population.


Val Cowan

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gluten free at Spangles?

Sent a fruitless letter to Spangles to see if they had any gluten free options.

The response basically said they are trying to figure out how to list the allergens well. 
They thanked me for my idea of offering a gluten free menu but said they are not presently working on one.  If only they knew how fiercely loyal celiacs are.  If you would like to change this, make sure you send them a letter.  I believe the more we contact companies the more they will offer. 

Maybe I should start writing Starbucks and asking them to bring back the gluten free orange cake. Mmmmmmm....Orange Cake.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Lotus Leaf Cafe and Creperie

Oh what fun to have gluten free crepes at two different locations within a few weeks of each other.  This one was in a cute little place in the Delano district called "The Lotus Leaf Cafe and Creperie."  Art covers the walls and the quirky decor fits.  Local music the fills the distressed brick environment and spices waft out of the kitchen as though to tempt you into ordering a second dish.  And I was tempted.

I am getting ahead of myself.  Let's go back a little further. I am always looking for new places in Wichita to try out and give endorsements to and often someone will contact me with a suggestion.  Thanks to the Biggs family for suggesting this one.  Our route to Lotus Leaf was longer on Friday because first we went to "Oh Yeah, Chinese."  I was sad when they really couldn't offer me much with meat in it.  I left bummed.  Not that they don't care but most of the meat they offer is sitting in a marinade.  D'oh.

So we went to Lotus Leaf. I had heard good things and I was getting really hungry.  The wife had a crepe with very tender yummy meat in it.  I had Tandoori Chicken which was also tender and well spiced, covered with a cucumber yogurt sauce with steamed veggies on the side. 

We saw the flourless chocolate cake and it looked tasty, we just decided against it.  If you try it, let us know what you thought.


The head chef, James, talked to me.  He was trained as a French chef and challenged to get healthy, organic and gluten free.  He also has made meals for diabetics and vegans.

While it was a little expensive; $2 extra for GF crepes, it was worth the trip and I hope you check it out.One more note.

Often times I like to tell you if I felt good afterward.  Sadly I felt a little sick already that day beforehand so I can't really tell you how I would've felt if I were healthy.

UPDATE:  Hey Friends, I went back and did NOT get sick.  Good news!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gluten free in Dallas, BJ's pizza

The wife and I drove down to Dallas to see a Chargers game yesterday.  We are already home and it has been a whirlwind.  But seriously, how could I turn down $5 tickets??  The stadium is as incredible as people say. 

We started off with a burger from In N Out and I am still drooling looking back.  Please pray they come to Wichita. 

For lunch today we had BJ's pizza, which is all over the place.  I have eaten there with my family in Chula Vista, California and I believe they have one in Kansas City too. 

It was above average pizza and when dipped in Marinara sauce, even better.

The best part of the meal was the pazookie.  It is a gluten free cookie that is wonderfully undercooked.  It is then topped with ice cream! YUM!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Gluten free in Salina and Goodland, KS...sorta

Who doesn’t love being spoiled?  On our most recent vacation, we were spoiled.  Sadly vacations end and you have to go back to real life.   On our way home from Colorado we stopped off at two places.  Now, I don’t like to throw around the phrase disaster very often but our meals were…um…lacking.

Crazy R’s Bar and Gril, Goodland KS.
I had read somewhere online that Crazy R’s offered gluten free food.  It was a tiny little review and it was all I had within a hundred miles so we tried it out.  They had no idea what I was talking about.  Also the waitress was a bit sassy.  We ended up ordered burgers and putting them in our fresh bread we just purchased in Colorado Springs.  The Burgers were good but I wish we could’ve found something near Goodland, Kansas with more options for a Celiac.   If you know anything near Colby or Goodland, please respond with a comment.   

The Tilipia was better than the chicken.
Spot #2-  Martinelli’s Italian Restaurant, Salina KS.
Yep, that chicken is plain...
Salina is larger than Goodland and we had some hope that maybe this one might turn out okay.  We looked online and found that Martinelli’s has a gluten free menu.  Yay.  Already better.  It turned out to be a disappointment.  My wife’s chicken was dry and was basically just plain.  The broccoli that accompanied it was also without any seasoning.  Seriously?  You are an Italian restaurant and you don’t even add garlic?   I had the Tilapia and it was okay.  There was some sort of seasoning on it but it wasn’t much until I improvised with some lemon, Parmesan cheese and pepper.   My veggies also were without any seasoning.  Fail. 

Normally, I don’t really bad-mouth a place without talking to them about it.  So I talked to the manager.  He was embarrassed and apologetic.   He said they are working on the menu and when I return it would be absolutely better.  If you go, let me know what you think?  Have they improved it?

The manager was kind and even gave me a gift certificate for the next time.  The question  I have is should I risk it when I found a Hog Wild Barbeque in Salina on my way home?  We will have to see.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sad thymes: Wild Thyme Cafe is closing today at 4pm!

I just saw the post on their facebook.  I'm quite sad that we didn't get the chance to go there more often. 
What a sad development.  Below is the post:
"It saddens me to announce the closing of Wild Thyme Cafe, Saturday, August 13, 2011 at 4 PM. They say location, location and it's true. Our little restaurant is just too small to and too far off the high traffic area to produce enough income to keep going. I have a fantastic staff of people who loved Wild Thyme as much as I did and gave so much to the success of the restaurant in quality of food and service. This was a new concept and I think the people who did frequent us appreciated our food as much as we appreciated them as customers. Anyone holding unusedgift certificates please call me at 305-1396 all gift certificates will be redeemed. Also all upcoming catering events will be completed. It was a great 9 months working in the Maize, my home for many years."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Our Gluten free Vacation: Vietnamese Garden, Colorado Springs, SO AMAZING!

Yummy Potato fritter...
Oh, what a bittersweet day.  I am writing this while leaning back on the front porch of our cabin in glorious Woodland Park, CO.  Watching the miraculous sunset over Pike’s Peak and rubbing my very full belly, I am grateful for God’s creation.  Our car is jam packed with gluten free bread products from “Outside the Breadbox” and I just put away the best meal I’ve had in months.  But we leave early tomorrow morning to go back to the hot, hot heat in Wichita.  The gluten free beer has relaxed me a bit.   There is a bite in the wind I wont get in Wichita until the cool winds of fall.
            How I got Ashley to try out a place called “Vietnamese Garden” is beyond me.  Maybe it was the several 5 star reviews on gluten free registry.  Maybe it was the fact that she checked the menu online just to see if she could “handle” it.  It doesn’t matter now, because we went and we gorged.  I wonder if the sweet Indian waitress snickered in the kitchen at how much we ate? In the end my notoriously un-adventurous wife held her own when it came to eating well.
            First off I started with a gluten free beer called New Grist, which was light and smooth.  It was crisp and refreshing.  As my wife and I talked through the meal with the waitress, she gave us several solicited options.  We found ourselves stuck between the spring rolls you make yourself, the egg rolls and the carrot sweet-potato plate.  Realizing it was our last meal in Colorado before we go back to pleading truck stop chefs for something that wont get us sick, we decided to have it all.  Yes, all three. 
            The egg rolls came first.  They had all kinds of succulent meat in them, spiced well with a bunch of other safe foods that allowed my wife to enjoy something “exotic.”  I forgot how much I miss truly great egg rolls.  I like these much better than the Chinese egg rolls, which usually have some sort of cabbage.  The temperature was very hot but it was not spicy.  They had a sweet, slightly spicy sauce, which we dipped them in, cautiously at first and then we started dunking them like Oreos in milk. (I miss those)  By the time they brought out our next course, all six egg rolls were missing and our cup of sauce was half full.  I don’t like spicy but the kick in the sauce was minimal and didn’t stick with you. 
            Next we enjoyed the fried carrot and sweet potato plate.   As with the egg rolls, they suggested we add sprouts, mint and basil before wrapping in lettuce.  Like the mountains I am presently enjoying, I felt like this was another type of blessing.  Oh to experience something so divine at every meal.  The crunch of the lettuce combined with the crunch of the fried potatoes with the sweet spicy sauce was transcendent. 
            Finally the chef herself came out and taught us how to make our main course.  She had a plate of rice noodles covered in chicken, pork, shrimp and beef.  All of them were seasoned to perfection.  Amidst the meat there was also shallots, green onions and some sort of GF fried onion reminiscent of French’s fried onions.  We put these all into our rice paper with the same greenery from before and wrapped it tight.  When we got it right it reminded me of biting into a great hot dog.  When the casing was perfect it was beyond enjoyable. 
She said "Why take a picture of my ugly face with such pretty food?"
            Another thunderstorm announced itself as I sat there with my wife soaking in the last minutes of our vacation.  We watched the light trickle turn to pouring as we finished our incredible, buttery, not too sweet, mung-bean cake.  I was a little sad.  Few people were there on a Friday night.  That was the kind of place people should fight lightning to get to.  (Fight Lightning should be the name of a cheesy Christian band.)  I really hope that when I return one day it will still be there bustling with customers.  The fact is I just ate a meal that 4 people probably could have eaten.  Usually when I eat enough food to feed the entire Chargers starting offense I get so stuffed that I become sick.  On the drive home my wife and I remarked at how we didn’t feel gross.  We were stuffed but felt comfortable, which is good for a guy who just ate his weight in yummy goodness. 

Hopefully someone will google gluten free in Colorado Springs and stumble across my blog.  Dear reader, please make sure you support this place.  Vietnamese Garden HAS TO stay in business. 
            For my regular readers, I hope you enjoyed my blogging while on vacation.  Maybe it will inspire you to do the same on your next vacation.  See you in Wichita! 

As Homer Simpson would say, “Sometimes it’s not that hard being a food cricket.”

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pizza Time: Gluten free pizza, burgers and sandwiches in Colorado Springs, CO

Today I am sitting in front of our cabin with a feeling of whimsy.  Thunder is echoing in the background, foretelling the rain en route.  Birds are warning each other of my presence and the wind is slowly picking up through the sweet scented pine trees.   It has been raining all week long and yet I find solace in the fact that my friends in Wichita experienced a High of 112 yesterday while ours was 60.  When I want to complain about the washed out roads I remember todays forecast for Wichita is 106 and ours in Woodland Park is 75.  Yeah, I can deal with some rain. 

Amazing burger!
            Anyways, a short 45 minute trip to Colorado Springs yielded yummy gluten free results once again, although not how I expected.  We went to a family owned restaurant called Pizza Time.  We were lured down the mountain with a promise of gluten free pizza, sandwiches and more.   It was worth the trip.  First my daughter and I shared a 12” pizza with only cheese on it for about $11, A deal for a GF pizza.  It was good.  I still prefer Waldo Pizza in Kansas City and Borelli’s pizza in San Diego but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  The crust was a little too crispy and it really was nothing to write home about, although, aren’t I doing that right now?  It was good not great, but good is better than good, when gluten free.  Read that sentence again if you were confused.  It will eventually make sense.  
Pretty Okay pizza.
            As for what my wife got.  It was amazing.  They had a special for a gluten free burger and chips for 6.99. Cheese was fifty cents extra.  That burger was to die for!   So amazing!  My wife only let me have one bite and then she scarfed it down before I could ask for bite numero dos.  Oh well.  If I had to go back I would try the Philly Cheesesteak.  That sounded enticing as well.  The pizza gets three stars but the burger got five.  If you’re within an hour of this place, I would check it out. 
            My wife felt bad that my pizza was only so-so.  She took us another 15 minutes out of our way for Pinkberry frozen yogurt.   They don’t have those in Kansas but they should.  It is off the charts amazing.  Sweet, tart and smooth.  I love Pinkberry. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gluten free Vacation: Biaggi's Italian food, Colorado Springs

For our fancy date the wife and I left the bunny with grandma at the cabin and we ventured into the city sans baby.  (Already a great break!)  We had read positive  reviews of Biaggi’s and were excited to try them out. 
All this was for one person!
            The menu was two pages full of gluten free options.  We were also stoked to learn it was $10 pasta Tuesday.  Score!  We ended up getting gluten free bread before our meal, which was hot and resembled pizza crust.  Crispy, garlic-y and steaming we devoured it.  I managed to get a picture of a piece before it was all gone. 
Big O' menu
Last few bites of garlic bread
            For the main course we shared two entrees.  The potato crusted Tilapia was surrounded by an assortment of fresh vegetables and some sort of cream sauce.  We enjoyed most of it.  It was well prepared although the tilapia itself was only passable.  Some tilapia, usually the cheaper kind, has a sort of “trashy” quality and every few bites we got a little of that taste.  Kinda spoiled it for us.  However, since it was well prepared, there was none left at the end of the meal. 
            The second dish was an alfredo dish.  Prepared with some sort of green thicker pasta, it was garlic-y, buttery and was accompanied by peas, bacon, onions and some other things I quickly forget.  The picture we got of the two entrees was after we split it.  Obviously these were super large portions.   If we were better behaved, four people could have shared our meal.  If you don’t mind dropping about $35+ dollars on two people, Biaggi’s is a great date night and just a great meal.  There are several throughout the United States and I hope they decide to build one closer to Wichita!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Best Gluten free Bakery Ever! Outside of the Bread box, Colorado Springs

 After our first visit to a gluten free bakery in Denver I wasn’t quite as jazzed about going to another.   However, the wife and I were in Colorado Springs for dinner and we were a bit early.   

So we tried out the “find me gluten free” app to see what we would find.  The bakery was nearby so we dropped by.  (That rhymes and you know it)  The outside was unassuming and we prepared ourselves to be underwhelmed again.  When the door opened a smell danced right up to our noses like in the old Bugs Bunny Cartoons.  Soon we found ourselves floating. 
They had several samples out and the gentleman working there was kind and helpful.  We mentioned my blog, which he had never heard of and he started giving us additional samples.  (Yes, I know I am a celebrity.)  We tried cheese crackers that tasted just like Cheese-its.  We had cinnamon graham crackers.  We had soft spongy gluten free, egg free, vegan oat bread.  How in the world do they make that taste good?  I have no idea. They also had loaves and products that had air bubbles or came out smaller with reduced prices.  Some were up to 70 percent off! 
Free samples??? Don't mind if I do.
Yes, we are pigs, deal with it!
            From the cookies, to the tantalizing teff bread, to the super soft hot dog buns, we were sold.  We ended up venturing back a few days later before we left Colorado Springs.  The prices were incredible for such quality.  They even had teff, gluten free flour tortillas.  They have products available at “Food For Thought” in Wichita but they have to mark them up so much based on shipping and overhead.   These prices were some of the best I have experienced anywhere.  

If you are within an hour of Colorado Springs and you have to eat gluten free, this place needs to be at the top of your list. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Gluten free Vacation: Manitou Springs, CO: Coquette's Creperie

The first time we went to Coquette’s, we were famished and the smell wafting through the building made my eyes roll up like I was in some kind of zombie movie.  We consumed the food with such ferocity that our pretty picture opportunity had expired but our stomachs didn’t really mind much. 
       The first time we shared a few different crepes and found ourselves consuming them like competition.   The “Coquette” was our favorite.  It had Swiss cheese, eggs, mushrooms, some other cheesy sauce and black forest ham.  We also had a Farmer John with goat cheese, chicken and other goodness.  Both were served with garlic potatoes, which left us desiring a mint but not regretting our choice one bit.  After dinner we had a bananas fosters crepe.  The caramel, crepe, cream and bananas were bliss.  The food was consumed like a last meal. 
We felt bad that we didn’t get quality pictures for you, my loyal readers so we went back later in the week.  (It’s all about you, not our gluttony, people.)  We got a couple more coquettes for the 3 of us and my daughter got her own kids crepe.  We also shared a blueberry blintz at the end.  It had home made blueberry preserves mixed with ricotta cheese and was served piping hot with whipped cream on top.   I absolutely loved it.   The other ladies preferred the bananas foster.  The ricotta kinda weirded them out, whilst I thought the juxtaposition was perfect.  Then again I have enjoyed avocado shakes in the past. 
             If you are near Colorado Springs, you have no choice but to eat here.  It’s not cheap, so save.  We spend about $38 for 3 and ½ of us.  If you have people with you who can eat gluten, they won’t care.   They will fight you for the last bite.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Our Gluten Free Vacation: Denver, Deby's grocery store/bakery

While in Denver we stopped over at Deby’s gluten free grocery store and bakery.   They had a large assortment of flours and bakery products although it is smaller than a convenience store.   I was intrigued by much of what they had.  They had a fridge with products as well as a freezer.  The lady in charge told me they put things in the fridge that they would sell that day but I have always been told things get harder and drier when in the fridge.  Those things happened to be as such. 
      The selection was good, the prices were expensive like all gluten free stuff and the people were very helpful.  I had a Oatmeal spice cookie which was soft and sweet. 
We also bought three egg, cheese and bacon sandwiches for 6.95.  (Not a bad price for 3.)  We had them for breakfast the next morning and I must say they were very good.  The egg, bacon and cheese rested between a soft biscuit which was not crumbly at all.  Microwaved they tasted fresh.  If you are nearby they are worth picking up.   She said the most popular thing they sold was her burritos.  They were 5 bucks apiece so we decided not to indulge.
            It was a good experience and worth checking out if you are in the area. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Extra stuff from Wild Thyme Cafe

I took lots of pictures from our trip to Wild Thyme Cafe in Maize.  There were things we didn't eat that I thought I should include. 

Here are some more pictures of the dessert too. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Food for thought, gluten free groceries.

Snickerdoodles and brownies
This morning we decided to saunter on over to "Food For Thought" to check out the glorious, gluten free Saturday.  FFT is definitely the best gluten free grocery store in Wichita.  They have several aisles of gluten free food and the frozen food section is amazing.  I honestly cannot think of a place that is better, even in California.  As this was the gluten free day they had a few tables with gluten free goodies on them.  Not as many as in the past but still fun to try.
Yummy Samamaches

They even had mini sandwiches on gluten free bread with honey and sunflower butter.  (Like Peanut butter)  All in all it was worth the trip, but as we get closer to the holidays, that is the time they really outdo themselves.

Within the next couple weeks we are traveling to Colorado Springs and Denver.  We are going to enjoy our gluten free FOODcation and respite from the crazy hot weather here  in Wichita.  We are planning on going to a million places so stay tuned for updates after we get back.