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!