Saturday, December 22, 2012

My new favorite place in Wichita: China Go

Sometimes you have to just risk it and try something new. 

The wife and I had tried almost everything gluten free in town and now we felt it was time to be adventurous, for you, our loyal readers.  It had nothing to do with the fact that we really wanted Chinese food, didn’t want to pay for PF Chang’s and didn’t want to drive to Pei Wei on the West Side.  Enter China Go. 

About a week ago I sent a message to them on Facebook asking them if they did gluten free.  They responded yes but that was it.  I was intrigued.  I called them today and felt like they knew what they were talking about, or at least enough for my taste.  So I risked my health and took the wife out to China Go on Harry and Rock.  (About 2 minutes from our house!)  I brought a card explaining gluten as well as our own bottle of Gluten Free Soy Sauce. 

The manager was there and she explained that she had a few gluten free people in the past.  She knew what to do and asked us what we would like to eat.  She asked us what we would like to eat.  She didn't turn us away and label us as pariahs.  Nope she asked us what we wanted off the menu!   My wife has pined for good orange chicken for a long time and they were able to oblige.  Instead of making it with breading they used cornstarch.  Along with the Orange Chicken I ordered Mongolian beef and gave them my soy sauce to help them prepare it. 

The Orange chicken was hot, sweet and salty.   It was everything that you would want in Orange Chicken.   Usually I can avoid that heavenly smell but at our local grocery store, Dillion’s, they are constantly making orange chicken and the smell would drive me insane.  Now I can walk the aisles of Dillion’s with no concern, knowing there is better, gluten free, chicken down the road.   The orange chicken is worth the trip.  The Mongolian beef was very good as well.  It was a bit spicy for my liking but I am sure they would be able to tone it down if asked. 

We also had a nice bowl of freshly steamed veggies.  It was everything you would hope.  Nice variety and fresh. 

Another plus: their to-go brand of soy sauce was also gluten free.  (Not the stuff on the tables but the little packets)  It’s a brand that I’ve found in the past with great joy. "Kari-out," I think.  It’s not as salty but it still was a pleasant surprise. 

Okay, so recap.  Almost everything can be made gluten free off the menu.  Also, the prices are really good.  The helpings are huge.  You can almost share one item.  The food is fresh and tasty.  I do believe they are a bit newer to the GF thing so please make sure to go, as always, armed with information so as not to get sick.   They are working on a menu and striving to have well trained staff but you know things will always fall through the cracks if you are not careful.  Five hours later and I am feeling no ill effects. 

However, I would say this is my new favorite gluten free place in Wichita and you really need to go check it out.  Seriously.  You need to go now. 

Go to China Go! 
I will go back to China Go.   Let's all go.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Gluten free in Lindsborg, KS

A gluten free steakburger.

There is wheat on the street!

 The wife and I just got back from a great quick trip to Lindsborg, KS.  Also known as little Sweden.  We had a limited amount of time without the kids so we decided rather than go to Kansas City, we would try something closer.   We had fun in the salt mines of Hutchinson and had dinner in Yoder.  We stayed in Mcpherson and spent a lot of time in Lindsborg.   We didn’t know these cities before, but ended up having a lot of fun in them.  There was wheat everywhere, even up on the lampposts but we managed to find a few gems. 

Our favorite one was The Brick House Grill.  We asked around for gluten free food and this was the only place that might have offerings.  The building was a little larger than an outhouse and it was packed with about 40 people.  They offered gluten free buns to go with their juicy burgers and thick bacon.  We went for lunch…and dinner. 

I devoured a burger with Swiss cheese, grilled mushrooms, bacon and grilled onions.  My wife also had a bacon cheeseburger.  We both enjoyed tater-tots. (no dedicated fryer) and felt no ill effects afterward.   The owner knew a lot about gluten free fare and was excited to have us there. 

That night my wife had a huge steak burger and I had a pizza.  Once again the place was packed. We ended up hanging out with several other diners.  One couple told us the dangers of the big cities like Wichita.  They told us there was a shooting every day.   I agreed but I also said I’ve never seen one.  Hilarious.  My pizza was just a regular cheese pizza and I was impressed.  For a town of 3,000 they offered up such overachieving food.  (Note the pizzas are only available in the evenings.)
Coronado Heights

All in all, the Brick House Grill was a terrific find.  Thick Bacon, tasty burgers and a kind, knowledgeable staff make for a happy eater.    

If you go to Lindsborg make sure you check out the downtown.  There is a great store called “Small world” with photos from a National Geographic photographer.  There are art museums everywhere as well as other fun diversions.  Make sure to check out Coronado Heights, castle.  Worth the trip.