Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bakery On Main's New TrueBar

Bakery on Main recently introduced a new product called TrueBar.  I was very excited to try out the bars because I absolutely love the company's gluten free granola.  I've also tried out their granola bars but they didn't quite work for me.

Anyway, TrueBar is being advertised as a bar that has "nothing to hide."  The ingredients are non-GMO and are simple -- you can actually understand the Ingredients label on the back of the bar.  Shocker, I know.  Additionally, all of these bars are gluten free, casein free, and dairy free.  They are also lower calorie than some of the competing granola bars.

Bakery on Main reached out to me to check out these new bars and was gracious enough to provide me with one of each new flavor: Hazelnut Chocolate Cherry, Walnut Cappucino, Fruit & Nut, Raspberry Chocolate Almond, Coconut Cashew, and Apricot Almond Chai.  I loved Bakery on Main's TrueBars, and would recommend that anybody who likes Kind Bars check them out.  My favorite flavor was the Coconut Cashew, but I also really enjoyed the Raspberry Chocolate Almond -- I'm a sucker for anything chocolate.  I definitely liked them enough to have them again and am looking forward to seeing them on store shelves soon.  They give the prevalent Kind bars a run for their money!

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Bakery on Main

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Justin's Organic Peanut Butter Cups

I'm a sucker for the checkout line candy at grocery stores.  There, I've admitted it.  Starburst, Peanut M & Ms, Skittles -- if I had my way this would be my breakfast lunch and dinner.  Unfortunately the world doesn't work that way (or, at least, my body doesn't) and so I eat my five servings of fruits and veggies and blah blah blah.  I kind of wish I had this woman's iron stomach...

I digress!  I was recently at my local Wegmans with my sister, who had come up to visit and join me in a grocery trip.  When we were checking out, she convinced me to try Justin's Organic Peanut Butter Cups.  While she went for the milk chocolate, I went for the dark chocolate variety.

The cups were delicious.  I won't go so far as to saying they are better than that other peanut butter cup brand, but they were definitely a great treat.  The best part?  The product carries a "Certified Gluten Free" symbol!  While the other candies named above are also gluten free, to see the symbol reassured me that I was making the right decision in picking myself up a treat.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Justin's Products

Monday, June 27, 2011

Empire Brewing Co.

I recently went out to dinner in Syracuse's Armory Square with my friend Erin.  I'm not expecting much here in Syracuse, but I did have the expectation that when I go to a "Square" it's actually a square.  Alas, Syracuse up and disappointed me.  Armory Square is not a square, but is instead a few blocks of bars, restaurants, and shops.



We decided to check out Empire Brewing Company.  I was a bit nervous because I didn't see much on the menu but, lo and behold, I asked my waitress about gluten free options and she happily informed me that the restaurant has a gluten free menu.  You can check out the menu here, which includes symbols for vegetarian items.  I opted for a burger despite it not being labeled gluten free; the waitress told me the restaurant had just obtained gluten free burger buns so I figured I'd give it a shot.  The burger was good and the bun was better than having no bread at all.  I haven't found a gluten free burger bun that approximates gluten-filled burger buns, and this was no exception.  However, as far as gluten free burgers go, Empire Brewing Co. did a good job.

I also think the restaurant may serve up Redbridge, but I'm not completely sure about that.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Empire Brewing Co.
120 Walton Street
Syracuse, NY 13202-1571 (Map)
315.475.2337

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pitfire Pizza

My friend Lauren was browsing for lunch the other day and found a restaurant in L.A. that offers gluten free pizza crusts called Pitfire Pizza.  Unfortunately I won't be able to check it out myself, but I wanted to pass along the news.  According to The Celiac Handbook, the restaurant's crusts come from The Sensitive Baker.  The restaurant also serves Daiya Vegan cheese, which I became a fan of at Fresh Brothers.  It's definitely the best vegan cheese on the market, in my opinion.



The pizza shop has locations in West L.A., Downtown, Culver City, and North Hollywood.  Have you checked it out?  Leave a comment and let readers know what you think.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Pitfire Pizza
108 W. 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012 (Map)
213.808.1200
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5211 Lankersheim Blvd.
N. Hollywood, CA 91601 (Map)
818.980.2949
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2018 Westwood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025 (Map)
310.481.9860
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12924 Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066 (Map)
424.835.4088

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Arad Evans Inn

My parents and I recently went out close to celebrate their 29th wedding anniversary.  29 years -- amazing!  I can't even fathom it, but congratulations to the 'rents.  We choosing between two restaurants but ultimately went with Arad Evans Inn.  My parents had previously visited Arad Evans but I had never been and was excited to visit after hearing great things about it from them.

Upon being seated, I peered over the menu and saw a few dishes that looked good.  When our waitress came over, I asked her about one of the dishes and told her that I couldn't eat gluten.  I was shocked when she responded by offering me a gluten free menu!  I didn't expect Arad Evans to have a gluten free menu and was very pleasantly surprised.  She promptly brought the gluten free menu over to me; it was the original menu except it labeled which dishes were "GF" and any substitutions that needed to be made in order to make it gluten free.  The same menu also lists dairy free options as "DF."  I ordered the Gazpacho as my appetizer and opted for the Halibut en Papillote as my entrée.  Even though the last time I had Halibut en Papillote (at Fig & Olive in L.A.) I didn't love it, I gave it another go.

After we placed our orders, our waitress told us that she would be bringing bread over.  Naturally, after six years of being gluten free, I was expecting to eye it hungrily and not be able to enjoy it.  I was floored, shocked, stunned, (insert your favorite synonym for "surprised" here) that the waitress told me she would be bringing me my gluten free bread basket!  In six years of being gluten free, I have never heard of that.  The bread they brought over was Schar; I've enjoyed the company's products but never like this before.  The restaurant seasoned and toasted the bread to perfection.  Perhaps I'm exaggerating and am just overjoyed at finally having tasty bread again.  Either way, Arad Evans did a great job by serving up great gluten free bread for me.

The gazpacho was then brought out with creme fraiche and avocado.  The gazpachos I've recently had here in upstate New York have been chunkier than the gazpacho I was used to while living in Madrid.  However, the gazpacho was still amazing at Arad Evans Inn and very flavorful.  Unfortunately I wasn't as pleased with my halibut.  I think the saying "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me" applies.  As earlier mentioned, I didn't enjoy Halibut en Papillote when I ordered it from Fig & Olive but here I gave it another go.  The fish was very plain and didn't have a strong flavor.  I have definitely learned my lesson and will be staying away from the dish in the future.

Overall, Arad Evans Inn impressed me with a gluten free menu, a gluten free bread basket, and an amazing appetizer.  While I didn't love the entrée, I would definitely visit again and try out something different.  If you ever find yourself in Syracuse and need a nice gluten free spot, Arad Evans should be your first choice.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Arad Evans Inn
7206 Genesee Street
Fayetteville, NY 13066 (Map)
315.637.2020

Sunday, June 5, 2011

YOGO Frozen Yogurt Truck

On a hot Saturday in Manhattan, my friends and I decided to get outside and enjoy the beautiful views from the High Line on the island's west side.  It was a great day; not too hot, not too humid.  When we met up there my friend Elien immediately notified me that we needed to hit up a frozen yogurt truck around there.  After walking around, and checking out the specs for the upcoming expansion of the Line, we descended back to the city's streets and spotted a yogurt truck not more than thirty feet from where we stepped onto the pavement.  Upon approaching the truck I was happy to see that the vendor prominently marks the frozen yogurt served as gluten free!


The YOGO Frozen Yogurt Truck may not have a fixed location; check the truck's Facebook.  I sampled the chocolate flavor and would definitely have more after my next walk along the High Line.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Location Varies 

The New York Times Obsessed with Gluten Free

For the second time in a week, the New York Times has written about the proliferation of gluten free products.  The article can be found here and in the Sunday Styles section of your paper, if you're not an online reader.  This time, the Grey Lady has a new angle: gluten free baking as a second career.  It is an interesting read, as it connects the rise in gluten free bakeries with the recession and the search for a "new" post-career backup plan.

I particularly enjoyed reading it because of its mention of a few of my favorite L.A. based bakeries: The Sensitive Baker and Tia's Bakery.  Tia's products are sold in Whole Foods around Los Angeles (and perhaps beyond; check the website for updates).  The article featured a bakery in Hastings-on-Hudson called By The Way Bakery -- I'll definitely make a trip upstate to check it out!  And don't forget my favorite New York Times article about gluten free (because I was in it!) here.  Oh and, lest I forget, thanks to Tina for sending this along -- always good to know I have people lookin' out for me.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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"Looking for a Plan B?  Make it Gluten-Free"
By Hilary Stout

Bonefish Grill

I'm a little late to this party -- but Bonefish Grill has an awesome gluten free menu!


I visited a Bonefish Grill tonight after seeing X-Men: First Class with my dad.  As far as chain restaurants go, it seemed like a healthy option if you stick to grilled fish and a light sauce.  Each entrée comes with a seasonal vegetable and your choice of side.  I went for the grilled salmon with garlic whipped potatoes and mango salsa.  It was great!

Best of all, the gluten free menu is extensive and includes a dessert option.  You can download the entire menu here on the right-hand side of the page.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Bonefish Grill
Looking for a BFG?  Click Here

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Blog Has Left The Building

I've received a few tweets, some e-mails, and some comments asking me why my posting has been so light.  In a sad bit of news, I've left Los Angeles.  I graduated from law school in mid-May and am now studying for the bar exam.


Don't worry -- I'll be back in a new city with plenty of updates soon!  And for you Angelenos, keep the tips coming, as I'll still be posting about L.A. and (hopefully) making frequent trips back.

My posts will be infrequent this summer because of my studies, but keep the tips coming!

"Gluten-Free: Flavor-Free No More" NYTimes Article

Thanks to my sister, Alyssa, and my friend, Allison, for passing this article in today's New York Times along.  The article has some good baking advice, particularly that one baker's thought that the ideal gluten free mix consists of 70% grain and/or nut flours and 30% starches.

The article also includes recipes for Gluten-Free Flour Blend, Gluten-Free Apricot-Walnut Muffins, Gluten-Free Cinnamon Sugar Cake Doughnuts, Gluten-Free Pizza, Gluten-Free Banana Cream Pie, and Gluten-Free Chocolate-Glazed Almond Layer Cake with Cherries.  

I particularly loved the shout out to Babycakes, although the article neglects to mention that Babycakes also has a location in Downtown Disney in Orlando.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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"Gluten-Free: Flavor-Free No More"