Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Larabar Introduces New Flavor

I'm a huge fan of Larabar's products -- check out my previous post on Larabar here.  All of them are gluten free and practically soy free, dairy free and vegan -- because the chocolate chips used in some of the company's bars share a product line with milk chocolate chips they cannot label bars using chocolate chips soy and dairy free or vegan.  The full explanation is here on the site.

Regardless, for us gluten free folk, Larabar is a great go-to bar that travels well because it doesn't melt.  I also appreciate that I can pronounce the ingredients in the bars.  In the company's newest flavor, Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte, there are just 6 simple ingredients: dates, Fair Trade Certified chocolate chips, almonds, unsweetened cherries, cashews, and sea salt.  Larabar sent me a package containing four bars and promotional material recently and I could barely wait to take the bars for a taste test.


I really enjoyed the Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte bar.  It's a great mix between some of the company's fruity bars, such as the Cherry Pie, and my preferred bars, the chocolate ones.  The cherry flavor isn't quite as intense as the company's Cherry Pie flavor, probably owing to the chocolate chips.  They definitely help make the cherry flavor a bit more subtle while still keeping it intact.

  I'll definitely add this bar to my list of favorites.  I don't have additional details as to when they will be on store shelves, but keep your eyes peeled!  Hopefully we will be seeing more bars in the Chocolate Chip variety from Larabar; I'm hooked!

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Larabar

Monday, September 26, 2011

Eis Voh

Without my faithful Twitter followers (follow me!) I would not have found Eis Voh.  My friend Joe sent me the site Gluten Frei Berlin, through which I found Cha Cha and Eis Voh.  While Eis Voh seemed to be a bit far from where I was staying in Mitte, I had a week-long pass for all of the public transportation in Berlin and figured it would be an adventure to another area of Berlin.  I'm very happy I made the trip!  The owners were extremely helpful and very gracious and I was greeted by a huge display of gluten free treats.

 I began speaking with the woman working behind the counter, but her English was a bit fractured.  After I placed my order (the treats were all helpfully labeled "glutenfrei"), she called her husband.  I spoke to him for a long time and they were very happy to have a guest hailing from Los Angeles.  We spoke about how I had heard about the shop, my time in Berlin, and where I was headed to next.  I picked up some delicious slices of fruit cake and chocolate cake for my friend Ezra and I to enjoy, as we were definitely in need of some gluten free sustenance in Berlin.



Perhaps the best part about visiting Eis Voh was that they had a terrific gluten free beer for sale.  I took two for the road; one for Ezra, and one for me.  I absolutely loved this beer!  If you are in Germany you need to seek this beer out -- it totally blows Redbridge out of the water.  People often ask me to compare it with "real" beer.  It has been a long time since I've had "real" beer so I'm not sure I can make a great comparison but the Neumarkter Lammsbrau definitely is a closer approximation to gluten-filled beer than Redbridge.
Make sure to sign the guestbook if you visit!
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Eis Voh
Bundesalle 118
12161 Berlin (Map)

Muren

I was walking around Stockholm's Gamla Stan when I saw a sign advertising "Glutenfria" ice cream cones -- I couldn't resist stopping in!


The place is called Muren and is an ice cream bar during the summer and a café in the winter, according to some internet sleuthing I did.  As usual in Stockholm, everybody spoke perfect English and was super helpful to this non-Swedish speaker.  They had tons of flavors to choose from; it's been a long time since I visited and I can't remember which flavor I had, but it was certainly nice to indulge in a gluten free ice cream cone!


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Muren
Vasterlanggatan 19
Stockholm, Sweden (Map)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Babycakes on Larchmont

My friend Sarah alerted me to the news today that Babycakes is opening up a shop on Larchmont.  I was wondering how I could have missed this and then realized that the information went public while I was traveling -- whoops!  The full Eater post with lots of information can be found here.



Details are scarce, but I'm sure the new location will continue serving awesome donuts, waffles, cookie sandwiches (my favorite!), and cupcakes as they have in the post.  Check out some of my previous posts on Babycakes' Los Angeles location here, the New York location here, and the Downtown Disney location here.

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Babycakes
236 N. Larchmont
Los Angeles, CA 90004 (Map)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chokladfabriken

During my second day in Stockholm I continued eating every gluten free item in sight.  Thanks to my Lonely Planet Stockholm Encounter
book, I found out about Chokladfabriken.  I knew I had to visit based on the description, which describes the place as a place that "cocoa addicts" swear by.

After visiting, I can definitely say that this place holds up to that promise.  The shop also has lots of gluten free options available!  The day I visited they had a chocolate lime cake which was delicious.


If you are looking for a great, gluten free treat in Stockholm, definitely check out Chokladfabriken.  From their website, it appears they have a location in Tokyo too.  Follow a stop at Chokladfabriken with dinner at Hermans Tradgardscafe and you'll have a terrific and gluten free end to your day!

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Chokladfabriken
Renstiernas Gata 12
Stockholm, Sweden (Map)
Other Locations Here

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hermans Tradgardscafe

For my last meal in Stockholm I wanted a restaurant with a view.  Stockholm is such a beautiful city, filled with islands connected my tiny bridges and lots of green space.  I had a wonderful time in the city; it was great to head up to Stockholm and escape the oppressive heat my friend and I had experienced in Budapest.  Even better was the fact that most people in Stockholm speak flawless English, many of them with no trace of an accent.  On my first day in Stockholm I ambled around the city's Gamla stan (Old Town), a beautiful island in the center of stockholm with cobblestone streets, narrow alleyways, and beautiful buildings.

Gamla stan
I eventually found myself in The English Bookshop, the perfect store for me as I was searching for a guide to the city.  I picked up Lonely Planet's Stockholm Encounter and based much of my eating, drinking, and sightseeing off the recommendations in that book.

One of the recommendations in the Lonely Planet book was Hermans Tradgardscafe, a vegetarian buffet with views of the city.  When I arrived to the buffet I was not disappointed; this place has unobstructed views of Gamla stan and the amusement park on Djugarden, an island in the center of the city that is also home to the world's largest outdoor museum.

Anyway, I digress from the topic of this post: Hermans Tradgardscafe.  This is a great vegetarian buffet with views overlooking the city.  It was a little pricey -- I believe the all-you-can eat buffet came out to $30.  Perhaps some may not consider that very expensive, but I wasn't particularly when I went.  I would definitely recommend going here with an empty stomach because there is so much great food to be had.  Even better, the people working at the restaurant were extremely helpful with the gluten free selection.  They had quinoa, grilled eggplant, grilled tofu, and other gluten free options.  The only gluten free dessert they were serving was something they called powerbars.

While the menu may not have been serving up any great gluten free desserts, the view was spectacular.



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Hermans Tradgardscafe
Fjallgatan 23A
Stockholm (Map)
643.94.80

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cupcake Corner Bakery

My friend Lauren and I arrived to Krakow at night after a ~4.5 hour train from Warsaw.  We hopped into a cab to head to our accommodations and were pleasantly surprised to see that we were very close to the city's main square.  After unpacking, we headed out for a walk and ultimately decided to split a bottle of wine on the square.  Warsaw was a great city, particularly as a starting point for Lauren's EuroTrip, but we both noticed Krakow's vibrant energy almost immediately upon our arrival.

The next morning we walked out onto the streets of Krakow and saw a Cupcake Corner Bakery right next door.  We couldn't resist stopping in (and by we, I mean I couldn't resist) and I was pleasantly surprised to see that the bakery offers a gluten free cupcake!  The chocolate cashew cupcake is offered daily and is a "decadent flourless chocolate brownie."


Obviously I couldn't go without trying it.  It was very good; it wasn't as light as Oberlaa's gluten free pastries in Vienna and instead had a rich chocolate flavor.  The cashews on top were a unique addition which I also enjoyed.  The shop also had a very welcoming, airy interior.  It is a great place to bring a newspaper or a book and spend a few hours with a cup of coffee and a cupcake.  The other flavors also looked delicious -- here's hoping that Cupcake Corner has more gluten free options available soon!



You can see a closer shot of the Chocolate Cashew cupcake here, on the bakery's official site.  The site describes the shop as an "authentic" American experience.  The people working at the shop spoke perfect English and were knowledgeable about my questions regarding the bakery's gluten free option.

Lauren and I loved our time in Krakow.  It is a beautiful city buzzing with energy and the people were all very friendly.  My favorite picture is below and neatly summarizes why I enjoyed Krakow so much.  It's a view of the city's main square.  On the left-hand side (partially obscured by the street lamp) is St. Mary's Basilica.  Lauren and I climbed up a narrow tower in the Basilica to catch some great views over the main square and the entire city.  The long building in the center of the image is Sukiennice, an indoor marketplace filled with goods made especially for tourists.  Regardless of the goods inside, it is a beautiful building which is well deserving of a walk through.  Finally on the right side of the image you see the Town Hall Tower.


If you're in Krakow and in need of a gluten free treat, there is nowhere I'd recommend more than Cupcake Corner, right off the city's main square.

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Cupcake Corner
ul. Bracka 4
31-126, Kraków (Map)
Telephone: 12 341 42 72

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kurkonditorei Oberlaa

I know I'm jumping around on my travels, but I couldn't resist making Oberlaa my next post.  My friend Lauren and I went here in search of great pastries courtesy of Rick Steves.  If you are not familiar with Rick Steves, then I insist that you become familiar with him.  Warning: tangent ahead.  By the end of our trip, Lauren and I were referring to Rick as the third traveler, the man who made it all possible.  Lauren and I had traveled before together and bought a country-specific Lonely Planet which turned out great.  For this trip, because we were visiting four countries together (and I was visiting six countries total), we opted to bring along Lonely Planet's Central Europe
 and Rick Steves' Eastern Europe.  While we loved the Lonely Planet and it had some great tips, Rick Steve was truly irreplaceable.  His self-guided walking tours clued us in as to the history of buildings and neighborhoods, the different architectural styles, and other great facts.  Best of all, many of these guided tours were extremely exact, to the point of telling you to turn a certain amount of degrees in order to view the next landmark he would describe.  I'm not trying too plug him too much... but Rick is our homeboy and I wouldn't travel through Europe without him.

Anyway, Rick recommended this place Oberlaa in Vienna.  Since I was on a "No Dessert Left Behind" trip, I said that we had to check it out.  Lauren doesn't quite understand it and I'm not sure I do either, but I love walking into pastry shops.  The scent of freshly-baked pastries, the different aesthetic of each shop and the shop's pastries, and the chance to peruse the unique pastries each shop devises is too entertaining for me to pass up, even though most of the time I won't be able to purchase anything.  When I walked into Oberlaa, I looked at the glass display cases with bulging eyes and disappointment:  I speak no German and, by this point in my trip, had lost my translation card for describing my allergy.

Luckily, that disappointment soon turned into glee as I saw a sign offering a list of Oberlaa's "Glutenfreie" products!  I was astounded to see the café had an option let alone various gluten free choices.

I coaxed Lauren into splitting two desserts with me... and by splitting, I mean taking a bite out of each one and letting me pig out.  Again, "No Dessert Left Behind" was my mantra and when traveling in a foreign country, I feel no need to deprive myself of gluten free treats when I happen upon them.  The photo below is the Esterházy Schnitte and it was delicious!  It had a bit of a nutty flavor to it, but both Lauren and I enjoyed it.

I believe the second dessert we ordered was the Schoko-Mousse Torte, which was also delicious.  It was similar to a flourless chocolate cake but much lighter than many such cakes in the U.S.  While they can often be too dense, this definitely truly tasted like a mousse cake which was fitting, given its name.

Lesson learned:  Listen to Rick Steves and you will not be disappointed!  On the day we visited the café was serving Viennese people along with tourists.  It's a great spot to bring a newspaper and relax after touring all of the great sights that Vienna offers.  Walking around the city was akin to walking around a museum; it is an absolutely beautiful city!


I believe that there are multiple locations around the city.  I apologize for not having more information available below, but my internet sleuthing isn't as good in German as it is in English.

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Oberlaa
Neur Markt 16
Vienna, Austria (Map)
   

Gannon's Isle Ice Cream

I visited this place months ago and am just now blogging about it (blame it on the bar and bar trip travels), so apologies if this post isn't dense with details.

However, if you ever find yourself in the Syracuse area and in need of some ice cream, head over to Gannon's Isle.  I was pleasantly surprised when I went with my friend to see that the shop advertises that it is stocked with gluten free ice cream cones!  I'm so used to having a dish that it is a nice break to have a cone.  Unfortunately the gluten free cones can't compete with the waffle cones of my youth, but the ones at Gannon's are better than nothing.



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1525 Valley Drive
Syracuse, NY 13207 (Map)
315.469.8647