Friday, March 29, 2013

Good 'n Natural

I was recently at my local Whole Foods and happened upon Good 'n Natural bars.  I'm always interested in trying new bars for my on-the-go needs so I picked up a Chocolate bar.  Based on the description on its packaging it seemed like a Larabar, one of my favorite on-the-go snacks.  I'm sure many other gluten free eaters share my frustration with food options when traveling.  While the gluten free market has exploded it is still often difficult to find a healthy gluten free option while on the go, especially in airports.  I know that airports generally may not have the healthiest food, but shouldn't there be some options at large airports like JFK and LAX?

It stayed in my bag for about a week or two as I didn't end up needing it but yesterday, during a particularly hungry afternoon at work, I snacked on the bar.  It's definitely going to be a new addition to my diet; it's filling, it's tasty, and it isn't expensive.  That last part is key, as some protein bars can cost upwards of $3 per bar.   When I priced out the bars online I saw they cost about $1.29 per bar, which is the same cost of a Larabar from my local Trader Joe's.  I found the Good 'n Natural to be more filling than a Larabar which is key when choosing a bar to snack on at work.

If you're a fan of Larabar or Kind bars I strongly suggest you check out Good 'n Natural.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Good 'n Natural

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Project Pie

Project Pie recently opened a location near my place in Hillcrest.  I tweeted the restaurant about its gluten free options and was told that they do have gluten free crust but that it is not prepared in a separate gluten free facility.

The employees at my local Project Pie were unbelievably friendly.  I went to the restaurant with Joe and Allie and when we walked in we were warmly greeted by the employees and guided through the ordering process.  The fast-casual restaurant has tons of options from which to choose; you can select one of Project Pie's designs or create your own.  The best part about Project Pie definitely has to be that the restaurant's pizzas are all flat fee regardless of how many toppings you add.  So many other pizza places will charge you an extra dollar or two if you try to go wild with toppings but you won't find that at Project Pie.

The fully formed pizza.
I placed an order for a #7: mozzarella, parmesan, garlic, fresh chopped basil, and sliced tomatoes.  I wasn't paying too much attention to them as they made the pizzas I busied myself with an iPad mini set up in the shop for your foursquare and twitter needs (smart marketing!).  When I went back to the counter to pick up my order an employee told me that the gluten free pizza had fallen apart so they were making me a new one.  I didn't mind waiting the extra two or three minutes and was surprised when they gave me the perfectly cooked pizza along with the malformed pizza to take home.  It's that kind of customer service that sets Project Pie apart.

In terms of San Diego pizza I'd rank this way above Chocolat but a bit below Local Habit; I think the crust at Project Pie was a bit spongier than at Local Habit and the pizza didn't have the same strong flavors of Local Habit.  That being said, for $7.50 you can't go wrong with this pizza especially as it is eminently customizable.  As a fast casual restaurant, Project Pie definitely meets the key requirements:  fast service, good quality, and inexpensive pricing.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Project Pie
3888 4th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103 (Map)
619-241-2881

Friday, March 8, 2013

Cupcakes Squared

I first stopped in at Cupcakes Squared when I was visiting San Diego to check out whether I wanted to move here or not.  After a quick Google search Cupcakes Squared seemed to be my best bet to find a gluten free cupcake and I obviously had to sample the gluten free offerings in the city before deciding whether to move here.

Cupcakes - squared! Get it?
Now that my move is all said and done I can't say that I have been back to Cupcakes Squared frequently.  It isn't for them lacking delicious cupcakes; indeed, the cupcakes were tasty and unique from other cupcakes, namely in that they are baked to be square (hence the name).  It's more of a geographic issue in that I'm often too tired (read: lazy) to head over to Point Loma on the weekends from the confines of Hillcrest/Banker's Hill.  That being said the few times I've made it over to Cupcakes Squared I've been greeted by friendly staff and a daily gluten free flavor.  If you are looking to check out Cupcakes Squared, I would definitely advise you to call ahead and check on the gluten free flavor of the day and make sure they still have some in stock, as they are a bit limited in the gluten free department.  The character of the space is also a bit lacking, with little seating offered and a location in a shopping center.  These are minor complaints, as I know we are in southern California and that's the norm, but for this born and raised east coast guy it's often a bit difficult to adjust.

Anyway, I will definitely check out Cupcakes Squared again when I'm in need of a gluten free treat.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Cupcakes Squared
3772 Voltaire Street
San Diego, CA 92107 (Map)
(619) 226-3485