Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lemonade

UPDATE, 5/28/13: During my layover yesterday in LAX I happened upon an enormous outpost of Lemonade... and imagine my surprise when I saw the below sign!

Awesome, right?  I'm not yet sure whether such signs are posted at Lemonade's other locations but I will definitely investigate the next time I'm in Los Angeles.  I should also update the post to reflect that Lemonade also has a location at my alma mater, USC, in the school's Tutor Campus Center.

Hopefully my below post can be rescinded entirely once I visit the other locations.
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It's been months since I visited Lemonade and have been meaning to write this post.  I'd been meaning to visit for a long time, having heard great things about it.  My friend Sarah and I went to the location on Beverly Blvd. near our apartments on a study break during finals.

When we arrived, I was really excited about the food that was on hand.  Lemonade is cafeteria-style, so the menu options change daily.  It's been too long since I've visited to remember what was on the menu for that day, but it looked great.

Of course, as a gluten free eater, I had to inquire about the shop's gluten free options.  When I asked the server behind the counter, the server had no idea what was in any of the food.  "Really?"  I asked.  "No, we don't make any of it here."  He responded.  He was helpful enough and offered to call the manager at another location and ask if s/he knew the ingredients.  He came back with a negative -- the manager didn't know what was in any of the food.

Let me repeat that -- the manager couldn't tell the server what was in ANY of the food.

What?

This is a warning to any gluten free eaters to steer clear of Lemonade.  They have no information about any of the ingredients in their food so it is not safe to eat there for Celiacs.  How does a food establishment have NO idea about the ingredients in its food?
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Lemonade
9001 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Map)
310.247.2500
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515 South Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071 (Map)
213.488.0299
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Tutor Campus Center (USC)
Interactive Map (Here)


Uneeda Burger

During day two of our expedition in Seattle my sister and I ventured over to Paseo, the famous Cuban sandwich shop in Fremont.  We were excited to check it out because of all of the advance buzz on the place; practically every person who gave me suggestions for Seattle mentioned Paseo as the place we had to visit.

However, once we arrived, we saw that the menu wasn't particularly gluten free friendly.  Rather than wait in line (which, at 4pm, was pretty long) we decided to walk the block up to Uneeda Burger where I figured I would be able to get a protein-style burger at the very least.  Much to my surprise the restaurant offers gluten free buns, so we decided to pick up lunch from Uneeda Burger before heading over to Gasworks Park (Map) for a view of the city.

I ordered the #8: crimini mushrooms, porcini & black truffle sea salt, shallots & gruyere cheese.  It was delicious!  As I said, we took the burgers to go for a view in Gasworks Park so while the below picture may not be great of the burger make sure to check out the beautiful view of the Seattle skyline in the background.

The burger was a bit messy but the best burgers are, right?  Uneeda Burger is a great spot with gluten free options for those of you living in (or visiting) Seattle and in need of a burger fix.  I also highly recommend a visit to Gasworks Park; after visiting the park we decided not to do the space needle because we felt we had such a spectacular (and free!) view of the city.  There were people flying kites, a few guys using the old gas equipment to do gymnastics, and lush grass.  It was while we were in Gasworks Park that my sister and I turned to each other and said: "Seattle is winning me over."

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Uneeda Burger
4306 Fremont Ave N.
Seattle, WA 98103 (Map)
206-547-2600

Homegrown

During our third full day in Seattle my sister and I made our way over to Melrose Market, on the edge of the city's Capitol Hill neighborhood.  Seattle is pretty dense in its downtown area, so we walked the half mile over from Capitol Hill to check out Melrose Market.  The Market was recommended to me by my friend Sarah, who is always in the know as to neat things to do.

Melrose Market may be thought of as the trendy version of Pike Place Market.  While you won't find fresh fish being tossed here, instead you'll find artisanal foods, kitchen products, and a beautiful (and not crowded) space.  My sister and I had already ventured to Pike Place when we made our way to Melrose and we both firmly agreed that Melrose Market was definitely the more enjoyable experience (and did have some fresh meats and fish).  It had a nice ambiance, great food options, and altogether felt like something a Seattle local would do.

When I saw that Homegrown was offering gluten free sandwiches I couldn't resist, despite having had a dessert not long before visiting the Market.  Best of all, Homegrown makes all of their gluten free bread in-house; mind you it is made on shared equipment, so for those of you who are super sensitive eat at your own risk.

It's rare that I see a more beautiful sandwich.  The photo above is the Portobello and Goat Cheese sandwich on the restaurant's gluten free bread.  The flavors were awesome, the bread was delicious, and the people working at Homegrown were knowledgeable and friendly.  I enjoyed it so much that I went back the next day to pick up a Seasonal Squash & Snap Pea Pesto sandwich for the plane ride home.  If I'm ever back in Seattle, Homegrown is definitely on my list to visit.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Capitol Hill (Melrose Market)
1531 Melrose Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122 (Map)
206-682-0935
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3416 Fremont Ave N.
Seattle, WA 98103 (Map)
206-453-5232
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2201 Queen Anne Ave N.
Seattle, WA 98199 (Map)
206-217-4745

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Baked Bear

I heard rumors of an amazing new ice cream sandwich shop in PB and was shocked to hear that the shop was offering homemade gluten free cookie sandwiches.  I'm not a tough sell: make me something sweet and you've found the key to my heart.  When I learned about The Baked Bear I knew I had to visit as soon as possible.

This past weekend I made it over to The Baked Bear and indulged in their gluten free ice cream 'wich.  The shop is big and welcoming, with indoor seating and a location practically on the beach.  They have lots of ice cream flavors which you can use to construct your ice cream sandwich.  The gluten free option is a chocolate chip cookie which you can then fill with your ice cream of choice.  For those of you bringing gluten eating friends they have a wide variety of gluten filled cookies from which you can choose; you can even mix and match two different types of cookies when building your perfect 'wich.

I went for the mint chocolate chip even though the rocky road did look quite appealing.  The cookie sandwich came out to $2.95 which, considering the often exorbitant prices of gluten free desserts, is definitely a bargain.  Of course it wouldn't matter if the cookie sandwich tasted horrible but, fortunately, that is not the case at The Baked Bear.  Instead, this cookie sandwich was unbelievably good.  The cookies tasted fresh baked and practically melted into the ice cream as I greedily ate chowed down on the 'wich.  I'll definitely be going back to the The Baked Bear, especially as summer begins in San Diego.

Do you love it or od you love it?
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The Baked Bear
4516 Mission Boulevard
San Diego, CA 92109 (Map)
(858) 886-7433

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pillsbury Introduces Gluten Free Products


Pillsbury has broken into the gluten free market with three new gluten free mixes: cookie, pizza, and pie dough.  It isn’t a huge surprise that the Pillsbury brand has moved into the gluten free market, seeing as it is owned by General Mills, a company which has released myriad gluten free products recently including Chex, Betty Crocker mixes, and Bisquick, among others.



Pillsbury’s products will be available nationwide this summer alongside other Pillsbury products in your local grocer.  The full ingredient list of the new products is available here.

I’m still waiting on Pillsbury to release the slice-and-bake cookies which dominated my childhood and of which I still have very fond memories.  Hopefully some holiday season soon I’ll be able to go to the store and pick up a tube of gluten free Halloween cookies that I can slice and bake... those cookies were the best.

I'll update the post once I've got my hands on the products to test them out.

Do you love it or do you love it?
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Pillsbury



Friday, May 3, 2013

URBN Pizza

Last night I finally had my first (friend) date with Taylor, my favorite waitress at Snooze.  When we first met I was blushing like a 13 year old school girl and fawning over her... fortunately she didn't think I was some weird creepy guy and giggled along with my friends about my schoolboy crush on her.  When I went back to the restaurant a few weeks later she again was my waitress.  When she remembered me I knew we were fated to be friends, despite her calling me out for not ringing her up since my previous visit to Snooze (she hadn't given me her number!).

Anyway, after weeks of texting and planning we finally met up at URBN in North Park.  The restaurant was on my list of places to visit since moving here courtesy of my good friend Lauren, but I hadn't noticed that it offered gluten free pizza.  When I ran into Taylor at the Hillcrest Farmer's Market she suggested URBN because of these gluten free offerings that were previously unknown to me.  Two suggestions are always better than one so we set our date at URBN.  We also bonded over the amazing Olive Oil Organic Cafe stand at the Hillcrest Farmer's Market which, if you haven't been to and live in the San Diego area, you must visit as soon as possible.

I was a bit late but warmly welcome by Taylor replete with champagne glass in hand, and there is truly no better way to start a date than with some bubbly right?  I had a sip of the champagne just to wet my whistle and decided to try the Improved Pigeon Fiesta, one of the restaurant's signature cocktails made with tequila and a host of other ingredients.  It was delicious and a good way to start the night after a tiring day.

As we caught up and reviewed the menu I put the ball in her court as for ordering.  She kindly requested my opinion on the final decisions before we ordered two small gluten free pizzas: the Mashed Potato (to which we added bacon and basil) and the Chicken + Spinach.

The Mashed Potato pizza is what you would imagine: pizza crust topped with mashed potatoes.  Without the added flavor of the bacon and basil I'm not sure the mashed potato would have had enough flavor.  I'd definitely recommend adding your flavor of choice, otherwise I imagine this pizza would be a little bland.  The Chicken + Spinach pizza was great, with large chunks of chicken and lots of spinach as you can see in the photo above.  The prices were reasonably, especially given that we both had about 6 slices to take home.

I'll definitely go back to URBN and sample more of the pizzas.  The atmosphere is great, the restaurant is cavernous, the drinks were delicious, and the service was helpful.  All in all, a successful first date with Taylor... I'm hoping she says yes when I asked her for the second!

Do you love it or do you love it?
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URBN Pizza
3085 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104 (Map)
(619) 255-7300