Last Sunday, my grandma, daughter and I went for an early dinner at Lure Fish House. This restaurant just opened at the La Cumbre Shopping Center in place of Ruth’s Chris Steak House. It was busy even though we got there at 5pm, most likely due to a combination of the happy hour specials along with the energetic atmosphere. The music was loud to the point that it hurt my ears, which made me feel as old as my 95-year old dining companion. Other than the headaches that ensued, our meal was pretty good. The first thing I noticed was that the menu had all of the gluten-free items marked. I kept my order pretty safe as it was my first time dining there. They had items like the chips and guac marked GF, but I didn’t inquire whether the chips were fried in non-contaminated oil. I started with the Organic Tuscan Kale Salad. I got the small size, which upon receiving, made me wonder how huge the large size is. The salad consisted of organic Tuscan kale, julienned red bell peppers, julienned carrots, quinoa and wild rice, halved red grapes, shaved parmesan cheese, and sunflower seeds. Even though it was quite sizable, I managed to finish. For my main dish, I had the Grilled Salmon with sides of Brussels Sprouts and Green Beans.
The salmon was cooked really well and I loved the sides as they both had a plethora of garlic cooked in. Going in only knowing that this restaurant was part of a chain, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the food. I will be interested to find out about the more “dangerous” items marked GF, and whether they are properly marked or not.
As a reminder, this Sunday, Gluten-Free Santa Barbara will be holding their first meet-up of 2016. Come stop by Lilac Patisserie at 11am to have some yummy food. I will be giving out free tickets to the 2016 Gluten-Free and Allergen Friendly Expo, which is being held next month in San Diego!
We decided to start the new year with a new restaurant. Wildwood Kitchen is the new hot spot located at the corner of Laguna and Haley in The Mill. They had tons of enticing gluten-free options for me. I started with the Frito Pie which was served within a Frito bag. It had Wildwood’s chili, a triple chop of meat, green onions, cheese and sour cream. Miraculously, I didn’t get my meat fill from the Frito Pie, so I shared the BBQ Sampler with a friend.
We had the pulled pork, smoked chicken and Jalapeño-Cheese Sausage. The chicken was ridiculously tender. It was probably my favorite of the three. The restaurant has three homemade BBQ sauces to choose from. Two of the three are gluten-free – the spicy sauce and the espresso sauce. I am a spicy kind of gal, so I only had the one. It was really good with the meat. Typically the BBQ comes with bread, which we obviously had them hold. The table decided to share a couple of side – the grilled carrots and the brussels sprouts.
The carrots came with a pepita pesto which was enjoyed by all. Even more delicious were the brussels.
These were gone in seconds. If the food wasn’t reason enough to return to Wildwood Kitchen, the Jalapeño Margarita is. Holy moly that drink is dangerously delicious. Consider yourself warned.
Last week, I wanted nothing less than to have to cook for dinner. So we ventured out to Alcazar located on the Mesa.We got there right when they opened, so we had our waitress’s undivided attention when explaining our family’s dietary needs. She knew her stuff, letting me know that the fryer was contaminated with gluten without me having to prompt her. I started with the Pollo con Crema Tacos. These were my favorite of all the things we ordered. Sadly for me, my daughter also loved the chicken so I didn’t end up having too much. We all shared an order of the Manchego y Guava Membrillo.
I will enjoy eating Manchego cheese any day and in any form. The guava paste was firmer than I had anticipated. I could have done without it though and just eaten a hunk of the cheese. We also shared an order of the brussels sprouts.
After numerous attempts at cooking brussels sprouts perfectly, I still haven’t succeeded. So it was nice to enjoy them prepared by someone that knew what they were doing. The last thing I ordered was some spinach/bacon/mushroom/bean dish with a garlic butter sauce.
The words bacon and garlic butter sauce were the reason I ordered the dish. I found it to be pretty bland though with the spinach in a strange not-quite-wilted form. Overall, I found the food okay. I would definitely try it again though since our waitress was so well-informed and there was a lot of variety on the menu.
As a reminder, Gluten-Free Santa Barbara will be meeting this Sunday at Lilac Patisserie at 11am. Come stop by and have some breakfast, lunch or cake! I will be giving out extra cases of gluten-free travel soy sauce packets left over from my trip to Japan!
Over Labor Day Weekend, we attended a wedding in Stevenson, Washington for one of my closest friends. After flying into Portland, we decided to grab a bite to eat before making our way across the state border. Thanks to a recommendation from an awesome Gluten-Free Santa Barbara member, we went to Ground Breaker Brewing – an entirely gluten-free brewery and gastropub. We started with the Blistered Padron Peppers which are one of my favorite snacks to munch on. They did not disappoint. I had a really hard time deciding between getting their fried chicken and their pulled pork sandwich since those are things I never get to have. The other white meat won out.
This was as good as it looks. It was served on a New Cascadia roll, a dedicated gluten-free bakery located in Portland. My husband ordered the Squash Tomato Cheese Sandwich.
The cheese and tomato gave it kind of an eggplant parmigiana taste which was a good, familiar taste. To finish the meal, we split a chocolate chip cookie.
Oh god this was fantastic. I think it is mandatory that all cookies I have from now on have salt sprinkled on top. Since we were at a gluten-free restaurant AND brewery, it seemed necessary to try their beers.
They had 8 beers on their list which made it hard to pick which ones to try. Therefore, we ordered samples of all of them. My favorite was the Pale Ale, but the IPA No. 5 was a close second. I seriously love the Pacific Northwest. You have amazing gluten-free options and it is so incredibly beautiful.
It is that time again! Gluten-Free Santa Barbara’s August Meet-up will be this Sunday at Lilac Patisserie. After getting some feedback, we have moved the time to 11:00am. As of this past week, Lilac is now offering a breakfast menu until noon so come try out their new items! See you there!
To celebrate my birthday weekend, we took the scenic drive up to the 154 to spend a few hours. I have been meaning to try Industrial Eats in Buellton ever since it opened as the couple behind the new hot spot were the caterers for our wedding. Upon telling the lady at the counter that I was celiac, she was quick to inform me that due to one oven, there is a big chance of cross contamination. They have GF pizza crusts, but they are cooked on the same surface in the oven as the regular crusts. I ended up ordering three things that were cooked in the same oven, but were in their own cast ironware. First, I had the Zucchini and Tomato Gratin without the bread that is typically included. This dish had a way of tasting so fresh and healthy even though there were massive amounts of cheese on it. Topped with basil, it was incredibly flavorful. I also ordered the Sweet Corn with Tomatillo and Bacon.
Corn with house-made bacon will always be a winner in my books. Add in some Mexican flavors with the tomatillos, cheese and cilantro and you’ve got a plate of amazingness. The third thing I ordered (yes, I ordered too much per usual) was the Shrimp with Pancetta, Chile and Garlic.
If I remember correctly, the woman that rung me up altered this dish as well as it usually has bread on the bottom. I loved the flavor of the large chunks of garlic. Eating here reminded me of why we used Janet and Jeff Olsson to cater our wedding… they cook amazing food using locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients. I was a bit disappointed that they wouldn’t think to cook the GF pizzas on a separate surface as they were beyond GF friendly for our event. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t hesitate to stop by again if I was in the Buellton area.
Last week, we stopped by Presto Pasta after checking out ukuleles at Jenson Guitar and Music Co. The first thing I noticed at the counter was a big display saying that they had tons of GF choices. They use Mariella Gluten-Free Pasta, a corn pasta from Italy. Additionally, they have the GF sauces to choose from marked for ordering ease. After speaking with the employee about cross contamination, she got the manager who assured me that they would “nuke the pasta” so there would be no worries about a shared pot or colander. I suppose that is where they get the “presto” in Presto Pasta. I had the Pasta with Puttanesca sauce as I was told it was pretty spicy. I personally didn’t find it spicy or flavorful for that matter. However, they get points for providing an easy, safe and quick option for GF pasta.
As a reminder, this upcoming Sunday, the 26th, Gluten-Free Santa Barbara will be meeting at Lilac Patisserie for our monthly get together. Find all of the details here!