Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Metropulos

23 May

IMG_7597.jpgOne of the first spots in the Funk Zone when it was more funk than trendy was Metropulos. I had always heard they had great sandwiches, but I had just assumed that they didn’t cater to gluten-free folk like myself. I gave them a call this week to ask if they had GF options and was surprised to find out that they make their own GF bread. The lady I spoke with (who I believe was the owner) explained that for celiacs, they won’t warm it up in the contaminated toaster. After inquiring, she also let me know that their aiois were in squirt bottles rather than a spread to minimize more opportunities for cross contamination. I hustled over so that I could try one of these much-talked about sandwiches. I ordered “This Little Piggy” which had ham, bacon, grilled onions, mixed greens, tomatoes, melted cheddar and chipotle aioli. I added avocado to it. This little piggy devoured every crumb of the sandwich.While exploring the grocery area, I also stumbled on some items that I had to buy. First, I found truffle potato chips. IMG_7589.jpgI love the taste of truffles, so these potato chips were a big hit. They also had some fantastic looking gluten-free pastas that I couldn’t resist buying.

IMG_7590.jpgLook at these beauties! If you’ve been to Italy, you know that their attention to making great GF products is second to none.  I’ve never been so excited to make pasta!

IMG_7591.jpg

Advertisements

PokeCeviche

6 May

IMG_7283.jpgI had to run an errand downtown so I took the opportunity to try PokeCeviche in Paseo Nuevo. The gentleman that was working there found information in the back as to what was GF and not.

IMG_7281.jpgHowever, I got the impression that other than knowing there was this paper, he hadn’t been trained on how to avoid cross contamination. I took my chances and ordered a bowl with quinoa brown rice, tuna, albacore, salmon, pico de gallo, cucumber, corn, red onion, jalapeño, sprouts and their gluten-free vegan sushi sauce. Not even a hour after finishing, I started to feel sick and knew that I had inadvertently consumed gluten. I know that every time I eat out, I put myself at risk. But it had been so long since I had been glutened, that I had almost felt invincible. Lesson learned… I need to be more careful and trust my (now damaged) gut when it seems that a restaurant doesn’t have their act together.

Islands

1 May

IMG_7250.jpgHappy Celiac Awareness Month! Thanks to Gluten-Free in SB reader, Ellen, I got a tip that Islands offers great GF burger buns. They also have a gluten-free menu! We decided to try it out yesterday at the prime dining time of 4:45pm to avoid the rush. I prefer eating super early when I am trying a restaurant for the first time so I can ask the server all of my questions without feeling like they are rushed. After asking our waiter my usual questions, he confirmed the following answers with the manager and kitchen: The gluten-free buns are prepared in a safe spot when told it is for an allergy/celiac. The fries are made in their own fryer. However they are close to the fryer that is used for non-GF things, so there is a slight chance of oil splattering into the fries fryer. I took the risk and ordered my Maui Burger with fries. The bun definitely held together better than the standard Udi’s bun. Upon asking about it, the waiter informed me they are made by Smart Flour. I really liked the fries (and felt fine last night), but I did feel a little risky eating them. Would you have tried them?

Finney’s Crafthouse & Kitchen

24 Apr

IMG_7002.jpgThis past weekend, we had friends in town that were staying near the Funk Zone. We decided to take advantage of the fact that they were staying there to try new spot Finney’s Crafthouse & Kitchen. It was pretty packed, but we didn’t mind waiting as it was a perfect Santa Barbara night. After talking with our waitress, I learned that they use Udi’s buns for their burgers and prepare them on a safe surface when told that it is for an allergy or Celiac. I had the Finney Burger which had a house spread that was also GF. The fries are made in a contaminated fryer, so I had the burger with their side salad. I was pretty pleasantly surprised with the quality of the burger and salad as it was a notch above your typical bar/pub fare. I only wish that they used Canyon Bakehouse hamburger buns as those tend to stay together better and taste better in my opinion. The burger went well with my spicy margarita. IMG_7001.jpgThe restaurant was also accommodating for children as we had two 4-year olds and 2 young babies. They provided crayons and an activity booklet along with a nice kid’s menu.

Food Harmonics

19 Apr

IMG_6962.jpgI drove to Ojai this morning to have a much needed haircut since my hair stylist of 10 years is currently living there. This was my first time driving on 150 since the Thomas Fire, and I was amazed at the regrowth you can already see. It is a beautiful drive that is worth it just for the change in scenery. After my hair was done, I stopped at Food Harmonics in Ojai for lunch since the “Find Me GF” app showed me that it was an entirely gluten-free restaurant. The website describes the restaurant as offering food that is “real, organic, gluten-free, nutritionally dense and amazingly delicious”. I ordered a Dosa with goat cheese, butternut squash and tamari sautéed mushrooms. It came with a mixed greens and sauerkraut. I also had their Turmeric Matcha Latte. I enjoyed my uber healthy meal on their back patio where there was the perfect breeze. I am already planning a return trip to Ojai for the entire family in the near future.

Oliver’s

12 Apr

img_6847-2.jpgMonday was a record-breaking warm day, so the idea of having an al fresco dinner as the day cooled off sounded really appealing. We decided to try Oliver’s since their outside patio always looked so nice when we would drive by. The entirely vegan menu has gluten-free items noted, but I made sure to check about cross contamination as we ordered our food. I was excited to find out that they use GF tamari rather than soy sauce.

IMG_6849 2.JPGWe ordered three things from the sides menu which happened to come out first: The Kung Pao Broccolini, Long Beans and Shishito Peppers. My favorite of those three were the shishito peppers which were perfectly cooked.

IMG_6850 2.JPGWe also ordered the artichoke “crab cakes” from the small plates menu since they sounded unlike anything we had tried before.

IMG_6845 2.JPGThe hearts of palm closely resembled the consistency of crab. I especially enjoyed the corn and the spicy aioli. For our main dishes, we ordered the veggie burger and the pad thai. The gluten-free option for the veggie burger is for it to be served with lettuce to wrap the burger in. However, once we saw the dish, it was clear that we would be fork and knifing the burger instead of attempting to pick it up.

IMG_6852 2.JPGThe burger was good, but I might try something different next time to mix things up. The pad thai was a generous portion.

IMG_6854 2.JPGYou might think that after ordering (and eating) so much food, there is no way that we would order dessert. You would be wrong. Both of the desserts they offered that night were gluten-free, so we went with the one that sounded more interesting to us – an apple crisp topped with coconut ice cream.

IMG_6855 2.JPGAs this was made with oats, I made sure to confirm that the oats were certified gluten-free. Our overall experience at Oliver’s was really good – the staff was helpful, the outdoor patio was beautiful and the food and drinks were tasty. I’m already looking forward to returning to the patio to have another Johnny’s Alive cocktail and a small plate or two.

 

Santa Barbara Cider Co.

30 Mar

IMG_6755.jpgFor parents of young children, sometimes you feel that a drink is necessary. Santa Barbara has no shortage of breweries or wine tasting rooms. But the breweries aren’t really a draw for Celiacs and sometimes wine just feels a little too refined when you’ve got boogers and spit up on you from your offspring. Enter the Santa Barbara Cider Company… an entirely gluten-free, family friendly tasting room and patio that still feels cool enough that your childless friends will want to make an afternoon or evening of hanging out there.

IMG_6754.jpgThere are always 12 different ciders on tap, with 5 more taps coming in the near future. They have 4 different flavor profiles so there is truly something for everyone. The ciders feature fresh pressed juices (nothing from concentrate) that are sourced from three different states and there are no artificial colors, sweeteners or preservatives added. Basically you can feel good about getting your drink on. I did a taster flight so that I could sample their different flavors. I had Grow a Pear, Tropical Hopical, Viva and Homemade Apple Pie. My favorite was Grow a Pear, but Viva which combined pomegranate and lime was a close second. Homemade Apple Pie tasted exactly as it was intended, bringing back memories of Thanksgiving. The Tropical Hopical blended mango with hops and would be a good choice for those who would love the hoppy taste without the gluten. There are exclusively GF snacks for purchase (think potato chips, cookies and trail mix). They frequently have food trucks, but they can’t vouch for them being safe for celiacs as expected. I had Woodstock’s GF pizza delivered while we were there which went perfectly with the cider. If you want to have a drink with a side of corn hole, board games and fun tunes, Santa Barbara Cider Company is your new go-to place.