Tag Archives: downtown

Green Table

26 Sep

FullSizeRender 2.jpgI had been meaning to try Green Table in downtown Santa Barbara for some time now. The entire menu is organic, gluten-free and vegetarian with lots of vegan options for those who choose that lifestyle. I am quite indecisive, so I asked the employee helping me what their most popular lunch item tends to be. That led me to the Raw Veggie Wrap. It was a raw veggie burger with their house dressing, cucumber slices, avocado, arugula, shredded cabbage and goat gouda cheese all wrapped up in a coconut tortilla. When I first got the wrap, I thought that it looked like a lot of lettuce as filler, but I was pleasantly surprised as to how dense it was when I bit into it. I really enjoyed the goat gouda that I added to it as well. Not only does Green Table have a nice variety of made-to-order foods, they also have an extensive juice and matcha menu. Fans of the autumn favorite PSL will be happy to find a Pumpkin Spice Matcha Latte on the menu, prepared with freshly made almond milk. Now if only it would start feeling like fall around here…

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Somerset

22 May

IMG_1324.jpgLast week, we went on a much needed date night to the newer restaurant, Somerset. We sat in the beautiful garden courtyard which has gotten a major facelift since the Arts & Letters Cafe days. With tons of copper patio heaters to keep you warm, it is such a nice setting to spend a Santa Barbara evening out in.

Our waitress was familiar with Celiac Disease which is always reassuring. She walked me through the menu pointing out which items were truly gluten-free and which would have cross contamination. We started with the Spring Vegetables which came with fava tendrils, salsa verde and crème fraîche. I loved the freshness of this dish, especially the perfectly cooked brussels sprouts and asparagus. I then ordered the Burrata with grilled asparagus, prosciutto, mustard greens, cured egg yolk and pine nut breadcrumbs. For this, I had to omit the breadcrumbs. IMG_1326.jpgIn hindsight, I would have passed on this dish as it felt very similar to the first starter we ordered. I also had it without the egg yolk, so perhaps that would have added a little more complexity to the taste to differentiate it from the first dish. For my main dish, I ordered Braised Short Rib Osso Buco.

IMG_1329.jpgThis was accompanied by polenta, swiss chard, cipollini onions and a horseradish gremolata. The polenta was about 50% butter which was awesome, because butter. But it  also made it so rich that I had a hard time finishing more than half of the dish. I think that had I skipped the starters, I could have polished this off as the meat was so tender. I wasn’t planning on ordering dessert, but then our waitress alerted me that their Chocolate Walnut Torte was made using Thomas Keller’s gluten-free Cup4Cup flour mix. Sold.

IMG_1331.jpgThe salted caramel was a fantastic addition to the torte. The only part of the menu that we didn’t explore was the cocktail menu as I am currently not drinking. However, one of our neighboring tables had a frothy looking concotion that looked quite intriguing. The restaurant is definitely a littly pricy compared to your average Santa Barbara restaurant. But sitting in that courtyard is worth it, even if you only go for drinks and dessert.

Little Kitchen

11 Nov

littlekitchenWhenever I see gluten-free bread listed on a menu, I am always skeptical. More often than not, it is prepared with no consideration to the people that actually will get ill if they consume gluten. So when I visited Little Kitchen in downtown Santa Barbara, I was pleasantly surprised. Upon asking the owner how they prepare the sandwiches with gluten-free bread, she asked if I was celiac and then explained that her good friend is as well. She then assured me that my sandwich would be prepared in a clean pan rather then the usual flat top. Additionally, she proactively walked over to the chef making the food to have him change his gloves and clean the work space. I ordered the Vineyard Chicken Sandwich with chips (the fries are made in a contaminated fryer). It had organic chicken with a balsamic glaze, goat cheese, caramelized onions, butter lettuce, tomato and rosemary garlic aioli served on BFree’s GF Brown Seeded Sandwich Bread. I had never had this GF bread before but found that it had a really good consistency and taste. The restaurant itself has a super cool decor. It is located right next to the Kitty which seems perfect as they also offer up a very appealing late night menu. I can’t wait to go back to try their grilled cheese (hello Sriracha mayo)!

Caffe Primo

2 Nov

img_8350This past weekend, we took a break from making dinner and headed downtown to Caffe Primo with some friends. The restaurant is right on State Street which allows for some some good people watching, or if you are my toddler, some good trolley sightings. After talking to our waitress, I learned that the tots and fries on the appetizer menu were definitely not GF due to contaminated oil. However, she assured me that I could order the GF pasta as it would be cooked in a clean pot of water and handled with clean tools. I went with the Short Rib Pappardelle with the gluten-free penne. I was exceedingly hungry so I finished my meal quite quickly. I think if I were to return, I’d probably go with something else though as I didn’t find the dish to be memorable. There was definitely a level of comfort with the waitress though as she knew what gluten was and understood cross contamination.

Kanaloa Seafood

19 Feb

IMG_2816.jpgEvery time that I drive by Kanaloa Seafood Market on Chapala, I always think that that their patio looks so appealing. That, mixed with the fact that it is always busy when I drive by, finally convinced me to try it out. One of the things that makes Kanaloa stand out is that they promote and support environmentally responsible, scientifically sustainable fisheries.

From their website, “Kanaloa is the only International Organization of Standardization-certified seafood company in North America, earning our ISO 14001 certification through regular third party audits of our environmental management practices, and our continuous effort to reduce the size of the environmental footprint of our entire business, including our eco-packaging and shipping methods.”

I ordered two of the Pacific Tacos. I’m glad that I didn’t get three since they were huge. The tacos were served on corn tortillas and had sautéed swordfish with poblano peppers, onions, cabbage, pico de gallo and their house salsa. I am a huge fan of fish tacos, so I assumed that I would enjoy these. Not only were these good, they were tremendously good. The poblano peppers and onions mixed with the swordfish were such a good combination that I will be thinking of these for days to come.

Five Loaves Cafe

3 Jun

Soup Sampler

If you are visiting Charleston, you MUST make Five Loaves Cafe one of your stops. This casual, allergy friendly restaurant went above and beyond in accommodating our tricky group. After letting them know about our dietary needs, they brought out “normal” bread and oil and a separate plate of GF bread and oil. The bread wasn’t anything special (I believe it was Udi’s), but the fact that they served it along with its own safe olive oil was awesome.  I had read that their soups were great, but I was having a hard time deciding between the six gluten-free choices so I went with the three soup sampler. I chose the potato, cheddar and broccoli, the tomato tarragon with crabmeat and the carrot ginger. They were equally yummy and the perfect size. For my main dish, I had the Pumpkin Seed Encrusted Salmon.

Pumpkin Seed Encrusted SalmonEven though I didn’t taste much of the pumpkin seed, the salmon was cooked well and the accompaniments were light and fresh tasting. We couldn’t resist ordering their gluten free carrot cake for dessert.

Carrot CakeThis was a very good decision. We made quick work of the cake, finishing the meal on a high note. The menu at Five Loaves was so accommodating that we ended up getting take-out from there another day. I had the Rueben Sandwich on GF Bread which was pretty darn tasty… so tasty in fact that I ate it too quickly for a picture. There were about ten other things on the menu that I would have tried if we had more time in Charleston. It is so nice to find a place where you have as many choices as anyone else!