Tag Archives: gluten free

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar

21 Jan

IMG_4422.jpgIt has been a trying month and a half here in Santa Barbara between the fires and the mudslides. Add the fact that I gave birth to a son a week before the Thomas Fire started, and you can imagine how crazy it has been. During the stretch of days with toxic air, we stayed inside as long as possible before I needed to get out of the house. We took a day trip north to Avila Valley Barn which was the perfect place to breathe fresh air for a few hours. There were pony rides and animal feedings for my daughter and yummy gluten-free snacks for purchase so that we were all happy. We also did a day trip south to Camarillo and Thousand Oaks. We spent a couple of hours at a local playground and then went to Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar for lunch. Our waitress was very well informed about cross contamination for both my celiac and my daughter’s allergies. I had the GF Sweet and Spicy Shrimp Wok which was unbelievably tasty. I think it was a combination of the fresh air, friendly service and being able to eat safe Asian-style cuisine, but I loved my meal and have been thinking of returning since we were there.

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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…

Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill

15 Jul

IMG_2144.JPGBraving the smoke in Goleta from the Whittier Fire, we decided to try Hollister Village’s newest restaurant, Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill. When I looked at their menu online before heading there, I found that they seek out organic, local ingredients which was very appealing to me. I ended up ordering the Sharky’s Quinoa Salad with tofu added on. This salad was uber healthy but filling at the same time. It had organic red and white quinoa, organic baby spinach, cabbage, jicama, cucumber, sweet peppers, green onions, cilantro, avocado and toasted flax and chia seeds. The dressing was an avocado vinaigrette. Online, they have a gluten-free menu guide which is very helpful, noting that the fryer is used for items that contain gluten.

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.

Pickles & Swiss

16 Jan

img_9595This past weekend I went on a lunch date with my 96-year old grandma. She loves a good sandwich, so we decided to try the new location of Pickles & Swiss at Hollister Village in Goleta. When ordering, I found out that the cashier thought she may have celiac. Not so awesome for her, but awesome for me as I knew that she would ensure my sandwich would remain gluten-free. She had the staff change their gloves and the sandwich was placed on a GF-specified tray before being heated in the toaster. I had the tuna melt which was perfectly gooey and yummy. If you are in downtown Santa Barbara, you can also try their Paseo Nuevo location. I’ve eaten successfully at that location a handful of times as well since I wrote about them 4 years ago.

Mesa Burger

5 Jan

img_9468I love a good burger, but let’s be honest. Having a burger wrapped in lettuce isn’t quite as satisfying as sinking into a bun. So when I saw that Mesa Burger, co-owned by Cat Cora, had a gluten-free bun on their menu, I was cautiously optimistic. When I started to question the cashier taking my order, he didn’t know the answers offhand, but he was able to find someone that did. The gluten-free buns are Udi’s and they are heated on a designated gluten-free area of the flattop. I ordered the Mesa Burger with a turkey burger, gluten-free bun, grilled onions and no sauce. Sadly, the special “Mesa Burger Sauce” has soy sauce in it so it is off limits. The fries are also a no-go for us celiacs as they only have the one fryer and it is contaminated. Wouldn’t it be nice if any future locations had a second fryer for us GF folk? I had my burger with a side salad which usually has croutons on it.

IMG_9469.jpgWhen my food arrived, I checked it as I always do and found that they had forgotten to leave off the sauce. After an apology from the manager and a quick redo, I was able to sink into the burger. The burger itself was good and the salad tasted fresh. If I were to make any changes, I would switch to Canyon Bakehouse hamburger buns as I find that they do not fall apart as easily as Udi’s. Two of my dining companions had the veggie burger and raved about the texture and taste of it. After asking about it, we were told that it is gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan and is made by Hungry Planet.

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)!