Tag Archives: gluten free

Bibi Ji

23 Sep

IMG_0862.jpgLast night, my husband and I decided to try a new restaurant before heading to the Santa Barbara Bowl to see The National. We ended up at Bibi Ji, the creative Indian restaurant that opened earlier this year. Now, we LOVE Indian food. We have a weekly tradition of getting takeout from Flavor of India. But this isn’t your run of the mill Indian restaurant. The presentation and flavors of the food definitely exceeded our expectations. We sat outside on their back patio since it was a perfect Santa Barbara night. When speaking with our server, he knew what Celiac Disease was, and gave me guidance on what I could and could not have. We started with the Paneer Tikka Sliders. These “sliders” were more of a fork and knife dish. They had a surprising heat to them which was much appreciated since we love spicy food. All of the curries are gluten-free, so we decided to order two of those along with a side of basmati rice. We got the butter chicken which our waiter had mentioned was their top seller. We also ordered the coconut curry with vegetables.

IMG_0868.jpgAlthough I enjoyed the butter chicken and the tikka masala sauce it came in, I preferred the coconut curry flavor. I had some papadum on the side so that I could scoop up all of the extra sauce. IMG_0863.jpgBecause they are very clear on the menu about being unable to accommodate sesame allergies, we won’t have this restaurant in our usual rotation as my daughter is severely allergic to sesame and nuts. However, it will definitely be a top pick for date nights.

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Smithy

23 Aug

IMG_0081.jpgLast week, we went out to dinner with some good friends. We decided to try Smithy as we hadn’t been there since it had transitioned from Somerset. I just love their outdoor patio. It feels like such a beautiful, serene nook of Santa Barbara. You easily forget that you are steps from State Street. I started things off with a bang when I ordered their “Ortega Undead II: The Resurrection” to drink. It was a yummy, spicy tequila concoction. I was pleased that our waiter was aware of which dishes were not gluten-free due to cross contamination (our table shared the brussels sprouts and the crispy papas which were not GF).  I started with the Grilled Corn. It was served with zucchini, swiss chard, green harissa and queso fresco. Although the dish was simple, the ingredients were so fresh that I found myself wanting to order another one of these. For my main dish, I was tempted by the fact that they had homemade gluten-free pasta available. However, I went with the scallops. IMG_0097.jpgThese were served with an english pea risotto, asparagus and sugar snaps. Once again, the combination of fresh ingredients and a great execution made me incredibly satisfied with my choice. We skipped dessert, but I was almost enticed by their GF chocolate cake that was being served that evening. To be honest, I didn’t find a huge difference between Somerset and Smithy. Regardless, we will definitely be returning both for the food and the ambiance.

Nook

13 Aug

IMG_9934.jpgI had my mind set on trying a new restaurant today for lunch, which led us to Nook located at the Waterline in the Funk Zone. I had checked the menu out ahead of time and was planning on ordering the blackened rock fish tacos. However, the lady behind the counter informed me that the rock fish hadn’t been delivered yet. She suggested the special halibut tostada instead. After going through the cross contamination conversation with her, I learned that they have a gluten-free fryer that is used for the tostada. Additionally, the fries are gluten-free as they are made in the GF fryer. Typically the halibut would be made on a grill that has non-GF items, but she had the kitchen make it for me in a pan. The tostada was served with a chili lime slaw, black bean relish, avocado salsa and pico de gallo and was topped with some queso.

IMG_9935.jpgThe fries were prepared with white truffle butter, pesto and parmesan cheese. The side patio was the perfect place to enjoy the food while people and dog watching. This is understandably a popular spot on the weekends as it is steps from all of the watering holes that the Funk Zone offers, including two spots within the Waterline.

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!

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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.