Tag Archives: salad

Cafe Ana

19 May

IMG_4404.jpgMy favorite building in Santa Barbara is the courthouse. It is unbelievably beautiful with intricately painted walls and ceilings and panoramic views from the clocktower. Plus, I got hitched there, so it will always be one of my favorite spots in town. Just steps from the courthouse is new-ish restaurant, Cafe Ana. With large windows offering views of the courthouse and library, it is a nice location to enjoy a cup of coffee or have a snack. When I went to the cashier to place my order, I started to ask questions about particular items. The gentleman helping me tried to inform me that the burrata and tomato soup would not be gluten-free because of the burrata. Intrigued, I asked what was on the burrata that was not GF. At that point, either the manager or owner who overheard stepped in and let me know that it was gluten-free. As I placed the order, he assisted the cashier so the correct notes would be written for my items. I went with the Butter Lettuce Salad with shrimp added. I also ordered a cup of the Spring Vegetable Soup.

IMG_4402.jpgUsually this soup comes with fried olives. The manager/owner explained that the oil used to fry them is uncontaminated as they only fry potato chips in it. However, this batch of olives was not from today, and so just to be safe, he didn’t want to run the risk of cross contamination since he didn’t see them being made. I appreciated the caution and felt comfortable with my order due to his communication with me and the kitchen. I just wished that the owners would properly educate their entire staff on what gluten is as well as what cross contamination is. I wonder what would have been the result of my meal if he wasn’t there to assist.

Lunch at El Encanto

18 May

IMG_4435.jpegI had lunch with my family today at El Encanto. As soon as I mentioned to our waiter that both my brother and I have Celiac, he excused himself to alert the kitchen. I started with the Yellowtail Crudo. The quality of the fish was good and the olives were tasty but the chili, basil and lemon flavors that were supposed to accompany the yellowtail were nonexistent. I had the Caesar Salad without the garlic croutons as my main dish.

IMG_4439.jpegThe amount of buttermilk caesar dressing and shaved parmesan was just right. It was a bit overcast today, but you could still make out the ocean which served as a reminder of how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful spot.

Sage

12 May

IMG_4271.jpegTwice a year, I make the pilgrimage to Ojai to get my hair done. While I have friends that think it is crazy to drive 45 minutes when there are plenty of salons in Santa Barbara, I look forward to the trips. The drive takes you past Lake Casitas with beautiful views of the mountains and I can always be sure that a healthy, gluten-free restaurant will be found. This trip, my hair stylist let me know about Sage, a newly opened restaurant serving “mindful meals and elixirs”. After finishing up at Rise, the cutest hair salon there ever was, I headed to Sage. While ordering at the counter, the cashier knew exactly what Celiac was. She informed me that it is a shared kitchen so there is a risk. She also let me know that they make their own GF bread. They use the same pans that they use for their regular bread, but the pans have been cleaned prior to use. I ordered the Ojai Greens Bowl. It had sunflower seeds, buckwheat and a forbidden rice medley with local greens, green goddess dressing, pickled onion and pickled mushroom. With the bowl, I was able to choose two roasted vegetables so I selected the Brussels Sprouts and Beets. I also was able to choose a protein. I picked the Salmon Sashimi. I ordered a side of the gluten-free naan as well.

IMG_4275.jpegEverything in the bowl was super fresh and satisfying. There was the perfect amount of dressing and the portion was just right. The naan was served warm which was a pleasant surprise. I would definitely go back to Sage on a return trip to Ojai.

Caruso’s

5 May

IMG_4201.jpgLast week, I joined friends that are like family at Caruso’s. This was my first time dining at the Miramar Hotel’s signature restaurant, but not my first time at the resort. My previous experiences at the The Manor Bar and the Miramar Beach Bar were disappointing due to dismal service. However, the newest hotel in the area is beautiful and worth checking out for the views alone. Caruso’s is situated right on the water. Even if it is chilly, I’d recommend sitting on the outside patio. They have ample heaters and it seems silly to be so close to the ocean yet choose to dine inside. While speaking with our waiter about my dietary needs and asking for recommendations, he wasn’t entirely helpful. He proclaimed that this was the best restaurant in Santa Barbara but it was tough to get guidance from him. I asked if they had gluten-free bread and was told that they did have some that would be safe for me. When it arrived, I had to ask for my own oil though as they hadn’t anticipated that I would need a separate one. When they served an amuse-bouche, the server wasn’t sure if it was gluten-free and had to double check (it was). I started with the Little Gem Caesar without the croutons.

IMG_4204.jpegI really liked the salad. It sort of reminded me of the now defunct Arlington Tavern’s caesar salad. For my main course, I had the Pan Roasted Channel Island Halibut.

IMG_4206.jpegI thought this was okay. It didn’t have much flavor. Overall, the setting of the restaurant was unbelievably beautiful. However, I felt that the food and service were not on par with Bella Vista at the Four Seasons. I had to ask for water five times which may sound silly, but for the “best restaurant in Santa Barbara”, it was a bit annoying.

Bossie’s Kitchen

16 Apr

IMG_4052.jpgI just had an incredibly satisfying lunch at Bossie’s Kitchen, or as my daughter refers to it, the restaurant with a cow on the roof. Prior to dining there, I had emailed the owners to see if they had anything on their menu that could be made gluten-free for a celiac. I was happy to receive word back that there were a variety of safe options:

We do have a gluten-heavy menu, and while not all items can be made gluten-free for celiac, here’s a few that we can do for you:
-Proteins: grilled salmon with dill yogurt or rotisserie chicken, without gravy
-Salads: kale & quinoa salad, ginger beet and citrus salad, caesar salad (we can make this to order for you, without breadcrumbs)
-Soup: generally vegetarian and gluten-free.
-Plates: you may combine either protein with any of the salads; roasted market vegetable plate may be served without the pita bread; grilled hamburger without the bun and french fries (there would be cross-contamination in the fryer with our fried chicken, that is dredged in flour)
-Nightly Specials: Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday nights we offer the best options for you that are gluten-free.  We can substitute quinoa for cous cous on Tuesday’s chicken tajine special, without pita bread; Saturday and Sunday nightly specials do not contain gluten: grilled pork belly with coconut rice; pot roast dinner.
I ended up ordering the grilled salmon with a side of their kale and quinoa salad. I also had a bowl of their split pea coconut curry soup.
IMG_4049.jpgThe salmon was perfectly cooked with a delicious crispy skin. It went really well with the salad’s roasted vegetables. The soup was unbelievably flavorful. They change up the soup every couple of months, so be sure to stop in before this bowl of yumminess goes away.

Benchmark Eatery

30 Jul

Portobello CarpaccioThis week, we decided to try out Benchmark Eatery. When we sat down and I informed the server of my dietary needs, she immediately went into a disclaimer about the kitchen not being gluten-free. She also mentioned that they typically do not allow for substitutions, but that she would check with the kitchen to see if they could accommodate me. We started with the Portobello Carpaccio which was naturally gluten-free. This had chopped egg, frisée and roasted pistachio. It wasn’t overwhelmingly flavorful, but we both enjoyed it nonetheless. For my main, I had the Kale Antipasto without the crispy potatoes.

Kale AntipastoI love anything with butter beans. I was still a bit hungry after finishing, but I am sure the potatoes would have made it a bit heartier.  As a note, the chickpeas they serve in place of bread are not gluten-free as they have been battered and fried. However, for those that are not gluten-free, they got rave reviews from my husband.

Cafe Luna in Summerland

4 Mar

Quinoa TaboulehAs I am about one week from my due date, I have been trying to make healthy options when I go out to restaurants. Cafe Luna made that easy for me as they offer a quinoa tabouleh option for lunch. With quinoa, diced tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and fresh herbs, it was both tasty yet light. It came with a side of mixed greens and hummus. Typically it comes with bread, so you just need to omit that for a perfectly yummy gluten-free meal.