Tag Archives: santa barbara

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.

Due Lune

28 Apr

IMG_4059.jpegTre Lune in Montecito has been a family favorite of ours for the past decade. We’ve enjoyed countless meals there as they have always taken care of our multitude of dietary restrictions while serving up delicious food. Because of that, we were looking forward to trying their new location, Due Lune located at State and Cabrillo. There are great views of the water from both inside and their patio. It was a windy night so we opted for a window seat inside. I started with the Garden Party Salad which had kale, zucchini, beets, tomatoes, goat cheese, pear, cranberries and walnuts. The ingredients were very fresh, however there was too much balsamic on it for my liking. It was also a much larger portion than I had anticipated.

IMG_4062.jpegJust like Tre Lune, they have gluten-free pasta available as a substitute for their pasta dishes. After speaking with our waiter, he confirmed that they would cook the gluten-free pasta in a clean pot and use a clean colander. I ordered their bolognese which similar to the salad, was enough to feed 2 people. Is it just me, or is a huge portion unappealing? Although there was nothing wrong with the dish, I would probably try something else if I were to go back. 

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.

Dawn Patrol

1 Mar

IMG_3323.jpgThis morning, I noticed on the Find Me Gluten-Free app that there is a restaurant listed that has GF pancakes. Dawn Patrol was reviewed by a person with celiac who said the pancakes were celiac friendly, so I loaded my youngest into his car seat and headed to lower State Street. After talking to the cashier, I was able to determine that the gluten-free pancakes are made on the same flat top as the regular ones. However, he insisted that they would clean it first. I didn’t feel comfortable with that, so I ended up ordering their Build a Hash which is made on a safe surface. My concoction had russet potatoes, peppers and onions, shredded chicken, spinach, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs and their fire roasted salsa. It also came with an option of corn tortillas (warmed on a GF surface) or bread. The food was hearty enough to split with another person.

It just goes to show that every person with celiac disease has a different level of comfort at restaurants. As always, you are dining at your own risk. That being said, does anyone in SB have a hidden breakfast spot that they love that is GF-friendly?

Mizza

4 Dec

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Ever since the restaurant Pizza Mizza closed, I had been meaning to try Mizza. I always liked Pizza Mizza’s gluten-free crust which was made with cup-4-cup flour and cooked on a clean surface. However, when my husband and I tried Mizza today, we found out that the GF pizza option they have is cooked on the same surface as the regular pizzas. After speaking with the manager, he confirmed that the new Mizza Pizza delivery service (are all of these names confusing you yet?) is made in a different kitchen than Mizza and they are able to cook the GF pizzas on a clean surface. Hooray! If you want to eat at Mizza, there are still some gluten-free options for you. I had the chopped salad while my husband had the arugula and roasted potato salad.IMG_2429 2.jpg

I also ordered the pan seared halibut for my son and to bring home as leftovers. It was served with heirloom tomatoes, roasted potatoes, carrots and broccolini.

IMG_2431 2.jpgAlthough I was bummed to not have gluten-free pizza for lunch, I was glad to have some safe GF options to choose from. I do love that the restaurant is in La Arcada as the courtyard is particularly magical this time of year with the holiday decorations.

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.