Tag Archives: santa barbara

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?

Brasil Arts Cafe

25 Mar

IMG_6594.jpgAfter spending the day downtown to attend the March For Our Lives, I thought it would be nice to support a local business that appeared to be gluten-free friendly by the looks of their menu. We’ve walked by Brasil Arts Cafe countless times on our way to Chicken Little, our favorite local children’s store. I was so excited to finally try it out. As I started to ask my usual questions, our waitress informed me that it was her first day but that she would get the owner to help ensure that I was getting correct information. The owner was very aware of cross contamination, informing me that I wouldn’t be able to have anything fried due to their lack of a GF fryer. He was also very accommodating with my daughter’s allergies. He made sure as soon as we ordered to go into the kitchen to ensure they took the necessary steps to keep us safe. I started with their small caesar salad which is served with their naturally GF pão de queijo – a delicious cheese bread. I wouldn’t necessarily call this a small salad so I can’t imagine what the large looked like. For my main dish, I had the BAC Burger.

IMG_6596.jpgThe burger featured locally sourced beef on their cheese bread. Since I was unable to have their fries, I had this with the side salad which was another large portion. As much as I enjoyed having the option of eating a burger with a bun, I really want to return to try the Moqueca de Peixe as it is also naturally gluten-free and sounded very good.

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…

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.