Tag Archives: state street

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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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.

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.

Caffe Primo

2 Nov

img_8350This past weekend, we took a break from making dinner and headed downtown to Caffe Primo with some friends. The restaurant is right on State Street which allows for some some good people watching, or if you are my toddler, some good trolley sightings. After talking to our waitress, I learned that the tots and fries on the appetizer menu were definitely not GF due to contaminated oil. However, she assured me that I could order the GF pasta as it would be cooked in a clean pot of water and handled with clean tools. I went with the Short Rib Pappardelle with the gluten-free penne. I was exceedingly hungry so I finished my meal quite quickly. I think if I were to return, I’d probably go with something else though as I didn’t find the dish to be memorable. There was definitely a level of comfort with the waitress though as she knew what gluten was and understood cross contamination.

August Gluten-Free Santa Barbara Meet-up

13 Aug

It is that time again! Gluten-Free Santa Barbara’s August Meet-up will be this Sunday at Lilac Patisserie. After getting some feedback, we have moved the time to 11:00am. As of this past week, Lilac is now offering a breakfast menu until noon so come try out their new items! See you there!

PizzaRev

17 May

Margherita PizzaOn Friday we went to see Pitch Perfect 2 at Paseo Nuevo. Right next to the movie theater is the newly opened PizzaRev. I had read about this chain being good about limiting the chance of cross contamination so we decided to give it a try. As soon as I let the gentleman at the counter know that I had celiac, he went straight into a very well rehearsed routine. He changed his gloves and explained to me that he would be seeing my pizza through the entire process rather than passing it down the line like the other pizzas. As I remarked that it was very cool to see them take it seriously, his coworker chimed in to say that it was very important to limit chances of cross contamination. Yay PizzaRev! Rather than use the sauce that they use for the other pizzas, he used a squirt bottle and clean ladle. As he went down the line, I asked about the meats. They are all GF except for the meatballs. Since the GF pizza is put on a tray within the oven, he explained that they put oil on the bottom so it crisps up a bit.

We ordered the Margherita Pizza and the Taco Pizza without the chorizo. I preferred the Margherita which had tons of fresh garlic. The taco pizza was okay. We ordered it as is so that we could try it as it was intended. I think that next time I would add some jalapeño to it for a little punch.

Taco PizzaWe really enjoyed the crusts they used. Upon asking we learned they were from Venice Bakery. They do cook the pizzas in the same oven as the normal pizzas and they do use the same ingredients on the line (like Chipotle) except for the sauce. There is definitely still a risk of cross contamination. However, I felt much more confident eating here than I do at other pizza places in Santa Barbara. It was so refreshing to see staff that had been properly trained how to keep my food safe!

Barbareño

15 Apr

California RollWe recently tried Barbareño in downtown Santa Barbara at the old D’Vine location. I was pretty excited since their focus is on locally sourced food which in my head translates as “We know all about the evils of gluten” for some reason. When I was ordering, I went through my usual spiel waiting for the waitress to cut in and say that I would be well taken care of. Instead, there seemed to be an attitude about modifying any of the dishes to be gluten-free. There were multiple instances where she said that the chef did’t intend for the dishes to be consumed in an altered state. As a celiac I have to modify dishes a lot. I would never judge a chef on a dish’s flavor profile if I had to alter it. That being said, I would always hope that any dietary needs could be accommodated to the best of their ability. I ended up getting the California Roll modified. It was really light and fresh. I then had their burger without the bread.

BurgerIt was a decent burger. They substituted some potatoes in for me which were particularly good. I really had my eye on the Santa Maria BBQ, but beer is used in the preparation of the dish. I liked the vibe of the restaurant. Their outdoor patio seemed like a great spot to have a drink once the days are longer and the weather is warmer.

Things have been quieter here since life has been pretty busy. Our daughter just got diagnosed with some food allergies, so as we venture into this new territory, we have been cutting back on dining out as much to be safe. That being said, I would love to connect with you GFSB people! Come to our next meet-up, this Sunday, the 19th, at Lilac Patisserie. We will be there at noon enjoying their awesome lunch menu. We will now be meeting monthly, the third Sunday of the month, so mark your calendars!