Tag Archives: state street

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!

Lilac Pâtisserie

19 Jan

Cherry SconeHurrah! Lilac Pâtisserie is finally open! This entirely gluten-free bakery and café on State Street is a very welcome addition to Santa Barbara. I stopped in today to check out the space and pick up some goodies. For now, they are holding off on their breakfast and lunch menus so that they can make sure that they are done right. There were plenty of treats to choose from though to satisfy any appetite. I had a cherry scone that was incredible. I found myself having a hard time deciding between the banana nut muffin and apple crisp muffin, so I got both.

banana nut muffinApple Crisp MuffinI also couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a toffee nut cookie which was very satisfying. Oh, did I mention I also got a brownie to go? They have two huge cases featuring their attractive and yummy cakes. I am already trying to decide which to get for our little one’s upcoming first birthday.

GF cakesThe only thing I could find wrong about Lilac was that it is going to challenge my lack of self-control. Stay tuned for Gluten-Free Santa Barbara’s next meet up at our new favorite eatery in town!

Patxi’s Pizza

23 Dec

Padron PeppersI just got home from having a memorable meal at new restaurant, Patxi’s Pizza. The only problem was, it was memorable for all the wrong reasons. I had seen ahead of time that they carried GF pizza crusts. I was optimistic that as a chain, they would understand how to take care of their many guests that have to eat gluten-free. Sadly, I was wrong. I asked our server if they place the GF pizza on a separate pan so that it wasn’t touching the same surface as the normal pizza. She said that they don’t but that they probably could. I then asked if they could use a different knife to cut the pizza, but she said that they couldn’t.

At this point, I understand that a lot of restaurants offering “gluten-free” products do not care at all about those of us who have to eat gluten-free. Rather than take responsibility for serving a product that is truly gluten-free, they are jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon and trying to squeeze some extra dollars out of those who just prefer to eat GF. It is frustrating to the millions of us who have no choice as to what we can consume, but I understand that it is their prerogative. The part that I don’t understand is how as a restaurant, there is no training done to be aware of the ingredients in your product. Almost everyone that dines out has a preference or dietary need involving certain ingredients. Before opening, a restaurant’s management should make training a priority so that their customers are taken of. After all, they are in the service industry. After asking many questions about the ingredients in their salads (once it was clear I shouldn’t mess with their pizza), it was apparent that not only had our server not been trained to know what was safe or not for me to eat, there was no available manager to help her. The whole time we were there, there were ten workers (two of which looked like they were managers) just talking to each other in different huddles around the room. At no point did a manager look to help the server or check on our table. The fact that it took 40 minutes for my salad to get to the table made it even more aggravating that they were all just joking around with each other.

Greek SaladThe salad arrived with the dressing and cheese on the side even though that was not a request. It also came with tongs so that I could toss it myself which seemed very odd. I ordered the Padron Peppers as well which were actually pretty good. After our experience, we won’t be returning though. It would behoove the management to take the opportunity to train the staff and kitchen on the menu during quiet moments like today.

Now, I am even more excited for Pizzarev to open in Paseo Nuevo since it is clear that they care for their gluten-intolerant customers!

Miso Hungry

6 Nov

Blackened SalmonOne of the great things about the Axxess Card is that it gets you to try new restaurants out. Japanese cuisine is always scary to try as a Celiac due to the risk of cross contamination, but I was so pleasantly surprised with my experience at Miso Hungry. I spoke with the gentleman behind the counter and learned that of all of their sauces, only the Teriyaki, Ponzu and Japanese Curry are not gluten-free. They use gluten-free tamari for their salad dressings (just avoid the Ponzu dressing). He also was sure to put on new gloves to be safe. I got so excited that I decided to order two items. First, I had the blackened salmon salad. This was dressed with their orange vinaigrette. The guy helping me encouraged additional sauces on top so I gave him free reign as long as they were gluten-free. I also had their spicy tuna sushi wrap.

Spicy Tuna WrapThese are about the size of a burrito. You have the choice of having it wrapped in nori or rice paper. I loved this as their spicy aioli gave it a kick. When I was getting my water, I saw a great Iced Tea Bar around the corner. I will definitely take advantage of this the next time I go!

Iced Tea Bar