Tag Archives: gluten free dining

Can We Talk About Cross-Contamination?

gluten cross contaminationWell, hello there gluten haters. Today in GIMB we’re going to have a quick discussion about that time someone served you an English muffin with your scrambled eggs, and after you screamed like a little girl, took it off and handed you that plate of eggs to eat as if no poison had come anywhere near them. We’re also going to talk about those five million times we’ve gone into a restaurant that made an amazing gluten-free dish even though they were not a 100% gluten-free kitchen, and there was peace in the valley.

Because the fact is, as celiacs (and gluten intolerants), sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. I know that we all get that, but what I think is fascinating is how differently we define winning vs. losing.

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Gluten-Free Las Vegas: Crush, Black Bear Diner & Mon Ami Gabi

gluten-free las vegasI’ve finally recovered from my trip to Las Vegas in January. OK, that’s not totally true. I’ve finally recovered from sitting through Jersey Boys in Las Vegas. My eyes! My ears!

But one thing that was super awesome was my gluten-free belly. Every single restaurant I found myself in had a gluten-free menu, you guys! Every. Single. One. Which is one good reason why even though Vegas is kind of, umm, gross, it’s also awesome!

Srsly, every time I go I’m like, “Well, I don’t really like Vegas . . . ” but I wind up having a bang-up time, mostly because of the company I’m in, but also because I keep thinking about how family-friendly Vegas could be and how it would blow the kid’s minds if we took a family vacation to the most surreal place on earth.  And the relief that comes from being able to eat safely kind of seals the deal about Vegas being a great vacation spot. Between the fancy (see above) to the greasy spoon, gluten-free grub is around every corner. That spread up there? That’s from the super fance MGM restaurant, Crush. In addition to the roasted cauliflower and hamachi you see above, I also scarfed down the shrimp risotto. They even have a vegan menu!

Now for something completely different, the Black Bear Diner is a local chain with breakfast as big as yo’ head. They also have homemade biscuits that everyone around you will eat and you’ll be sad. Still, check out this skillet full o’ gluten-free goodness. Continue reading


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Gluten-Free New York: A Tale of Two Pastas

gluten-free pasta new yorkI haven’t lived in New York now for 3 1/2 years, and I was also a full-on gluten lover when I lived in the city. So something I’d conveniently forgotten is that NYC is chock full of amazing Italian restaurants. High-end, hole-in-the-wall, and everything in-between. It was rare to make a dinner date and not have at least one Italian joint on the list. Which is probably why I spent two short days (maybe 1 1/2?) in New York, and ate at two Italian restaurants. Both of which, offered up gluten-free pasta. Yes, dark photos but that’s kind of the thing in the NYC. Dark, and awesome. I’m not sure what I mean by that.

Rosemary’s was by far my fave joint for pasta. Where I met my girl, Mel, and we shared a carafe of sparkling wine. And now you know why it was my favorite! We both had the same beef braised pasta with cherry tomatoes, she got the cavatelli because she loves the gluten, and I had the house gluten-free pasta.

gluten-free new yorkCan you even see that? Still, it was amazing. AH-MAY-ZING. I’m going back to that West Village joint.

The next day I totally had to check out Eataly, the craziest Italian Battali place in town. When I used to live in New York I made sure to test out every Batali that opened. I enjoyed most of them, but had no idea the metroplex that man was about to release upon the city. Eataly opened right as I left NYC, and by the time I came back I was all effed up on gluten. So imagine my surprise when I walked in to see this -

gluten-free new york cityRight there in the middle of all that gluten, ya’ll! So, yeah, they did offer up gluten-free pasta on the menu. I ordered the gluten-free version of the braised pork and radicchio from the Manza restaurant and thanks in part to my sparkling wine carafe the night before, I could not finish. Whew! That does NOT settle well. Still, look it!

gluten-free pasta new york

My lady friends in attendance did, however, chow down and had a lovely lunch. They also picked up some gluten-free saltines for me at the shop on account of how much it looked like I needed that for my plane ride home.

I was stoked, you guys. Stoked. I’m looking forward to going back to New York and seeing what other amazoids gluten-free options are available to me. Feeling confident. Or at least, not totally terrified. That’s awesome, right?


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It’s Gluten-Free Safe to Dine Out Again! Whoo-hooooo!

gluten-free diningOkay, I might have overstated. There is something, however, that I am rootin’-tootin’ excited about. So much so that I just used the phrase “rootin’-tootin’.” You see, there’s this Gluten-Free Chef’s Table Tour going on around the country where the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness is training up chefs so we can eat out without dropping our drawers. I know. Totally noble cause.

Last week they stopped into Los Angeles where superstar Chef Jehangir Mehta not only prepared an amazing gluten-free multi-course dinner for us lucky celiacs, but worked alongside the RockSugar chef (also amazing) Chef Mohan Ismail and fed us WELL. And safely. Did you see that crazy main course above? Do you know what that is? Oh, it’s just Onion Seed Lobster with Shishito Fries, alongside some Vietnamese Duck Curry and some roasted up vegetables. Were you looking for the rice and chutney selection, but close up? Continue reading


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Gluten-Free Gluttony in Los Angeles

gluten-free los angelesSo I’m the worst. I meant to take pictures of all of the bad-for-me meals I’ve been loading up on this week in preparation for a life-changing event (coming soon!). Instead, I ate most of them before I could remember to snap a photo with my greasy fingers. But still, I can totally tell you what I’ve been eating this week because IT’S CRAZY. But first, you deserve an explanation.

Two things. One, the kids were at grandma’s house so the hubs and I were on a dining out TEAR. Why not go out every night if you don’t have anyone waiting for you at home needing things like “food” and “water” and “safety”? So we did! But why stop there? I’m about to change the way I eat in a big huge way, so I decided stuffing as much cheese, gluten-free grains, and booze inside my pie hole was the way to go. That was the right decision, yes? Continue reading


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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Messhall & The Greek

image via Filter

image via Filter

I feel so cool! You guys, I was all, “Oh hey, I’m out at a hip restaurant in Los Feliz and next thing I’m doing is going to The Greek to see The National.” Because, I DID THAT. Sure most of the time I can’t make it through a movie without falling asleep, but I was totally OUT on a SATURDAY NIGHT. And it was awesome.

It surely helped a ton that my meal at Messhall was safe and sound even though we did a prix fixe situation as part of the “Dine and Ride” thing for The Greek. I haven’t done a prix frixe since I was diagnosed, you know, because of the specialness. But I did it! And it was gluten-free! And I can’t stop saying prix fixe! Can you? Continue reading


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Gluten-Free Chicago?

gluten-free chicagoOh, hey. I just got back from Chicago and while I’m totally in love with the city (a cleaner, more manageable New York!), I’m afraid I have zero gluten-free dining advice for you. Well, that’s not totally true but it’s a lot true. Because I was there for for my editor gig I was hanging out at the BlogHer conference and thought I would be dependent on the convention center food all weekend. And every other time I’ve gone to a BlogHer event, they’ve had a whole freaking table of gluten-free grub. This means, instead of following my own advice of doing research, looking at great local Chicago gluten-free blogs (of which there are many), I got lazy and simply bellied up to the buffet table. That did not go well.

Yep, folks. I got gluten’d at the gluten-free table at BlogHer. Yes, I AM special! But I’m 99% sure I was not the only one. In fact I know the other celiac bloggers attending were served seitan for breakfast. Which is just wrong on so many levels. You can read about the international gluten’ing incident on either my Twitter feed, or many others. So here I’ll just say it sucked, I threw up, and then I never went back to the BlogHer buffet. So here’s what I did do!

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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Pizza Rev

gluten-free los angelesOne night my husband was doing some work things, or something. I’m not sure but I think he said “work things.” Regardless, he wasn’t going to be at home. Why is this night any different from any other night, you might ask? Because my husband is the responsible one in the family and would be like, we’re making dinner at home and it will be healthy. Naturally, I had to take advantage of the opportunity of his absence and immediately began to plot dinner for me and the kids that was a) not at home, and b) not necessarily so healthy. Yes, I am 12-years-old, why do you ask?

I polled my office mates and one genius pointed me in the direction of Pizza Rev. Have you guys been here yet?

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Gluten-Free Los Angeles: Laurel Hardware

gluten free laurel hardwareI just can’t stay away from the super hip restaurants. I feel like I’m somehow missing out on what everyone else is doing, and given that whole gluten thing already puts me in the uncool corner, I’M GONNA’ OWN THESE JOINTS. Or rather, go in and pray that I won’t leave in a hot run before I collapse in a pile of poop. You totally want to go out to eat with me now, don’t you?

So I went with my husband to Laurel Hardware in West Hollywood since he’s already seen me pull that one, and as you can tell the cocktail above made it clear that we were in hot joint city. That’s a “Saints Day” my friends, which is a gin drink with St. Germain, hell fire bitters, topped with a red bell pepper. Yes, awesome. But wait! There’s small plates! Continue reading


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Gluten-Free Santa Barbara: Tupelo Junction

gluten-free santa barbaraHey, you mothers. I hope you had a fabulous day celebrating your mom-ness. I certainly did as my husband and kids kind of rocked it.  A lot. We also got out of town for some family bizness, and I got to explore Santa Barbara again and its fare for those of us special types. While my mother-in-law always grabs an amazoid gluten-free pie or quiche from Simply Pies, the husband and I enjoy a night out or three when we’re also in the company of a grandma babysitter. So out we went.

It’s always a risk to dig into Southern (American) food when you’re in Southern California. Add that whole gluten thing to the list of requirements, and it’s downright dangerous. Hell, I have a whole cookbook filled with gluten-free Southern food because it’s incredibly difficult to find. Incredibly.

When my husband made a reservation at Tupelo Junction in Santa Barbara I was suspicious. After all, I’d enjoyed some lovely fried chicken there years ago when were visiting from New York and first dating, and long before I was no longer allowed to shove gluten in my fried chicken hole. But guess what? That SoCal gluten-free friendly thing came in very handy as the menu was marked with items that could be made gluten-free! Like that lovely Red Beans and Rice with roasted corn, tomatoes, greens and shallots and Tupelo Honey Vinaigrette Salad w/roasted sunflower seeds pictured above. GF, baby. Also gf? Continue reading

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