Friday, November 30, 2012

Little Aussie = GF heaven

** I just came back from vacation, and this is part of a small series of restaurant reviews.

Now it's time for the crown jewel of gluten free restaurants, and it's actually the reason I was so excited to mini-honeymoon in San Antonio.

Last year, Chris spent his precious computer time in Afghanistan to find this gluten free restaurant. It's got to be one of the sexiest things he's every done for me.

Little Aussie not only makes the BEST gluten free bread I've ever tasted, but they have a completely gluten free restaurant AND bakery. I love this place.

Do you know how freeing it is to walk into a restaurant, hungry, and pick anything off the menu? To gaze at the display case full of desserts and instead of walking away, you get to pick whatever you want? To grab the roll from the bread basket and shove it in your mouth instead of politely ignoring it? To not worry about a single thing? I'm willing to bet that if you're reading this, it's been a lonnnnng time.
(BTW, I do have better table manners than I'm suggesting)

Seriously, I was in heaven. While we were waiting to order, the owner came by with sticky bun samples. Um, YES I would like a sample! I wish I could eat there every week.

We started with dessert, of course. Mine was raspberry sponge cake and his was something chocolate & pecan.

Then we enjoyed a delicious 100% gluten free meal. I had the meat pie, and my gluten-eating husband had a sandwich on gluten free bread that was delicious. I tell you what, I even ate the leftover meat pie cold a few hours later and it was equally delicious.

Before we left, I purchased 4 loaves of bread, some rolls, and a cookie to take home.

Be still, my heart.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sushi Zushi

** I just came back from vacation, and this is part of a small series of restaurant reviews.

Chris has this neat app on his phone that searches for gluten free restaurants in your vicinity. One night we used it, and found ourselves at Sushi Zushi. It's a small place, located on the street level of the riverwalk.

When our waitress came by, she saw that I was looking at the gluten free section and seemed very knowledgeable about it all. It made me feel comfortable right away.

The gluten free section of the menu is very comprehensive and thorough. I was able to sneak a quick picture.

We enjoyed the edamame and ordered a few rolls, and the one containing gluten arrived on its own plate, with the sauce on the side-- just in case I changed my mind and wanted some.

I love it when I can confidently eat a meal without fear of gluten. I've found that most sushi places are pretty easy to navigate gluten-free, but this place is just that much easier.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Las Canarias Restaurant

** I just came back from vacation, and this is part of a small series of restaurant reviews.

We stayed at the Omni on the Riverwalk in San Antonio for a few days as part of a mini-honeymoon, and it was just delightful. Charming, friendly, and right on the riverwalk. I recommend it.

One amazing surprise that neither of us were expecting was the inclusion of a gluten free table in the breakfast buffet. The restaurant is connected to the hotel, called Las Canarias. The gluten free fare was off in the corner, and as soon as I noticed it I swooped in. (I wish I could have taken a picture, but it was a classy place and I felt weird doing it.) There was a little table with a gluten free menu, laid out with gluten free english muffins and toast, complete with a dedicated toaster. There was also gluten free granola (Udi's, I think) and mini parfaits. Yes, they took the time to make mini gluten free granola and yogurt parfaits. There were also cranberry muffins that were made in-house. I was so happy!

One morning, we ate across the street at Ostra, which has the same gluten free items on its breakfast menu. Again, I was surprised and incredibly pleased.

Recommended? Absolutely. I'd go out of my way to eat there again. 

Joe's Crab Shack

** I just came back from vacation, and this is part of a small series of restaurant reviews.

After we arrived in San Antonio, we swapped our wedding garb for jeans and t-shirts, and headed down the riverwalk to get some grub. I've always heard of Joe's Crab Shack's gluten free menu, but had yet to try it. So when we happened upon the restaurant, we decided to try it.

I asked for the gluten free menu, which had a reasonable amount of dishes on it, and ordered the Bucket of Shrimp. I wasn't very hungry, so that and a cocktail made the perfect little meal. I loved the ease of ordering, low risk of contamination, the atmosphere of the riverwalk, and our awesome waiter.
Joe's is a winner in my book.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Saltgrass Steakhouse

** I just came back from vacation, and this is part of a small series of restaurant reviews.

One place that we tried during vacation was Saltgrass Steakhouse. They do not offer a gluten free menu, but that's the way it happens sometimes, right?

I notified the waitress that I would need something gluten free. She said that while they do not offer any specific dishes, she would notify the kitchen of any issues.

So, I ordered a grilled steak and shrimp, and a baked potato, requesting no seasonings or sauces. She seemed on the ball, and when the meal came, I inspected it, not wanting a repeat of Tx Land & Cattle. It all looked pretty unseasoned, so I dug in. The meal was good, especially the potato, which was the most flavorful thing. The meat was a little bland, but that was to be expected. I'd rather have bland food than gluten! Despite the lack of seasonings, it was cooked well.

Overall, I was pleased. I would not choose to go again, but I was grateful for the lack of gluten.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tx Land & Cattle -- GF??

** I just came back from vacation, and this is part of a small series of restaurant reviews.

First up, Texas Land and Cattle.

This was a special meal. Last week Chris and I got married in a small ceremony at the Justice of the Peace.

Afterwards, we had lunch with our families at Texas Land & Cattle. We chose this restaurant because of the location, the availability of a private room, and most importantly, the gluten free menu.

When we arrived, I asked the waitress for the gluten free menu, then proceeded to order, word-for-word, the salmon. After a few bites, I happened to compare it to the other salmon dishes on the table, and it didn't look "un-smoked, un-marinated, and without seasoning." So, I asked the waitress to double check. Turns out, it had been marinated. Fortunately, they had just pulled some salmon out to thaw and had not yet marinated it, and would cook that for me. In the meantime, I 'enjoyed' some plain steamed broccoli and some wine. A good while after everyone else had enjoyed their meal, my dish was finally served.

I didn't make a scene, but I couldn't help but think to myself... did I not just order a gluten-free dish from a gluten-free menu, specifying not to smoke, marinate, or season the dish? How does a restaurant offer a gluten free menu, then proceed to screw it up, even ignoring the specific requests made when ordering? And how pissed was I that I was served a "gluten free" dish containing gluten on my freaking wedding day??? Let's try not to poison the bride, guys.

Needless to say, it was a lovely, happy day, but I did not eat the replacement salmon, and was highly disappointed in the restaurant. I will not be dining there again, and I don't recommend it.