Rebecca's Gluten Free Blog

Gluten Free in the Upper Midwest

Butcher and the Boar November 18, 2013

 

the pork chop

the pork chop

 

I just went to Butcher and the Boar this week, and had one of the best meals I’ve ever had!

I wasn’t too sure how much I’d like it, as I’m not a huge sausage and meat eater. but I’d heard great things about the place, including that it was a James Beard semifinalist for Best New Restaurant. and after finally trying it, I loved it!!

the long rib

the long rib 

we tried so many things, it was great. and there were only very few items that I couldn’t have, out of all that we ordered (the appetizer crackers, one of the sausages, and the french fries). and a few things had to be slightly amended~ taking tortilla strips off of a couple of plates, for instance. so there is plenty to choose from, just ask when you get there.

we started with a plate of accoutrements, which included a homemade braunschweiger (hard to eat without the crackers though), a really tasty rooster item that looked like tuna salad to me~ it had the faintest hint of cinnamon in it, though it was not a sweet dish, and the homemade pickles were really good. I wasn’t daring enough to try the pickled shrimp. then we had a plate of three different sausages, two of them spicy. and I loved all three!

and then for the main dish, it was really hard to decide what to order.. there was some maple-glazed chicken (I think they said that this was a full chicken that they serve!), a gigantic pork chop that was like 4-6 inches high, and the long rib, which is what I ultimately chose. it was one rib, with I think they said 16 ounces of meat on it!! and it was amazing.

then we had side dishes galore… the biggest shocker was that the corn bread is gluten free!! and delicious. the mashed potatoes were mixed with sour cream (amazing), as were the grits. out of the red hot brussel sprouts, the caramelized broccoli, and the blackened cauliflower, I’d have to say that the broccoli was my favorite.

the online menu is pretty small, but the one you actually get at the restaurant is much more robust.

I can’t say enough good things about Butcher and the Boar, not only was the food good, but so was the atmosphere, and the people working there seemed to really love it as well. it’s definitely on the pricier side, perfect for special occasions or a night on the town. but I’m just trying to figure out when I can get there again!

 

Nadia Cakes November 10, 2013

Filed under: Bakeries — rebeccagf @ 3:36 pm
Tags: ,

Nadia Cakes isn’t a dedicated gluten free bakery, but they have a lot of great, unique, gluten free items, so they’re definitely worth mentioning!

On weeknights, they usually have chocolate and vanilla cupcakes on hand. but weekends are when the fun flavors come! (I’ve heard that that’s when they have time to scrub down the kitchen to reduce cross-contamination, though I haven’t verified that for myself).

the fun weekend GF flavors change all the time. one weekend when I stopped by, they had “lucky charms”, which had some sort of marshmallow filling. and a special Breaking Bad cupcake for the finale weekend, with some blue rock candy on top. the second time I stopped by we tried a raspberry cupcake, which had a cream cheese frosting and a raspberry filling, which was amazing!! I also tried the salted caramel one, which had, of course, a caramel filling. all of them were absolutely delicious, and I always wish that I’d bought more! the calendar of flavors is here.

they also had a little gluten-free cookie case. I missed it the first time, but on my second visit tried the butterscotch chocolate chip cookies. they were a little thin for my taste, but still tasted great. while the cupcakes cost $3 each, the cookies are only $2 each.

Nadia Cakes started in LA, and the owner, Abby, has appeared on several cake/ cupcake shows. she was even a winner on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. so they’ve got national attention. in fact, they only opened their second location, here in Maple Grove, MN, in 2012. but they already have quite a following!

if you check out their facebook page, you’ll see how fun and creative they are, but be warned that it’ll make your mouth will water :)

 

Rodizio Grill November 1, 2013

I recently went to Rodizio for the first time, which is located in Maple Grove. It was really good, and pretty much what I expected (which was “great”). I love Fogo de Chao, and it was a slightly smaller, suburban version of that. also much less expensive! dinner cost only $35, versus $50 at Fogo de Chao.

there were fewer appetizer offerings at Rodizio. Although they had the same cheese bread (GF) and polenta sticks (yum!), instead of plantains, Rodizio offers breaded banana fritters. so I wasn’t able to eat those. and I read online about some sort of potato appetizer, but there wasn’t any offered on the night that I was there. but the two items I did have were great.

you can stick with just the salad bar for $20, if you like. it’s of decent size, and is nicely labelled for what is gluten free. a few things weren’t labelled “GF” that were online, but I didn’t bother asking on them… I wanted to save my appetite for the meat!

the meat is rotisserie-grilled and brought around by servers, who come when you place your stopper on green. they have a wide assortment of beefs, along with pork, lamb, poultry, and seafood. all of it was really tasty. I wish that I could’ve remembered better which was which for when they came around the next time, but there were just too many to keep track of! and I ate way too much!!

so of course I wasn’t able to try any of the desserts, but they do offer several GF desserts, if you somehow have room afterwards.

this place would be especially great for special events.

if you’re interested in perusing, the menu is here

 

La Casita September 11, 2013

after finding out that I could once again eat at Don Pablos, I got on a Mexican kick. I thought I’d read recently that La Casita might have some options. so I called the Roseville location. the man who answered told me that he himself was gluten-free, which I knew would be very helpful.

he said that basically all of the menu could be made gluten-free with corn tortillas. the red sauce (for enchiladas, my favorite) was also gluten free. and they do have an actual gluten free menu to look at.

but the best part for me was that he said all of the margaritas are gluten free AND the chips are made in a dedicated fryer!!

then I checked out the Columbia Heights location, and they too have a dedicated fryer. (if you want to go to any other locations, make sure they do too before eating the chips). and I’ve now been there many times. the gluten-free menu is quite large: two pages. and the food is just as good as I remembered!

if you go there, you should make use of the specials. Wednesdays after 7pm they have tacos for $1 (at least in Columbia Heights), and I believe all locations have a happy hour on weeknights with a free taco bar, including chips with multiple salsas, queso, refried beans, veggies, etc. and all day Tuesday is half price margaritas (a whopping 18 ounces!!) also, there’s a rewards card and I got $5 on it just for signing up!

anyway, La Casita has great food and lots of specials. so definitely try it out if you’re near one and haven’t already!

 

DeLeo Brothers Pizza May 30, 2013

I recently tried this place out with my parents, as they’re big fans of this restaurant. and I can definitely see why..  the staff was very friendly and helpful!

although the gluten free pizza crust wasn’t the best I’ve ever had, it’s just nice to find restaurants that make the effort! (the regular crust looked amazing, by the way.. for your friends and family that go with you) and these guys seem like they’ve really put the effort in, making sure their toppings are gluten-free as well. and I don’t believe that they charged any extra for the gluten-free crust, like so many others do. I believe what they told my mother was that they don’t think people should be punished for their allergies. this is really nice of them, as I know those GF pizza crusts can be a lot more expensive to buy.

another nice touch is that although we can’t do the regular cheese, we can do goat cheese. and they happen to have a goat cheese for their pasta that they shredded for us instead of the regular. so that was a treat as well!

as I said, I can see why my folks are big fans of DeLeo Bros. it’s a nice, family-owned restaurant that goes out of their way for their customers!

 

Pillsbury Gluten Free! May 14, 2013

Filed under: Cooking & Baking,News — rebeccagf @ 12:37 pm
Tags:

Pillsbury has just launched a line of premade gluten-free items! this includes cookie dough, pie crust dough, and pizza dough! they should be in grocery stores by August, so keep your eyes open for them!

 

My Gluten Free Favorites 2013 May 8, 2013

Triumph Dining recently came out with their “best of ” gluten free awards, and since it’s been years since I wrote about my favorite things, I thought I’d do an update a la Triumph Dining.

***MAINSTREAM GROCERY PRODUCTS THAT HAPPEN TO BE GLUTEN FREE:

SAUCES, CONDIMENTS, & BROTHS:

Favorite Pizza Sauce: Davanni’s (Green Mill is my second choice)

Favorite Pasta Sauce: HyVee Traditional

Favorite Enchilada Sauce: HyVee

Favorite Ketchup: Simply Heinz/ Heinz (beware of Organic Heinz though~ it used to contain gluten, not sure about currently)

Favorite Barbecue Sauce: Sweet Baby Ray’s Original

Favorite Mayonnaise: Vegannaise Grapeseed Oil “Mayo” (surprisingly way better and lighter than normal mayo, can’t go back to the regular now! at Whole Foods, Co-ops, etc)

Favorite Soy Sauce: San-J GF Tamari Sauce

Favorite Soup Broth (Beef): Full Flavor Foods packets

Favorite Soup Broth (Chicken, Vegetable): Whole Foods 365 Brand

Favorite Gravy: Full Flavor Foods, second choice is Imagine

MEATS:

Favorite Bacon: Oscar Mayer Sliced Bacon  (Hormel Black Label is my second choice)

Favorite Pepperoni: Hormel

Favorite Hot Dogs: Hebrew National (Beef), second choice is Oscar Mayer (Beef)

Favorite Italian Sausage: Kowalski’s (normal refrigerated store meats)

Favorite Summer Sausage: Johnsonville (Beef)

Favorite Rotisserie Chicken: Kowalski’s, second choice is Whole Foods

Favorite Ham: Costco (very cost-efficient!)

Favorite Deli Meat: Hormel Natural Choice (also Boar’s Head, which is more difficult to find)

SIDES & SNACKS:

Favorite Frozen Potatoes: Ore Ida Crispy Crowns (Whole Foods’ 365 Brand tater tots is my second choice)

Favorite Frozen Snacks: Trader Joes Beef Mini Tacos

Favorite Snacks on the Go: Trader Joe’s nuts and/or dehydrated fruits, second favorite are Lara Bars

Favorite GFCF chocolate chips: Trader Joes (really inexpensive!)

***GLUTEN-FREE SPECIALTY GROCERY STORE PRODUCTS:

PASTA

Favorite Gluten Free Pasta (cheapest): Tradar Joes Brown Rice Ziti

Favorite Gluten Free Pasta (tastiest): Bionaturae brand (any style)

PIZZA

Favorite Pizza crust (all purpose): Udi’s pizza crust

Favorite Pizza crust (Italian-style): Venice Bakery (order online)

BREAD

Favorite Bread (all purpose): Whole Foods brand sandwich bread

Favorite Bread (most sandwiches, grilled cheese, anything requiring soft, fresh bread): Udi’s

Favorite Bread (thick or many toppings): Food For Life Millet Bread

Favorite Bread (splurge): French Meadow

Favorite Bread (dinner rolls): French Meadow (available at select restaurants only right now, like Donatellis and Victorias, not in grocery stores), otherwise Schar ciabatta rolls

Favorite Bread (Italian dipping bread): Venice Bakery’s flatbread (order online), second choice: Canyon Bakehouse’s Foccacia

MISC BREAD PRODUCTS

Favorite Pancakes: homemade with this easy recipe

Favorite Bread Crumbs: Kinnikinnick Panko-Style Bread Crumbs

Favorite Croutons: Gillian’s Garlic Croutons

Favorite Pretzels: Glutino

Favorite Graham Crackers: Kinnikinnick S’Moreables

Favorite Crackers: Yehuda Matzo-Style Squares, Toasted Onion Flavor (available only before Passover, so stock up!)

BAKED GOODS/ DESSERTS

Favorite Bakery (local): Bittersweet Bakery

Favorite Bakery (order online or on vacation): Babycakes

Favorite Donuts: Kinnikinnick, though I’ve been testing out many more lately!

Favorite Cookies (Baked): Liz Lovely Chocolate Chip Cookies (any of their GF cookies are amazing though!), second favorite is Enjoy Life Snickerdoodle Cookies

Favorite Sandwich Cookies: Kinnikinnick’s Kinnitoos (vanilla) and Josef’s Cinnamon O’s

Favorite Cookie Dough Mix (with no intention of baking): Cherrybrook Kitchen (egg-free)

Favorite Frozen Cookie Dough (with no intention of baking): French Meadow

Favorite GFCF “Ice Cream”: Good Karma Rice Divine brand (any flavor!)

Favorite Raw Food Treats: Pure Market Express (just moved out of MN, but still available online) – I highly recommend the “cinnamon rolls”

***RESTAURANTS (MINNEAPOLIS/ ST PAUL METRO)

Favorite all-around: Pizza Luce (eggs benedict, pizzas, spinach dip, caesar salads)

Favorite Brunch: Pizza Luce

Favorite Seafood: Oceanaire

Favorite Steakhouse: Wildfire

Favorite BBQ: Dickie’s BBQ

Favorite Burgers; Five Guys AND Red Robin (Red Robin has unlimited steak fries and fantastic GF buns, Five Guys has better meat and toppings, state-fair-like fries)

Favorite Soup (Chili): Crumb Deli

Favorite Soup (Variety): Jason’s Deli

Favorite GFCF Pizza: Z Pizza (Pizza Luce and Pizza Ranch’s taco pizza without cheese tie for second)

Favorite Pasta: Victorias (in Rochester)

Favorite Asian: PF Changs

Favorite Mexican: Rojo (La Casita second, Don Pablos third)

Favorite Salads: Biaggis, second favorite is French Meadow

Favorite Raw Food/ Vegan: Ecopolitan

Favorite Fast Casual: Chipotle

Favorite Mall of America Restaurant: Cadillac Ranch

Most Anticipated (what I think could be a favorite all-around if I finally got there to try it out): Mad Jacks

Favorite Food Destination: Disney World, followed by Las Vegas

***GLUTEN FREE BOOKS & RECIPES

Favorite Cookbook: Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking by Kelli & Peter Bronski

Favorite Baking Book: Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts

Favorite Cookbook Series: Gluten Free Gourmet by Bette Hagman (in particular, her GF Comfort Foods Cookbook)

Favorite Magazine: Living Without

Favorite Blog: Gluten Free on a Shoestring, second favorite is Tartelette (only about half are GF, and are marked as such)

Favorite Local Chef: Angela Litzinger (she does cooking classes locally and has a wonderful blog with recipes and ebooks, all of which are GFCF)

Favorite GF Grocery Guide: Cecelia’s Marketplace

 

 
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