I always loved going to Stella’s, back when I was gluten free (particularly their rooftop area). but I hadn’t attempted it for many years, after my diagnosis. I just revisited it this week, and was blown away by all of the great gluten free options!! I figured there would be plenty of plain fish options, if nothing else. but the two-paged gluten free menu went well beyond that. it offered lobster bisque, which is a rarity to find gluten free. it also offered lobster rolls (on Udi’s buns), which I’d never heard of until after I’d been diagnosed, and have always wondered how they tasted..). they also offered a hot crab & spinach dip (with chips not fried there, if you order the GF version), which I definitely can’t wait to go back and try! and then many, many more items. I don’t personally enjoy sushi and sashimi, but there were plenty of those offered gluten free as well. another item that popped out at me, for my list to try later, was the stuffed salmon (stuffed with crab meat, shrimp, and brie). and don’t even get me started on the sides.. the loaded hashbrowns were delicious, and unfortunately I didn’t have room for the mashed potatoes, which were loaded with sour cream, chives, and garlic butter. I’m getting hungry again just thinking about it!
Gluten Free Cheerios are Coming! April 21, 2015
starting in late summer (August), Cheerios will be making 5 of their Cheerios varieties gluten free!! they won’t be using specialty oats, though. instead, they will use a special process to remove the gluten from them. it sounds similar to what Omission beer does. but they will make sure that it’s below the 20ppm regulation standards. the flavors will include Originial, Honey Nut, Frosted, and Apple Cinnamon.
Original Pancake House, Maple Grove February 26, 2015
I didn’t realize at first that the Original Pancake House in Maple Grove is separate from the Original Pancake Houses in Roseville, Edina, and Eden Prairie. it’s unclear as to their connection or former connection.
but what I do know is that the food is just as good, and the menu very similar. the regular menu has a symbol designation for the pancakes, french toast, waffles, and crepes that can be made gluten free. pancake options include buttermilk, blueberry, strawberry, banana, Hawaiian, pumpkin, cranberry walnut, Georgia pecan, coconut, chocolate chip, bacon, peanut butter, and pigs in a blanket. very extensive! waffles have many of the same topping offerings. and crepes add a few new ones: cherry kijafa, mandarin orange, and a couple of fruit crepes with sour cream and liqueur.
not all the sides are labelled as to whether they’re gluten free or not: the sausage links and eggs are marked gluten free, but if you’re wondering about something not marked, the waiter/ waitress should know. I was quite worried at first, but the hash browns were gluten free. whew. that was really important for me I didn’t ask about the bacon, but will next time. also, I’m guessing that the omelettes are gluten free, but you’d have to ask on that as well.
and like the other OPHs in town, they take call-aheads to get on the waiting list. and while the other OPHs still make you sit and wait for half your waiting time in the lobby, the Maple Grove OPH allows you to call ahead without being forced to wait for any of it in person, which is very nice! but plan accordingly. with such wild fluxes in waiting times on weekends, depending when you go, it’s always prudent to call ahead to find out when you’ll be expected to get a table before telling the rest of your party when to meet you there. in peak times, 90 minutes of wait time is quite common.
the food is amazing though, with a ridiculous amount of options! and since the Maple Grove OPH doesn’t require you to wait any of it in person, I think it may be my new favorite pancake house. I’m not a huge breakfast person, and didn’t find the urge to check out any of these pancake houses for years. when I was finally persuaded to go once, I was immediately sold. check one out if you haven’t already, just so you find out what you’re missing out on!
JD Hoyts February 12, 2015
this old-school steakhouse is a bit of an enigma to me~ it’s a really nice place, with it’s style quaintly trapped in a bygone era, located in a bit of a dodgy area downtown (they offer valet). and given all of that, it’s unexpected that beyond the usual steakhouse fare, they seem to have a love of cajun and Jamaican seasonings and food. it’s very unique, which actually makes it fit right in with all the other oddball places nearby in Northeast Minneapolis~ Nye’s Polynaise Room (R.I.P.), Gasthof’s, etc.
so basically, I wasn’t sure what to expect. but I was very pleasantly surprised! steakhouses generally have plenty of gluten free options, given they mostly serve meat and veggies. but JD Hoyt’s has a lot of fun extras thrown in.
first of all, all of the seasonings and spices are gluten free. so if you want the cajun version of anything, it’s probably fine. (obviously check everything out with your server when ordering). they have several apps that are ok~ there’s something called a Buddy Bowl, which is sort of like a jambalaya: rice, beans, peppers and onions, creole sauce, cheese, and some optional seafood mix-ins. they also have “pig wings” which is a shank that’s grilled and covered in BBQ sauce. and there are maybe a few more apps available gluten free.
then I was delighted to find that they offer a gluten free bun for their burgers and sandwiches! it’s such a nice touch, especially since they already have so many options for us. as with everything, the burgers are available with cajun or Jamaican seasonings they also have pork chop sandwiches, prime rib sandwiches, Kobi beef burgers, etc in addition to the basic burger.
and in a surprising twist, they also offer gluten free noodles!! this is above and beyond, given that they only offer one pasta dish (you guessed it, cajun pasta!)
most of the entrees are gluten free as well: pork chops, steaks, seafood, chicken. they have lots of fun toppings offered, and are really flexible if you want anything else requested. (be sure to tell them of you allergy, so you don’t accidentally get an onion ring on your steak, or any other unforeseen gluten accompaniments). the entrees all come with a surprisingly large amount of veggies on the plate. so it’s enough to just get an entree… but why do that when they have the most amazing sides?!
the side dishes were my favorite part of the whole meal! most of them were gluten free. and they come in 3 sizes, from a little cup to a huge plateful. I always love a good hashbrown or mashed potatoes (really any potatoes, I’m from the Midwest, after all!) and they of course have a few more veggies to choose from, if you didn’t get enough from the generous heaping on your plate. but the real highlight was the lobster risotto!! I wish that I lived or worked nearby, so I could pick some up regularly! it was so delicious, perfectly cooked pieces of lobster, and possibly mixed with cheese. it was amazing. definitely a must-try!
don’t be fooled into thinking that because it’s a steakhouse, it’s too pricey. if you want to stay on the thriftier side, you could still eat here quite reasonably, as so many things are a la carte. I’d go there for the risotto alone, but the burgers and sandwiches are also very reasonable.
as you can tell, I really enjoyed eating here, and will hopefully make it back there (very) soon.
Day Block January 15, 2015
This is one of the most unlikely places I thought I’d find a gluten free menu. however, since friends of mine wanted to go, so I called ahead to check. and sure enough, they have a small gluten-free menu!
The reason I say that it was a longshot is because Day Block is one of the local breweries in town. and not the gluten free kind (as Burning Bros is in St Paul). but they do offer ciders and wine, if you want to drink something alcoholic while you’re there (which is more than I can say for a lot of the local breweries).
and as for their gluten free items, the main attraction is the pizza. although they offer a gluten free crust, it’s cooked in the same oven as the regular pizzas. it is on a separate pan, but then shares a pizza cutter. so if you’re not too concerned about the shared oven, I’d suggest getting one uncut, and just cut it with a knife and fork at you table, as you would in Europe.
they have bacon flights, and pickle flights. sometimes there are gluten-containing varieties (the soy sauce glaze on the pickles is out), so check with your server when you go to see if you can have them with the current menus of these (they sound like they change pretty frequently).
other options are the pulled pork sandwich, sans bun. or the caesar salad sans croutons. and there may be more items, depending on the current menu. so be sure to ask each time you go.
Breweries are about the last place I’d expect to find a gluten free menu, so I find it very thoughtful that they offer all of these fun items.
Burch Steakhouse & Pizza Bar December 16, 2014
I must admit that I wasn’t too excited to go to Burch at first, because the pizza and dumplings sounded amazing, but I figured they wouldn’t have any of that in gluten free versions. but I was very pleasantly surprised…
while they don’t have gluten free pizzas, several of the dumplings can be made gluten free! they make homemade egg noodles to sub for some of the dumplings menu (at least they taste homemade, I guess I didn’t ask to verify though). I tried two of the three or four options. I’m not sure why I ordered the noodles with lobster, caraway and mint, because I dislike caraway… but the noodles with walnut and gorgonzola I loved!! there was at least one more option that I had to struggle with myself not to order (next time). I know that a lot of Italian restaurants carry gluten free noodles now, but these are quite different, they taste homemade, are a different type of noodle, and have such delightful sauces and toppings that are completely different than Italian restaurants. I just wish that I could get take-out noodles (“dumplings”) from them regularly! they’re also quite reasonably priced, around $10. I believe that they’re meant to be split across several people to sample, but if you order one, that would be sufficient for a whole meal, though quite rich for one. I had a lot to take home!
as for the steaks, of course the steaks are gluten free (and they have a huge assortment of grass fed, regular, wagyu, etc. the largest steak assortment I think I’ve ever seen! and very tasty too.
and of course many of the salads and sides are gluten free, they have a list if you ask.
Burch is located on Hennepin and Franklin, at the crux of Downtown and Uptown, and only open in the evenings, starting at 5pm.
New Blog (and Gluten Free Dressing Recipe) November 14, 2014
I’ve slowly been starting up another Gluten Free Website, and I wanted to share it with you today.
the new Website will be more for national things, like chain restaurants, restaurants at various travel destinations, my recipes will go here, as will product reviews, etc. and this current Gluten Free Blog will be more about local (Minnesota and North Dakota) restaurants that aren’t chains (in more than two states).
my list of gluten free restaurants is one of my favorite features (it’s why I originally began this Blog, so I’d have a complete list that I could update as needed). so I will not only continue to update it on this Blog, but I’m also adding multiple tabs for this in my new Website. the advantage of the new Website is that I can get a layout that I prefer, where I can list restaurants easier by city. so if you’re wondering about restaurants in a particular city (in Minnesota or North Dakota, anyway), you won’t need to scan through the list like you do on the Blog.
anyway, I was going to wait until there was more on it, but I just posted a Gluten Free Thanksgiving Stuffing recipe, and I wanted to share that with you as well. so please check it out, and also the new restaurant list layout.
(and yes, that picture is of my homemade gluten free spinach and cheese ravioli, for which I will post a recipe eventually on the new Website!)