Rebecca's Gluten Free Blog

Gluten Free in the Upper Midwest

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.