Celebrate the Holidays at These Gluten Free Restaurants in San Diego December 8, 2012Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Dining Out , add a comment
Originally posted on DowntownRob.com: Gluten Free Restaurants San Diego 2012 Holiday Guide
The holidays are the most challenging time of the year to stick to any diet. If you’re like me and already have a limited menu to work with, dining out over the holidays is a major feat. Travel, having guests or being a guest are all culprits for throwing off the routine and limiting gluten-free food options. And let’s face it, we’re all willing to face a tummy ache and a few extra pounds for Grandma’s Christmas cookies and the traditional turkey gravy dinner. It’s once a year and life is short, may as well enjoy it.
We all know however, that digestion breakdowns can put a crink in the holiday fun. Before you run screaming YOLO consider some advance preparation to limit the damage starting with this list of top gluten-free San Diego restaurants in the Downtown area. You and your holiday guests will equally enjoy it.
Turn On the Holiday Glitz
Here are two five-star restaurants perfect for celebrating special occasions while enjoying San Diego’s gem, the harbor. That’s what everyone comes here for right? There are surprisingly fewer quality ocean view options than you’d think. Whether it’s dinner before the Nutcracker or Christmas dinner you will not regret opting into fine service and opting out of doing the dishes at my top picks. Here you go…
Ruth’s Chris Steak House on the San Diego Harbor
This fine establishment never disappoints and it is strategically located for the perfect after dinner walk along the harbor. Enjoy a traditional menu ranging from steak and mashed potatoes to chicken, fish or lobster. If you want to catch a bay view during your meal be sure to make reservations in advance and ask to sit on a west-facing window table or on the outside patio. There is a single spot on the patio under a gazebo type structure that offers a prime view and full ocean air experience. Me, I prefer a cozy booth near the bar. Ask for the gluten-free menu and don’t be afraid to request modifications to customize your meal. They are all about service. Ruth’s Chris is open for Christmas if you want to get out of the kitchen and make it special.
Insider Tip: This place makes a killer Manhattan. If you are gluten sensitive to whiskey substitute with their corn-based whiskey.
Must Try: The gluten-free, milk free chocolate sin cake is worth going to hell for.
Top Of The Market on the San Diego Harbor
Have guests in town looking for a San Diego seafood experience? Top of the Market is a high-end restaurant perched, you guessed it, on top of The Fish Market. You might be surprised to find this much class packed into the same building as The Fish Market, a historic tourist trap… and for good reason. This place sells and serves the freshest local and imported fresh fish. You’ll find a few of the same favorites on the menu at Top of the Market including their famous clam chowder and cioppiono, plus a plethora of high-end dishes that properly spotlight their quality fresh fish. This tops the gluten friendly dining list because much of the menu is naturally gluten-free and they do not drown the food in sauces that pose higher risks. They are accommodating to modifications and in my experience make few mistakes. Unlike most restaurants they actually do double-check plates before they leave the kitchen to ensure your special requests were made. Arrive early for a cocktail. The specialty martinis are never too syrupy and they serve one of the best Manhattans I’ve ever had in my life. I come here specifically for it and I take mine up. They truly do serve fresh San Diego catches like local Opah, not so attainable high quality fare such as Scotland Salmon and an exquisite array of house smoked fish. The jumbo prawn cocktail is fresh, meaty and sure to impress guests.
Insider Tip: Sit at the kitchen bar for live cooking action as entertaining as The Food Network.
Must Try: Order the cioppiono without the pasta and you will be gluten safe. Ask them to skip the finishing butter to make it lactose free too.
A Casual Holiday Affair
Sometimes there’s nothing better than not dressing up for the occasion and kicking it casual with the fam. Here are gluten friendly establishments that are easy on the stomach and pocket book too.
Local Habit in Hillcrest
If you ate Celiac or have a strong gluten allergy you will appreciate the attention Local Habit puts into their gluten-free offering. Cooked on separate equipment in the a clean kitchen, the locally sourced, seasonal menu is crafted for the gluten-free or vegan diner and it’s delicious. (And, normal stomachs too) This is one of the few places that you’ll find both gluten free bread, pizza, and beer all in one place. It takes casual to a whole new level. After dinner enjoy the fun atmosphere in the heart of Hillcrest. Local Habit is open at 2pm on Christmas Eve and on Christmas day.
Insider Tip: If it’s pizza you’ve been craving, make it lactose free too by opting for the vegan cheese on gluten-free crust. To stay true to their hand crafted flavor their vegan ricotta style cheese is made from scratch using almonds.
Must Try: The brussel sprouts are seriously foodgasmic.
PF Changs Everywhere
PF Changs is a family favorite and a go-to spot when I’m traveling about because it’s a national chain. We have a few in San Diego at the Fashion Valley Mall and in La Jolla UTC. While not the traditional holiday fare, this delish option has a big enough menu to satisfy everyone in a group big or small. PF Changs offers a gluten-free menu and most items are naturally milk free too. You won’t feel cheated on the menu, it includes their top dishes like lettuce wraps, fried rice and stir fry. The revisions are close enough in taste for sharing with your non-gluten free family and friends without a yuck face.
Insider Tip: Ask for gluten-free soy sauce.
Must Try: The lemon scallops have a crispy taste as you’d experience with flour coated sauté. But, they use gluten-free flour making it taste naughtier than it is.
Kous Kous Moroccan Restaurant in Hillcrest
This little escape to Morocco is a local favorite and tops the list of places to go in San Diego for savvy European travelers. If you’re looking for something different with an International flare, Kous Kous is your jam. The authentic Moroccan fare includes tagines (stew) of lamb, fish, chicken and several naturally vegan, milk-free and gluten-free dishes. The rice will melt in your mouth and if you are a milk drinker you will also absolutely love the mashed potatoes. The interior decorated with Moroccan textiles and lamps offers a romantic environment but there are big enough tables to handle small to medium parties.
Insider Tip: Reserve the corner booth for a romantic evening.
Must Try: A Moroccan Kiss.
Holiday Shopping Eats
It’s a busy time with lots to do like shopping! Mall food is a killer to eating healthy so here are two great gluten-free options near Downtown that will keep you on your toes.
True Food Kitchen at Fashion Valley Mall
A conscious diner’s heaven plopped in the middle of a shopping mall. Score! You don’t have to be a die-hard Yogi to eat here but the servers do wear yoga pants making it much more comfortable for me as I love shopping in my yoga clothes, no make-up. True Food Kitchen’s concept:
“De.Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet isn’t meant to deprive a healthy body of great flavors, it’s meant to take popular trends in cuisine and pair them with healthy living.”
What’s amazing about this place is it doesn’t taste like super healthy food so you can bring your “normal people” here and they’ll still enjoy it. It’s a fun space with a bar, yes with amazing cocktails at that, and full view into the kitchen where there is no separation between you and the people preparing your food. These dishes might include pizza, street tacos, turkey bolognese, or steelhead salmon. All gluten-free! Pick up your shopping spirit with a “Spontaneous Happiness” cocktail. Or, an alcohol free elixir as well such as Honey Lemonade.
Insider Tip: Pre-order a healthy holiday pie to take home to the family.
Must Try: The gluten-free pasta.
Stacked at Fashion Valley Mall
“Food well built.” And, you are the builder. Geek out on Stacked where you can customize your order using their special menu iPads. The service is pretty hands off and some of us prefer that but if you’re old and need a traditional menu they will accommodate. You will be seated, you will be served, you won’t have a waitress hovering over your or slowing down your check. You pay right there at the table using the iPad. As far as the food goes, amazing. There are gluten-free options for bread so you can truly enjoy your burger and fries. For those naughty normal eaters, try the mac n’ cheese pizza, it’s a monster. Everyone will enjoy the variety of sauce options including curry ketchup or the sweet potato fries.
Insider Tip: If you are lactose intolerant be sure to ask which sauces are milk free, and remind them that mayo is not milk.
Must Try: The gluten-free turkey burger with caramelized onions, roasted red peppers and cranberry mayo.
Print out this list of gluten-free restaurants and keep it with you this season. May you enjoy your holidays stomach ache free!
Gluten Free Cornbread Muffins mmm April 15, 2012Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Dishing It , add a comment
I was ready for something different after a year of GF Betty Crocker brownie mix, cake and cookies. I was surprised to read the words “wheat flour” on the labels of cornbread mix. I thought it was made from cornmeal? No, not Jiffy and the like. I suppose I could buy cornmeal and make up a concoction. Nah, being the lazy baker I am I went on a hunt for a GF cornbread mix on Amazon.com. Without hesitation my magical one-click shop had a case of Bob’s Red Mill on my doorstep.
We made a batch of standard cornbread with no special modifications except substitution of soy milk for milk. Boy was it sweet, moist and delicious. I was in heaven. I decided to play around with the second batch. I made over-sized muffins and sprinkled walnuts and dried cranberry on top, plus, a drizzle of agave sweetener before putting them in the oven. It was delish but I learned a few lessons:
1. Muffins have a shorter cooking time and so does the convection setting. I left them in for the package directed 25 minutes. Next time I’ll check them at 18-20mins do they will come out moister.
2. Sprinkling nuts and fruit on top looks pretty but it creates a burnt taste. Next time I’ll mix it into the batter. That was a bad lazy baker move.
3. Agave is magical.
I’m not sure if I love cornbread so much for the bread as the butter. It’s a warm means for cool slightly melted butter delivery or sure. I use a vegan butter called Earth Balance or another olive oil based whipped butter spread because I’m also lactose free. Insert “fake” in front of every one of my butter references.
Next experiment: almond milk, honey top, lavender sugar butter or chocolate chips. My mouth is already watering, I’m glad I have a case of mix to play with.
The Best Gluten Free Zucchini Bread Recipe October 11, 2011Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Dishing It , add a comment
I’ve had a big bag of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour in my pantry for months without a clue of what to do with it. Maybe it was more like no motivation to figure out what to do with it and get off my butt and bake something from scratch.
But I did it! And, it was amazing. I’m sharing the deliciousness with you here in a recipe I modified to incorporate my fresh off the farm zucchini I received last weekend in my CSA box. Note: the photos of the lovely lady holding is featured from the Sage Mountain Farm website to show the green zucchini used in this recipe. That’s not me, but that’s the look on my face when I open my CSA box at the Farmers Market to discover the seasonal surprises inside. The round variation of zucchini (Eight Ball maybe?) I used in this recipe can be substituted.
Zucchini Bread Recipe
Gluten Free/Lactose Free
What you’ll need:
- 1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
- 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup Raw Sugar
- 2 large Eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup Fresh Pureed Apple (I used Gala but you can substitute for any sweet variety)
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Mexican Extract (You can substitute with other types)
- 2 cups Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
- 2-1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 2 tsp. ground Cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Ground Cloves
- 2 cups finely grated Eightball Zucchini (You can substitute with other varieties)
- 1/2 cup chopped unsalted Walnuts
Preheat oven to 350º. Use convection if available. Grease one 8 x 4-inch loaf pan. Use a spray of PAM to ensure it doesn’t stick. (For smaller loaves, use three 5 x 3-inch loaf pans. I personally avoid non-stick pans when ever possible because I do not like cooking on chemicals. I go old school like my Grandmothers and use a glass pan. A metal loaf pan would work well too.
Pre-prep: Peel and section your apple removing seeds and stem. Using a food processor puree your apple or finely dice it, measure a half cup and set it aside. If you have full clove pieces use a mortar pestle or a mini food processor to grind them up, measure and set aside. Cut your zucchini into large pieces and grate them using a large food processor or hand grater. You’ll need about 2 1/2 large ones to make two cups. Chop the walnuts (you can put them in your mortar pestle or a plastic bag and pound them), measure and set aside.
In large glass or metal mixing bowl, cream vegetable oil, all sugar, eggs, and vanilla with and electric mixer until smooth. Adding your apple puree at the end. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sea salt, and ground cloves. Mix it up on medium speed until completely combined. Gently stir in zucchini and nuts. Turn batter into prepared pans. Bake a 8 x 4-inch loaf for 55-65 minutes (convection bakes faster); 5 x 3-inch pans for 35-45 minutes. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack. Cool before slicing. I found that it was crumbly the first day and the bread begin to bind and become moister on day 2 and 3.
Lesson Learned, There’s One Way to Avoid Eating Gluten September 28, 2011Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Living It , add a comment
It’s me. And, you.
I wrote a review on Denny’s months ago and today I updated it with correct information. Why was it wrong? Because I did not read the allergy list myself, I relied on my server to translate it and help me make my food choices that day. Lesson learned, no matter how well intentioned others are, I am the best person to make educated food choices. No matter what food give you problems, you know your body and have hopefully educated yourself to learn as much as possible about your intolerance or allergy.
- Read all food labels and never make assumptions
- Always ask for a gluten free menu AND allergens list when dining out
- If the restaurant does not carry them, talk to the person directly who is cooking your food (do not rely on the server to translate between you)
- Carry an allergy food list card and send it back with your order
- Always confirm that your dish is made per your specifications when they set it down in front of you (it’s often the finishing cooks that do not pay attention to the special order and slap on the standard final touches, resulting in your dish coming out with a big piece of toast lopped on it)
- Suggest to your favorite restaurants how they can be allergy friendly, such as providing an allergens list or special menu
Friend Lasagna – Gluten Free and Vegan September 19, 2011Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Dishing It , 1 comment so far
I fell victim to my latest documentary addiction this weekend, Forks Over Knives. The concept is that by eliminating animal products for a whole foods, vegan diet people significantly avoid, reduce or even reverse disease. I’ve always been a big believer that food has everything to do with sickness or lack there of. I was excited to find documentation of historic facts, science, and real stats from real doctors to back up what I (and many others since the beginning of time) already knew. It’s unfortunate that the medical community, in large part due to the U.S. health system and the pharma industry, refuse to recognize food as having any impact on wellness. The proof is in the pudding as they say. Go watch the movie or look it up.
After considering my own eating habits I found that I’m not that far away from a vegan diet; I eat chicken and fish, but my elimination of lactose puts me at arms reach. I love vegetables and am interested in exploring new dishes.
I know I won’t give up sushi or the occasional savory chicken dish. And, I know it will be impossible to eat anywhere but home with both a vegan and wheat restriction. Part of the vegan staple is wheat and it’s mixed into many products. But, I also know I can do a little better. So here’s my shot at just that.
I call it Friend Lasagna because it won’t hurt my tummy, it’s made for sharing with friends and it’s planet friendly. I made the recipe up after referencing others and my own traditional meat and cheese lasagna recipe (God it was good, those were the days). I do have to say that my first shot at making vegan lasagna was pretty delish.
Friend Lasagna Recipe
Gluten free, lactose free, dairy free, vegan
Prep time: 2hrs
Serves: an entire family! 6-8 people
Box of rice or other gluten free lasagna noodles
Red pasta sauce (use your favorite marinara recipe or grab a jar of high quality sauce, I like Mezzetta brand)
Can of sliced olives
6 Zucchini sliced lengthwise
1 Yellow bell pepper sliced lengthwise thin strips
1 Large beefsteak tomato thin full slices
Shredded soy cheese (I like Trader Joe’s)
Fresh ground pepper
Faux cheese sauce:
1 pack of firm tofu (I use non-GMO)
3TBS Yellow miso
1 small onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
Fresh parsley and thyme
1. Sauté garlic, onion, parsley and thyme, 3TBS olive oil, on low heat until soft and aromatic.
2. Drain tofu, use a potato masher and a big bowl to break it up. Using a wood spoon slowly add sauté, tahini, salt, allspice and miso. Mix well and set aside.
3. Toss sliced zucchini and whole yellow bell pepper in olive oil and sea salt. Grill turning once for 5-10 mins or until char marks appear. Do not overcook. Thinly slice the cooked bell pepper into strips. Set aside.
4. Preheat oven an get out a large glass rectangular pan, oil bottom and spread 1/4c sauce. Read package and prepare noodles as instructed, most rice versions are not precooked. Layer noodles with 1/2 of faux cheese mixture, and a sprinkle of olives. Add another layer of Noodles, spot pasta sauce on noodles, add a single layer of zucchini and tomatoes, spread the rest of faux cheese over the tomatoes and sprinkle olives. Top layer; noodles, the rest of the pasta sauce (about 1 cup), yellow bell pepper strips, sprinkle one light layer of grated soy cheese, and the rest of the olives. Make sure the pasta sauce is spread evenly and there are no exposed, unsauced noodle edges. Salt.
5. Cover with foil and bake at 350F for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Cool 15 minutes before cutting into it to allow it to set. That way it will keep its shape.
Serve with a light salad.
Easy Quinoa Recipe September 9, 2011Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Dishing It , 1 comment so far
Finding new grains to replace wheat is an adventure. Quinoa is an ancient grain “the gold of the Incas”. (Doesn’t that sound sophisticated?) It’s an amino acid-rich protein that is closely related to spinach, beets and, ummm, tumbleweeds. It’s essentially a seed that is cooked like rice. The texture is different than rice; it starts out looking like bird seed and plumps up into moist little sticky balls that bond together. Some describe it as having a smooth, nutty flavor. For me it is savory. It will absorb the taste of just about anything you mix with it.
Most importantly, quinoa is gluten free.
This morning I wanted to mix things up as I’m getting a bit tired of rice this week. Although it was a meal saver during last nights power outage! I discovered on the back of the box that you can make it in your rice cooker. Fast, easy, today’s lunch, score!
Easy Quinoa In Your Rice Cooker
1 Cup uncooked quinoa 2 parts water
2TBS Olive oil
3TBS Fresh chopped basil
Squeeze of fresh orange juice
Mix all ingredients in your rice cooker and hit the on button. After it has completed cooking let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then fluff it with a spoon or fork. Salt to taste and be sure to mix it up to evenly disperse the flavors. Serve hot or cold.
- When served cold you might add some chopped olives and a squeeze of lemon. Zesty quinoa salad is great on warm days.
- Serve hot as a side dish with organic chicken, wild salmon or shrimp.
- Eat as a main vegetarian dish with sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.
- Pile on top of your salad to add texture and interest.
Gluten Free PB S’mores August 29, 2011Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Dishing It , add a comment
I was ecstatic to find a box of gluten free (dairy free) graham crackers on the store shelf. Not only because I haven’t had it in years, but I had a craving for s’mores after visiting the Hershey S’mores room at BlogHer. This magical room had every possible way to cook s’mores available from a BBQ, to a firepit to little burners that would never get you out of your Laz E Boy. I was a good girl and skipped out on having any but it was a treat to watch everyone else enjoy it. S’mores seem to bring about the communal nature in us. Shared cooking, lounging and conversation.
These pics of the Hershey’s S’mores room from Danelle on Home Ever After sum up the experience.
I enjoy s’mores but don’t always have access or energy to deal with a campfire so I have an alternative delicious snack I came up with. It takes 1 minute to make, it’s office friendly, kid friendly and filling. Did you know dark chocolate has health benefits? In moderation of course. This is a creative way to get your healthy 1 piece of dark chocolate in per day.
PB Smores Recipe
Considerations: gluten free, dairy free, 50% organic
Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa dark chocolate (contains cocoa butter and NO dairy)
S’moreables Graham Style Crackers by Kinnikinnick
Organic Creamy Peanut Butter from Trader Joe’s
How-to: Take a square of graham cracker, spread on 1 TBS of peanut butter, and top with a square of Lindt chocolate. Done. Yum.
If you do decide to fire up some traditional s’mores you’re in luck, marshmallows are generally gluten and dairy free. A go-to brand is Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows.
It’s Dessert Time – Go For It August 10, 2011Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Dishing It , add a comment
Food restrictions like gluten, lactose and soy result in skipping dessert A LOT. Having the double wammy of being both lactose and gluten intolerant, I rarely get dessert in a restaurant or at an event. Nor can I walk into a bakery like Extraordinary Desserts and grab a cupcake off the shelf. It sucks! So when I do dessert I do it big. No counting calories. No guilt. Just go for it!
Last Saturday I pulled out my gluten/lactose free inventory out of the cupboard and begged my daughter to bake for me. She loves me after all and this is what we snacked on all afternoon.
- Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies using Betty Crocker Mix and a splash of Mexican Vanilla
- I made an ice cream sandwich using Trader Joes Soy Vanilla Ice Cream between two warm cookies. mmmmm
- Gluten/lactose free carrot cupcakes with tofutti cream cheese frosting
GF Carrot Cake Mix (you will need fresh shredded carrots too)
A Gluten Free, Lactose Free Mexico Survival Guide August 4, 2011Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Living It , 1 comment so far
I took a vacation to Loreto Mexico recently. As you can see from this snapshot from my hotel balcony it was beautiful! I tried sticking to my gluten free and lactose free diet throughout the entire trip. I was somewhat successful and learned a lot. Here are the basic things you’ll need to survive your diet restrictions in Mexico.
What You’ll Love
- Food is made fresh. This is not a culture of processed foods.
- Tropical fruit is commonplace. Papaya, mango and coconuts are readily available and served in salads, smoothies and side dishes.
- Corn tortillas are easy to come by.
- Many chile sauces, not all, do not contain wheat flour.
- Guacamole…need I say more.
- If all else fails you can live off of chips n’ salsa, and tequila.
- You can legally smuggle your own healthy snacks through customs as long as they are in the unopened, sealed manufacturing packaging. Suggest bringing nuts, bars and any other snacks you live on when there’s nothing else you can eat in site.
What Challenges To Expect
- Language barrier ordering in restaurants.
- Food allergies/intolerance is not the norm, for example you will not find many if any restaurants carrying gluten free menus or allergens lists. And, there is a general lack of understanding as to why you would order food this way.
- Special orders do not go off very well. There’s a certain way the food is made and any modification is ignored or not executed very well. See my pic of my chicken marsala in example.
- Food labels are hard to read. 1. because most are in Spanish, 2. inconsistency in allergens labeling.
Must-Know Spanish Translations
gluten = el gluten
wheat = trigo
lactose = la lactosa
milk = la leche
cheese = queso
cream = crema
allergy = alergia
salsa = sauce, not the type of salsa we refer to in the states. If you order a meal with salsa you will likely get a chile gravy containing stuff you can’t have like cream, wheat flour of even wheat germ oil (aceite de germen de trigo). For fresh salsa to go with your chips ask for “salsa fresca”.
Look for these items on the back of labels and when ordering a meal in a restaurant specify:
Tengo una alergia al gluten. <insert food order> sin <insert item such as el gluten, y trigo>
Reading labels can be challenging, especially when they are in Spanish. Using your key terms above you can hopefully select items off the shelf that do not typically contain unwanted ingredients. However, do not neglect to read labels on familiar products. Ingredients are often modified for other countries and as always, you just can never be sure until you check the label. I was so happy to find something I could snack on from the single little market in our hotel. Halfway through my honey Rice Chex mix I discovered it contained milk. Not a fun night. Here’s how to find gluten or lactose on labels in Spanish.
You’ll find many American products on the shelf written in English:
Mexican brand labels are challenging to read, and do not consistently provide ingredients or allergen lists:
American brands carry allergy info on labels in Spanish, “gluten” which translates to English and Spanish is clearly marked here:
What I Ate
- Raw almonds
- Soy cappuccino
- Chips n salsa, guacamole
- Ceviche (sea bass, lime, tomato, onion, small amount chile sauce) and corn tortilla chips
- Luna bar
- Cosmo, mango vodka, syrah
- Chicken mole enchiladas no cheese, refried beans. Ingredients of sauce unknown. Fresh grapefruit juice.
- Amaranth and honey bar
- Fruit plate and a Piña colada
- A tiny little taste of fresh wood fired pizza crust (Look at that chef, flown in from Mexico City. How could I resist?!)
- Rice, steamed vegetables, sea bass, sweet potatoes
- A taste of lobster with butter (just a taste, I can’t resist lobster)
- Mai thai, whiskey, a sip of wine
- Luna bar
- Amaranth honey bar (I discovered these in a grain and spice store, they are made in Mexico City and saved me on the trip. Delish.)
- Sip coffee no cream, iced tea
- Taste beef empenada
- Salad, guacamole, taste tuna sandwich, tiny taste goat cheese, tortilla chips, iced tea, rum pineapple, rum punch
- Potato chips, honey Chex Mix (milk, ate one wheat chip)
- Chips n salsa
- Pineapple, shrimp salad fruit dressing. See pic it was a beautiful dish.
- Chicken and mushrooms grilled, tomato sauce. Red sauce ( they use wheat germ oil in it, this “Italian sauce” doubles as their red chile sauce I later discovered)–this was the biggest fail of the trip. The modified dish I received had no sauce, a dried up piece of chicken and crispy mushrooms. See pic.
- Green tea
- Home made chorizo with eggs, fruit, retried black beans, salsa fresca, corn tortillas
- Coffee non dairy creamer sugar
- Shrimp ceviche, guacamole n chips
- Tom Collins gin, soda lemon
- Salad oil vinegar
- Almost ate a tri-tip (I reached my limit with the hassles of ordering at the restaurant and left without eating dinner that night. I know, not the most mature move but I’d had enough)
- Scrambled eggs, chorizo, fruit, black beans, corn tortillas, coffee, melon juice
- Coke, fanta lime soda, piña colada
- Grilled Fish taco on a corn tortilla with lime and salsa, lobster grilled with lime, a taste of crab broth soup, shrimp cocktail in tomato sauce with tomato and onion, a lot of chips n salsa (chipotle, green chile, fresca, picked onions and green pepper)
- A bite of amaranth bar
- Divorced eggs: two fried eggs with green chile sauce and red sauce (trigo oil), two bites of hashbrown potatoes (butter), one flour tortilla, black refried beans (wiped the queso off), coffee –I didn’t order this way on purpose, they messed up my order again and it was room service so I had to live with it.
- There weren’t many choices so I cheated and ate a grilled chicken sandwich and fries (both full of gluten) at McDonald’s (I paid for it for days)
Gluten Free Pizza: A Quest for Greatness June 29, 2011Posted by Melonie Gallegos in : Dining Out , 3comments
One of the major barriers for me to go gluten free was pizza. Pizza is more than just my favorite guilty pleasure; we have a well-established love affair that spans three decades. Despite the gnawing pain, chronic fatigue and other unmentionable digestive problems it caused, the thought of giving it up was unthinkable.
Luckily for me and my other gluten-challenged pizza addicts, gluten free pizza is starting to appear on several menus across San Diego including Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza , Leucadia Pizzeria and Z Pizza.
To say I was thrilled with this development would be an understatement. I had to go out immediately and taste test as many gluten free pizzas as possible. I started with Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza and Leucadia Pizzeria. I have to admit, Leucadia pizza is one of my all-time favorites. The semi-sweet, fluffy original crust was almost worth the pain of eating gluten. I had high hopes. However, both of these restaurants disappointed me. They offered thin, cracker-like crusts that reminded me of a dehydrated cracker with cheese on it. While better than no pizza at all, I didn’t find either of these crust options to capture the essence of pizza.
Feeling somewhat pessimistic, I headed to my last stop on the pizza tour, Z Pizza. I think perhaps I have found the holy grail of gluten free pizza. The location in La Jolla looks like a small mom-and-pop pizza place but they are actually part of a national franchise with four San Diego locations. They only serve the gluten free crust option in a personal 10” size and the wait for preparation is around 20 minutes.
I would have waited well over an hour for this pizza. Still a thin crust, the texture is soft, doughy and buttery, like actual bread. You can order the pizza in a variety of designer flavors including barbecue and Thai or go with their more traditional pepperoni or cheese. In addition, Z Pizza offers organic and vegan options including vegan cheese for the lactose intolerant. Gluten free pizzas at Z Pizza run about $12 – $15.
Meet Our Guest Blogger:
Amanda Sounart is a health care writer and former fitness journalist. She has been gluten free for four months after 10 years of stomach pain and several rounds of misdiagnosis. She maintains a gluten free blog, Mostly Gluten Free, as well as a dating blog, Slightly Serious. Follow Amanda on twitter @mostlyglutenfre