Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Motivation 10/26/2015

"There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?"

~ Robert F. Kennedy

Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday Motivation 10/19/2015

"Make sure your worst enemy doesn't live between your own two ears."

~Laird Hamilton, Surfer

Saturday, October 10, 2015

EAT: Angus Barn, Raleigh, NC

Looking for a great steak in the Raleigh area? And you are gluten free too?! Head over to the infamous Angus Barn. They have an extensive gluten free and dairy free menu. The binder is a different color than the regular menus. 
Many of Angus Barn's favorites are gluten free. A great selection of steaks and seafood. I promise, you won't feel deprived eating at The Barn!
I ordered the Spinach Salad with no egg to start and the Ribeye with Asparagus. The Barn does not have gluten free bread, so nothing to spread the yummy cheese on (spoon, please?). Don't worry, there are plenty of other safe options to fill your belly.

The Angus Barn
9401 Glenwood Ave. 
Raleigh, NC

Monday, October 5, 2015

EAT: Limones Mexican & Californian Cuisine, Asheville, NC

With so many great restaurants in Asheville, it is so hard to decide. When you want something a little different, check out Limones in downtown Asheville. Even though Limones does not have a gluten free menu, our server was very knowledgeable and checked ingredients for us to make sure we had the safest meal possible. Limones has great small plates and with so many great choices, we could not decide on just one entree, so we ordered a bunch of small plates!
Limones is known for its ceviche and lucky for us gluten free eaters, they are gluten free! Be sure to try the sampler. Ceviche Verde (at the top) has papaya and avocado. Spicy Ceviche (bottom left) complete with manzanilla olives, tomatoes, roasted Anaheim peppers, avocado, and cilantro. The Ceviche Del Mercado (bottom right) has fish of the day (shrimp), marinated lime juice, guacamole, and red onion. 
Since Limones has so many small plates, we continued the trend and ordered the Arugula and fig salad with roasted beets, habanero-lime vinaigrette, marcona almonds, and goat cheese. Beets have become one of my favorite foods, and these beets were roasted, not pickled, to give them a nice change of flavor.
Not a huge Brussel Sprouts fan, but the Brussel Sprouts with bacon, balsamic-fig glaze, and Pecorino-Romano cheese were great. A great mix of flavors. More cheese on top, please.
Finally, (wasn't that enough food?!), we ended with the Mussels with Chorizo, Chipotle, Basil, and Grilled Lemon. OMG, that was a ton of food! Thank goodness, downtown Asheville is so walking-friendly. The mussels were tasty with some spice.

Limones is a very popular spot (rightfully so), but has limited seating. Be sure to make a reservation on Open Table to ensure a table on the day and time you want. Check with your server on allergy issues. In fact, I made two trips to Limones during my visit to Asheville for the ceviche and both servers were very knowledgeable. Also, be sure to order the Basil Refrescante, a fresh and tasty gluten free drink. Unlike anything I have ever tasted. 

Limones Mexican & Californian Cuisine
13 Eagle St.
Asheville, NC 28801

EAT: Rhubarb, Asheville, NC

I love Asheville! Even though most people come to Asheville for the fall leaf color or the Biltmore House, I do to Asheville for the fabulous food. Downtown Asheville has so many great restaurants, and many are allergy friendly. Case in point: Rhubarb. I now love Rhubarb even more because I found out that Chef John Fleer is a native of my hometown, Winston Salem, NC and a fellow alum of UNC (Go Heels!). John wants Rhubarb to be a special place, and it is.

Even though Rhubarb does not have a gluten free menu, it is very gluten free friendly. Just ask your server and surprise, a basket of gluten free bread will be delivered to your table.
My dinner companion and I could not resist trying the Rosemary-Sea Salt Pecans. So good! They arrived warm in a metal tin and were so tasty with the hints of rosemary and sea salt. Who does not love warm nuts??
For dinner, I ordered the Blackberry Glazed Duck Confit with Sweet Potato Anna Cake, Swiss Chard, Sweet Garlic, Wet Walnuts, Coffee-Cured Duck Ham, and Blackberry-Shiso Salad. The duck was cooked to perfection and all the flavors paired well together. Love the presentation as well.
My dinner companion decided on the Pinchito Roasted Heritage Pork Collar with Sweet and Sour Collard Greens, Sea Island Red Peas, Peach-Red Onion Marmalade, but no Crispy Okra. The pork was tender, definitely a southern dish. Our server was great about letting us know what was gluten free and what was not, in fact, most of the menu was naturally gluten free.

Even though Rhubarb does not have a gluten free menu, the restaurant prides itself on accommodating gluten free and allergy free diners. It is always so cool when the restaurant does not feel it needs to make a splash about accommodating, but gladly does so and surprises diners with gluten free bread and makes most of the dishes automatically gluten free. As an added bonus, I highly recommend sitting out on the patio to enjoy the live music played on the sidewalk by local musicians nightly.

7 S Pack Square
Asheville, NC 28801
Closed Tuesdays

Monday Motivation 10/05/2015

"The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude."

~ Dennis S. Brown

Sunday, October 4, 2015

EAT: French Broad Chocolate Lounge, Asheville, NC

Who wants dessert??  How about some chocolate?  Lots of chocolate?? Then, head over to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge in Asheville, NC. There, you will find chocolates, chocolate cakes, chocolate mousse, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cookies, chocolate bars, chocolate drinks, everything you can imagine chocolate!  It is not a completely gluten free establishment, but if you notify your server of your allergies, they have a big allergen notebook they can look up ingredients of items. I had great success eating gluten free at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge.
Decisions, decisions. It is hard to choose which chocolately treat to indulge. The items in the glass case have a "gf" listed on the tag if they are gluten free.Once again, this is not a gluten free establishment, so please verify the status of each item before eating.
I decided on the Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse. Delicious! And so rich! Just enough to satisfy the sweet tooth. Also, their chocolate turtles are gluten free.
The ice cream is corn free, with many being gluten free as well. The milkshakes are super yummy, but be sure to ask for a clean blender to avoid any cross contamination. Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake on left and Salted Caramel Milkshake on the right.

Another note about the French Broad Chocolate Lounge is that it has moved locations to a much more accessible location right in the middle of downtown Asheville. It is practically right across the street from gluten free restaurant Posana and gluten free friendly Rhubarb. Also, depending on when you visit, prepare to wait in line! I found that it is most crowded on weekend nights from 8-10pm. The staff does a great job of making sure the line moves regularly, so the wait is not too bad. You can even pick out what you want before you get inside the door. It is a must visit on your next trip to Asheville!

French Broad Chocolate Lounge
10 S Pack Square
Asheville, NC 28801

Saturday, October 3, 2015

EAT: Posana, Asheville, NC

I love completely gluten free restaurants! To be able to sit down and not have to give my gluten free spiel to the server is always a plus. However, with all of my other food allergies, I am not 100% safe in a 100% gluten free restaurant. I still like to support restaurants who go the extra mile to be gluten free and usually, they "get" other food allergies and know the ingredients of their dishes. A great 100% gluten free restaurant in Asheville, NC is Posana. Posana does not even scream "I am a gluten free restaurant" out front, which is nice, but I verified with my server just to make sure. I was really excited about dining here, as I had heard tons of great comments about Posana.
What is a gluten free restaurant without gluten free bread?? Luckily, the bread met my other food allergy requirements and I was able to enjoy the breadsticks. Very tasty, and I liked the addition of the sesame seeds. Butter and Olive Oil was offered for your dipping pleasure.
I ordered the Sea Scallops. I was hoping to try a dish I could not get at non-gluten free restaurants, like pasta, but Posana does not really even offer a gluten free pasta dish. The Scallops had field peas, smoked bacon, Fork Mountain Farms patty pan squash, and French sorrel puree. Great presentation, but I thought the dish was lacking flavor. It left me wanting something more. I did like getting seven scallops on the plate, a gracious number.
My dinner companion ordered the HNG Pork Chop with charred corn, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese cream, basil, and chow chow. The pork was cooked nicely and paired well with the goat cheese. He said the accompaniments were tasty, but I could not sample due to my corn allergy.

All in all, it is great to dine at a restaurant where the servers are well aware of gluten free and other food allergies. The food was good, but maybe due to the "gluten-free-ness" of the restaurant, I was expecting awesome. The ambiance made up for it though, and I highly recommend sitting outside and enjoying the live music from local artists that rotates regularly outside the restaurant. Great talent and fun people watching from Posana's patio!

Posana Restaurant
1 Biltmore Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801