UPDATE: Clover Food Truck

WARNING: I have been informed by another individual that a cashier at Clover Food Truck said that the chickpea fritter is NOT fried in a dedicated gf fryer...therefore, the item is not safe for Celiacs! Although I did not get sick, you might...so don't try it!

Oh. My. Lord.

Clover Food Truck...I love you so much that it is difficult to express in words, but I'm going to give it a shot anyway.
Of course I was nervous at first, since food trucks are scary to navigate, especially since food trucks are new to Boston, but I decided to give Clover a shot at the Dewey Square location. At first, I got the chickpea fritter sans pita bread after confirming with the cashier that it would be gf, but then I started eating it and was very confused as to whether or not she knew what she was talking about. I decided to shoot a tweet to @CloverDWY in order to confirm that the chickpea fritter was gf, and their Executive Chef @RolandoRobledo confirmed that it was! Okay, now that all of that has been sorted out, let's get down to the food details.

We've got the chickpea fritter sans pita bread, with a salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, and spices, pickled vegetables including carrots, red cabbage, red onions, lettuce, and a sauce made of tahini, lemon juice, water and salt. Full details here. This thing is absolutely PHENOMENAL. The combination of textures and flavors is delightful, and I find myself craving this meal all the time. The ingredients are super fresh, and you can taste the difference. The chickpea fritter is very light, not greasy at all, and works well with the zingy hummus.

You'll also notice the basil lemonade next to my chickpea fritter, which was perfectly refreshing for a warm spring day. It has chopped raw basil, lemon juice, sugar, and water.

The Clover Food Truck is simply awesome, so check out their menu and find a way out of your office and get to one of their trucks ASAP (sometimes they run out of food/ingredients, and the line can be super long).

Locations: Clover DWY, Summer Street and Atlantic Ave near South Station T Stop (more locations below at their website)
Website: http://www.cloverfoodlab.com/?page_id=2248

Cactus Club Review - Part Two/Update

Way back in the summer of 2009, I posted a review on Cactus Club in Back Bay. Back then, "gluten-free" wasn't in their vocabulary, and all you could do was cross your fingers and say a prayer that you wouldn't die. However, Cactus Club has had a new chef for several months, and they are now all-aboard the gluten-free train, and my recent dining experience there was both safe and delicious!

In the past, my favorite meal was their black bean enchilada, but now they have a new and more authentic version of the dish. The enchilada de frijoles has a creamy tomatillo sauce, spinach, red onions, cheese, and a nice kick of heat.

As much as I missed my old black bean enchilada, the new and updated version surpassed my expectations. The sauce was the best part, as it had a combination of tang and sweetness that was well balanced. The portion size was too big for me, but I was happy to have my leftovers for lunch the next day.

I also tried the tostada de aguacate with avocados, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and a black bean spread. The tostada is a great appetizer, and the contrasting textures (crunchy tostada, creamy avocado, and smooth black bean spread) is enjoyable, fun, and fresh.

Items that can be made gluten-free are marked on their menu, and most of their menu can be ordered gf. I also have to point out that Cactus Club has the best chips and salsa in Boston, and phenomenal guacamole. The margaritas are delicious and addicting also. Enjoy a great meal on their outdoor patio, or head over after work for half-priced appetizers Monday-Thursday.

Location: 939 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02115
Website: http://bestmargaritas.com/

GFBoston on the road: S'MAC NYC

SO many of my Twitter followers (follow me @gfboston) have recommended that I try S'MAC in the East Village for gluten-free mac and cheese, so I finally listened to them and decided to try the place out.

I have to say, much to my sadness, that you were all very wrong. I tried the four cheese mac with cheddar, muenster, gruyere, and peccorino, and it was the grossest most inedible meal I've ever had in my entire life...I couldn't even finish eating it. The macaroni was hard and tasteless, and the combination of cheeses did not work at all (smelled like old sweaty gym socks, and I say that as an insane lover of all cheeses). On top of all of this, the thing was OOZING with grease, and not in a good way at all.

I probably washed my face ten times after eating this and still felt disgustingly greasy. Perhaps it was just the four cheese mac, and the others are tastier, or maybe they were just having an off day, either way it was a horrible experience.

As you all know, I'm always willing to give places a second chance, so S'MAC and I will have another encounter at some point in the future. Props to S'MAC for keeping the mac and cheese relatively cheap though (~$8), and for even offering gluten-free mac and cheese at all.

Location: 345 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003
Website: www.smacnyc.com

Back Bay/Newbury Street Restaurants

Many people have been asking me about Back Bay/Newbury Street restaurants that accommodate gluten-free diners. Many of the Newbury Street restaurants are on the nicer side, and are easily able to edit meal ingredients. Also, Boston, like NYC, is a city that is very aware of gluten intolerances and other allergies, and every single restaurant is mandated by regulation to have a sign in its window saying “before you order, please let us know if you have any allergies.” In addition to this sign, restaurant workers have been required to complete training in regards to allergens. All of this being said, you MUST tell your waiter or waitress about your gluten intolerance…do not expect to go to any restaurant and look at the menu and think that you can decipher on your own what is safe and what is not. Below are my recommendations:
  • On Newbury Street
  • *The Otherside CafĂ© (gluten-free menu)
  • *Stephanie’s on Newbury
  • *Sonsie
  • Tapeo
  • Capital Grille (pricey)
  • Papa Razzi (chain restaurant, gluten-free menu)

There are also restaurants on Boylston Street...

  • On Boylston Street
  • Cactus Club
  • *Sel de la Terre
  • Atlantic Fish Co. (pricey)
  • Top of the Hub (pricey)
  • Uno Chicago Grill (chain, gluten-free menu)
  • *Turner Fisheries (gluten-free menu, inside of the Copley mall)
  • Legal Sea Foods (chain, gluten-free menu, inside of Prudential Center)
  • Wagamama (chain, gluten-free denoted on regular menu, inside of Prudential Center)
  • P.F. Chang’s (chain, gluten-free menu, inside of Prudential Center)

All of the above restaurants are restaurants that I have actually eaten at, but there are some additional restaurants that I have heard about with g-free options that are in the Back Bay/Newbury Street area listed below:

  • Maggiano’s Little Italy (g-free menu)
  • The Melting Pot (g-free menu)
  • Cafeteria Boston
  • Davio’s (g-free menu)
  • Globe Bar and Cafe
  • Vlora

Lastly, I’d like to point out that restaurants with asterisks (*) next to them are my favorite restaurants. Happy eating!

The Meat House

Photo courtesty of http://onceuponasmallbostonkitchen.blogspot.com/

"The Meat House is the modern revival of the neighborhood butcher - only better!"

The Meat House has several locations in Massachusetts, and I frequent the Coolidge Corner location for premium gluten-free meats. The best part about The Meat House is that they have gluten-free marinated meats for purchase with little "no gluten" stickers on them for simplicity. The Coolidge Corner location also has a designated gluten-free section in the back of the store with various gluten-free products such as Schar breadsticks, Udi's granola, and gluten-free pasta as well.
My favorite item at The Meat House is the Burgundy Wine steak tips, and I also tend to go home with J.K. Scrumpy's Solstice Organic Hard Cider. The marinated meats are affordable and can be purchased either depending on the amount you want from the butcher or choosing a pre-packaged (yet still fresh) version.

Address: 1285 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02446

Hours: 9am-8pm

Website: http://www.themeathouse.com/index.html

The Fireplace GF Biscuits

Those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I am obsessed with The Fireplace in Brookline. I can be found at the bar with friends and my favorite bartender every Wednesday night, and an additional reason for my obsession is the gluten-free biscuits. The biscuits are absolutely out of this world, and the only reason that I put so much butter on them (see above pic) is that I simply like butter...not because I have to mask any icky fake-tasting gluten-free ingredients. In addition to the biscuits, The Fireplace has an awesome gluten-free menu with seasonal New England fare.
Address: 1634 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02446
Phone: 617.975.1900


For those who do not know, I am a mad tweeter...and I can be found at twitter.com/gfboston.

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