I recently posted a review of Turner Fisheries on my Examiner site here. About 99% of their menu is gluten-free or can be prepared gluten-free. It's an amazing place with outstanding food, and you should check out my review on the Examiner for more information and pictures!

I was so excited to see The Abbey finally open up around the corner from my apartment. Washington Square is already a great neighborhood full of wonderful restaurants and bars. The staff is very knowledgeable about gluten, but if you're just looking at the menu on your own, you'll assume that you won't have many options.

On a recent visit to The Abbey, I had the mussels sauteed in white wine and garlic. I usually try not to eat mussels very often because they aren't very filling for me, and this proved true again with this starter portion, but I scarfed them down so quickly that I was practically drooling over the idea of getting another plate. The sauce was really light and fragrant, and I imagine that if I were able to eat the fries that came with the dish, the sauce would've been great for dipping purposes.

The food is great, the cocktails are delicious, the staff is beyond friendly, the atmosphere is relaxed, and the prices are affordable and non-guilt inducing. If you haven't been over to The Abbey yet, make sure to get there early or be prepared for a wait...the place is small and always packed!

Location: 1657 Beacon Street, Brookline, MA 02445
Website: http://www.abbeyrestaurant.com
This is my absolute favorite sandwich everyone, so I thought that it was time to share it with all of you...its my version of a club sandwich!

Ingredients:
1. Udi's or Glutino plain bagel
2. Turkey bacon
3. Tomatoes
4. Hellman's Mayo
5. Lettuce
6. Provolone cheese
7. Turkey
8. Ham

It's a pretty simple sandwich, and the only thing that takes time is cooking the bacon and toasting the bagel (if you use Udi's, the bagel doesn't need to be toasted). It is seriously the best sandwich and has the perfect mix of flavors. Sometimes I add a bit of ground dijon mustard as well. Enjoy!
NEBO CONNECTS WITH COLD RIVER GIN FOR GLUTEN-FREE COMBO
For Immediate Release

Nebo, the upscale Italian restaurant and wine bar in Boston’s North End, has teamed up with Maine Distilleries Cold River Gin to provide customers with a new Gluten-Free cocktail and cuisine combo.

Nebo has been offering its customers the option for Gluten-Free dishes since 2009. Now, Nebo has added the perfect cocktail to add to the meal. It’s called the Perfect Pear.

The Perfect Pear is made with Gluten-Free Cold River Traditional Gin, Prosecco di Lunetta and Pear Syrup. The cocktail will be served with Nebo’s legendary Gluten-Free Sausage and Wild Mushroom Ragu over Creamy Mascarpone Polenta.

"We feel the Perfect Pear is the perfect complement to our popular Polenta dish,” says Nebo co-owner Carla Pallotta. “Adding the two Gluten-Free options together helps alleviate some of the worry for those customers who have dining restrictions caused by Celiac Disease”.

According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, roughly 1 in every 133 people has the disease. Some 200 thousand Americans have been diagnosed with (CD), but approximately 97% of those afflicted with the disease are not even aware they have it.

ABOUT NEBO
Opened in June of 2005, Nebo’s central proximity to the city’s most sought after tourist destinations and contemporary chic European atmosphere make it the perfect spot to enjoy a unique and memorable dining experience.

Born in Boston’s culturally rich North End neighborhood, chef/owners Carla and Christine Pallotta stand inspired by their mother’s and grandmother’s classic Italian recipes as well as their travels throughout Italy and other European regions.

Nebo’s stylish décor, reminiscent of modern Italy, is all natural wood, chocolate suede and brick surrounding a 120 person capacity dining area and full wine & liquor bar showcasing a magnificent marble top, glass shelves and plasma televisions. m-wed 5-11pm, th-sat 5pm until late night.

Visit www.neborestaurant.com
It was sad when I first became diagnosed in college and found out that I couldn't hit the keg of Natty Light anymore, but hard cider helped me get over my sorrow. Not only am I totally obsessed with hard cider, but I've had a hand in converting many beer lovers over to my side. Below is a list of the top five amazing ciders that you can get your hands on (not in any particular order):

1. Hornsby's
- Found at the Shaws/Star Market on Commonwealth Avenue and Cambridge Wine & Spirits

2. Strongbow
- Found at Reservoir Wine and Spirits, Gimbel's Liquors, most liquor stores in Boston area
- Served at The Regal Beagle, The Lower Depths Tavern, Coda, and Cornwall's

3. Woodchuck
- Found at Coolidge Corner Wine and Spirits, Reservoir Wine and Spirits, Gimbel's Liquors, Shaw's/Star Market on Comm. Ave, The Wine Press, Mission Hill Liquors, Cambridge Wine & Liquors, most liquor stores in Boston area
- Served at Coolidge Corner Clubhouse, Clery's, The Rattlesnake, Cheers, Boston Beer Works, Mission Bar and Grill, Tavern in the Square

4. Original Sin
- Found at Blanchard's Liquors, Cambridge Wine & Spirits
- Served at Deep Ellum (it's not on the menu, but it's kept behind the bar), The Publick House, Grendel's Den, Audubon Circle, The Other Side Cafe, Mission Bar and Grill

5. Magner's
- Ubiquitously found in Boston area liquor stores, basically guaranteed
- Served at almost every bar in the Boston area -- Cityside Bar and Grille, An Tua Nua, Clery's, Cactus Club, The Rattlesnake, Faneuil hall area bars, Sunset Cantina, White Horse, Cask'n Flagon, Washington Square Tavern, Atlantic Beer Garden

I took a trip to Pizzapalooza in Newton last month to fulfill my neverending search for the best gluten-free pizza, and I have to say that their pizza is competing for top dog in my book.

The sauce was INSANELY good...not too acidic, and definitely had a serious kick. My only complaint is that the crust was kind of crumbly, so it was difficult for me to eat like the New Yorker that I am (fold each piece in half). That being said, the crust was absolutely delicious and didn't have any hint of weird non-glutenness. My boyfriend said that this was the best gluten-free pizza that he's ever tasted, and that he couldn't even tell that it was gluten-free (he was able to eat their regular pizza and compare it with my gf pizza).

The best part about Pizzapalooza is that all of their regular pizzas can be made gluten-free! Also, their individual gf pies are cheap! I'm definitely looking forward to going back and trying a different pie.
I recently contacted The Publick House in Brookline to inquire about any gluten-free options they might have. Below is the e-mail I received in response:

"Hi GFboston,

We do not have a distinct gluten-free menu at this point, but we often have people with gluten allergies dine without much difficulty. All of our waitstaff and kitchen staff are very sensitive to food allergies and dietary restrictions, and menu items are made to order, so a number of them can be modified to be gluten free.

Regarding the fries, we have two different kinds. The regular hand-cutfrench fries are fried in oil that fries breaded items, but our Belgian-style frites are fried in their own separate oil, so that is a possibility.

Thanks,
The Publick House"

As a Publick House lover, I will DEFINITELY be over for some Belgian-style frites ASAP! Very excited :)
I usually go to the Rattlesnake because they have an awesome roof deck and they make big and strong whiskey sours. I decided to have dinner there with a friend, and was pleasantly surprised with the outcome!


I had the Grilled Tijuana Caesar salad with salmon ($12.50), which had grilled hearts of romaine, corn salsa, and Caesar dressing with a kick. It comes with croutons, but I obviously declined. The salmon was flaky and seasoned perfectly.


My dining companion had the Thai Tuna Salad, but he isn't gluten-free and I'm not sure if the salad can be made gluten-free. The salad had peppercorn and coriander–seared Ahi tuna with seaweed salad and baby tatsoi in Thai peanut vinaigrette with ginger and soy–marinated tofu & bean sprouts ($14). He absolutely loved his salad as well.


We also tried the Hudson Valley Duck Tacos ($11), which normally come in deep fried flour taco shells, but we chose to substitute corn taco shells instead. Our server warned us that this might not be a good idea, and he was definitely right. The tacos had molasses and cola-marinated duck breast with cranberry-rosemary risotto & truffle-cranberry glaze. It was a disaster of a meal; the flavor combination did not work at all and the different aspects clashed with each other. There was just too much going on at once.

Overall, we enjoyed our experience and our meals; the service was wonderful. I have been salivating just thinking about my salad, and I can't wait to go back and have it again. I'm just going to pretend that the duck tacos didn't actually happen!

Location: 384 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116 (Back Bay)
Website: http://www.rattlesnakebar.com/
After a recommendation from one of my twitter followers, I visited Orinoco in the South End with some of my friends. I drooled over the menu for days, as I had heard that something like 95% of the menu was gluten-free!

I started off with the trio of empanadas for $8 (cod, domino, and mechada) and a glass of white sangria. Truthfully, I didn't know what was in the domino or mechada at the time, so I wasn't exactly sure what I was eating, but they were all great! I think I was just so excited to be eating an empanada that I totally lost all of my focus and control. The domino empanada had black beans and cheese, while the mechada had shredded beef and cheese.


Next, I had an arepa for $6 , which is a traditional Venezuelan corn pocket sandwich. I chose the pernil arepa, which is roasted pork shoulder, since pernil is a dish that my family has been making for my entire life. It was a bit on the dry side, but still flavored well. I'm not a fan of mojo sauce, but perhaps if I had been it would've masked the dryness of the pork. I loved that I was able to eat a sandwich, and the corn had great texture and flavor.


Next time I go back, I want to try the reina pepiada arepa, the orinoco salad, and the cordero tradicional. See their website to drool on your own, and head into the South End or the Brookline Village location to enjoy friendly and quick service and delicious food.

Location: 477 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA (South End)
Website: http://orinocokitchen.com/
I visited Gaslight with my sister for one of my birthday dinners. I've heard a lot of people rave about the food here, and I've been pining over the menu for quite some time, so I was really excited to finally visit.

I have to say that it was a pretty awful dining experience overall. My first qualm was with the host. We arrived 15 minutes early and were told that we would have to wait until our exact reservation time to be sat, so we waited about 5-7 feet from the host stand so that we wouldn't be missed when our time came. As a former host and server myself, I prefer if someone arrives early so that I can seat them and hopefully the table can turn over quicker, but since every restaurant is different, I didn't mind waiting. By the way, the entire front room of the restaurant was empty and there were tons of tables available (therefore our little 2-top could've been swapped out with a different reservation).

However, while waiting, about 10 other parties walked in and were sat immediately; while some of these reservations could've been late, I cannot imagine that that was the case for all of them. Our reservation time rolled around, and the host continued to seat every party that walked in except us. We waited 5 more minutes until we approached the host, and we were then made to wait another 10 minutes. When we were finally sat, we were sat next to the open kitchen door and it took 35 minutes for our order to be taken. As a result, I spent most of my time at the restaurant being extremely angry, which is rare for me. Our table could've been turned over 1+ hours earlier if we had just been sat when we immediately walked in.

Our server was very nice and experienced, but very absent during our time there. Luckily, the food was amazing, or I would've left very unhappy. I had the escargot and the steak tartare.

I have heard that Gaslight has the best escargot in Boston, and I have to confirm that this is true. The steak tartare was also absolutely amazing.

My sister had a beet salad and french onion soup (non-gf). I tried her beet salad and it was outstanding; it also went really well when mixed with the steak.


As much as I hated my time at Gaslight, the food was so great that I would return again.

Location: 560 Harrison Ave, Boston, MA 02118 (South End)
Website: http://www.gaslight560.com
Bill Total: ~$53 excluding tax and tip (including carafe of wine and dessert)
Okay, I hate giving bad reviews, but sometimes it must be done. I made Conte's gluten-free cheese ravioli last night for dinner, but things didn't work out the way that I anticipated.

I followed the package instructions and tested one and it was al dente, so I threw it back in and kept heating for a few more minutes on med-high heat. When I took them out, my first bite was great, but I attribute this to the fact that I haven't had ravioli in a while. As I kept eating, I became increasingly underwhelmed. I decided to save the rest of my meal as leftovers for lunch today in an attempt to give the ravioli another shot.

Round two didn't go so well either. The texture is still sort of rubbery/meaty, and the cheese inside doesn't have much, if any, flavor. My poor sad fat ravioli...oh and by the way, I totally thought, based on the package picture, that I was going to have lots of little raviolis, but instead ended up with these supermonstrous ravioli instead.

As with all "bad" reviews, I don't hate the company, just the particular product; I am MORE than willing to try out any of Conte's other gluten-free products. Actually, I don't even hate this particular product, I just think that it bored me and made me upset that I paid $8 for a "blah" meal.

**FYI I purchased the ravioli at the Shaw's on Beacon Street in Brookline, MA
I've been using MyRecipes.com (as well as recipes from Southern Living) a lot lately, and trying to focus on eating foods that won't clog my arteries and prematurely kill me. The other night I used a recipe for Snapper Tacos with Chipotle Cream and, as always, added my own adjustments and special touches.

My recipe is below, and the original recipe can be found here: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=348357&cookbook_id=5305510

Photo Source: MyRecipes.com (link above)
INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup sour cream
Salt, add amount for your taste preference
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 large tomato, diced
1 tablespoon butter
Red pepper flakes, Cajun seasoning, or paprika
Cumin, add amount for your taste preference
Cinnamon, add amount for your taste preference
4 garlic cloves, minced
Chopped fresh cilantro, about a hand/fistful post chopping
1 pound tilapia (4 fillets)
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
3 limes, cut in half and ready to be squeezed
Corn tortillas (this recipe makes about 10 tacos)


INSTRUCTIONS
Combine sour cream, salt, and chiles; set aside. Only add as much of the chile can as your taste buds can handle. This stuff is smoky!

Season fish with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, tomato, cumin, salt, cinnamon, red pepper flakes or cajun seasoning or paprika, and minced garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently and adding some cilantro every minute. Arrange fish over onion mixture in pan; cover and cook 3 minutes. Turn fish; cover and cook 2 minutes. Break fish into chunks. Stir in lime juice and more cilantro; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Warm tortillas for about 30 seconds. Fill each tortilla with mixture; top each serving with chipotle cream. Enjoy!

**FYI, I got the tilapia fillets for $8 at the River Street Whole Foods in Cambridge, and used Mission White Corn Tortillas and Chiles in Adobo Sauce from the Shaw's on Commonwealth Ave in Allston

This is one of my favorite meals to make for dinner, but I try only to make it sparingly as a result of my fear of clogged arteries. IT'S CHEESESTEAK TIME!!!!!!!

INGREDIENTS:
GF baguette (I use Against the Grain)
American, cheddar, or provolone cheese
Shaved or thin pieces of steak (Whole Foods or Trader Joe's)
Onions and or green peppers, or other additional toppings to your liking

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Season meat to your liking
2. Turn broiler on
3. Cook meat in frying pan to your liking


4. Lightly toast your bread in the broiler
5. Place the meat on the bread once its cooked, then add your cheese and put the
sandwich (open faced) into the oven for the cheese to melt


Enjoy!

**FYI...I got the shaved steak at the Coolidge Corner Trader Joe's ($5). My backup option is the River Street Whole Foods (~$4), but at WF I get thinly sliced steak rather than shaved steak.

In light of my sister and her boyfriend moving into a new apartment together, she decided to celebrate by hosting a housewarming party. She also decided to put me in charge of the menu. After lots of research, I came up with the following menu in order to please the non-GF, as well as the GF....

FIG DIP
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Fig-and-Olive-Tapenade/Detail.aspx
Ingredients:
1 cup chopped dried figs
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
Directions:
1. Combine figs and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, and liquid has reduced. Remove from heat, and stir in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, thyme, and cayenne. Add olives and garlic, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to blend.
2. Unwrap cream cheese block, and place on a serving platter. Spoon tapenade over cheese, and sprinkle with walnuts. Serve with GF bread or crackers (Glutino crackers).

PROSCIUTTO WRAPPED ASPARAGUS
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Prosciutto-Wrapped-Asparagus/Detail.aspx


Ingredients:
1/2 pound prosciutto, sliced
1/2 (8 ounce) package Neufchatel
cheese, softened
12 spears fresh asparagus, trimmed
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
2. Spread prosciutto slices with Neufchatel cheese. Wrap slices around 2 or 3 asparagus spears. Arrange wrapped spears in a single layer on a medium baking sheet.
3. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until asparagus is tender.

STUFFED CRIMINI MUSHROOMS WITH GRUYERE
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Stuffed-Crimini-Mushrooms-with-Gruyere/Detail.aspx
Ingredients:
36 crimini mushrooms, stems removed
1/2 cup olive oil
2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
1/3 cup minced shallot
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf
parsley
3/4 cup chopped fresh chives
3 fluid ounces lemon juice
2 cups GF bread crumbs or crumbled crackers
5 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese
Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add mushrooms, and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain, and set aside to cool.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, shallot, garlic, parsley, and chives. Cover, and let the vegetables sweat for a few minutes to release the aromas. Remove from heat, and stir in the breadcrumbs and lemon juice.
3. Preheat the oven's broiler. Scoop out the mushroom caps, and fill with the bread crumb mixture. Place on a baking sheet. Top with shredded cheese.
4. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve hot.

BACON WRAPPED DATES WITH BLUE CHEESE
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Bacon-Wrapped-Dates-Stuffed-with-Blue-Cheese/De
tail.aspx
Ingredients:
1 pound sliced bacon, cut in half
1 pound pitted dates
4 ounces blue cheese (Maytag)
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. Slice dates in half, and open them up. Pinch off pieces of blue cheese, and place them into the center of the dates. Close the halves of the dates, and wrap a half-slice of bacon around the outside. Secure each one with a toothpick. Arrange in a baking dish or on a baking sheet with sides to catch any grease.
3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the bacon is crisp. Turn dates over after the first 20 minutes for even cooking.

STUFFED RED POTATOES
http://www.finedinings.com/stuffed_small_red_potato_appetiz.htm

Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds small red potatoes (about 20)
1 cup sour cream
4 bacon slices, cooked crisp, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons chives, snipped
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, finely grated
Fresh rosemary garnish

Directions:
1. Bring potatoes to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and continue cooking until they are fork-tender but still firm. Drain; put into cold water to stop the cooking action then drain again. Using a sharp knife cut each potato in half, do not tear the skins. Scoop out and discard centers of potatoes with a melon baller leaving a 1/4-inch wall. Cut a thin slice off bottom of each potato allowing them to sit level on a plate.
2. In a medium bowl combine sour cream, cooked bacon, seasoning salt, black pepper and snipped chives. Spoon sour cream mixture into halved potatoes until they are stuffed full; sprinkle with cheddar cheese and serve, or if you prefer they can be placed under the broiler to melt the cheese. Either way these stuffed red potatoes are very tasty. Garnish with fresh rosemary.


BACON AND BLUE CHEESE SLIDERS
Ingredients:
1 pound/package of ground beef
8oz blue cheese (Maytag)
1 pack of bacon
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Gulden's spicy brown mustard
2 GF baguettes (Agai
nst the grain), cut into pieces that are sized similarly to the burger patties
Directions:
1. Set the oven to broil. Season the meat with salt and pepper (I use Adobo seasoning). After you season the meat, add a few teaspoons of Gulden's spicy brown mustard to the meat and mix it in well. Shape the meat into mini burgers, and break off pieces of the blue cheese and incorporate it into each burger.
2. Cook the bacon (usually 1-1.5 slices per burger). Once the bacon has cooled and you have dried it of its grease, crumble all of the beacon into pieces (not too small). Add the bacon to each of the mini burgers.
3. Place the burgers on a cookie tray or in glass cookware. Before putting the burgers in the oven, dribble some of the bacon grease over the burgers. Place in the broiler and keep an eye on the burgers constantly. You'll be able to "eye" whether or not they are done.

CAPRESE SALAD ON SKEWERS
http://www.finedinings.com/app
etizer__caprese_on_a_skewer.htm
Ingredients:
Cherry tomatoes
Mozzarella cheese

Fresh basil leaves
Extra- virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Wooden skewers or
toothpicks
Directions:
1. Using a melon baller make small round balls from Mozzarella the same size as cherry tomatoes or purchase small rounds of cheese the same size as the cherry tomatoes.
2. Thread cherry tomatoes, basil leaf and Mozzarella cheese ball on a skewer; continue threading skewers making as many appetizers the size you like. Drizzle with a top quality olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve these cute little guys.


My visit to DC brought me to Eatonville in Adams Morgan. As a fan of African-American literature, I was blown away by the Zora Neale-Hurston inspiration, the antebellum America setting, and of course, the menu. The entire experience was amazing, and I didn't even mind the 30 minute wait because I got to have a drink in a rocking chair in front of a live folk band.


I started off by drinking a Georgia Peach, which consists of Georgia Moon Peach Corn Whiskey, Sweet Tea, Citronge, and Lemonade ($8). The drink was served in a mason jar and I was instantly hooked! After a few Georgia Peach's we headed over to our table.

The place was packed, and therefore things were a little slow, but our server was sweet and checked several times with the kitchen each time I had a question about whether something could be prepared gluten-free.

I wanted the catfish with jalapeno-cheddar grits, braised collared greens, and tomato butter ($16), but was informed that the fish wouldn't be the same without the breading. My backup choice was the Bourbon BBQ Baby Back Ribs with corn on the cob, coleslaw, and Cajun fries ($21). I nixed the fries and subbed mashed potatoes, and ordered a side of the jalapeno-cheddar grits.


I totally underestimated what I ordered because I found myself surrounded with an overwhelming amount of food (which lead to a massive to-go box later on!). The ribs were cooked PERFECTLY, and everything was seriously outstanding. The grits could've used a few more jalapenos, but were still absolutely delicious.

If you live in the DC Metro area and haven't been to Eatonville, book a reservation and get yourself over there ASAP. If you're heading in from out of town, put it on your to-visit list and have a Georgia Peach for me!

Location:
2121 14th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009 (202-332-9672)
Website: http://eatonvillerestaurant.com/index.html
Unaware that our beloved Sonsie doesn't open for brunch until 11am on Saturdays, a friend and I decided to head over to The Otherside for breakfast and sangria instead.

Breakfast Burrito sans tortilla

I got the Breakfast Burrito without the tortilla, which consisted of scrambled eggs, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, onions, jalapenos, chipotle, cheddar, and guacamole served with salsa and spicy sour cream on the side. The meal was SO super delicious that I can still taste it. My dining companion got the Huevos Rancheros and absolutely loved the vegetarian chili in the meal.

Perhaps our best decision was to split a pitcher of sangria at 10am. I usually get their white sangria, but the red was potent (in a good way) and really great also.


The Tex-Mex Tango is next on my list for brunch meals at The Otherside Cafe.

Price: $10 each for pitcher of sangria, $8 Breakfast Burrito, $9 Huevos Rancheros
Location: 407 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02115-1801
Website: www.theothersidecafe.com
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, guess what? I'm going to DC on May 7th, and will be bringing you some serious GF Boston On the Road tweets and posts. I'm so excited that I've decided to offer a preview: STICKY FINGERS BAKERY.

I have been dreaming about the GF Spice Cake cupcake since June. This cupcake is not a joke, and I am not kidding when I say that I can still taste it 10 months later. If you happen to be in DC, be sure to take a trip over to Sticky Fingers.

I haven't been to Buzz in Alexandria for the much-talked about GF brownie, but it's at the top of my list for my early May visit.

Restaurant: Sticky Fingers
Location:
1370 Park Road Northwest, Washington, DC 20010
Website: www.stickyfingersbakery.com
**Photo courtesy of: Gluten Free Bird
I had a pretty awful encounter at a national chain recently. We ordered an appetizer, and although our server was knowledgeable about gluten, she checked with the kitchen AND a manager just to ensure that I would be okay. After assuring me that the meal would be gluten free, and after we ate until we were stuffed, a manager came running over to our table...the conversation went something like this:

Manager: DID YOU EAT IT????
Me: Umm what...?
Manager: There was a mistake! There was gluten in your meal! Did you eat the sauces?
Me: Yeahhhhh I did. There isn't even anything left...
Manager: Do I need to call 911 or an ambulance?

It turned out there was soy sauce in the sauces we were eating, and neither the kitchen nor the other manager on duty knew that soy sauce had gluten in it. Not only was I "surprise poisoned," but the staff MAJORLY failed (excluding the server...she was awesome) by not knowing #1. where gluten could be found and #2. essentially anything about gluten intolerance.

No, I didn't need an ambulance, but yes, I definitely needed to complain. So, what should you do if you are "surprise poisoned?":

  1. Don't leave the restaurant without letting the manager know that you are NOT okay with what happened.
  2. Call corporate headquarters.
  3. Send an e-mail to whichever address they list on their website, even if it's just a submit comment form online.
  4. Keep doing #2 and #3 until someone gets back to you.
  5. If any of the above fail, blog and tweet until someone sees it and gives you a call.
In the end, the restaurant comped our meal on the night we visited. I called and submitted an online query, my dinner company also called to complain, someone from risk/liability called me back, I received a $50 gift card and my dinner company received a $25 gift card.

We're definitely going back for our free food/booze AND to make sure that they have learned their lesson from my visit...because if it happens again, I won't be so nice the second time around.
1. The Elephant Walk; Amok Royal - a spicy, custard-like preparation of fresh crab, bay scallops, catfish and shrimp with coconut milk and complex Khmer seasonings; steamed in a banana leaf cup and garnished with cilantro and red bell pepper

2. Fugakyu; Spicy Snow Crab Maki - snow crab (real crab), tobiko, cucumber, spicy mayo, and scallion...but what really made it amazing was also that I asked for shrimp and octopus inside as well

3. Pops Restaurant; Goat cheese, sage, and onion jam omelet

4. Deep Ellum; Deep Ellum Breakfast Burrito (sans tortilla) - 2 scrambled eggs, pepper jack cheese, green onions, tomatoes, hot sauce and house made sausage

5. Chipotle; Crispy Chicken and Crispy Vegetarian Tacos - cilantro rice, sour cream, cheese, black beans, pico de gallo...and either chicken or not
In the South End, Pops Restaurant has made some major changes to its menu and interior. How do I know? Well, because I work there. Before the recent reopening with the new bar, the staff sat down together to talk about the new menu items and ingredients.

We literally went through every single item, and I asked Chef about anything that sounded suspicious. As a result, we now keep a handy dandy list of everything that can be prepared for a Celiac. A lot of our items have a lot of hidden ingredients that aren't listed on the menu, so if you are gluten intolerant, PLEASE be sure to tell your server...it's a small restaurant and kitchen, so if you don't make this clear then you will definitely be contaminated.

I'm happy to report that Pops is even more committed to allergies than before.

Need a quick small bite? Try the Carnitas "nachos" made with corn masa and sriracha sour cream.

Want something heartier? Go for the duck confit (the best I have EVER had) and sub the mashed potatoes for the gnocchi.

Location: 560 Tremont Street, Boston, MA
Website: http://www.popsrestaurant.net/
I've been cooking a lot of casseroles lately as a way to save money and make what I buy stretch for multiple meals. I keep my grocery budget between $100 and $120 and I only buy groceries every other week, so it's important that whatever I buy lasts!

I found this amazing recipe on Glutenfreeda.com that I'm literally obsessed with, so if you're looking for a cheap and easy meal...here it is:

Turkey & Asparagus Casserole
(I used chicken instead of turkey)

Ingredients
12 oz. gf pasta
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons gf flour
1 cup milk
1 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 cups cooked turkey, shredded (or chicken!)
6 oz. fresh mozzarella, diced

Instructions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook until just tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon remove the asparagus and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente; drain.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallots; sauté for 1 minute. Add the bell peppers; sauté for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms; sauté for 2 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Remove from heat and set aside.


Preheat the oven to 375°.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the gf flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly and cook until thickened. Add the parmesan cheese and stir until blended. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the vegetables, white sauce and turkey. If necessary adjust seasonings to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Transfer the mixture to a greased 13x9 inch baking pan and top with fresh mozzarella. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned on top and the casserole is bubbling. Serve.

Oh man, Against the Grain Gourmet certainly knows what they're doing. Their rolls and baguettes are the closest to normal that I've ever experienced.

The rolls are flaky and buttery, and have been great for the cheesesteaks I've been making. I've also used the baguettes to make cheesesteaks, but I'm really just too lazy to cut the bread that frequently.

Either way, I highly recommend Against the Grain, and am on the lookout for their bagels! I've only been able to find the rolls and baguettes at the Whole Foods on River Street in Cambridge, MA. But if anyone has spotted them anywhere else, let me know!

Price: ~$5 - $6
Website: http://www.againstthegraingourmet.com/products.html