BBQ beef

BBQ beef

If you’re from Buffalo, you know Anderson’s is a hometown favorite. Beef on weck is the item of choice here. But if you’re gluten-free or celiac you might feel deprived. Now you can have your roast beef! No kimmelwecks here, but Anderson’s now has gluten-free rolls and on a recent visit we weren’t disappointed. The rolls were of good quality and the sandwiches served hot with plenty of beef. The husband had bar-b-que beef which he liked. We also had curly-q fries (they have onion rings here so there is likely cross-contamination- ask if

Roast beef with cheese

Roast beef with cheese

it is a concern for you!). I would not recommend the sweet potato fries since they have a batter on them. Not a gourmet meal, but definitely a long-missed favorite. And while you’re there, you’ve got to get some ice cream!

GF ebookTraveling when you are gluten-free can be challenging. Figuring where to eat, what you can eat (if you’re in another country), and how to find food on the go is tough. I’ve been traveling gluten free in the US and abroad for several years and I’ve taken everything I’ve learned and put it together in a great new ebook called The Gluten Free Guide to Travel. In it I cover:

  • How to find hotels that are gluten free friendly
  • Airline food
  • Communicating in another country
  • Researching restaurants
  • Finding gluten free local specialties
  • Gluten free tours and cruises
  • What food to pack
  • Where to buy GF food while on the go
  • How to get help finding places you can eat

This nicely priced ebook is being offered at an introductory price, so don’t miss out!

Texas de Brazil 9-6-2014 7-51-26 PMThis is a national chain and we actually visited a location in Miami several years ago, before we were gluten-free. We’ve also been to many other Brazilian barbecues across the world because they are

Buffet

Buffet

a place where our kids were always happy. Now that we’re gluten-free, this style of restaurant suits us perfectly because of the many options and the fact that all of the meats are prepared without gluten. If you’ve never been to a churrascaria, there are three components. First there is a huge salad bar that includes hot and cold dishes – it is more of a buffet than a salad bar. Next, gauchos come around carrying hot meat on skewers and they slice pieces off for you at your table. They have several cuts of pork, lamb, beef, chicken and usually sausage. Many also have roasted pineapple they slice for you as well, but this location did not. Thirdly, the server brings Brazilian cheese puffs, potatoes, and plantain to the table to share. Some restaurants also offer special sauces for the meats on the table but this one did not.

We asked our server what items at the buffet were safe for us and she had the chef meet us there. He walked us through and pointed out every item to avoid, and we truly appreciated this personalized service. We could eat almost everything and heaped our plates with salad, green bean salad, cheeses, hot salmon, hot potatoes, cold potato salad, pineapple carpaccio, asparagus, pickles, and much more. It was a good-sized buffet with numerous options, although the other restaurants we have visited have often had a bigger selection. Everything on the buffet was excellent so we were quite pleased with it. Our son gobbled up items we could not eat, such as lobster bisque, lots of bread, and some couscous. The cheese puffs that came to the table are gluten-free (and this has been true in every churrascaria we have visited) and they are amazing. Once we made a dent in our salads, we flipped the little

Some of the meats we enjoyed

Some of the meats we enjoyed

coasters next to us over. One side is red and one is green. When it is flipped to green the gauchos begin to come with the meat (and if you want a break or are just done, flip it back to red and they stop). The meat is on big skewers and the gauchos carry knives. They slice the meat directly onto your plate. There was quite a wonderful assortment: filet, filet wrapped in bacon, Parmesan crusted pork, bacon wrapped chicken, Parmesan crusted chicken, lamb chops, leg of lamb, flank steak, sirloin, sausage and more.  My modus operandi is to take one piece of everything and if I don’t care for it, push it to the side. My favorite was the filet, but other items were good as well. The mashed potatoes and plantains (cooked in cinnamon)

One of our plates from the buffet

One of our plates from the buffet

that came to the table were wonderful and also gluten-free.

We sampled a papaya cream for dessert which was a light very whipped milkshake. I felt it didn’t have much flavor so I wasn’t a fan.

Sides

Sides

Cheese puffs

Cheese puffs

Be forewarned that this is not a cheap meal. It cost us $200 for three people, but if you have a meat lover in your family, you will get your money’s worth. Kids think it is incredible. It’s a fun and different kind of outing and in addition to the food being good, one of the benefits is that meat is HOT and freshly carved when it hits your plate and this makes it taste so much better. If you have vegetarians in your group, you can buy just the buffet portion of the meal for them.

Papaya cream

Papaya cream

This location is a bit small and the tables are close together. It’s also quite loud, but we had an enjoyable evening and left very well-fed! It’s not often you can go to a restaurant and eat almost everything they have.

Chicken souvlaki

Chicken souvlaki

Although Milos has been in Williamsville for a couple of years, we just got around to trying it. We were hopeful that it would be an easy GF experience, since the menu sported gluten free pasta. We thought maybe would be able to eat something other than souvlaki and salad. The husband ordered the gluten free pasta with Greek sausage (loukaniko) and red sauce. This was a nice dish, and the server verified the sausage was GF. The sauce was on the sweet side (which we like) and the sausage had lots of

Pasta with sausage

Pasta with sausage

flavor. This was a definite thumbs up.

I did not make out quite so well. First I asked about the Greek stuffed chicken breast, which is stuffed with rice, feta, spinach tomato and other GF ingredients. The server said it was GF, so I ordered that with a side of fries and the house salad. The server soon returned to say the sauce on the chicken was not GF. It seems maybe the chicken was already made and kept in the sauce since it was not available GF. So I went with chicken souvlaki with no pita (which is what I ALWAYS get at Greek restaurants, so definitely not exciting). There was a lot of confusion with the server over which one I wanted – the open face or the entree. I wanted the entree but then she went on about the size of the salad being small on that (she was confused). Finally we straightened it out and she put in an order for the entree. The souvlaki came and it really was a beautiful plate. The salad was fresh and colorful – no white lettuce or unripe tomatoes. The chicken was cooked nicely. However the side of fries arrived and they were battered. I don’t know how the waitress and the kitchen overlooked this. She assured me she had written gluten free on our order. While I can eat fries cooked in the same oil as other items, battered fries are loaded with gluten. I sent them back and ended up with a baked potato which was not what I wanted.

On the way our, the hostess asked how our meal was and my husband explained about the French fry mix up. She asked if the sweet potato fries were also battered. We had to tell her we had no idea, because they weren’t even mentioned as an alternative when we sent the battered fries back.

We enjoyed our food, but probably won’t be quick to go back after the confusion.

SeaBarWe ended up at Seabar on a Friday night without reservations and snagged a table. They do not have a separate GF menu, but our server was very knowledgeable about what gluten-

Scallops

Scallops

free options we could have. The good news is all the sushi is or can be made GF.  Our server brought us the curried popcorn, but we had to ask for it (normally it is just brought to the table). We enjoyed a crab and mango roll. They have GF soy sauce, but you have to ask for it.  We also had edamame as a starter. For our entrees, I had the scallops with risotto. The dish is supposed to come with chorizo but since they don’t make it themselves, they remove it for GF diners since they are unsure (which I really appreciated). My scallops were huge and the risotto was creamy and flavorful with sweet peppers and a corn puree. It was rich

Short ribs

Short ribs

and comforting. The husband ordered the short ribs, with onions, potatoes and gremolata, which I found a little chewy but he enjoyed. These are not your traditional falling off the bone short ribs. The meat is presented without bone and is sliced like steak and served medium rare. The gluten eaters at our table enjoyed an udon noodle bowl and chirashi-zushi. The only gluten-free dessert is a granita, so we passed. It’s nice to eat someplace where the highlight of the menu (sushi) is safe. We will definitely be back.

3-Dick and Jennys GI 7-26-2014 7-04-54 PM.com_2F4DJeDhP1BUinYsCCyWnuUj9cbkicjY3QrKsdTbBvnKdb_3Ds0-dWe had a wonderful gluten free dinner at Dick and Jenny’s on Grand Island, NY recently. They have a separate menu with lots of options, so we were excited to give them a try. The restaurant is a little small inside with some odd configurations (a curtain separates the dining room from the kitchen and a piano sits in the middle of the room). The walls are2-Dick and Jennys GI 7-26-2014 6-14-38 PM.com_2FLt_dbt2swHpeMQgNq5nG_paQvCZ-vhKsLeb7waClLhmh_3Ds0-d decorated with plates that were painted or drawn on by customers which is a cute idea. Our server was pleasant and very helpful when it came to gluten free options. When we ordered, he asked if we would like some fresh fruit instead of bread to

Oysters

Oysters

start. This was a very nice touch that was much appreciated.

I started with a portobello mushroom with fontina cheese and balsamic

Shrimp and scallops

Shrimp and scallops

glaze. It was nicely done. The husband had

Pasta

Pasta

smokey char-6-Dick and Jennys GI 7-26-2014 6-26-50 PM.com_2F2q3bD40iQE0DVVXIjoe3sfEYoANJx6NMRZ_CX2Jx-6_m_3Ds0-dgrilled oysters which were a bit like clams casino and he definitely approved. For my main course I had the shrimp and scallops with sweet potato grits and spinach. It was perfectly done and a wonderful mix of flavors. The husband had the black and blue pasta which included tri-tip and brisket in a cream sauce with Gorgonzola and bacon with rice noodles. It was a big, flavorful wow, other than one bite I had that was gristly.

It was a nearly perfect meal, but then we looked at the desserts and were disappointed as always. Our choices? Creme brulee and ice cream. Which is what I would have predicted. I wish someone would offer something else just once in a while! So we passed on the desserts and went home happy anyhow.

Other than that gripe, this is our new favorite place for GF food in Western NY!

lib hound musselOn a recent rainy Saturday we decided to check out the Liberty Hound, a relatively new addition to the growing Canalside neighborhood. The restaurant shares a building with the naval museum, so it’s a little confusing to find the entrance. The restaurant was smaller than we expected, with maybe 12 tables inside. There is also an outdoor patio which was not usable on the cold and rainy evening we visited. The restaurant has a quaint and cozy feel and there is some view of the canal as well as big ships. The menu is on the small side, with an emphasis on seafood. There are nightly specials as well. They do not have a separate gluten free menu but our waitress assured us almost everything could be made GF and she also told us that “the guys in the kitchen are totally on top of gluten-free.”

We started with the Liberty Mussels. They are cooked in a broth that uses beer, but the waitress said they would be made with gluten-free beer for us. They arrived and smelled wonderful. The menu said they were made with bacon and there was plenty of it. We did not see any of the sweet onions or bleu cheese the menu said was included in the dish. It could be that the bleu cheese was left out since some people believe it contains trace amounts of gluten. The mussels were fresh and tasty and we loved the hunks of bacon lib hound burger2that joined them.

For our main course, the husband ordered the Bistro Burger without a bun. The menu promised brie, caramelized onions and dijonnaise. The only item that appeared was the brie. This was a little disappointing, but we got over it since the sirloin burger was truly magnificent. It had a crunchy outer and a tender, flavorful center. It came with fries which we enjoyed.

I ordered the Lobster Cobb Salad which was beautiful. There was plenty of lobster, a sliced hard-boiled egg, cucumber, onion, bacon and avocado on a bed of different lettuces. It was served with a too small little dish of creamy tarragon dressing. The salad definitely needed more dressing. Everything in the salad was fresh and wonderful though.

We loved our food, despite the missing elements. Now for the bad news. I am afraid I may have been glutened. I’m not sure how though. The husband had no effects at all, so if it had been the mussels (real beer instead of GF maybe?) he would have felt it too.We both ate the fries.  The only item I can imagine is the salad dressing, since he had just one bite of salad. I did not ask if it was made in-house and assumed it was. I also assumed that it was GF since we had been very clear about our needs. I have some questions about the chef’s knowledge lib hound saladof gluten because the waitress told us we could order a salmon and couscous dish on the menu since the chef told her there was no gluten in the couscous. Couscous is always made from wheat. I don’t know if that was her misunderstanding or there is a lack of knowledge in the kitchen.

I would go back and give this another shot since the food was just so good and we enjoyed seeing a part of the city we don’t usually visit.

Edamame

Edamame

I’m generally suspicious of Asian restaurants when it comes to gluten. There are so many landmines to navigate. Do you have gluten-free soy sauce? Does your sushi rice have

Seafood Soba

Seafood Soba

gluten? And there is the issue as to whether they use any bottled sauces (like teriyaki or oyster sauce) which also could have gluten or if regular soy sauce is used when cooking a dish. Then sometimes there is a language barrier that can make it harder to be clear. I usually stick with PF Chang’s, a national chain, and our local Wok and Roll, which both have designated GF menus.  Recently we decided to expand our horizons, so we called Fuji Grill on Maple Road in Williamsville to ask if their sushi is gluten free and if they have gluten free soy sauce. The answer was yes to both, and they promised that almost everything could be made gluten free.

The menu is a nice mix of sushi, soups, salads, entrees, noodles, and fried rice. We started with edamame which was fresh

Dream Roll

Dream Roll

and

Queen roll

Queen roll

delicious. We all shared a sobu noodle stir fry with seafood. I quizzed the waitress to be certain the noodles were 100% buckwheat. It only occurred to me after we had left the restaurant that one ingredient in the stir fry appeared to be imitation crab, which can contain gluten. No one pointed this out, and honestly I don’t know why anyone uses imitation crab anymore so I didn’t expect it. If it did contain gluten, it did not make us sick, so my guess is it did not have gluten. I will need to try to anticipate imitation crab being used in seafood dishes in the future.

Mochi

Mochi

We then ordered three types of sushi: angry birds (which our daughter got  – it was not GF), queen roll and dream roll (which included spicy crab). All were good, however the queen roll (smoked salmon and avocado) had no rice: it was wrapped in cucumber, which was not made clear on the menu. The fish was fresh and we were brought a bottle of GF soy sauce to use.

For dessert we had mochi – little balls of flavored ice cream covered in a chewy coating made of rice, in vanilla, green tea, strawberry and mango flavors. They were little bursts of creamy flavor and very good, but a tad difficult to eat.

We would go back to the Fuji Grill without hesitation.

Quinoa cakes

Quinoa cakes

I’ve been trying to eat at Betty’s for years. They take reservations for dinner, but not for brunch. We never seem to be able to remember that and when we have called for reservations in the past, they’ve never had availability. We’ve tried to walk in twice in the past two years and were never able to get a table. Finally the stars aligned and we arrived at 5:15 on a Saturday without a reservation and they had just one table available. It was a small one by the bar but it ended up being perfect – quiet, comfortable and by the window and with a heater next to our feet.

Bread

Bread

Just what the doctor ordered on a cold night.

Betty’s has some items marked gluten free on the menu but the specials list was unmarked. We inquired and our server had to go ask and return with what was GF. We started with Betty’s amazing homemade sweetened iced tea which is the best we’ve ever had- fruity, not too sweet, and full of flavor. We shared a special – smoky quinoa cakes with arugula and beet sauce. They were excellent – slightly crisp and indeed a bit smoky, nicely complemented by the arugula and beet sauce.

Sole

Sole

Betty’s offers GF bread service for an additional $1.75 so we went for it and totally enjoyed the warm, small loaf of bread with herbed oil to dip in. We would have eaten more had the food not been so good!

Our entrees came with soup or salad and we chose Caesar, no croutons. It was nicely done.

My entree was sole stuffed with saffron risotto and served with a cream sauce and asparagus. 4 filets of sole came with a moist rice stuffing. The

Short ribs

Short ribs

sauce was heavenly. A wonderful dish. The husband ordered short ribs braised in red wine and served with winter greens – in this case, collard greens- and mashed celeriac and potato (I didn’t taste any celeriac in this though even though that is what the menu said). The meat was falling off the bone and the greens were perfectly cooked. The only thing wanting was perhaps some sauce – there was virtually none.

We were THRILLED to be offered something other than ice cream and flourless chocolate cake so we pounced on a tart made with a peanut butter cookie crust filled with chocolate and studded with peanut butter cups and served with chocolate whipped cream. To. Die. For.

Pie

Pie

We would go back in a heartbeat. Next time I’d love to go for brunch. I expect that their menu changes with the seasons so we will definitely be back in the spring. This was possibly the best gluten free dinner we’ve had in Buffalo. Highly recommended.

Salad

Salad

Afternoon tea is one of my most favorite things in the whole world. However, just about every item included is a hotbed of gluten. I thought I would never have another one that I didn’t make myself. Until now! The White Linen Tea House in Wheatfield, NY serves a gluten free afternoon tea. Not only do they serve one, but it was spectacular.

We made reservations, although there were some free tables, so it might not be 100% necessary. The tea house is situated next to a huge antique barn and another shop, so you can not only have tea, but you can shop. The tea house itself sells a few gift items as well.

I went with a friend on a recent Saturday. They open at 11 and we arrived at 11:30. The tea house is a

Three Tiered Afternoon Tea

Three Tiered Afternoon Tea

former farmhouse with several small rooms with tables. The decor is beautiful. The room we were in had a mantel that was decorated, a bench made out of an old iron bed head board, a wall of antique portraits, and a glass case filled with antique porcelain hands. Elegant, fun, and girly.

I ordered the gluten free tea for $29.99 which includes a salad, 4 crustless sandwiches, 2 scones with clotted cream and 4 little desserts as well as a pot of tea of your choice (and there are pages and pages of choices). My friend had the regular tea for $25.99 which came with the regular versions of everything I had. Her scones were a tad bigger, as were her desserts, but I have no complaints. Our server was kind enough to point out to me the description on the menu of exactly what would be included in my tea and told me to let her know if there were any other food items in it that I could not eat. She also asked me if I was celiac or intolerant, so it is clear there is a lot of thought and care put into this.

The tables have timers on them so you know when your tea is properly steeped. We were served with a rose patterned china. Our pots of tea came first and we enjoyed sipping our tea. Next up was salad. Mine was a lovely mixed green salad with sliced strawberries and dried cranberries and fruity vinaigrette.

I nearly fell off my chair when my three-tiered main course arrived. I started with the crust-less sandwiches. The gluten-free bread was excellent – not any store bought brand I know. It was fluffy and appeared homemade. My sandwiches were egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad and cucumber-dill with cream cheese. The sandwiches were all fresh and delicious. The egg salad had pickles in it which I loved. The tray also contained some small pieces of melon, pineapple, and grapes for color, but I ate those as well.

Next I enjoyed my scones. One was cinnamon and I think the other was cranberry. Both were flaky and tender and the clotted cream was fabulous. My desserts included a lemon bar, cheesecake bar, chocolate chip cookie and chocolate mousse bar. I ended up taking home about half of what was on my tiered platter and it was my lunch the next day, so that makes the price much more palatable.

Our server was friendly and attentive and also did not hurry us when it was clear were intended to take our time nibbling and chatting. It was very relaxed and comfortable.

This was the PERFECT gluten-free outing and made me feel wonderful – cared for, well-fed, and understood. I had no gluten fear. I highly recommend this. I am going to make this a regular yearly event with my friend, who also enjoyed her regular version of the afternoon tea.