Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder

I have been wanting to eat at A Better Way in Lockport for quite a while and we finally got there on a Friday evening for dinner. They are open until 7 on Fridays, but close at 6 Tuesday through Thursday, which makes it hard to go for dinner (they close at 3 on Saturday). They serve lunch daily though. Here’s the big headline for this place: EVERYTHING they sell is gluten free.

We started with the clam chowder. They make lots of soup here, and they sell it by the quart to take home. Our clam chowder was excellent. It was thick and flavorful with pieces of clam, carrot, and potatoes. It came with a piece of herb bread that was very good. For our entrees we both had to have the battered fish fry (only available on Friday). It has been years and years since I have had a

Perfect fish fry

Perfect fish fry

fish fry in a restaurant, although I do make my own at home successfully. This was exactly like a regular fish fry. A big piece of battered haddock took center stage. Thin and crisp fries came in a nice mound and there was also cole slaw on the plate, in addition to tartar sauce. The dinners both came with a roll, which we took home and ate for dinner the next night (heated up). I was thrilled with everything on my plate. The fish was perfectly done and was crispy and not too greasy. The fries were also crispy. The cole slaw was creamy but not too sweet. The tartar sauce was thick and perfect. When we ate the rolls the next night we were pleased with those as well. I highly recommend this fish fry. If you have sorely missed Friday fish fries, this will feed your craving.

There are lots of sandwiches on the menu, as well as eggs, salad, paninis, pancakes, and French toast. We will definitely be back for another meal – maybe lunch? Maybe breakfast? Maybe both?

ABetterWay 9-11-2015 6-51-17 PMWe also dropped some cash at the baked goods counter.  We bought French bread and multigrain sandwich bread which I have not sampled yet. We bought a lot of cake bites (small round cake balls covered in a frosting). These were good, but they were infinitely better after we refrigerated them. The dough can be a bit dry when warm somehow. Once they were cold they were fudgy and good (we tried chocolate orange, cookies and cream, caramel sea salt, and more). We rapidly ate the peanut blossom cookies which were wonderful, but also better cold. We brought home several kinds of muffins (carrot, pumpkin and apple) and the ones we have eaten were very good – moist and nicely made). We bought one nut bar which was kind of soggy and none too good.

Overall we were very, very impressed with this restaurant and bakery. We will definitely be back and we recommend it highly.

Ember_Pizza2South of Rochester, NY, just east of Conesus Lake (and west of Canandaigua) lies the tiny village of Livonia. There’s not much happening in Livonia, other than 2 restaurants, an ice cream shop and a small grocery store. Most of the clientele are locals, but in the summer the area burgeons as people flock to their cottages on Conesus Lake. There’s not a lot of dining choices in this neck of the woods, but Embers has made a big name for itself in the year or so it has been open.

Fries

Fries

The biggest caveat about Embers is that they do not bring your food together. They bring whatever is ready first. So one person could get an entree and eat halfway through it before the other person’s entree might arrive. They are adamant that they do this so that food is served hot and fresh and they won’t do it any other way.

We were pleased to discover they have a gluten-free options (marked by a “G” after the item on the menu) and even more excited to find out they have gluten-free pizza.

The gluten-free items at our table were: French fries, Pizza Margherita, Asian Sesame Beef, and

Chicken kabob

Chicken kabob

Free Range Chicken Kabobs.

Let’s get to the knife in my heart first. The pizza crust is not made on site, so guess what? It’s the same piece of round cardboard you get everywhere else. The pizza had a few glops of tomato, a few pieces of basil and a couple puddles of mozzarella. It was nothing worth eating, unfortunately. (And I recently made a GOOD GF pizza at home myself so I KNOW it is possible).

The fries were not great – kind of dry and hard. Note that the fries are designated GF on the menu, but the restaurant does fry other items in oil. I did not ask if they use separate oil for the fries since this is not an issue for me. If you go, ask to be sure.

The Asian Sesame Beef could have been good but was a big bland. It needed more rice and it would have been nice to have more than a tiny few bites of rapini – it needed more vegetables. Overall though, it was good. The chicken kabobs were the hands down winner. We loved that there peaches and nectarines on the skewers with the chicken and onion. The quinoa underneath it was moist and flavorful, with nice veggie mixed in, as well as some honeyed cashews, but note it is a cold salad.  Despite this weird juxtaposition,

Sesame beef

Sesame beef

I loved this and it was the winner.

We didn’t have dessert – creme brulee was the only contender possible. Instead we walked around the corner and had ice cream. You’ll want to do the same!

CarrotCake_Easter-3-31-2013-7-43-07-PM-edited-300x225My all-time favorite carrot cake is Gigi’s Carrot Cake, from Emeril.  This is a to die for carrot cake! It’s dense and moist and also just really pretty.

I used Cup4Cup gluten free flour in place of regular flour and it was not noticeable in any way. The recipe says to make 3 layers – I have always made this cake with 2 layers (who has 3 identical cake pans?). If you make this, there is just barely enough frosting, so you might consider making a bit more  (I would make 1 1/2 times this recipe so you don’t feel like you have to skimp. The recipe says to add chopped pecans to the frosting, but I prefer to just sprinkle some on top.CarrotCakeSlice2-3-31-2013-7-45-42-PMedited-300x225