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.

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!

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.

MaziasPizza3When I was first diagnosed with gluten sensitivity, I mourned all the things I could never have. Take out pizza was on the list. Soon research revealed there is a growing list of places in WNY where you can get GF pizza. I’m still looking for one that holds a candle to regular gluten pizza however.

Gianni Mazia’s is the closest pizza place to my house, so it’s the obvious place to order from. We’ve tried the regular (red sauce) GF pizza and recently we decided to try a white GF pizza.

There were some glitches. We were told white pizza comes with an oil and garlic sauce, tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms (and cheese). We said no onions and added chicken, spinach and broccoli. Our pizza arrived without tomato or mushroom.

Mazia’s GF pizza comes on an aluminum sheet and only comes in medium. Their GF pizza is the same crust as I’ve gotten at other local places (like Rocco’s on Transit): same aluminum pan, same crust. I’m willing to bet they’re all buying the crust from the same supplier. It’s thin, cardboard-like and lacks any flavor or decent texture. We only order it when completely desperate at this point since it always disappoints us.

Mazia’s digital sign had been advertising GF ravioli. We tried to order that and were told they don’t have it anymore.

The quest for really good local GF pizza continues.

Caesar

Caesar

Savor is the fine dining restaurant at the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. It’s a restaurant school, which means all of the staff are students. We’ve been to several other restaurant schools (notably in Philadelphia and San Francisco) and I always love the atmosphere – people who are passionate about food, trying to learn as much as

Risotto

Risotto

they can, and do as good a job as possible. There are often mistakes, but somehow everyone is very earnest which makes up for it.

We headed up to the Falls on a Saturday night after making a reservation and mentioning two people in our party were gluten-free. We were told it would not be a problem at all. We easily found free parking on the street, although there is a ramp in the building (this is in the old Rainbow

Carpaccio

Carpaccio

Mall building). The lobby is beautiful with a very modern fountain. There is a Barnes and Noble store that also sells culinary items. It was closed when we got there and appeared quite small. The restaurant was comfortable and attractive and you can see the kitchen from just about every table. All the staff was unfailingly polite and attentive during our meal.

After we were seated we asked our server what the gluten free choices were. She scurried back to talk to the chef. The information she returned with was not very complete. She basically said we could have the Caesar salad without croutons and that the fish dishes were gluten free. She did not address what other items on the menu could

Salmon

Salmon

be presented gluten-free by removing sauces or making adjustments (and since we called ahead with our needs we expected some effort to be made).  You can see the menu here – there is also a lunch menu (which is filled with gluten, other than the salads, unfortunately).  We were presented with a specials menu but it had only one item and one cocktail on it (an appletini which my of newly drinking age daughter enjoyed).

We began with an amuse-bouche of saffron risotto. It was a nice little bite. The server did not specifically tell us it was GF, which would have been nice.

The dinner menu has 3 salads – Caesar, farro, and arugula. Three of us got the Caesar. My son is not

Beef tournedos

Beef tournedos

GF and his came with one large crouton on top. The salads were a bit heavily dressed for my taste, but had a very nice tang. There were two anchovy fillets on top. Overall, they were quite good. My daughter who is not GF began with the beef carpaccio. This dish could easily be GF if ordered without the toast. It came with citrus segments which added a nice flavor. She felt the beef was not presented rare enough and was in fact slightly brown. It was thinly sliced and flavorful, however.

Chocolate cake

Chocolate cake

There is a nice selection of entrees, however all of the pizza (in their wonderful pizza oven) and pastas are off-limits for those who are GF. I wish they could offer a GF pizza from that oven!

My daughter and I both ordered the salmon which was served on a banana leaf and jasmine rice and accompanied with a coconut broth you could pour over it, macadamia nuts, and an interesting little yolk-like sac of pineapple juice you pierced and also poured over the dish. The salmon and rice were prepared perfectly. The coconut broth and pineapple juice could barely be tasted, so those flavors need to be much stronger for the dish to be successful. It was a bit bland, but when you could taste those flavors, it was a lovely combo. I loved the macadamia nuts!

My husband ordered the tournedos of beef. We were told the sauce (cognac demi-glace) was not GF but the dish could be offered “plain.” He asked if the chef could substitute something GF instead of the sauce (often a flavored butter is an easy switch a chef can manage). That didn’t happen however. The tournedos were crusted with pepper, which was done in a heavy-handed manner. Perhaps if it was balanced out with a sauce, it would have been good. He also did not care for the whipped potatoes which had a heavy dose of mustard in them.

Our non-GF son had the gnocchi which he enjoyed.

Dessert was a short menu with a bananas Foster and a gluten-free flourless chocolate cake. The menu specifically identified it as GF. Why can’t they do this on the dinner menu also? Everyone at the table got the cake which was mostly a mousse with a thin sheet of solid chocolate on top, a mint cream and some mint ice cream with chocolately crackles. It was delicious. There was just enough mint to balance the richness of the chocolate. It was a nice ending to a fairly nice meal.

Our bill came to $172 for 4 apps, 4 entrees, 3 desserts, and one cocktail.  Not a cheap night out and for that price I would have expected to love the food. But, it was fun and they did understand our dietary needs. If you like fish, give it a try!

 

 

 

TedsDogs2Ted’s Red Hots has been an institution in these parts for many years. Since I went gluten-free, I’ve been to Ted’s but with a gluten-free bun in my purse! We just stopped in for a quick dinner recently and were thrilled to see the sign that they now have gluten-free buns! They are 50 cents each and are kept sealed in individual plastic bags. They are warmed before serving. They do not place them on the grill, and they are held with a napkin under them. While I am so sensitive to gluten that cross-contamination bothers me, I know others are, so I watched closely. If you are concerned, I would ask the server to change gloves before filling your order. Get your own ketchup out of the dispenser. The other condiments are used with a spoon the may sometimes touch buns, so you might want to avoid those if you are concerned.TedsGlutenFree

Ted’s fries their onion rings and French fries in the same oil.