Reviews Written by GFFoodCritic:  



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Farallon
450 Post Street
San Francisco, CA 94102


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Seafood restaurant with lots of gluten-free options in San Francisco

Reviewer: GFFoodCritic from The Washington, DC metro area
Reviewed on May 31, 2011

Farallon restaurant in Union Square, San Francisco is a beautiful destination. The question is, would I have a gluten free and dairy free meal that would leave me wanting more. Well the answer is yes, I would definitely go back. I actually enjoyed it so much, I purchased their cookbook. Farallon is designed to look like an underwater fantasy complete with jelly fish swimming from the ceiling. It really is beautiful. The menu consists mostly of coastal cuisine, which I love, with two meat entrees. If you are a vegetarian there were quite a few appetizers that would work and they are happy to make an entree for you. According to their menu, Farallon supports organic farming, responsible animal husbandry and sustainable fishing practices. This was my first night in San Francisco. I traveled there for the BlogHer Food Conference. A fellow gluten-free blogger and I had plans that evening to eat at The Cliff House but our hotel doorman suggested we would enjoy Farallon a great deal more on this foggy evening, and it was very close to the hotel where we were staying. He told us this as we were getting into the taxi. So we made a quick decision to take his advice and off we went. As soon as I was in the car, I jumped on my iPhone to Open Table and canceled our reservation at The Cliff House and made one at Farallon. We would arrive a little early, 40 minutes, but hopefully the reservation went through in the 5 minute taxi ride. When we arrived I gave my name and said we were early but could they seat us and they were happy to. I love technology. Our meal started off with a tomato gazpacho as our amuse bouche. It was served in a small demitasse cup and it was delicious. I was so hungry I didn’t even stop to take a picture. Evidently my friend and I like a lot of the same things because we ordered the same meal. We started with Half a Dungeness Crab. It usually is served a dipping sauce that contained gluten so they made a special sauce just for us. It was delicious. They served the crab on crushed ice with an aioli. It was a great start to our meal. Our entree was a beautiful piece of wild salmon topped with bacon and frisee on top of green beans, and served with roasted heirloom tomatoes with garlic and a pesto sauce. The salmon was cooked exactly the way I like and the tomatoes melted in your mouth. Allen, our server, did a great job of suggesting wines to go with each course. I considered my second glass of wine my dessert but my friend held to one glass of wine and indulged on a sundae that looked great. Sometimes I do miss dairy. So thanks to quick thinking on our doorman’s part and technology, we were able to dine at Farallon. I am so glad we did and would definitely Go Back! Originally published by Diane Elbin (a.k.a. The GF Food Critic) on The W.H.O.L.E. Gang website (http://www.thewholegang.org) and submitted to GlutenFreeTravelSite with permission.

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Tropisueno
75 Yerba Buena Lane
San Francisco, CA 94103


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Traditional Mexican restaurant in San Francisco: a great gluten free find!

Reviewer: GFFoodCritic from The Washington, DC metro area
Reviewed on May 31, 2011

Tropisueo is a taqueria by day and a full service restaurant at night that serves traditional Mexican food. My quest as always, to have a gluten free and dairy free meal that tastes good and causes me no problems. I love Mexican food, especially when it’s all prepared from scratch and they can tell you every ingredient and the process they used to make it. With Tropisueo I hit the Jackpot! While out touring the area around our hotel in San Francisco, my friend and I walked by here and stopped in to see what was on their lunch menu. It was lunch and the taqueira was in full swing. It looked good so we thought we would return for a meal. As luck would have it three wonderful bloggers were hosting a BlogHer Food Conference After Party there. It was an amazing party. Tropisueo did not stop the entire time we were there, with passing plates of mini portions of their food. With every plate that came out we could ask our server if it contained gluten or dairy and if they didn’t know for sure, they went and immediately found out. At one point they were serving chicken mole on flat bread. The chicken mole would have been fine, but of course not the flat bread. They went back into the kitchen and made a plate of chicken mole on tortilla chips just for us. The service and the food during the party was so top notch that some friends and I and I decided to go back for dinner our last night in San Francisco. Our server Felica really knew her menu and ingredients. If she was unsure of anything she double- checked with the kitchen. You could tell she knew what gluten free really meant. You can always tell by what a server says to you and the questions they ask. When servers can talk the gluten free language, ask questions and talk with the kitchen, it makes me feel more comfortable eating at their restaurant. This comes down to training. Tropisueo obviously does a great job training their staff. This being our last night, I knew I couldn’t have lots of leftovers. I was getting on a plane at noon and wouldn’t have much time to nibble. I however was going to have a big problem. Tropisueo has a great menu. On one side were Mariscos- Seafood and Antojitos – Starters and the other Entradas- Entrees. There wasn’t anything on there I couldn’t eat either as is or with a few modification and the cheese left out. Decisions, decisions. I ordered guacamole first to go along with the chips and salsa being served. *Always check that the chips are not fried in the same oil as flour tortillas. The guacamole was great but I already knew this since I had some at the party. I decided to order Scallops de Hacha a la Plancha. Seared sea scallops on a plaintain-chorizo hash with an avocado-tomatillo salsa. Melt in your mouth deliciousness. The scallops were perfectly cooked and the hash was amazing. For my main course I ordered Albondigas Guisadas. This is a traditional stew with meatballs, potatoes and carrots. This stew was amazing. The meatballs were very tender and flavorful with sausage, rice, cilantro and maybe a little mint. They swam in the most amazing broth that had a deep rich flavor. There were layers and layers of flavor with ingredients that I was trying to pick out. I think I figured out a few but I’m not sure. I wish they would share this recipe with me. I could live on this Albondigas Guisadas. The only problem was I couldn’t finish it all. I was getting full from all of the other delicious food I was eating. So they sent me home with the leftover soup but didn’t put too much of the broth so I could take it to the airport with me. I hated to give up that broth but I did want to eat those leftovers. Better than anything I would get anywhere in the airport. Beto and Noe did a great job of making delicious food that was gluten free and dairy free for me. Chef Antelmo Faria has put together a wonderful menu. There is a lot of variety and the prices are right. But most importantly, the execution of the food and service was top notch. Now there were only two starters and one entree that were vegetarian, but they could adjust a few more of their menu items to accommodate. If I lived in San Francisco, I would be a regular at this restaurant and if I travel back to the city, I will definitely Go Back! Originally published by Diane Elbin (a.k.a. The GF Food Critic) on The W.H.O.L.E. Gang website (http://www.thewholegang.org) and submitted to GlutenFreeTravelSite with permission.

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Poste
555 8th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20004


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
One of best restaurants in Washington DC -- with plenty of gluten-free fare

Reviewer: GFFoodCritic from The Washington, DC metro area
Reviewed on May 31, 2011

I would put this upscale, moderne brasserie in the top 10, maybe top 5 of the restaurants in the city. We had the best meal I have had in years and it was gluten free and dairy free. This meal rivaled my meal at Citronelle in my pre-gluten free days. Chef Robert Weland has created a wonderful menu. He is committed to organic and sustainable food and boy can you taste the difference that makes. He is also committed to your entire experience. The restaurant is located in the Hotel Monaco. You enter the restaurant through a historic carriageway portal. The restaurant is actually located in the original sorting room of the 1841 General Post Office. They have 16 foot cast-iron ceilings and skylights that were restored from the original post office. It’s very beautiful and the virtual tour shows you a glimpse of your surroundings. I apologize for my iphone photos. They do not do this restaurant or the food justice, so please look at their website, or better yet make yourself a reservation. The evening started with our server, Javier, sharing his incredible knowledge on the wines they carried. This extensive knowledge went right down to how the vineyards choose the grapes for one particular bottle of wine. He was not reciting something he just memorized, he was sharing knowledge. We couldn’t make up our minds so he gaves a taste of 3 different wines. We settled on a bottle of Claret. It was nice to have that option to taste before buying the whole bottle. He also guided us through the menu around the gluten free and dairy free options. He not only knew what was on the menu, he knew the ingredients and how it was prepared. I’ve never had a server who was more aware of food and the diners experience before. Poste is doing an amazing job, not of training their staff but educating their staff. They are seen as an extension of the kitchen. Bravo Chef Weland. I started with the Tte De Veau and my husband had the Charcuterie. I can still taste it as I am writing this now. The Tte De Veau had intense flavors. This is a dish that takes four to seven hours to make and contains ingredients that are not easily found. I’m guessing you would be hard pressed to find it anywhere else in the city. The terrine of veal cheeks were served with a sunny side up quail egg, frisee and fresh black truffles. It is usually served with slices of french bread but I of course did not have any bread. Scott’s Charcuterie Board was all house made and included rabbit terrine, fennel salami, bresaola beef, and a coppa with pistachios. He said it was delicious and the rabbit terrine was his favorite. For the main course I had Beef Bourguignon and my husband had Sea Scallops. If you’ve read my recipe blog, The W.H.O.L.E. Gang, you’ll find I like to take traditional recipes and make them gluten and dairy free. I’ve made this dish but in no way shape or form was it anywhere as amazing as what I ate at Poste. I’ll keep working on that. The meat was cooked for 72 hours. The sauce was delicious, the vegetables and lardons tasty and the meat just fell apart. No need for a knife. The beef was ribs and cheek with the roasted fingerling potatoes, carrots and mushrooms. The placement of the food in the bowl was artistic and at the same time very practical. Using organic farm fresh carrots makes for a wonderful flavor. I could have licked the bowl. The Sea Scallops were prepared with a rutabaga puree, smoked cremini mushrooms, cipollini onions, and sage. They left off the crispy pigs tail because of the gluten. Javier at the table said right away that they would leave that off and in it’s place add another Sea Scallop. I love when offering gluten free options they add instead of taking things away. We both finished the meal with Concord Grape Sorbet. It was sweet but not extremely sweet. It was wonderful. The whole experience was wonderful. Javier did a nice job recommending a wine that would go with both of our meals and then corked it for us to bring home. Drinking the rest of the wine was a nice way to remember our meal. I can’t wait to Go Back and try some other items on the menu. I’m sure they will be changing with the seasons and I can’t wait to work my way through all four seasons. Originally published by Diane Elbin (a.k.a. The GF Food Critic) on The W.H.O.L.E. Gang website (http://www.thewholegang.org) and submitted to GlutenFreeTravelSite with permission.

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Oyamel
401 7th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20004


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Unique Mexican restaurant with gluten-free menu in Washington, DC

Reviewer: GFFoodCritic from The Washington DC metro area
Reviewed on May 31, 2011

Oyamel Cocina Mexicana is a Mexican restaurant in Northwest Washington, D.C. When you arrive the first thing you notice are the deep orange walls and the Oaxacan art scattered all around the restaurant. I find it spectacular. It states right up front you’re in for a Mexican treat. Oyamel serves mostly Antojitos or little dishes from the streets. I love going to restaurants that serve little dishes. It gives you an opportunity to try many different dishes and while having more control on how much food you want to eat. Oyamel is owned by Jose Andres’ Thinkfood group of restaurants. Jose Andres creates imaginative menus that use whole ingredients and layers of flavors. This makes it easier to have items cooked both gluten and dairy free. Oyamel has a gluten free menu and a dairy free menu. This means they list all of their dishes that are gluten or dairy free as prepared but on separate menus. I wish they would also create a menu that shows what is both gluten and dairy free. I always print the menu before I go to the restaurant and check things that I am interested in. When they give me both menus I then note on the menu I brought which is gluten free and then which is dairy free. Then I find the items that have both notations and I choose from there. Jose, if you are reading this please make a combo menu, please! But please don’t change up the great job your restaurants do at feeding me wonderful food that is safe for me to eat. The first thing we ordered upon sitting down, was their signature Margarita. I asked for salt and when it arrived I was perplexed. Our waitress Ivana promised there was salt. I took a sip and she was right. The foam on top was salty. These Margaritas were so good I had two. Can’t even remember the last time I thought a Margarita was good enough to have another. Warning, this may give you the nerve to try cactus, beef tongue tacos and grasshopper tacos. Read on to see which ones we tried. We then received a bowl of their smoky chipotle salsa but since they cook their tortilla chips in oil where gluten containing food is cooked, they brought us their fresh made corn tortillas. This would be my second request for the restaurant. Even if they made a batch of chips in the oven for us it would be nice to have the crunch with the salsa. However, the tortillas were delicious. We both started with ceviches: Ceviche De Huachinango-Red snapper with avocado in salsa mexicana of tomato, sweet onion, cilantro and lime juice. Ceviche Verde “El Bajio”-Wahoo with avocado, green olives and jalapeo chilies. Next came an assortment of antojitos, vegetables and tacos. They are served as soon as they were ready from the kitchen. It’s like a party just for you and they bring it right to your table. We ordered the following: Codorniz con sikil p’ak – Grilled quail with a traditional Mayan sauce of toasted pumpkin seeds, cilantro, tomato and habanero chile, and filled with a cactus salad. Tamal Verde- Tamal with green sauce of tomatillo, shredded chicken breast, chili, garlic and cilantro. Mejillones al tequila con chipotle - Steamed mussels with tequila, sauteed garlic and chipotle sauce. Tacos de Cochinita pibil con cebolla en escabeche – Yucatan- style pit-barbecued pork with pickled red onion and Mexican sour orange. Taco de Tinga poblana- Stew of shredded chicken with potatoes, chorizo, and chipotle, topped with white onion. Tacos de Lengua Guisada – Braised beef tongue with radishes and a sauce of roasted pasilla chili, tomatoes, onion and garlic. Nopal asado con Salsa Molcajete – Grilled fresh cactus paddles served with a salsa molcajete of grilled tomatoes, tomatillos, green onions, cilantro and green onions. Arroz de Huitlacoche con queso fresco – Rice sauteed with black Mexican corn truffles, queso fersco cheese and epazote herb oil. My favorite dishes were the ceviches, pork tacos and tamal. The beef tongue taco was very tender and flavorful and I enjoyed that much more than I thought I would. I’ve watched Guy Fieri eat beef tongue on his show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives so often and he always had a strange look on his face but then would say how flavorful and tender it was. So this was Guy’s fault that I tried it. Glad I did. Not sure if I’ll try the grasshopper tacos but you never know. There were still many items on the menu I wanted to try (how often do you get to say that about eating out gluten and dairy free) but I couldn’t eat another bite. We were stuffed. This of course means we will need to go back. Originally published by Diane Elbin (a.k.a. The GF Food Critic) on The W.H.O.L.E. Gang website (http://www.thewholegang.org) and submitted to GlutenFreeTravelSite with permission.

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Jaleo
480 7th Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20004


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Tapas restaurant in Washington, DC with gluten-free choices

Reviewer: GFFoodCritic from Washington, DC metro area
Reviewed on May 31, 2011

Jaleo is a Spanish Tapas Bar and Restaurant. I heard their menu noted gluten free and dairy free choices so I was excited to go. Before we went I downloaded their menu so I could review it and have an idea of what they served. I looked for items that I thought would be gluten free and sounded good to me. When we arrived I asked for the gluten free and dairy free menu. They brought out two menus…one with the gluten free items and the other with the dairy free items. I’m not sure why they couldn’t make these notes on one menu. So I took the menu I had downloaded, printed and brought with me and started making notes. I marked which items were gluten free and which were dairy free. When one had both, I circled it. Now I could see what my choices really were. I picked Shrimp with Garlic, Spanish Omelet with Potatoes and Onions and a Homemade Pork Sausage with sauteed White Beans. When the Shrimp arrived it looked like and smelled like they had used butter. I asked and was assured there was no butter. Well it didn’t have butter but it tasted like it. The combination of oils and brandy made it taste like butter. I could have eaten 4 more plates of that. My husband ordered the Mushrooms with Garlic. They were to die for. I couldn’t get enough and kept stealing his meal. So this restaurant was a big hit and I can’t wait to go back. Their menu has 67 items. It is full of vegetables, seafood, and meats. Some are gluten free, some are dairy free and some are both. There are more Jaleo restaurants in Bethesda and Crystal City. Jaleo is under the direction of Chef Jose Andres and the Jose Andres Think Food Group. They also own Cafe Atlantico, minibar by Jose Andres, Zaytinya, and Oyamel. Originally published by Diane Elbin (a.k.a. The GF Food Critic) on the W.H.O.L.E. Gang website -- and submitted with permission to GlutenFreeTravelSite. http://www.thewholegang.org

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Showing 1 to 5 of 5 reviews
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