Reviews Written by GlutenFreeGal:  



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Inn on Randolph
411 Randolph Street
Napa, CA 94559


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
A Fabulous Gluten Free Inn - Napa

Reviewer: GlutenFreeGal from San Francisco, CA
Reviewed on Nov 20, 2013

I had the pleasure of staying at the Inn on Randolph a few weeks ago, located in beautiful downtown Napa. I'd heard of the Inn earlier in the year while attending a gluten free expo and had been dying to stay and try it out, given that it's so close to home, yet just far enough away to feel like a mini-vacation!

As a guest with celiac disease, I can say that staying at the Inn was an amazing experience and such a relief given that this B&B is entirely gluten free, alleviating any and all concerns of cross contamination from the Inn's beautiful kitchen.

Our guest cottage, the Franklin, was gorgeous with a romantic fireplace, plush linens and super cozy atmosphere. The cottage also has a private patio with a bistro set - the perfect setting for a lazy morning of reading and enjoying an organic cup of tea...along with a delicious gluten free chocolate chip cookie!

Owners Karen and Dan, along with their staff, are extremely accommodating and genuine, making the stay even more special and comfortable. They offered great wine tasting tips and even booked a tasting for us at one of their favorite wineries. I particularly enjoyed spending time in their 100% gluten free kitchen discussing how Karen and her staff ensure that all guests with celiac disease or gluten intolerance are treated to delicious, SAFE, gluten free food choices. One of the other treats I discovered in our room was the organic, gluten free bath products, (other than the body lotion) by EO.

The Inn also offers weekend-long, terrific gluten free cooking and baking classes taught by San Francisco allergy-free baker, Jeffery Larsen. So after the first weekend of staying at the Inn, I was kindly invited back to attend the holiday baking class the following weekend. I attended one full day of baking, but I would strongly recommend signing up for an entire weekend of baking and wonderful camaraderie that forms between all of the guests sharing their stories and bonding over good food and creativity. The next offering is the pasta making class, taking place in January - it's a MUST ATTEND for anyone who is gluten free and wants to learn the art of making pasta at home!!

Be sure to book WAY in advance so you don't miss a chance to stay at this historic, beautiful Inn in the heart of downtown Napa and just a short distance from the famous foodie-haven, the Oxbow Public Market. This great marketplace houses several gluten-free restaurants and a bakery, including C-Casa and Cate & Co. And definitely do yourself a favor by not leaving the Inn until you've had their wonderful gluten free breakfast and bowl of their delicious, house-made granola!

Between the lovely accommodations, the wonderful setting and close proximity to some of the world's best restaurants and wineries, this is a weekend getaway that can't be missed. I know I'll be heading back as soon as I can get a reservation!

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Daphne's
112 Draycott Avenue
London, SW3 3AE
United Kingdom

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Elegant Gluten Free Dining in the Heart of London

Reviewer: GlutenFreeGal from San Mateo, CA
Reviewed on Feb 28, 2013

If you find yourself in London and want to "step up your dining game" a bit, then a night out at Daphne's would definitely be a wonderful -- and might I add -- HIP choice. Located in Brompton Cross between Chelsea and South Kensington, one of the most sophisticated and elegant parts of London, it is an ideal spot for lunch after shopping in nearby Knightsbridge or King's Road. It's also great for a special night out. The Natural Museum, Science Museum, V&A, Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall and Royal Court are also just around the corner.

We had the great fortune of spending New Year's Eve dining at Daphne's, and it was absolutely exciting and wonderful. To start, the atmosphere was terrific that night, and everyone was well dressed, and the room was filled with everyone from ex-pats, Russian diplomats, wealthy Italians, well-to-do Brits and yes, a few Americans (we snuck in!).

What I enjoyed most about dining at Daphne's was the company and the wait staff. This restaurant, especially on NYE, had the potential to be very "stuffy," given that it's one of London's finest. Yet our staff was friendly and definitely had a sense of humor over a certain wine bottle opener, which our table can attest to.

All the staff were well versed in helping find safe gluten free options, even on a special holiday eve that's always certain to cause chaos in the kitchen. I started with a lovely endive, pear, Gorgonzola salad that was beautiful and flavorful. For my entrée choice I had the option of fresh fish or Risotto. Easy -- Risotto, per favore! After living in Italy, risotto is truly one of my favorite dishes to eat and I knew that Daphne's would get it right. It was delicate, creamy and filled with beautiful mushrooms and just the right amount of cheese. Wine was flowing, the atmosphere was stylish, and it was good to be in London that night. It was also really good to order dessert that night, which for me was an amazing Panna Cotta with fresh pomegranate seeds and juice perfectly drizzled over the oval shaped delight. I'm drooling right now just remembering what it tasted like.

My advice, should you find yourself in London and are looking to splurge for a lovely night out, book a reservation at Daphne's and enjoy every moment of your dining experience.

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Yalla Yalla Beirut Street Food
1 Green's Court
London, W1F 0HA
United Kingdom

4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
Beirut Street Food -- restaurant with gluten free options in London

Reviewer: GlutenFreeGal from San Mateo, CA
Reviewed on Feb 28, 2013

The day we discovered Yalla Yalla, my best pal William and I were wandering through London's Soho district having a great time. When we both realized that we were suddenly "starving," we began searching for the perfect lunch spot that had to be gluten free, of course. I was definitely in the mood for more "ethnic food" -- and something I wouldn't normally eat at home. As we turned a corner and continued walking down this tiny little cobblestone street, Yalla Yalla stopped me in my tracks. It was packed with what appeared to be local business people (usually a good sign), and the menu looked as if I could navigate it safely. Given that I'm seriously a hummus addict, it quickly became clear that we'd found our place! The tiny, and I mean tiny, restaurant was filled with diners of all dialects and the service was really great. Our waitress was fully versed in all things gluten free explaining their menu in detail, guiding me through exactly what I could eat safely and with abundance. My friend and I were elated...I was, for the obvious Celiac reasons, and he was knowing that I would survive another meal on his watch! We started with their amazing Hommos (proper spelling!), Fattoush and olives -- all AMAZINGLY fresh and loaded with vibrant, fresh flavors that we couldn't get enough of. Then we ordered a main course (to share, thank goodness...the portions are plentiful) of the Mixed Grill consisting a chicken skewer, lamb and kafta with grilled tomato, sumac, parsley and red pepper salad. The plate was not only beautiful to look at but tasted absolutely delicious. Throughout our entire lunch I realized how relaxed I was and trusting of the staff at Yalla Yalla to get my meal correct. I also had a through conversation with our waitress who was from Ireland. I was so curious as to why and how Yalla Yall and their staff were so astute to gluten free food and safety in their kitchen. She proceeded to explain that they have so many customers who are either Coeliacs (UK spelling) or gluten intolerant so they crafted items on their menus to accommodate those of us eating gluten free. We also discussed just how aware the majority of restaurants in London truly are about offering safe gluten free options on their menus. Thank God! Dining at Yalla Yalla was a delight and a restaurant I will absolutely return to. They also offer a nice wine selection, which we partook of. It's funny, but it always feels much more "normal" to have a glass of wine with lunch when in Europe vs. in the States -- we need to modify that! Yalla Yalla is definitely worth finding and but just be prepared to wait for a table given the restaurant's limited space...but trust me, it's well worth the wait!

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Maggie Jones's
6 Old Court Place
London, W8 4PL
United Kingdom

5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Gluten Free in Jolly Ole' London, England

Reviewer: GlutenFreeGal from San Mateo, CA
Reviewed on Feb 27, 2013

When your best friend calls to invite you to meet him and his partner in London, because they will be there on vacation to ring in the New Year, it's pretty tough (and foolish) to say no! So of course, for a variety of exciting reasons, I, the lucky recipient of that call, said...Yes! I've wanted to visit London again for over a decade and this trip was going to offer me the opportunity to not only see my best friend (who presently resides in Australia) and finally meet his lovely partner, but also stay with friends who are London natives and, therefore, see the city from a much more "local perspective," which is the way I always love to travel. My only slight hesitation was in thinking, "What would I eat safely in London, and is there a high-level of awareness around dining out gluten free?" You know the old clichés about dining in the UK...boiled potatoes, fried food and all bland.

Let's just say that I certainly didn't arrive in London with that mindset, as I had used this site (GlutenFreeTravelSite) to research some safe restaurants in London, but I did have some slight reservations about traveling and NOT getting gluten poisoned while overseas. Thankfully, due to the research of my amazing local friends who found (and stocked their fridges with) all kinds of GF products being sold in local markets, eating at "home" proved very easy. The real joy however, came in discovering just how many fantastic restaurants there are throughout London offering wonderful Gluten Free options AND many with GF-specific menus!

One of those really special and unique restaurants is the well-known Maggie Jones's...well known to Londoners, that is, not to us Californians! Tucked away just off Kensington Church Street in West London, stepping into Maggie Jones's is like stepping into the English countryside. It's casual, yet elegant décor evokes a farmhouse kitchen atmosphere with cozy tables, both upstairs and down, and huge wooden tables with candles dripping wax down the sides of old wine bottles which serve as candelabras.

From the minute I spoke with the energetic maître d' my fears of eating gluten free and safely were extinguished, as this young man was completely versed and aware of everything Gluten Free on their menu. He even explained which specials I could safely eat, which could be modified, and those that were not possible to prepare sans gluten. I was instantly at ease, allowing me to fully embrace such a memorable and delicious dining experience. Of course, the bottle of Rose that we were drinking was also helpful, making our upstairs cozy table and setting even more delightful. And what about the food, you may ask? I would have been satisfied simply sitting in Maggie Jones's sipping wine all afternoon, given its terrific energy, but I must admit that the food...the English food that is...was wonderful with its plentiful servings, farm-fresh options, and simplicity.

My lunch consisted of a starter plate of avocado on a fresh bed of lettuce topped with a deliciously light and flavorful crab salad. This was followed by my entrée of gorgeous poached salmon, peas and ham, and mashed potatoes. I was even brought a small bowl of hollandaise sauce for my salmon that was divine and completely gluten free. There were also a few dessert options available, but given how full I was, I reluctantly passed on the crème brûlée. Looking back, that's a choice I won't make again!

The other really smart and surprising thing about Maggie Jones's is how affordable it is; especially given it's location in Kensington.

And if you're still not convinced and looking for more reason to hop across the Pond to eat at this notable restaurant, here's a bit of history on Maggie Jones's according to Frommer's Guide:

"This whimsical and staunchly English restaurant established in 1963 is a long time favourite because of its good food and its association with Princess Margaret (a long ago frequent client after whom the restaurant was named)."

The next time you find yourself in London just remember that Maggie Jones's simply cannot be missed. It's truly now one of my favorite restaurants I've dined in and I'll definitely be going back.

Cheers!

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Lone Eagle Grill - Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort
111 Country Club Drive
Incline Village, NV 89451


4.5 Palms
4.5 Palms
A Bit of Gluten-Free Heaven in Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Reviewer: GlutenFreeGal from San Francisco/Bay Area
Reviewed on Jun 12, 2012

As you all might have heard, last month the Hyatt Hotels and Resorts ( http://www.marketwatch.com/story/hyatt-introduces-food-thoughtfully-sourced-carefully-served-2012-05-09 ) announced 100 new gluten-free recipes on their various menus for GF guests and diners! I've always had good luck with the Hyatt's wonderful Lone Eagle Grille located on the gorgeous beach at Incline Village in Lake Tahoe, NV...and last night's meal was no exception. The wait staff and chefs over the years have been very accommodating and careful when I've placed my orders, always taking the time to answer my questions and address concerns. WARNING...for Lone Eagle Grille "newbies" OR seasoned guests it's very easy to become "lulled" by the exceptional view of the Lake from the restaurant's shore-side patio, but nevertheless, inquiring with your server and hostess is ALWAYS advised! Though the month of June can be quite chilly at Lake Tahoe, my dear friend and I lucked out last night with a perfect evening, meaning...no wind and temps in the low 70's - nice! As the sun slowly began to set, however, the awesome patio fire-pit that we were lucky enough to snag adirondak chairs next to, definitely came in handy. We ordered Mojitos (yum) and carefully chose two large appetizers...a wonderful jumbo grilled prawns with feta fondue and artichokes, and the artisan cheese plate. Our server made sure to alert the chef of my severe gluten intolerance, given that I'm a Celiac, and modified the prawns plate omitting the "fried artichoke" for simply marinated. It was delicious and I felt reassured and safe the entire time I was enjoying our fantastic view and equally great meal. In addition, I always carry my own crackers along for the ride, never assuming a restaurant (even of this caliber) will offer gluten-free bread. Just to note...they do not offer GF bread at the Lone Eagle Grille, so come prepared...who wants to eat an artisan cheese plate without some bread or crackers to accompany the creamy Brie?! Overall, this is not only a terrific place to vacation but a jewel of a location located on one of the world's most famous and beautiful lakes...The Lone Eagle Grille's menu is diverse, along with a plethora of adult beverage choices. But most importantly, for a Celiac needing a safe and totally gluten free meal served by a staff who is alert and prepared, this is the place to splurge a little and enjoy! And please...don't forget your sunglasses!

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