Reviews Written by Gluten-Free_Cat:  



Showing 6 to 10 of 13 reviews
| 1 | 2 | 3     Next     Prev | - View All


Amerigo
1656 Westgate Circle
Brentwood, TN 37027


3.0 Palms
3.0 Palms
Never Let Your Guard Down: A Gluten Free Dining Experience in Tennessee

Reviewer: Gluten-Free_Cat from Nashville, TN
Reviewed on Jul 07, 2011

Finding a restaurant with a gluten-free menu can be downright exhilarating. You breathe a sigh of relief that you’ll eat more than lettuce and shredded carrots drizzled with olive oil, you revel in the fact that there is an entire page of options that actually look appetizing, and you relax knowing that those preparing your food understand gluten issues. I finally had a chance to try Amerigo’s gluten-free menu, but I was reminded of a basic gluten-free dining rule: NEVER LET YOUR GUARD DOWN! I was immediately impressed with the many options that were listed on a menu that actually looked like a menu. No flimsy little photocopied paper, a real menu. And the menu items looked amazing. They even had gluten-free pasta! I had to try the pasta. Most people would just settle for knowing that the pasta is gluten-free. But this gluten-free blogging geek had to know what the pasta was made from. I know Maggiano’s uses a delicious corn pasta. I enjoyed rice pasta at an Italian restaurant in Portland before. I’m a huge fan of quinoa, and lately I’ve really been enjoying Bionaturae pasta which combines potato, rice, and soy flour. I really was just curious, so I asked the waitress. Me: What kind of flour is your gluten-free pasta made from? Waitress: Uh, I’m not sure. I think maybe wheat? Me: Oh no, oh no, oh no! That’s impossible. Because WHEAT is NOT gluten-free. ALL wheat has gluten in it! Waitress: Let me go check. I know it wasn’t her fault that she didn’t know the ingredients in the gluten-free pasta. But instantly I knew that she had no idea how to serve a gluten-free diner safely. My waitress never did return with an answer to my question. In fact, my waitress didn’t return at all. A new waiter took over who made me feel a lot more comfortable about my impending dining experience. I’m so thankful, because the Spaghetti Pomodoro with Shrimp was incredible! I’ll definitely return to Amerigo for another meal. While I’m very thankful that gluten-free menus now abound, this is a reminder to be careful, ask questions, and never let your guard down. For photos see www.glutenfreecat.com

Was this review helpful to you?  
1 out of 1 found this review helpful



Burger Up
2901 12th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37204


4.0 Palms
4.0 Palms
Burger Up and Second Chances: Great Gluten Free Dining in Nashville

Reviewer: Gluten-Free_Cat from Nashville, TN
Reviewed on Jun 26, 2011

Do you believe in second chances? I definitely do, and I’m so thankful about that. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know what an incredible experience you could have at Burger Up as a gluten- free diner. Burger Up is a hot new burger joint in Nashville on 12th Avenue South that opened in May 2010. Known for their scrumptious upscale burgers, Burger Up provides unique flavors in their meats and toppings to tempt both carnivores and herbivores alike. Would you rather sink your teeth into a bison burger, lamb burger, citrus salmon burger, or would vegetarian options like quinoa and black bean burgers or portobello burgers be more your style? I never would have even attempted to dine at Burger Up had I not heard a delightful rumor. “Burger Up has gluten-free buns.” And these aren’t just any gluten-free buns that are mass- produced halfway across the country, shipped in, and stored in the freezer. These are gluten-free buns provided by one of my fellow Nashville gluten-free bloggers, Katie at GFree Made Easy. These are homemade, gluten-free buns! Guess who had to check out Burger Up that same week! Yes, me. Not only did Burger Up appear to be gluten-friendly, but they also appeared to be animal, community, and environmentally friendly. Sourcing as many products as possible from local farms that treat their animals well, 10 Tennessee farms are represented on their menu including Triple L Ranch and Hatcher Dairy. But I have to say that after all of the hype, my first experience was terrible. It was so awful that I declared that I would never again return. First of all, after ordering we found out that they were out of the wine that the Husband was interested in. That’s not so terrible, but it was the first disappointment of many. Secondly, when we ordered bison burgers with gluten- free buns, the waiter returned to say that they were all out of gluten-free buns. My reaction must have been dramatic. After all, that was the whole reason we decided to try Burger Up in the first place. But the waiter said that he would make sure that we were well taken care of. I’m used to eating burgers without buns. But when the burgers came, they were ugly! If you’re going to serve a naked burger, shouldn’t you make sure that the burger is actually shaped properly? It seriously looked like someone had already taken a bite out of it! The meat was tasty, but I would never go to a restaurant just to have a naked burger. But the fries weren’t just good. They were to die for. The Truffled Fries with honey dijon aioli were the most delicious fries I’ve ever had. And the Sweet Potato Fries (how can you go wrong here) were even more delicious with Jack Daniel’s Maple Ketchup. Wow! As great as these fries were, I don’t think I’d ever go to a restaurant just for fries. Maybe it was my fault for assuming, but when the waiter offered dessert I expected that it would be on the house. After all, he did say that he would take care of us. The gelato and sorbet are the only gluten-free desserts that Burger Up offers. I opted for the gelato, and it was quite delicious. But it was not the peacemaking gesture that I thought it would be. Not only was the dessert listed on our bill, but so was every other item that we ordered. No comps, no discounts. So we paid over $60 before begrudgingly giving a tip for two burgers patties, two orders of fries, a few drinks, and a single dessert that I wouldn’t have accepted had I known that it wouldn’t be free. “I am NEVER coming back here again,” I said even before putting on my coat. With such a bad experience, I am not sure why I ever agreed to go back a few weeks later. Maybe it was because the Husband called ahead and asked them to set aside two gluten-free buns for us. Maybe it was because the fries had wiggled their way into my cravings place. Maybe it’s because everyone deserves a second chance. Those Truffled Fries with honey dijon aioli are magical. (As is their margarita!) Whether you’re gluten-intolerant or not, give Burger Up a chance. Or maybe even a second chance. Their burgers are amazing, and with homemade gluten-free buns, we can all be happy. For photos see http://www.glutenfreecat.com/?p=4379.

Was this review helpful to you?  
0 out of 0 found this review helpful



Candle 79
154 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Must Try NYC Vegan Restaurant with Amazing Gluten-Free Menu

Reviewer: Gluten-Free_Cat from Nashville, TN
Reviewed on Jun 26, 2011

Candle 79 has long been on my list of New York City restaurants to try because of their extensive gluten-free menu. But when we're in the City we are usually so enamored with the wide availability of incredible gluten-free pizza and pasta dishes that the vegetarian restaurants are pushed to the bottom of the list. But after our incredible experience at Pure Food and Wine, Candle 79 was hoisted to the very top of my must-try list. Plus, I felt so great after eating such clean, raw food that another pizza wasn't even appealing. But was it fair to compare any vegan restaurant to Pure Food and Wine after falling in love with it the day before? Could Candle 79 even come close? We walked the 34 blocks from our hotel to the restaurant, so we were more than ready to find out. They seated us in the upstairs dining room of the quaint restaurant next to windows that lined the wall providing a view of the city below. I was thrilled to receive an entire menu of their gluten-free meals. Not a photocopied menu. Not a menu with gluten-free options designated with a star. A real, substantive menu that looked just like the regular menu. There were so many options that the Husband and I had to compare to see how the two differed. We started with the Guacamole Timbale which was to die for. Served with flax chips, this timbale was made with chipotle black beans, caramelized onions, cucumber tomato salsa, and ranchero sauce. Delicious! A raw entree caught my eye, and while there were so many other tantalizing options, I had to have one more raw meal before heading home. I ordered the Live Zucchini Enchiladas. The enchiladas were buried beneath the most tender spinach and baby romaine greens, more cucumber-tomato salsa, creamy guacamole (again), and toasted pumpkin seeds. When I found the enchiladas I was so excited try them that I forgot to take a picture. Thin slices of zucchini wrapped cashew cheesy goodness, and with the chipotle-tomato sauce, cashew sour cream, and toppings, it was a fiesta to savor. Next time you're in New York City, make a point to try Candle 79. Whether you're vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, or just plain hungry, you won't be disappointed. For restaurant and food photos see http://www.glutenfreecat.com/?p=6028

Was this review helpful to you?  
0 out of 0 found this review helpful



Aunt April's Bakery
1100 Forrest Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206


5.0 Palms
5.0 Palms
Aunt April's Bakery: Gluten-Free Goodies in Nashville!

Reviewer: Gluten-Free_Cat from Nashville, TN
Reviewed on Jun 25, 2011

I took my mother to Aunt April's Bakery for lunch this week, and what a treat it was! April has been providing Nashville and Franklin restaurants and markets with her delicious gluten-free breads, cakes, cupcakes, muffins, cookies, and brownies. While I still find April’s goods all over town, April is now operating out of her new digs at the Green Wagon in East Nashville. Aunt April’s Bakery is open for breakfast on Mondays 7-10 and for both breakfast and lunch on Tuesdays through Saturdays 7- 3. How about a gluten-free panini on her amazing bread? Check out April’s daily sandwich specials. You won’t be disappointed. And of course you’ll need to pick up a cupcake or two for dessert. I highly recommend the chocolate cupcake with coffee icing. Oh my!!! And yesterday, April surprised us with a lemon cupcake with raspberry frosting. It was out of this world! But we also had to take two pumpkin chocolate chip muffins with us for breakfast the next day. Not only will you enjoy delicious gluten-free goods that are made from locally sourced ingredients, but you’ll have a lovely conversation with April herself. Take a trip to the Green Wagon located at 1100 Forrest Avenue in Nashville, and support this great local gluten-free bakery (and your sweet tooth!) For photos, please see http://www.glutenfreecat.com/?p=4758.

Was this review helpful to you?  
0 out of 0 found this review helpful



MAFIAoZA'S
2400 12th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37204


2.0 Palms
2.0 Palms
Mafiaoza's Pizzeria - An Offer I Can Refuse

Reviewer: Gluten-Free_Cat from Nashville, TN
Reviewed on Jun 26, 2011

I was thrilled when I heard that a local restaurant called Mafiaoza’s Pizzeria now offers a gluten-free pizza crust option. Mafiaoza’s is a great little restaurant that we frequented before learning of my gluten intolerance. I love their mob motif. With pizzas called “Brother Fredo”, “The Fed”, and “Brass Knuckles” combined with the dim lighting, you’re sure to feel like you’re in a scene from The Godfather. Since I’ve learned of my gluten intolerance, I’ve only been to Mafiaoza’s for social reasons, mostly under duress, because all they could offer me was a dry salad. Imagine eating iceburg lettuce while smelling gourmet pizza, bruschetta, scampi cakes, and pastas. That’s just pure mafia torture. Since learning about Mafiaoza’s gluten-free pizza crust, I’ve been there twice. Gluten-free pizza is “an offer I can’t refuse”. But I don’t think I’ll be back again. The fact that being gluten-free has become a fad has made dining out both easier and more dangerous at the same time. It’s easier because there are more options for those who are truly gluten-intolerant or have Celiac disease. But it’s more dangerous because some restaurants don’t understand the severity of the disease or that providing a gluten-free option doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe for them to offer one. Providing a gluten-free crust is not the same as offering a “low fat” or “low carb” option. We are not trying to lose weight or jump on the latest celebrity diet. We are trying to stay well. This is a health and safety issue for us. And I don’t think everyone understands that. On our first visit, we ordered two different gluten-free pizzas. We had “The Greek” with plum tomatoes, red onion, black olives, green peppers, feta cheese, and a creamy Greek vinaigrette, and “The Irate Italian” with garlic, pecorino romano cheese, mozzarella, and black olives. Both pizzas were delicious! This was my first experience with French Meadow pizza dough, and it was delicious. What was not excusable was the dangerous manner in which the pizzas were served. “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.” We were out to dinner with a family member who is not gluten intolerant. She ordered a pizza on regular wheat dough. When the three pizzas arrived, the server brought them out on a tray. And to my horror, the crust of my gluten-free pizza was resting on the crust of the gluten-filled wheat pizza! I didn’t make a scene. The Husband, who is not gluten- intolerant, ate the contaminated part of the pizza. And I ate the pieces farthest from that side. I did not get sick from gluten that night, but it sure did make me wonder. If that kind of carelessness occurred while serving, what was going on in the kitchen? I did have a chance to talk to the manager, thanked her for offering gluten-free pizza, and suggested that she inform her servers about the dangers of cross-contamination. A few months later, we tried Mafiaoza’s again with a non-gf couple. When I ordered my gluten-free pizza, I asked the waitress what they did in the kitchen to avoid cross- contamination. She answered my question with a question that was very telling of the current climate. (“…it insults my intelligence and it makes me very angry.) Waitress: “So, are you really allergic?” Heather: “Yes!” Waitress: “Then they’ll change their gloves and use a different cutting board and utensils.” Would they have used those precautions if I hadn’t asked? We ordered “The Irate Italian” again and “The Last Request” with black olives, pepperoni, salami, Italian sausage, portobello mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, garlic, green peppers, red onions, and jalepenos. The name truly fits the pizza. If I had one last request before the mob did me in, this pizza would be my choice. The pizzas were all served separately, so there was no cross- contamination between the kitchen and our table. This pizza was divine. I love hot and spicy food, and this flavorful pizza did not disappoint. But do you have any idea how much this 10-inch pizza cost? They charged us the same price as their 12-inch pizza, which is already a ridiculous $19.00, plus $3.00 extra for the gluten-free crust. A $22.00 10-inch gluten-free pizza in Nashville? If we were in New York City, I might understand, but that’s a bit extreme. “Sorry Johnny…but it’s only business.” So, we won’t be back to Mafiaoza’s. The risks in safety and the economics of it all are just not worth it to me. There are plenty of other restaurants that have earned my trust with their commitment to serving those who are truly gluten intolerant. For pictures of Mafiaoza's delicious-looking but possibly unsafe pizzas, (as well as other random Godfather quotes) see http://www.glutenfreecat.com/?p=1738.

Was this review helpful to you?  
1 out of 1 found this review helpful



Showing 6 to 10 of 13 reviews
| 1 | 2 | 3     Next     Prev | - View All