Looking to replicate the fun of the ice cream and family friendly atmosphere of the Friendly's from your youth? You can! Friendly's has plenty of options that cater to the gluten-free population. They even offer Build-Your-Own- Burgers on lettuce instead of buns. And the majority of their ice cream toppings are gluten-free as well. So bring the family and enjoy the fun of Friendly's again.
Small tip: Make sure to ask if the fries are made in a dedicated fryer, The Friendly's I visited did not have one so I substituted broccoli instead. Worthy sacrifice though, it made me feel even less guilty about having the ice cream after ;)
Check out my latest article at http://www.dcfud.com/2013/09/21/portugal-the-great-but-often-overlooked-wine-country/
on a Portuguese Wine Tasting I recently attended.
Pines of Florence is a neighborhood fixture down in Old Town Alexandria. With traditional Italian cuisine that epitomizes "comfort food" at a reasonable price, it's a relaxing change from the usual trendy spots that line King Street. I was recently walking along King Street with a friend and saw a sign advertising that they now have gluten-free pasta. We happily went in to sample and I'm so glad we did. I ordered the above chicken and pesto alfredo (definitely not a low calorie day for me...lol) and savored each rich and creamy bite. The best part is they say they can make any of their delicious pasta options gluten-free and they don't even charge extra for using the gluten-free pasta! I have never seen an Italian restaurant be that accommodating! So if you haven't tried Pines of Florence already, it is definitely worth checking out.
As frustrated as I sometimes get with Panera's lack of allergy training for their staff (I've actually been asked if I can eat eggs) or having to go through the HUGE book of nutrition information to order anything, I had to offer a quick update on some progress they're making.
Although they still are not offering a gluten-free menu exactly, they are now advertising their Power menu options and making their "secret" menu more mainstream. I even saw a sign up in the Kingstowne Panera the other day offering two of the Power menu items. The Power menu offers protein heavy items without the carbs mainly. So there are Power salads and meat bowls with veggies. Basically, a lot of gluten-free friendly options without it actually being called that. Here is a look at a press release explaining the Power menu in more detail. Hopefully, this will help us order at Panera without feeling like we're playing a game of Russian roulette each time.
Looking for a casual meal where you can also stay and have a fun date night as well? Bungalow offers great meals at great prices as well as great drink specials. You can stay and watch a game on one of the many TVs around the bar or play some pool or darts yourself . Tap into those competitive urges and enjoy a night of fun rivalry. Bungalow's has multiple locations across the county. There's one in Shirlington, Chantilly and Alexandria.
My husband and I decided to enjoy a night out at the Alexandria location. I was happy to discover that their new menu is fully labeled with gluten-free options. And it's not your average bar food either. They offer some really great salad and hearty food options in addition to the classic wing and burger offerings. Our server was also confident in answering any questions I had and was able to list off their gluten-free cider and beer options from memory. I felt completely comfortable in ordering and was able to get a deliciously prepared steak and sweet potato fries. Overall, it was a great meal and a fun night out with my husband. I strongly encourage all of you to check out Bungalow's for a casual night out as well.
Looking for a new take on Asian Stir Fry? Check out my latest article:
Alegria is a hidden neighborhood gem in Vienna. Offering interesting new takes on Mexican food and fantastic drink specials, Alegria is a can't miss. They are also extremely friendly to the gluten-free population. Almost everything on their menu is made with corn flour instead of the traditional white flour tortillas. I went recently with girlfriends for a fun night out on the town and enjoyed a blood orange margarita as well as a delicious steak fajita. I was excited just for the prospect of having a fajita again since that is usually on the no-no list. But what came was a healthy, delicious concoction of flavors beyond my wildest expectations. If you're in the Vienna area I strongly suggest you check it out for yourself. You definitely won't be disappointed.
I came across these great mini cocottes from Staub in Home Goods the other day. They're like little mini Le Creusets, but for a fraction of the price. Since buying them they've fast become my best friend in the morning. I chop up some veggies, whip them together with two eggs and some milk, pour it all into the mini cocotte and stick it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. And then voila- breakfast is served. 5 minutes total and I have a perfectly healthy breakfast that will fill me up till lunch. Enjoy!