Kane’s Handcrafted Donuts Gluten-Free Chocolate Donut

2 International Place | Boston, MA 02110
857.315.2654
http://kaneshandcrafted.com/

Kane's Handcrafted Gluten-Free Donut

Oh. my. word.

So last month, everyone in Boston is freaking out and Tweeting and Facebooking about Kane’s Donuts coming downtown. The artisanal donut fad yada yada yada I get it guys you can all eat beautiful, delicious, gorgeous donuts… and I can’t!

I admit it, I saw their tweets and felt bitter about it. Sometimes, a food fad comes along and an awesome local store opens, and we celiacs just can’t enjoy it, and it’s totally a bummer.

However, there is often more that we can enjoy than what we can’t, and I was in for a surprise regarding Kane’s Handcrafted Donuts.

I was inspired to pick back up blogging here by my travels to Italy last week. I ate like a king the whole week (more on that coming to the blog next week!), and wondered how I had let this blog go! I love food, I love cooking, and I love finding the next great gluten-free pizza, and you guys love to read about it! So I’m all fired up, walking to work with idea after idea for posts coming to me, when I get back to the office after a week away. My boss comes up to my desk and says, “Jenn, I’m sorry it’s a day old, but I got donuts for everyone yesterday and there’s a gluten-free one for you left in the kitchen.” … Say what?!?! Continue reading

Gluten-Free in the North End: Nebo

90 North Washington Street | Boston, MA 02114
617.723.6326
http://www.neborestaurant.com

Before this weekend, the only time I’ve ever had gluten-free pasta in a restaurant was in Italy, of all places. In the rolling hills of Tuscany, the little restaurant my wine tour stopped at for lunch served gluten-free bread and pasta. It was wonderful. Since I sadly had to come home, I have rarely had the opportunity to order pasta in restaurants. This past weekend was St. Anthony’s Feast in the North End of Boston, so a few friends and I headed to Boston’s Italian neighborhood for some food, friends and fun.

Per usual, and especially in the case of Italian food, I had to be a little high-maintenance about the evening. Not just any Italian restaurant was going to do for this Guru. A quick Google search for gluten-free restaurants in the North End referenced Nebo many times. I had heard a lot about it so I was excited to check it out. Upon arriving, we realized it was right across from the feast, which was just perfect.

I think it’s pretty clear from this blog that I consider my specialty gluten-free pizza. But as we sat down in the corner booth right by the door at Nebo, the ambiance started getting me in the mood for some pasta. I opened my menu and realized right away that I had forgotten to ask for a gluten-free menu. I didn’t see anything about gluten-free food and momentarily got nervous we’d come to the wrong spot. I went to ask and my fears were allayed — I was promptly handed a gluten-free menu with Nebo chicly written on the side. Now I was really confused… This couldn’t be the gluten-free menu! It was just as full as the regular menu. A side by side comparison with my friend revealed that, yes, in fact, this was the gluten-free menu and yes, there were many options!

Ordering was a lengthy process. First we had some questions, which our waiter obliged, though not without calling my roommate “little one” (uhhh…). Then there was the great task of choosing what to get. With so many different pizza, pasta and drink options, I was quite overwhelmed. I ruled out gluten-free pizza relatively quickly — it was a hot night and I didn’t want to have greasy pizza sitting in my stomach (unnncomfortable) and there was the option of having someone serve me gluten-free pasta! When in Rome, they do say.

Then there was the task of deciding between pasta dishes. The Amatriciana dish combined protein, veggies, spiciness and red sauce, so in the end it won out. My roommate had a similarly difficult time choosing what to get from the slightly larger regular menu, and settled on the Ricotta Gnocchi. Two glasses of the Turlo for the two of us and our orders were set. My friend opted for a salad and a mango Cosmopolitan (yum!).

Our order was timely. The first thing I noticed about my gluten-free pasta was that it was that it was rotini-style. Oh man, way to make me look like I belong at the kids’ table! I was hoping for a sophisticated pasta dish, perhaps linguini or even some shells, but no, my plate was filled with little curly-q’s. Fine. I took my first bite, feeling perhaps a bit juvenile, but nonetheless, hopeful. I first noticed how hot it was and set it back down to cool. Then I began my meal. The sauce was good, though not very spicy, as were the bits of pancetta (which is a kind of Italian bacon, but lean) and the pasta was stiff, in the chewy way that undercooked gluten-free pastas can be. Bummer.

Determined to give my dish a fair shot, I continued to eat and, what do you know, it was so hot that it cooked itself more and after a few bites it became a wonderful texture, especially for gluten-free pasta. It wasn’t mushy at all, and held together very well. Despite its goofy looks and stiffness at first, it was quite good. Should I have gone with the gluten-free pizza? Most definitely. The gluten-free pasta was good, but it wasn’t great, and it wasn’t anything I couldn’t make easily (and for much less!) at home.

My friend enjoyed her salad, but my roommate was unenthused with her gnocchi. She said it was very plain and didn’t come close to finishing it. She too wished she had ordered pizza.

Nebo was a bust and overpriced for the lackluster meals we received, but it was a lovely dinner out that turned into a lovely night spent in the packed streets of the North End enjoying St. Anthony’s Feast. I suppose I should have stuck to my usual and gotten the gluten-free pizza, and perhaps the experience would have been better.

Legal Sea Foods

http://www.legalseafoods.com

If you are looking for an excellent gluten-free dining experience, Legal Sea Foods is it. It’s a restaurant staple in my area, and now, it is a staple for me. I know I can count on being able to eat and eat well at Legal, and while I do, I’ll be in good hands.

My first time eating at Legal was with a friend who worked there and she helped show me the gluten-free ropes. Speak up! They have a separate gluten-free menu which includes naturally gluten-free dishes, modified dishes, and even gluten-free substitutes. Letting them know about my allergy has led my server and the management to acknowledge my sensitivity and let me know that I’m in good hands each time I’ve dined there. I’m always careful to double-check everything out of habit, but knowing that they take this extra step puts me a bit more at ease.

The best part of dining gluten-free at Legal comes at the beginning of the meal — gluten-free rolls and butter! Such a small part of dining out and, yet, it makes all the difference in the world. The rolls are just okay, but always served warm and the novelty can’t be beat. Gluten substitutes can be found in several of the dishes offered in their gluten-free menu like gluten-free croutons, gluten-free crumbs in the Anna’s Baked Boston Scrod, and even gluten-free broth in the light clam chowder.

A creature of habit, I always order the garlic shrimp with brown rice. As they say, if it ain’t broke… This dish is incredibly delicious, I recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys shrimp. My mother is partial to the seafood casserole, which she raves about, and my sister is thankful for a Caesar salad with croutons she can eat. There is an enticing gluten-free chocolate mousse on the menu, however, I’ve always been too full from my superb entree to try it!

Every gluten-free meal is served by a manager to ensure that all dietary needs are met, a true sign of Legal’s commitment to its special menus. The multitude of options offered and ease of eating at Legal have made it one of my favorite restaurants. The great food helps, too. If you are looking for a gluten-free dining experience that is delicious as well as worry-free, Legal Sea Foods is a safe bet.

Glutenus Minimus Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Gluten Minimus
www.glutenusminimus.com

Glutenus Minimus Muffin


Finally, I am here to blog about muffins. My aversion to writing this post is unclear, you’d think I didn’t like these muffins!  Quite the contrary, however…

On my lovely little trip to City Feed and Supply, I discovered Glutenus Minimus Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins in the open fridge in front of the sandwich bar. I don’t quite remember what jumped out at me first: the adorable and rather clever name, “Glutenus Minimus,” the heavenly sounding banana/chocolate chip combination, or the cute little muffins the clear plastic container held. It was most likely a combination of the three.

I could tell just by the looks of these muffins that you don’t see ones like this everyday. As an experienced gluten-avoider, I was not about to take this for granted. I fully realized I could not just eat the muffins. No way. I needed milk!

Thank goodness I got my milk because these muffins were just divine — the perfect pairing for my beverage. Although my muffin was a bit cold and moist on the outside (it had been sitting in a fridge, afterall), it was light and fluffy inside, making it a great treat for a hot day. The banana/chocolate chip combination was delicious, it tasted like something I shouldn’t have been eating.

These muffins are very reasonable priced for their packs of two, and I took the other muffin to my sister later that day. She ate the muffin after it had acclimated to room temperature which was warm enough that day to melt the chocolate chips a bit, and I believe she enjoyed it even more than I did. If you are looking for an excellent muffin, I suggest you check out Glutenus Minimus. She’s got a great story, too!

City Feed and Supply Gluten-Free Sandwich

672 Centre St. | 66A Boylston St.
Jamaica Plain, MA
617.524.1700 |  617.524.1657
http://www.cityfeedandsupply.com

City Feed and Supply

Sometimes I think I know everything about being gluten-free. I am, afterall, the guru! However, while I am well-versed in many things free from gluten, the variety of options available to me and others continues to surprise me.  Gluten-free doesn’t always have to be hard. Recently, it became clear to me that I certainly don’t know it all — sometimes, I don’t even know when to ask!

This past weekend I stayed with a friend in the city. She wanted to take me somewhere special for lunch, somewhere she knew I’d like. “Let’s go to City Feed,” she said, “I think they have gluten-free stuff there, it has tons of organic stuff.” I pointed out that organic does not mean gluten-free, though awareness of the allergy is generally better. She, however, was insistent about the connection. They must have gluten-free bread.

I decided to go along with it. When City Feed and Supply came into view, I saw that at the very least I could enjoy a nice salad in a super cute locale. Inside had a very “updated general store” type feel to it, fresh and funky. Had I happened upon this spot by myself, I wouldn’t have thought to ask about gluten-free sandwich options. I would have looked for signs (there aren’t any), eventually found the gluten-free muffins (I’ll post about those next), and then have been perfectly content to sit down with a salad. Still, she was so sure that I had to ask.

Ask and you shall receive, they say.  Well, I cashed in big time at City Feed. Not only did they have gluten-free bread, but they also knew to ask how sensitive to it I am! My allergy, luckily, is not very severe, so the girl knew she could make my sandwich on the counter and toast it on the press. On top of all this, the people at City Feed were conscious of how tiny pieces of gluten-free bread are and gave me two sandwiches! Just when I thought my lunch adventure could not get any better, they charged me as much as they would for a regular sandwich, no extra. I have no clue if this was an error, but it was certainly a nice surprise. My dollars have never stretched so far for gluten-free food before!

City Feed, you had me at “or can I put it on the press?” and actually eating the sandwich only added to my love. I got the turkey and brie, and it was quite delicious. I’d never had the particular type of gluten-free bread they used and it was quite good, I’d rate it a step up from WholeFoods sandwich bread.

My friend was absolutely right. And from now on, I know to always ask about the options available to me. I would certainly go back to City Feed — the service and the food was great. It is so nice to eat out and feel as though the people preparing and serving your food understand where you are coming from when you lift your fork, and the people at City Feed knew just what to do for me. If you are looking for a cute place to enjoy a gluten-free sandwich (or two!) City Feed is the place to go.