Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I can have a flower, just not flour.

Whats one of my favorite cuisines? Chinese. The language barrier at some of my old favorite Chinese spots has caused a problem with trying to explain my dietary needs. It can be a very frustrating thing. I actually asked a one restaurant, "do you use flour in this dish?" thinking that the word flour would translate better than wheat, barley, rye, gluten blah blah. Turns out, it was actually more confusing. First they though I wanted them to put a flower in my dish (I do only eat well presented food of course!). I explained a little bit more, the waitress took a trip back to speak with the chef, and came back excited to tell me "he said we can definitely put flour in your food if you want".  Luckily, I was in a good mood that day. I decided to resort to a tool that I had yet to experiment with. I have this app on my phone called "GF Card". It's supposed to explain your dietary needs in all different languages. I've been afraid to use it thinking that maybe a celiac-hate group created it and when translated the message really says "I love gluten. Fill my mouth with gluten." Turns out, it's legit. The waitress and her friend read it together and seemed to have a much better idea of what I was talking about. That being said, I'm still not sure that what I was served was gluten free. So I wouldn't give this restaurant my recommendation if your looking for gluten free. However, here are two places I've been more than happy with: Mandarin Gourmet- located downtown, can prepare you meal with gluten free soy sauce P.F. Changs- pretty good sized GF menu and they have gluten free soy sauce available That's all for now- I need to catch up and tell you about my gluten free adventures to Virginia Beach and Chicago! - Cheech

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sorry it's been so long

It's been awhile, hasn't it? Well, I do have an excuse which may serve as good news for some of you: Sometimes I forget I have Celiac Disease. I've finally got this gluten-free thing down and life is near normal again.

That being said, I do still have some positive experiences and even some negative to share. I'll do my best to continue sharing on a more regular basis.

So here we go. Who misses pizza? I've never really loved pizza but there is something about the simplicity of all your food groups in one bite that's as easy as pizza. At first I just made some at home using Udi's shells. These shells are great! They are a thin crust though. If that's not your style, I have used Bob's Red Mill pizza crust mix which is a much thicker but equally delicious crust. These pizzas are great but I was still missing out on one of the big reasons people love pizza. How many times have you said "let's just order pizza"? I had been missing that phrase. I had heard about a few places around but nothing in the neighborhood until I heard about Lucci's having gluten-free pizza. They have one size (somewhere in between small and medium). The crust is made by the local gluten-free bakery. Overall my review is good though I do have a few concerns about their practices to avoid cross-contamination. For one of my orders, we noticed that they were using the same cutter. My suggestion would be to just explain your needs to them when ordering. The concern is only with the handling, which is easily fixed, not with the actual ingredients. Anyone else have suggestions on other gluten-free pizza in the area?

*Sneak peak*- Stay tuned for "Cheech and the Windy City- a gluten-free adventure"!