Saturday, June 23, 2012

GF in the Poconos

The Sarah Street Grill's address is Quaker Alley in Stroudsburg.  I had googled "Gluten Free Poconos" or something like that to find it.  They posted their GF menu on line, so I made a reservation and took to dinner there a very dear and old friend whom I had not seen in -- are your ready for this? -- some 55 years!  We had a great time reminiscing, and strangely both ordered the same entree -- mine was gluten free -- hers was not.  We ordered scallops, which were served in a tomato, basil, garlic sauce that was very much like a bruschetta.  Her dish looked slightly browner around the edges.  Maybe the chef thought that it was safe to broil hers for a minute or two and that mine needed to be baked only. Anyway it was delicious, the portion was about right, and the meals there were relatively inexpensive.  I was not given any choice for sides -- baked potato and veggies were the sides for everything on the GF menu.  I wish that I could say that the sides were as good as the entree, but they were pretty mundane.

Also on the GF menu was a teriyaki shrimp appetizer.  I spoke to the waiter about that, asking him to warn the chef, in case he didn't know, that most soy sauce is not gf, and the waiter said that would speak to him, but added that the chef had been trained at the CIA (not the spy agency, the Culinary Institute of America) and he was sure that the chef would be up on details.  Hmmm.  Maybe.  I wish he had gotten back to me on what the chef said, but I will have to wait till I get a chance to go to the Poconos again.


Friday, June 1, 2012

2012 Summer in the Finger Lakes Begins

There are a lot of wineries in the Finger Lakes. Some of them have lunch. The kitchen at Thirsty Owl Winery's Bistro is quite familiar with gluten free dining, and the Bistro is a relaxing and beautiful place to eat. Most of the tables are outdoors on the newly covered deck which overlooks Cayuga Lake and some of Thirsty Owl's vineyards.  (Click on the link to see a picture on their web page -- it really is beautiful.)

This was my first lunch of the summer there so I am afraid that I overdid it. Steve and I split a dish of mussels, which they served with large thick slices of a seed laden whole grain gf bread. (You have to ask for the gf bread. It normally comes with gluten laden bread.) I asked which of the entrees were gluten free. The waiter said that any of them could be made to accommodate a gf diet, but that the Crispy Skinned Salmon was gluten free in and of itself. I ordered the salmon. It was served over a creamy white sauce with spinach and small navy beans. I took half of it home in a takeout box because (1) I had eaten a lot of the mussels and pretty much all of the bread, and (2) I was going to have dessert. We had split a bottle of Thirsty Owl's 2011 Dry Riesling and I didn't have any left in my glass, so I ordered an iced tea to drink with Diamond Custard over Strawberries. The custard is called “Diamond” because that is the name of the wine used in the recipe. Diamond is not so sweet as to be a dessert wine, but is definitely one of the sweeter wines that they offer. People who like sweet wines love it. People who like dry wines are not as enthusiastic, but Diamond does make a lovely creamy golden custard that complements the strawberries beautifully.

I'm so happy to be back in the Finger Lakes. What a great place to spend summer.


Thundercloud Subs in Austin

Thundercloud Subs is an Austin institution.  They have been serving sandwiches since 1975 and are, as they say on their webpage, "an engrained part of the Austin community."  Heh heh.  "Engrained."  Not sure if they meant that as a joke or not.  Since I am now "dis-grained" and an ingrained part of the Celiac community, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they are beta-testing a new GF sandwich roll at their Lake Austin Blvd. location.

Unfortunately, it wasn't very good.  It was gummy and tasted strongly of bean flour.  Points to Thundercloud for trying, but I recommend passing this one up.