Tuesday, January 20, 2015

GF in DC

Thanks to an outstanding last minute airfare deal, we took the kids to Washington DC for the weekend to see our nation's capitol.  We chose to stay in Old Town Alexandria, which is a beautiful and charming place.  As luck would have it, we found a gluten free bakery there!

Buche de Noel
The Happy Tart is a 100% gluten free patisserie (that's French for the kind of bakery that makes pastries, not just bread, which would be a boulangerie). Mark and the kids had gone out for fried fish for dinner, while I stayed back at the hotel, so I was hungry enough for try a little of everything!

The prices were exceedingly reasonable, especially for gluten free.  I'm used to paying an arm and a leg for gluten free yummies, and to have reasonable prices in such a cute shop in a touristy area was nothing short of amazing.  

It was Christmas time and there were beautiful holiday creations including a festive Chocolate Raspberry Volcano and a beautiful Buche de Noel (sometimes known as a Yule Log).  We also got some Christmas Cookies, including mini-gingerbread men, which my son gobbled happily.  

They also do beautiful custom cakes!
A happy tart, and a bakery too!
I was pleased to see they had a few non-sugary items, as this spree was serving as my dinner.  I had an excellent slice of quiche and some (less excellent) rolls.  As with most gf breads, this one would have been better toasted, but sadly I was in a hotel and my options were limited.  

There was a nutella strudel and a lime tart, both which were good, and a surprisingly good chocolate eclair.  The best thing by far, for me though, was a spice cupcake with little bits of candied ginger in it.  OMG!  So good!

 At the Smithsonian, we asked an employee for a recommendation for lunch, and she remembered seeing gluten free burger buns on a menu at the nearby Elephant and Castle Pub, which was a cozy place within easy walking distance of the Museum of American History.  Sure enough, they had GF buns and I had a cheddar cheese burger.

We had an errand to run south of the city in Springfield, VA and stopped at The Silver Diner for a bite to eat while we were there.  I really loved this place!  (It's a small chain with a number of other locations in the DC area.)  It has an all-day breakfast menu, as well as sandwiches, burgers, and dinner entrees.  I really loved the Paradise French Toast, which is made with Udi's gluten free bread, coconut crusted and topped with strawberries.  Oh la la!  The gluten eaters were very happy with this meal as well, and my son discovered that he really likes goat cheese.

O'Malley's on the Lake

O'Malley's Cabin on the Lake is a restaurant on the western side of Cayuga Lake in Interlaken, NY.  It looks like a log cabin, and in the summertime one can dock a boat across the road from it.  The night of the Patriots/Colts game we went to O'Malley's because we do not have television reception at our lake house. I guess most people watch playoffs in their own houses or at parties, because the place was nearly deserted, so we got the best seats in the bar right in front of the television and the fire in the fireplace.  O'Malley's does not have a gluten free menu, but they do try to accommodate dietary needs.  As it happens, besides the few people in the bar, there was only one other couple having dinner in the restaurant, and the woman serving us, who was very helpful, friendly. courteous, and efficient, said that the other lady was also eating gluten free.  She had ordered the  mushroom soup and a bunless burger.  I ordered the soup myself then and it really was good.  It was not thickened and had a lot of mushroom pieces in it.  The night was cold, so soup was the perfect thing.  For my entree, I ordered the broiled seafood dinner, which had three shrimp, a couple of very large scallops, and a very large cod filet.  The dinner came with, in addition to a salad, some grilled vegetables and a side order.  I had the mashed potatoes. They were good, but not warm enough.  I felt too shy to ask them to warm them some more, but they were very helpful and friendly there, and I know that they would have done it graciously.  We also ordered a bottle of Salmon Run Riesling.  It is a wine from Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery, and do not be put off by the fact that the top is a screw cap.  It's an excellent wine.  I drank more than my share.