The Organic Peddler in Del Norte, CO

I’ve been bad lately.  I’ve been posting my gluten-free reviews to my regular blog instead of here.  Not that that matters, really, since no one seems to read this column anyway, but just in case this review helps one person find the food they need for their diet, here’s the link for it:  http://ksbrooks.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/review-the-organic-peddler-in-del-norte-co/

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Gluten-Free Goodies at Whole Earth Center

Date of Visit:  2-9-11
Whole Earth Center
360 Nassau Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
www.wholeearthcenter.com

Out of bread, snacks and patience during my cross-country adventure, my face became bright with hope as the Whole Earth Center on the eastern side of Princeton came into view. 

When I walked in, the store’s aromas soothed my mind, wooing me into a better mood.  An oasis of healthy living, its shelves loaded with organic goods, a deli offering gluten-free options, and an entire separate area dedicated to colorful produce from local growers.  As I had anticipated, the prices were a little higher than I was used to, but in the face of hunger, one has to make choices.

I chose a loaf of frozen bread for $7.19 and couldn’t resist the fresh-baked gluten-free cookies despite their $11/pound price.  Their assortment was excellent – at least 6 different flavors – and the homemade consistency and flavor were exceptional – worth every penny.  Even my non-gluten-free partner enjoyed them.

The staff was helpful and friendly, and the bathrooms were clean.

If you’re on the road and in need of something good to eat – stop in to the Whole Earth Center.

Gluten-Free Dining at the Ninety Nine

2-5-11

RESTAURANT:
Ninety Nine Restaurant
149 So. Broadway
Salem, NH 03079
http://www.99restaurants.com/

Well this was a fun evening.  I hadn’t been to a 99 Restaurant in a very long time, and I’ll be honest with you, I was expecting it to be mediocre.  We picked the restaurant because of its convenient proximity to Route 93 in Salem, NH. I didn’t realize at the time that the “Nines” even had a gluten-free menu – one of my friends who met us there told me.  You can see the gluten-free menu on their website – the link is above.

To start, our waitress Connie was patient and gracious over the fact that our party arrived in spurts.  Then, when I asked for a gluten-free menu, she was very responsive.  That always gives me a good feeling.  (On the bill, it even says “allergy alert” next to my meal.) 

The food was served hot and in a timely manner.  And it was really good.  My 16 ounce sirloin tips were marinated and perfectly cooked until they were tender and delicious.  They came with excellent mashed potatoes and broccoli for only $11.99.  There was so much food I couldn’t eat it all.

Everyone at the table enjoyed their food, and Connie was even nice enough to take a photo of our group.   Well done, 99!

Josie’s Corner Cafe & Bake Shop, Fargo ND

1-21-11

RESTAURANT:
Josie’s Corner Café & Bake Shop
524 Broadway
Fargo, ND 58102
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Josies-Corner-Cafe-Bake-Shop/73004689417
How nice was it to find this charming little place on a corner in Fargo after driving for hours in blinding snow all the way from Morris, Manitoba?  It was really, really nice.  And how much of a bonus was it to discover that Josie’s carries home made gluten-free cookies?  It was a HUGE bonus! 

On this cold and snowy day, to be able to get warmed up with hot tea in this cozy corner café was just wonderful.  We sat by the window, watching the snow and coddling our teas, enjoying our sweet cookie treats. 

The warm lighting, colorful artwork and stamped tin ceiling made for a lovely atmosphere.  Josie’s was a rejuvenating stop after a very stressful morning.

Holy Mackerel! Gluten-Free Battered Fish!

What would you say if I told you that affordable, frozen, gluten-free crispy battered fish entrees are available nationwide in your grocer’s freezer case?  Just last night in the grocery store, I, for one, almost fell over when my gluten-mongering husband-type unit blurted “Look Honey, gluten-free!” and held up a box of Oven Ready Gluten-Free Cod by Starfish.  There were also boxes of Haddock and Halibut available.  The cod was priced under $5.00 for a 10 ounce box, so we decided to try that.

Now, you need to understand that in our current apartment, we have an extremely old gas stove, so the results may differ with a newer and/or electric one. 

We raced home and popped them in the oven.  14 minutes later, out they came.  On the box it states there are 3 servings – we felt it was more like 2 – which is what we were expecting anyway, so that is not a criticism by any means.  One side was a golden brown, the other side paler, again, I believe, due to the old gas stove. 

These golden medallions of batter-encased fish were crispy on the outside for certain!  The inside was a little doughy, but no more than a tempura-style batter.  The fish was somewhat flaky – definitely not spongy.  No grit, no strange taste and no mush:  they had a buttery flavor that even the non-Celiac at the table enjoyed.

Gluten-Free Cod by Star-Fish

This product is peanut-free, soy-free, milk-free, egg-free, wheat-free and has 0 grams of trans fats.  I thought the pricing was reasonable – and these products are available nationwide at your Whole Foods store, or at smaller local venues on the West coast.

If you’ve been missing fried foods – here is your fix!  Enjoy.

More information is available about Starfish and their gluten-free fish entrees at www.star-fish.com.

© 2009 K. S. Brooks, Gluten-Free Gusto