I’ve always thought it would be a great job to eat and then write about it. My only problem…I don’t know enough about cooking, other than food tastes good or bad. I’ve decided that doesn’t matter. I’m going to be a food critic for my family and friends, and especially those who are gluten intolerant, like me.
My world has changed since learning of my gluten intolerance. I thought it was going to be difficult to eat, but it hasn’t. I’ve been able to eat pretty much anything I want as long as it is gluten-free. In Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s book, The G-Free Diet, she mentions it really isn’t difficult to go gluten-free as long as you don’t deprive yourself. It’s true, if you want pizza, go get a gluten-free pizza, if you want ice cream, go get ice cream (make sure to check the ingredients). Always do your research before you go anywhere (restaurant/grocery store). Know what you want, otherwise it will be stressful.
Since learning I’m gluten intolerant (2 weeks ago), I’ve visited the following restaurants/grocery stores and this is what I think…
1. Trader Joe’s in Roswell on Hwy 92 – I went in on a Sunday and everyone was amazing and very helpful. I was given a “Trader Joe’s survival booklet.” This booklet had each part of the store broken down into sections and it told me what I could purchase that would be safe for me to eat. Everything I’ve gotten at Trader Joe’s has been delicious and I’ve had no pain. I’ll write a blog later on specific foods from Trader Joe’s that I love.
2. Melting Pot in Alpharetta on Mansell Rd – My husband and I love the Melting Pot and when I found out I was gluten intolerant I kept thinking OMG! I can never eat at the Melting Pot again. WRONG! I can!!! They have a gluten-free menu. Although a bit different, it is still AMAZING! We always get the Big Night Out. I got the Caesar Salad with no croutons, Swiss Cheese Fondue with no bread, the Fondue Feast in Coq au Vin cooking style (also mention substituting flour for cornstarch to the server for both the cheese and meal), substituted extra chicken for the Latin America Corn-Salsa Ravioli and of course the Original Chocolate Fondue (the only dippers you get are the strawberries and bananas). Always so yummy. I was joking with the server that I would bring my own dippers next time. He said I could, that gluten intolerant patrons bring their own bread for the cheese and brownie bites for the chocolate. GOOD IDEA. I’m trying that next time! They have a sauce called the Green Goddess. It is good on anything, especially on the chicken and stuffed into the mushroom caps. If you like spicy ask for a ramekin of jalapenos and mix in. The green goddess recipe found on grouprecipes.com is below.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into slices
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced chives
How to make it
- In a microwave-safe container, microwave cream cheese and milk for 2 to 4 minutes, whisking after each minute, until cream cheese melts and mixture is smooth.
- Stir in sour cream, onion, parsley and chives.
- Refrigerate until cold.
3. Outback in Roswell on Hwy 92 – Outback is known for their gluten-free menu. My husband and I have been going their for years and always get great service. Natalie, the bartender is great and very helpful in making suggestions on what I can eat. My favorite is the French Onion soup, no bread. It is the best French Onion soup I’ve ever stated. It doesn’t have the overpowering onion taste. The mixture between the broth, onions and cheese just melts in your mouth. If it weren’t so rude, I would pick up the bowl and drink out of it. I always get the soup no matter what I’m eating, but I would also suggest the Caesar salad with no croutons, add grilled chicken if you are in the mood, the tuna with no sauces. The Bloomin’ Onion is also gluten-free. Give it a try!
4. Belly’s Pizza in Roswell on Hwy 92 – Since discovering my gluten intolerance I’ve been wanting pizza so bad. I knew I didn’t want to eat pizza from anywhere because I would get sick, so I just kept putting my craving on the back burner until my friends suggested Belly’s. I had the White gluten-free pizza. The White pizza is extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, freshly grated parmesan, mozzarella & chopped fresh herbs. It was delicious. A must try. I have never felt better after eating pizza. As my husband said, “it is the best pizza.” I would say his rating is credible considering he is from the north and knows what good pizza is. It was the best pizza taste wise and even better because it was gluten-free and IC friendly (no tomato sauce).
5. Garrisons in Vinings – I love going to Garrison’s because they have a great outdoor patio and food of course. It is a nice place to stop with my parents and hubby on the weekends. Before my gluten-free days I would always get the turkey burger. Over the weekend when talking with the server Stephanie, she told me that the turkey burger is not gluten friendly, it is made with oats. Bummer! She told me that she is gluten intolerant and has brought awareness to the staff, including the cooks, so they can modify the menu to fit my needs. I ended up having the Shrimp and Pepper Jack Grits with a Caesar salad no croutons. If you love southern, spicy food like shrimp and grits, this is your meal. It has the perfect southern flavor with that extra kick. Enjoy!
6. Salt in Roswell – Oh so yummy! I had the peppercorn crusted tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes. I love tuna but not a fan of wasabi, but I took our server, Mark’s advice and tried it. I’m so glad I did because it was delicious. He was very accommodating to my gluten-free diet. Add a glass of red wine of your choosing and you have a wonderful meal.
Hope these suggestions help! Enjoy eating!!!