Thursday, August 29, 2013

THE ROME RESTAURANT, COLUMBIA, MO

HERE'S SOME BAD NEWS  for those of us in the gluten free community that enjoyed The Rome on Ninth, downtown Columbia, MO.

The good news is:

"Hodapp said... the family would continue to produce gluten-free products to sell at local grocery stores." Columbia Tribune, 8/28/13.

I hope the GF five cheese mac n cheese is one of the items that can be packaged and sold.

What do you think? Are you going to miss the Rome? There is some talk about a restaurant in southern Columbia. Will you support it?

Let us know what you think. We'd like to hear from you.

HER'S SOME GOOD NEWS!

Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken is now offering several gluten free items on their menu!

Reviews

There are two Columbia, MO locations: 2316 Paris Rd (474-5337) and 2200 W Ash St (445-6650).


GF items include the roast chicken classic and strips, I believe you can order a salad with roast chicken, green beans and cole slaw.

John, one of the partners, was kind enough to discuss their efforts to go gluten free, showing me how the food was prepped in the kitchen, the label for the ingredients used in the rub and the marinade.




The folks at Lee's are working hard to make sure there is no cross contamination in the kitchen and are being very, very careful with the ingredients to make sure those of us in the gf community are 'safe' when eating at Lee's.

Susan and I had lunch there recently. Susan thought the boneless wings were terrific (not gf) and I enjoyed my lunch very much (gf roast chicken strips, slaw and green beans). 

All of the sauces in the small containers are gf, BUT: THE WARM BBQ SAUCE MAY BE CROSS-CONTAMINATED BECAUSE THE BATTER-FRIED CHICKEN IS DIPPED IN THAT SAUCE! You can get gf BBQ sauce in one of the small containers. Make sure you tell the person at the counter you are gf so you don't get the roll.

After eating there I had no reaction to the food, so I'm confident my meal was gf!  Enjoy!

PS: we ate at the Lee's on Ash and the service was excellent. There is nice signage on the front door and on the counter about the gf menu items and the person at the counter (Mindy, I believe) had a good understanding of the gf concept.

Have you tried Lee's Famous Recipe GF chicken? Let us know what you think! We.d love to hear from you!

Friday, July 5, 2013

UNDERCLIFF BAR & GRILL

Undercliff Bar & Grill
6385 Old Highway 71
Joplin, MO 64804
417-623-8382





Recently Susan and I were in Joplin, MO., to watch one of our granddaughters compete in the Regional Track Meet - the qualifying meet to go to the National AAU Junior Olympics  - which will be held in Ypsilanti, Mich. in late July (she qualified for the 1,500, 3,000 and 4 x 800 relay and yes, we're very proud of her!).

While in Joplin we were anxious to try out the restaurant the locals believe to have the best burger in Joplin. Five randomly selected strangers, over two days,  gave us the same response - the Undercliff Bar and Grill.

So we fired up the GPS, loaded the address and headed for the Undercliff.

As you can see by the photos, the restaurant, originally a general store (1928) is built right into the side of a cliff. IN 1961 the general store, under new ownership, became Frank and Bonnie's, which was famous for fried chicken. The restaurant burned down in 1980 and was rebuilt as the Undercliff Bar & Grill in 1995. This is a family owned restaurant serving "fresh food to order."



Susan and I agree: this place should be featured on the TV show Diners, Drive Ins and Dives! It is a 'Dive' (and we mean that as a complement!). Our table was positioned against the back wall, which is the cliff!





Susan very much enjoyed her burger and fries.








And I thought my burger (on the gluten free bun I brought along; Against the Grain, available in Columbia at Natural Grocers) was great! Our waitress offered to take my bun to the fella working the grill so he  could toast it! Excellent! And look at all the sour cream on my potato!


NOTE; THERE ARE SOME GLUTEN FREE ITEMS  ON THE MENU, SO THIS IS NOT THE RESTAURANT FOR YOU IF YOU DEMAND A LARGE SELECTION OF GF ITEMS.

Here's a couple of shots of the burger menu.








We received excellent service, loved the burgers, LOVED the 'ambiance' and would recommend the Undercliff Bar & Grill to you if you're ever in the Joplin, MO area and are looking for a unique place to eat.




While many locals eat here, it does draw tourists, BUT note the pricing (our bill to the left):

We thought the price was more than fair!

If you try the place, let us know what you think; we'd really enjoy hearing from you. 

If you have a place in mind you would like to visit, let us know and when we are anywhere close we'll eat there and blog about it.



Friday, June 14, 2013

AGAINST THE GRAIN VERMONT COUNTRY ROLLS AT NATURAL GROCERS, COLUMBIA

I've been asking the fine folks at Natural Grocers on Stadium in Columbia to inventory Against the Grain hamburger buns (or rolls) and they have, in stock, right now, Gluten Free Against the Grain Vermont Country Rolls; they are in the freezer.

From the Against the Grain website:

 "Folks have been asking us for some time if we could develop a dairy free version of our popular gluten free breads, and now we have. Our Vermont Country Rolls are a unique Vermont original–light yet substantial enough to hold deli sandwiches and burgers. Our rolls have a unique, non-rice based formulation using organic coconut milk. Like all of our products, they are all natural, non-GMO, and are made with no preservatives, additives, or enzymes. Package of four rolls."

I just had one of the rolls (I had Sloppy Joe's for lunch) and I think these rolls are excellent; they're a great size for a burger and my roll held up beautifully even with the liquid that comes with a Sloppy Joe! These rolls are 'darker' than a regular hamburger bun, but don't let that put you off. 

I defrosted mine in the microwave.
A package of four costs $6.69. I bought two packages.

I spoke with one of the managers at Natural Grocers and he tells me they will continue stocking the item IF they sell enough to justify the space. I may go back tomorrow and buy a few more packages. A sales clerk told me she has seen several packages sold already, so that is great news. If, like me, you've been looking for a hamburger bun that does not taste like chalk, or cardboard, this is it! 

Give these rolls a try and please, let us know what you think. Is there a better option for burgers than this? If so, I would love to know about it so I can try it out. Thanks!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Sake Japanese Bistro and Bar
16 S 10th
Columbia, MO
573-443-7253



Entree menu




A friend invited me to lunch at Sake's last week and while at the bistro I noticed a burger on the menu. I'm not  much for fish in any case, but raw fish... well, that's not gonna work for me, so the burger is a great choice!

NOTE: Sake's regular burger includes soy sauce and the second ingredient on the label of the bottle of the soy sauce used at Sake is wheat! If you're gluten free and want the burger, ask if they will make your burger without soy.

My soy sauce-less burger is done just right, is seasoned perfectly and it's just juicy enough!







Here's a photo of the ketchup and 'special  sauce' our waiter brought to our table...i't's so beautiful I can't make myself eat it...so I just take photos of it.



HERE'S MORE GREAT NEWS: THE FRIES AT SAKE ARE GLUTEN FREE! They are nicely seasoned (you might note a slight hint of chili powder, I think) and are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

Our server does a great job! He visits the table just often enough, responds to our requests quickly and does a fine job making sure what I'm eating is actually gluten free.

AND EVEN MORE (AND, IN MY OPINION, EVEN GREATER) NEWS: since I'm gluten free I always bring my own gf bun (actually, I cut off a chunk of a baguette made by Against the Grain Gourmet) when I go to a restaurant and OUR SERVER OFFERS TO TOAST MY GF BUN FOR ME!

This is the first time this has ever happened - a server offering to toast the bread I brought along - and I LOVED IT! Gluten free bread is SO MUCH better toasted! 

Sake feels comfortable, it's not busy on the day we're eating there and there is excellent (blues) music playing just loud enough in the background.

Sake Japanese Bistro and Bar is located in downtown Columbia and it drives me nuts that I have to put money in a meter, then check my watch to make sure I don't get a parking ticket. I take two trips around the block to find a spot to park and find one only a short two blocks from Sake.

I enjoyed Sake very much and will be going back, this time with Susan.

We would love to hear from you. Have you tried eating at Sake? What do you think? Was your service as good as the service I enjoyed?

Do you have any gluten free restaurants you'd like us to try? Let us know and we'll give it a try as soon as we can!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

GF BROWNIES & CHOC CHIP COOKIES; HEIDELBERG

Here's some good news and bad news.

Let's start with the good news.

I made a pan of GF brownies WITH GF chocolate chip cookies (baked on top of the brownies) and they were GREAT!

Here's the scoop:


I went to the store and bought a box of Betty Crocker brownie mix and Betty Crocker choc chip cookie mix.

I like the way they taste, they're easy to make, don't require many additional ingredients and they were on sale!






Directions for brownies
 


                    Directions for cookies


                                                                

I prepared the brownies and put the batter into an 8" x 11" glass pan (spray the pan or they will stick), then prepared the choc chip cookie batter. I placed the cookie batter (after shaping the batter into cookies) ON TOP of  the brownie mix (before putting anything in the oven).

Then I put the entire concoction in the oven for about 25 minutes (keep on eye on them!)
                             

     Here is what the finished product looked like.



Since I couldn't wait - I have no willpower- I started eating them right out of the oven: FANTASTIC!

They're even better with ice cream, hot fudge, nuts and whipped cream!

I was going to frost  them with GF cream cheese frosting, too, but Susan insisted that was "crazy!" Next time.




Here's some BAD NEWS!

I went to the Heidelberg Restaurant (9th Street, downtown Columbia) to enjoy the GF chicken wings and GF french fries.

Except: THEY WERE NOT GLUTEN FREE!

At least, they weren't gluten free on this particular day!

It seems the folks at the Heidelberg sometimes fry the GF menu items in the same oil in which flour-battered products are fried.

Here's the disclaimer on their GF menu:

NOTE: look for the poorly presented (since it ends in mid-sentence!) disclaimer on the back side of the menu. See the little *?






That same * appears next to some of the items on the menu (see the tiny * on the menu below, next to the word WINGS..

I did NOT see the * until AFTER I'd ordered. I DID ask the waitperson, prior to ordering,  if the wings and fries were GF (yes, I was told, they are GF) and then, as I was taking photos of the GF menu for this blog, I noticed the *.


When the waitperson returned I asked if they were cooked in a dedicated oil. She went to the kitchen to check and came back with the sad news: TODAY THEY WERE BEING COOKED IN THE SAME OIL IN WHICH BATTER-FRIED PRODUCTS WERE BEING PREPARED!

BUMMER!

If you go to the Heidelberg (I won't be going back) for the GF products, BEWARE! You MUST ask, before you order, if the GF items are truly gluten free or if they've been cross-contaminated.

I've had the wings at the Heidelberg and they were GREAT (I was told, that time, they HAD BEEN prepared in a dedicated oil).

Here's a look at the wings (one or two are missing; Susan is not GF and went ahead and ate while I watched (agony!).





Friday, April 19, 2013

THE SHED-SPRING GREEN, WISCONSIN

The Shed
123 N Lexington St
Spring Green, WI 53588
608-588-9049

Review


En-route to Baraboo, Wisconsin, Susan and I stopped for lunch at The Shed, located in downtown Spring Green, Wisconsin.




Susan ordered the special from the menu board - deep fried haddock with baked potato and Cole slaw ($6.99).







"This is all 'homemade.'  It reminds me of a Wisconsin Fish Fry" she said. Fish Fries were almost mandatory eating on Friday nights when we were growing up in Wisconsin. "The slaw is just right-not too much vinegar and not too sweet.  I'm giving my lunch a 10/10!"




I ordered the Blooming Idiot burger ($6.99). This is a 1/2 pound cheeseburger with cheddar and Swiss over hot, stacked ham, with chips. My burger was medium (I prefer medium rare) and this one was medium. My burger was nicely seasoned and the ham and two cheeses on top of the burger is a nice touch, adding an excellent flavor.



Interestingly, The Shed offers a gluten free pizza. Of course, I ordered one, intending to re-heat it and eat it for dinner that night (which I did). The gf pizza is 10" and costs the same as the regular 12" pizza. The pizza was...OK.


Owned by Mark and Wynn Dedrick, eating at The Shed was a nice experience. I noticed pizza on the menu, but never thought to ask if they had a gf pizza. Lesson learned! From now on, I'll be asking. Wynn stopped by our table to say "Hi" and told us she made the gf pizza available because of the growing number of customers that had asked for it. "We've had the gf bread, too, but there just wasn't enough demand. The bread kept going bad, so we had to stop offering it."

If you're in the area, stop in and enjoy a meal at The Shed. These are nice folks offering good food.

As always, your comments are encouraged. If you've eaten at The Shed, let us know what you thought. If you've eaten at any restaurant with a gf  menu, please tell us about it; we'd like to hear from you.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Gritz Family Restaurant
14 Macon St
McDonough, GA 30253
770-914-0448


BREAKFAST

Susan and I are en-route to Orlando, Florida, for a week at Disney. We're approaching McDonough, GA, at about 10 am when I fire up the GPS in search of a restaurant for breakfast. I'm starving; its been over 8 hours since my last feeding, after all.

I scan the GPS and see a listing for Gritz Family Restaurant. Since Susan and I love local, family run restaurants, I input the address and we pull off the highway.

Gritz is located on the square in downtown McDonough. It's quite scenic, with a statue in the center of the square dedicated to the "...memory of our fallen Confederate Soldiers."

The restaurant is extremely busy at 10 am - the place is packed! We find a table quickly, though, and our waitress tells us we got there at a good time: "As always, there was a line of folks waiting for tables just prior to your getting here. If you think we're busy now you should be here at noon; the line will go all the way around the block; we'll be slammed."


Because Gritz is so busy it takes a bit of time for our food to arrive, but when it does we're incredibly happy we chose this place; our food is superb!

Susan orders the Western Omelette with hash browns ($6.95). It's huge: "Look at the size of this thing; are you going to be able to help me eat some of it? It's really good!"






I order the Cheese Omelette with hash browns ($4.55). I also order a side of grits ($1.50; I am eating at a restaurant named Gritz, after all) once I discover grits are made from corn and are gluten-free. My omelette is huge, too, which makes me a very, very happy man.

My breakfast is excellent! I finish my omelette, hash browns and grits and am happy to help Susan finish hers. That is what husbands are for, right?

If you happen to be in the area, we highly recommend Gritz Family Restaurant.

GRITZ MENU














REVIEWS FROM TRIP ADVISOR

We'd love to hear from you. Tell us what you think of our blog, suggest improvements, and please let us know what you think if you've tried Gritz - do you agree with our comments? - and please tell us about any restaurant (especially restaurants that cater to the gluten-free!) that you would recommend to those that are on the road..