Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Off the Menu: Corazon at Castle Hill

Corazon at Castle Hill is FANTASTIC for gluten-free diners!!! Please note also that many items below are without empanadas, flour tortillas or croutons to make them gluten-free. All items are marked on the menu with a heart symbol.  Enjoy!!

Sopa de Elote
Posole Blanco

Nopalitos Salad
Corazon House Salad
Southwestern Caesar Salad add either chicken or grilled shrimp
Interior Mexican Grilled Chicken Salad
Spicy "Hacked" Chicken Salad
Grilled Salmon and Arugula Salad

Grilled Black Angus Beef Tenderloin
Grilled Half Rack of Lamb
Sauteed Gulf Redfish
Pan Seared and Roasted Duck Breast
Roasted Pork Tenderloin
New York Strip with Red Wine Sauce
Potato-Corn Sope with Wild Mushroom
Vegetable Chile Relleno
Shrimp Enchiladas

Differences in Lunch Menu:
Soups and Salad Same as Above

Casual Plates:
Al Pastor

Beef Carne Asada
Yucatecan Style Seared Fish
Chicken Enchiladas Mole Negro

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Off the Menu: Garrido's

Garrido's is an authentic Mexican restaurant located right under the 360 building in downtown Austin. They have a great patio and can almost always accommodate large parties. Their menu is surprisingly almost totally gluten-free. I have received the following email from management:

Hi Jaime - we have quite a few gluten free choices. All of our tortillas are made in house and are corn so you can have the tacos. We are more than happy to bake some chips for you as well, we don't use flour in any of our sauces to thicken them and the only items on our menu which come into contact with flour are the bocaditos since we use flour to lightly fry for our oysters. Other than those items, most of our menu should be a safe choice for you. Feel free to ask your server if you have any questions while you are at the restaurant for the birthday dinner.

Please find the gluten-free dinner menu below (they have them starred on the menu) - the lunch is almost the same with a few less options - as always let them know so you can make sure that your entire order is safe:

Antojitos (ask for tortillas for dipping or they will bake some chips for you):
Shrimp Cocktail “Acapulco”
Mushroom-Corn Quesadillas
Roasted Chicken Quesadillas

Spring Greens with seasonal vegetables  
House Vinaigrette or Chipotle Ranch Dressing                                           
Add to any Salad:
Mushrooms and Rajas
Grilled Chicken and Onions 
Steak and Onions

Make it a plate with a choice of three tacos, rice and your choice of beans
Single / Plate                                              
Pork Carnitas t with lettuce, pico de gallo, grilled onions, queso fresco 
Coffee Marinated Steak with onion, jack cheese, chipotle-horseradish aioli
Roasted Chicken t with caramelized onions, cheese, lettuce and pico de gallo  
Mushrooms and Rajas t with ancho cream, julienne poblanos, grilled onions, cotija cheese, lettuce and pico de gallo and habanero-tomatillo salsa
Roasted Beef Brisket t  

All Enchiladas are topped with queso fresco and crema
Chicken with habanero cream sauce, garnished  with guacamole and pickled red onions
Beef Brisket with morita chile sauce, garnished  with guacamole and pico de gallo
Potato and Rajas with julienne poblanos and habanero cream sauce, garnished with  guacamole and pickled red onions
Cheese with habanero cream sauce, garnished  with guacamole and pickled red onions 

Shrimp with polenta, corn, queso blanco topped with ancho crema
Beef Picadillo t and cheese topped with  habanero salsa roja 
Grilled Veggie and cheese topped with  habanero salsa roja
Chicken Tinga and cheese topped with morita chile sauce

Gulf Red Snapper t - Pan seared with guajillo caper butter sauce, polenta and seasonal vegetables

Entrees to Share (for two):
Pork Carnitas for Two t Slow roasted pork served with lettuce, habanero-tomatillo salsa, Gulf Red Snapper seared and finished with mojo de ajo butter, pickled red onions,  guacamole and cheese                         
Mojo Fish for Two  served with lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole and salsa fresca

Arroz Verde
Seasonal Vegetables
Side Guacamole
Charro Beans w/Bacon
Mexican Street Corn
Refried Black Beans
Salsa Trio

Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Off the Menu: North by Northwest

North by Northwest Brewery at 183N and Mopac is a hidden gem. They have a fantastic atmosphere, good food, great happy hour specials and entertainment; but because they are slightly away from downtown (for my grad school friends who think 5 miles north is far!) I think many don't know about them. I've had fantastic experiences there because I have friends from college who LOVED NXNW and it is only fitting to talk about them during SXSW :) They also do a huge celebration for Oktoberfest and have a Brewer's Brunch every weekend.

Here is their gluten-free menu - and of course they have a variety of wines! Enjoy:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Off the Menu: Austin's Pizza

I realized that I have been ordering Austin's Pizza since being diagnosed but I never actually wrote about them on my blog. There are multiple locations, all of which are very tuned in to gluten-free and what that means. I've never gotten sick from their pizza or hot wings and really enjoy the "splurge". It is definitely easy for one person to finish the 10" gluten-free pizza so plan accordingly!

Gluten-free friendly items:
Pizza crust - 10" only
Sauces: marinara, pesto and alfredo
Toppings: (they say all are gluten-free and I know the pepperoni is, but I was ask just in case for the other meats)
Canadian Bacon
Grilled Chicken
Artichoke Hearts
Black Olives
Green Bell Peppers
Green Olives
Kalamata Olives
Red Onions
Roma Tomatoes
Sun-dried Tomatoes
Extra Mozzarella
Jack Cheddar Cheese
Chevere Goat Cheese
Feta Cheese
Portabella Mushrooms
Salads: Greek and Garden
Hot Wings
Gluten-Free Blondie Bar for dessert!

Enjoy! The g-free pizzas don't take any longer either, added bonus!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

G-Free Visit to Chicago

This weekend I was lucky enough to finish my MBA mid-terms AND fly up to Chicago to spend some quality time with my brother, mom and dad. It was so great to see them and every time I come to Chicago I enjoy it. We hit up the Field Museum, The Second City, the "L" (I was impressed with my train navigation skills) and of course some great restaurants. I knew coming to this city would be easier than traveling to most. With the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago, headquarters of companies such as Enjoy Life Foods and the Gluten-Free Expo I figured it'd be much easier to figure out than other traveling I've done.

Upon arrival on Friday night I have to admit we spent awhile trying to figure out where to go for dinner. It's not that we couldn't find anything it's just that my brother doesn't have a car in the city and was not in the mood for anything. Luckily, within walking distance of our hotel and his apartment was an Irish pub/bar called Wilde Bar & Restaurant with a full and impressive gluten-free menu as well as a gluten-free menu for brunch. I had the buffalo chicken sandwich on Udi's bread with mashed potatoes the first night and then for lunch the next day (yes we went back) I got the gluten-free Wilde macaroni & cheese which was AWESOME. And for those of you who are beer fans they had a few varieties. Please note though that our waitress wasn't sure why the french fries were still on the menu because they are fried in the same fryer as everything else!! I'm glad she told me!

For dinner Saturday night we went to my brother's choice Weber Grille which also had a printed up and ready to go gluten-free menu! I got the traditional burger with coleslaw and it was fantastic. I was a little disappointed that I couldn't get any of their famous BBQ (rubs and soy sauce based BBQ) because it smelled fantastic from across the table. It's a great place for families though and right downtown. They definitely display their famous Weber Grills everywhere.

For lunch today we went to the famous Lou Malnati's for their deep dish pizza. For the gluten-free patrons they make something called a "crustless" pizza where the crust is made out of lean sausage (see pic below - not mine but you get the idea) and the remainder is the same. It's not as deep as the originals but having some marinara, cheese and fresh veggies on my pizza was nice! I would definitely suggest it. We did discover that Gino's also had gluten-free pizza but didn't have time to get there this weekend.

Finally, for dinner tonight I ordered delivery from an asian restaurant called Big Bowl (one of the Lettuce Entertain You locations) and was thrilled to finally find a place that would deliver to my brothers house (no car), had gluten-free food and gave me some confidence. I ended up getting the gluten-free mongolian beef and it was great! They did put some regular soy sauce and fortune cookies in the bag but the meal itself was completely safe (I'm still here!).

Overall, it was a really successful trip. We didn't have a chance to hit up any breakfast locations but there are Starbucks' at every corner so I was good with my grande skinny vanilla latte and a banana :) Thanks so much to my family for making this weekend fantastic!