Monday, December 7th: Our (second) trip to Risotteria!!

December 14, 2009

A doctor ordered ban on gluten to calm an auto-immune condition has left me jonesing for pizza! Sure, there are plenty of options in the frozen food section (see our recent blog post). But frozen pizza, no matter how good, is still frozen pizza, and I longed for a fresh out of the oven experience!  Risotteria is a small restaurant on Bleecker St in NYC that serves GF pizza, risotto, Panini and plenty of GF desserts.

On our first visit, we noticed most of the patrons are enjoying risotto over the pizza. Allyson, Jordi and I dig into the breadsticks-salty, flavorful-almost air puffed but stick-to-the-teeth-ish.  Tasty, yet odd – but then again, pre-meal baskets of bread are typically off limits to me so this is a fun experience already!!.  The menu is conveniently coded, GF, V, D, etc. – everyone knows what to avoid.  Jordi orders risotto w/ a meat topping. Allyson and I share a margarita pie-basics for the baseline tasting! And a bottle of wine to chase it down,  Avalon. (FYI-Risotteria offers Gluten-Free beer, as well).  I tasted Jordi’s risotto (around the meat) and it was delish-firm, not mushy. Our pizza-a  4 slice personal pie was lovely.. fresh basil and mozzarella, light sauce and thin, thin crust. My first thought? OMG I am having pizza! It was heaven! The only bummer was the crust, like the breadstick it left a chew in my teeth.  We each ordered a GF dessert: apple pie, tira misu and carrot cake. Tiramisu was a chocolate tiramisu.  The cream was delightful-but the cake had that odd chewiness to it and no coffee flavor.  The carrot cake was very flavorful-but dry-almost like stale bread. The pie? Wow! How did they get a GF pie crust to flake like that????? On our way out we grabbed a B&W cookie. Jackpot!  You would never know it was GF!! Fresh, spongey and cakey w/ vanilla and chocolate icing!

Jordi couldn’t join us for round 2,  so Allyson and I had to eat everything on our own, shucks!  On our second visit, we were disappointed to find the breadsticks chewy again; we can’t help but wonder how they taste warm and fresh out of the oven. We ordered a portobello, dried tomato and spinach panini since we hadn’t had that pleasure last time and a pizza. We were delighted to find the Panini bread stood up to the fillings….a unique, hard-to-find trait in gluten free breads.  The filling was flavorful and fresh.  The pizza we selected was olive puree-based with goat-cheese, arugula and oven dried tomato.  It was SUPER tasty, with a very thin and crunchy crust.  You can imagine our almost embarrassment when we ordered three desserts-the staff must have thought we were on a binge!  Because it had so much potential our last trip, we revisited the carrot cake-it was tasty as we remembered, but fresher!   Fantastic! Cupcakes were next; we sampled the chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing and filling and the vanilla cupcake with strawberry filling and icing.  We were a little underwhelmed by the chocolate cupcake, expecting to revisit ding dong and hostess cupcakes memories. But the vanilla/strawberry cupcake? OMG! Do you remember what a jelly doughnut tastes like?  Yup, well you can visit that memory here with these cupcakes! We were blown away by the strawberry!

Walking down the street in NYC inevitably takes one past a pizza joint, and the smell that wafts out ushers in happy pre-gluten free lifestyle memories of a slice at the counter. Risotteria doesn’t quite duplicate that experience, but nonetheless it is thrilling to be able to meet friends and know I can safely enjoy all aspects of the menu. And enjoy I did!


November 30, 2009: Mmm Mmm Muffins

November 30, 2009

 

 

 

MICHELE’S RATING ALLYSON’S RATING
CATEGORY Baked Goods

 

 

PRODUCT Grainless Baker Inc Zucchini muffins

 

 

INGREDIENTS LIST Zucchini, sugar, cornstarch, tapioca starch, vegetable oil, bean flour (garbanzo and fava), eggs, spices, sorghum flour, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, vanilla

 

 

PRICE $6.49

 

 

SPECIAL NOTES Contains soy and eggs

 

 

SPECIAL DIET INFO Gluten free

 

 

TASTE

 

YUM YUM

 

COMMENTS:

MICHELE:

I liked these best at room temp.,  when  we heated them, the taste was really altered, almost chemically.  The texture is really very muffin-ish, the flavor and seasoning were great. 

 

ALLYSON:

Muffins are one thing that I really missed about not eating gluten.  These definitely satisfy that craving, but I agree- heated, they were a disaster.


November 27, 2009: PIZZA PIZZA!

November 30, 2009

Well, this is hardly my grandma’s pizza…I think the thought of trying to make a crust that couldn’t be manhandled and tossed around would have her spinning in her grave!  But regardless, there are so many options out there in the stores for gluten free pizza – it is surely one of the most sorely missed items in a gluten free existence.  We tried them out (post our first risotteria visit) to see how they stood up to our picky palates.

MICHELE’S RATING ALLYSON’S RATING
CATEGORY Pizza
PRODUCT Glutino Duo Cheese Pizza
INGREDIENTS LIST Water, mozzarella-brick cheese, corn starch, tapioca starch, tomatoes, safflower oil, onions, evaporated cane juice, green peppers, modified corn starch, egg whites, salt, guar gum, glucono-delta-lactone, yeast extract, pectin, sugar, sodium bicarbonate, sodium alginate, modified cellulose, paremesan cheese, spices, garlic
PRICE $6.19
SPECIAL NOTES Made in a gluten free facility
SPECIAL DIET INFO Gluten free, contains soy and dairy
TASTE YUM YUM

COMMENTS:

MICHELE:

Crust:

Foods by George had a pastry-like crust, the Glutino had a chewier crust, and Amy’s had  a pita-like crust.

Cheese:

The foods by George had pecorino cheese, which really gave it bite!  The Glutino cheese melted beautifully – the best I think – and didn’t burn. And the Amy’s soy cheese was, well, soy cheese.

Sauce/Seasoning:  the Glutino just stands out-it’s the peppers I think.  Everything else was like a tomato paste, uninteresting but tomatoe-ey, but the Glutino had a sauce going on.

My favorite overall was the Glutino…as far as frozen pizzas are concerned, these were all pretty good.

ALLYSON:

Crust:

This is my favorite part of the pizza, and the glutino crust fared the best.  It most resembled a true New York pizza crust – not too thick and not too thin, and just the right amount of chewiness.  Foods by George was a close second, as their crust was flakier, and Amy’s was a somewhat distant third – the crust was just too flat.

Sauce:

Again, the glutino came in first in this category.  Their sauce was seasoned and not overly tomato-past-y.  Although, to George’s credit, the lack of seasoning in his sauce made the pecorino stand out more.  Amy’s sauce was fine – nothing to write home about but tasty overall.

Cheese: BY GEORGE, he got it!  George’s pecorino was outstanding.  Hated the soy cheese in Amy’s and loved how the glutino cheese looked like real pizza cheese.

Overall?  A tie between George and Glutino.

MICHELE’S RATING ALLYSON’S RATING
CATEGORY
PRODUCT Foods by George Gluten free Cheese Pizza
INGREDIENTS LIST Mozzarella cheese, water, white rice flour, tomato sauce, evaporated cane juice, romano cheese, yeast, salt, spices, guar gum, garlic powder, potato flour, canola oil, evaporated cane juice, potato flour,  tomato sauce, egg whites, guar gum, garlic powder.
PRICE
SPECIAL NOTES
SPECIAL DIET INFO
TASTE YUM YUM

November 23, 2009: can gluten-phobes enjoy dinner rolls??

November 30, 2009

 

    MICHELE’S RATING ALLYSON’S RATING
CATEGORY Breads    
PRODUCT Gillian’s French Dinner Rolls    
INGREDIENTS LIST White rice flour, tapioca flour, water, soy flour, guar gum, egg whites, soy oiol, yeast, salt, raw cane sugar.    
PRICE $6.99 per package  of six    
SPECIAL NOTES Must keep frozen    
SPECIAL DIET INFO Wheat, Gluten, Dairy free    
TASTE   YUM YUM
WEBSITE      
       

 

COMMENTS:

MICHELE:

These are the first glutne free product I ever tried and they have remained one of my favorites.  I love how they flake like a crescent roll.  Taste and texture = awesome!

 

ALLYSON:

I do not eat a lot of rolls, but these are delish.  They are soft and chewy, but not in a bad way.  Dipped in olive oil, these are a perfect pre-dinner snack.

 


November 5, 2009: Return of the Glutinos

November 6, 2009

glutinocookies 

 

 

MICHELE’S RATING ALLYSON’S RATING
CATEGORY Cookies

 

 

PRODUCT Glutino lemon flavored wafer cookies

 

 

INGREDIENTS LIST Evaporate cane juice, palm oil, potato flour, soy oil, soy lecithin, citric acid, salt,lemon flavor, sodium bicarbonate, ammonium bicarbonate

 

 

PRICE $3.99 per box

 

 

SPECIAL NOTES

 

 

 

SPECIAL DIET INFO Gluten free

 

 

TASTE

 

YUM YUM
WEBSITE www.glutino.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS:

MICHELE

Served these at a party the other day with the non-gluten free crowd and they were  a hit!  Everyone found them enjoyable and refreshing, especially me.

 

ALLYSON:

Wafer cookies are a childhood favorite of mine – I used to love  those protein bars that were wafer-y for the same reason.  These are delicious and I love that the lemon is a departure from the typical wafer-cookie flavor.

 


November 1, 2009: TWILIGHT (sorry, no Vampires)

November 6, 2009
    MICHELE’S RATING ALLYSON’S RATING
CATEGORY Bars    
PRODUCT Twilight candy bar    
INGREDIENTS LIST Corn syrup, beet sugar, evaporated cane juice, palm kernel oil, palm oil, cocoa powder, rice powder, soyprotein concentrate, dextrose, natural flavors, soybean lecithin, salt, malt powder, enzyme modified soy protein, carrageenan    
PRICE $2.99 per bar    
SPECIAL NOTES Vegan, no trans fats    
SPECIAL DIET INFO Dairy free    
TASTE   GLUM GLUM
WEBSITE http://www.gomaxgofoods.com    
       

COMMENTS:

MICHELE:

I didn’t get anything other than sweet from it. 

ALLYSON:

Even though it is a candy bar, this was way over the top with sweetness.  Beet sugar and cane juice??  They definitely could cut back on the sweet part…and in that process would make their ‘vegan’ food a lot healthier overall!


October 22, 2009: Good Old Trader Joe

October 23, 2009

 I think it is important to note hear that Trader Joe’s gets the ultimate shout out for budget friendly gluten free products.   Although some of these were not our favorite products, they are by FAR the best value out there.  This is a concept that more companies need to adopt for those of us who can’t take out a second mortgage to afford good food!!traderjoesgranola

    MICHELE’S RATING ALLYSON’S RATING
CATEGORY Crunch!    
PRODUCT Trader Joe’s gluten free granola    
INGREDIENTS LIST Corn flour, water, evaporated cane juice, rice flour, rice bran, raisin juice concentrate, brazil nuts, honey, salt, canola oil, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, raisins, sesame seeds, dried coconut, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, dried cranberries, pecans, dried apricots, natural vanilla flavor, natural maple flavor, sea salt    
PRICE $3.49 for 12 oz    
SPECIAL NOTES Dairy free, low in sodium    
SPECIAL DIET INFO Gluten free    
TASTE   YUM Ho-Hum
WEBSITE www.traderjoes.com    
       

                                                                                             

 

COMMENTS:

MICHELE

So Yum…so much crunch, fantastic!!  And it doesn’t get soggy fast.

 

ALLYSON:

Lots of crunch, but I like my granola a little heartier – this tasted too much like a kid’s cereal to me.  Might buy it again, but  not a definite. 

 

 

 

MICHELE’S RATING

ALLYSON’S RATING

CATEGORY

Crunch!

 

 

PRODUCT

Trader Joe’s gluten free granola

 

 

INGREDIENTS LIST

Corn flour, water, evaporated cane juice, rice flour, rice bran, raisin juice concentrate, brazil nuts, honey, salt, canola oil, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, raisins, sesame seeds, dried coconut, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, dried cranberries, pecans, dried apricots, natural vanilla flavor, natural maple flavor, sea salt

 

 

PRICE

$3.49 for 12 oz

 

 

SPECIAL NOTES

Dairy free, low in sodium

 

 

SPECIAL DIET INFO

Gluten free

 

 

TASTE

 

YUM

Ho-Hum

WEBSITE

www.traderjoes.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                             

 

COMMENTS:

MICHELE

So Yum…so much crunch, fantastic!!  And it doesn’t get soggy fast.

 

ALLYSON:

Lots of crunch, but I like my granola a little heartier – this tasted too much like a kid’s cereal to me.  Might buy it again, but  not a definite.


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