Monday, July 14, 2014

Gluten-free brunch in North GA!

Buffet-style meals can be hit or miss when it comes to being gluten-free friendly.  Knowing what the safe options are and the placement of those dishes are equally important.  That said, you can find wonderful buffet meals here and there.

With the heat continuing to rise in the ATL, we wanted to head to the cooler climate in the North GA mountains recently.  We enjoyed the wine tasting flight at Wolf Mountain Vineyards a few years back and remembered how lovely the view was there.  This trip we decided to check out their Sunday brunch which has two seatings - 12:30 and 2:30 pm.  Since we wanted to sit on the covered patio, we chose the 12:30 option and let them know in advance I needed a gluten-free meal.  As always, I let them know I wasn't eating gluten-free for fun (although it's more fun than ever these days!).

The brunches at Wolf Mountain Vineyard have a theme each month and for July, the theme is BBQ.  Overall, the menu was fairly gluten-free friendly.  The options on the day we visited included, three types of meat, one BBQ sauce, beans, potato salad and gourmet salad.  Since it was my birthday weekend, I requested a gluten-free dessert (if possible) that wasn't fruit, ice creme or creme brulee.

The meats were all wonderful, but the chicken thighs were my favorite of the three.  So tender and juicy and smothered in a fabulous BBQ sauce!  The potato salad was also very tasty and far from the run-of-the-mill version I'm used to.  It had bacon in it which makes almost everything better.  I skipped the beans because the salad was insanely delicious and I had two helpings of it!  Fresh mixed greens topped with avocado, white cheddar cheese, seriously fresh tomatoes and house made dressing - what's not to love?!

My husband enjoyed the French toast casserole so I'm going to try to make a similar version with the new bread from Pure Knead (I call it gluten-free wonder bread!).  I've made a pretty good recipe for this using a well known gluten-free bread, but it takes a soft and fluffy bread to make it perfect in my opinion.  I'll let you know how it turns out later...too hot for that right now!

OK - back to the brunch.  I was pretty full before my dessert arrived, but once I saw the huge portion of crust-less key lime pie, I could not resist eating at least a 1/3 of it!  My husband usually gets my dessert left overs and he was surprised that this time, his portion was less than normal.  He had the cobbler dessert which he very much liked anyway.  And to the credit of whoever made my dessert, they did more than just pour some key lime filling into the dish.  There was a layer of pie filling, then some custard or whipped cream in the middle and then another layer of pie filling.  There was a scrumptious raspberry sauce drizzled on the pie filling and a dollop of fresh whipped creme on top!  If I'd had a cooler in the car, I probably wouldn't have shared it at all.  It was that delicious!

Between the wonderful meal, the fun live entertainment and the incredible view and the wine tasting downstairs after brunch, we had an absolutely wonderful afternoon at the winery.  We'll be checking out the brunch menus in the future in case there's another one that looks like a good bet for gluten-free options.

For anyone interested in the wine tastings at Wolf Mountain Vineyards, you might want to take your own cheese straws from Marilyn's (sold at Whole Foods in the ATL) or order the cheese plate without crackers.  Since we were full from brunch, we didn't need a snack.  They put out regular bread sticks for the tastings.  There are several nice wine included in the tasting, but the Sunset Rose is a perfectly light wine for the long hot days of summer!

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