Friday, May 31, 2019

Chattanooga ups it's gluten-free game!

Just before the Avalon location of Bantam+Biddy closed in 2018, one of the partners informed us that there was a location opening in July in Chattanooga.  Since our in-laws live there, for the last 16 years we've been regular visitors to the area.  There have been VERY few times when I encountered exciting gluten-free options.  Tony's Trattoria is heads above the rest in terms of gluten-free menus/delicious gluten-free food, but they are the exception. Terra Nostra was pretty impressive, but they are closing for good this summer.  So yeah...Chattanooga isn't on anyone's list to visit for the gluten-free options.  It's the opposite of say...Asheville, NC.

When we were in Chattanooga last September, Bantam+Biddy wasn't open, but it opened soon thereafter.  Upon our return, a couple of weeks ago, B+B was open and we finally got to try it.  The menu was either the same, or very similar to the Ansley Mall location here. We started with the fried green tomatoes (with VERY spicy goat cheese spread), and I had fried chicken tenders and Brussels sprouts.  My husband had some biscuit sandwich (not gluten-free) that he really enjoyed. We were so stuffed (we usually don't order an appetizer at lunch!) so we had to skip dessert.  I'd hoped we could pop back in for dessert during the visit, but the Ironman competition was that weekend and it was TOO crowded in town.  It's so exciting to have such an amazing place to enjoy when in Chattanooga!

Also, most people there don't know all the chicken fingers at B+B are gluten-free.  If you're going with a gluten eater, don't mention it until they tell you how amazing they!  Even then, you might have a hard time convincing them they just had gluten-free chicken fingers. Not sure why it's such a hard concept to grasp, but apparently for some people, it most definitely is ;)

You can read more about the wonderful addition to downtown Chattanooga - location, etc. - here


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Dollar Tree offers gluten-free travel friendly snacks

The last time we took an int'l Delta flight, in 2017, my gluten-free meal was mostly inedible.  So for a recent international trip, I packed enough food to get through the 8+ hour long flight.  There was a snack, dinner and breakfast being served and I was given all but the snack.  The flight attendant actually apologized for that, and mentioned that her own daughter has celiac.  She was the most thoughtful such employee I've encountered on the subject in over a decade.

When you have to make a meal out of snacks (assuming you won't have access to a microwave), it's a good idea to include some protein, fat and limited carbs.  Crackers and pretzels don't really satisfy if you're in need of a proper meal.  While I packed some items I got at Trader Joe's (trail mix snack bags, for instance), I also found some worthwhile items at the Dollar Tree store.  You know...the place where everything is literally a dollar.  Who knew such a place would offer some interesting gluten-free snacks which are perfect for traveling?!

Even though I had a bag of bacon jerky (you can find many gluten-free jerky options these days), I also picked up a mini pack of pepperoni.  It was real pepperoni, not turkey, so it's fairly greasy. However, it will provide some much needed protein in a pinch.

Lay's Stax chips, which are labeled gluten-free, are also a good option.  You can remove some of the chips from the can, and put baggies of other things inside, under the chips, if need be.  My husband isn't a fan of Stax chips so a whole canister is a bit much to pack for just me.

Jiff peanut butter 3-pack is a great value for only a buck and I still have two containers left over for future adventures.

The only gourmet type item I found at Dollar Tree were seasoned olives.  I'd first discovered GAEA olives in Montreal or Victoria, Canada...I really can't recall for sure...but the pack didn't cost anywhere near a $1 at the!  There were just two flavors of the GAEA brand olives at the discount store, including my favorite - Lemon & Oregano.  As always, the olives were delicious!

There are some nuts, seeds and such available at the Dollar Tree as well.  There are obviously many items that travel well, but not many I've found in regular grocery stores are a good value. They're  convenience items and you pay for said convenience.  But not at Dollar Tree...everything's a dollar...convenience item or not ;)

Safe and happy summer travels to all!


Friday, May 24, 2019

Genius bread comes to the ATL!

The "real" Genius gluten-free bread hits the ATL!  Well, it's great news in a way, but like many things, it's not as great in the US as in other countries.  The Genius bread (not the Glutino version which was previously available here) is now sold at Earthfare stores.  I only found this out because I wanted to buy the bread in Spain.  It's not sold there, according to the store finder on the Genius site. Anyway, sure enough, the bread is in the bakery (ships/stored frozen, before being put out) at Earthfare.  I bought the multi-grain and white versions and though they were quite tasty, they are NOT the same as in Scotland.  I'm not sure if the ingredients are the same, but the loaf is at least 50% smaller.  That might be related to why the crust is "tough"... Also, the slices are about 1/3 thinner which could also be affecting the taste.  I still like the bread, but it's not mind-blowingly delicious like the first version I had.  It's definitely not worth the drive to Earthfare for it, when I can buy Canyon Bakehouse bread, that's almost as good, at Sprouts. 

The version of Genius bread I found in Scotland is still the best gluten-free bread I've had in over 12 years.  If you missed my post about it, you can find it here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

King BBQ closes at Avalon

On our last visit to Bantam+Biddy Avalon, we found out they were closing that location and rebranding the place as a BBQ joint.  The same owners would be in charge so I'd hoped there would be decent gluten-free menu options.  And after a brief stint without chicken fingers, continued complaints of that fact online helped to bring them back to the menu.  That's why we went in to try the place months after it reopened as King BBQ.  My husband really liked the BBQ he ordered and I loved the chicken fingers and cornbread as usual.  Two months later, in December 2018, we stopped by for an early dinner only to find that King BBQ had closed down.

Though the closing is disappointing for those of us who like to order gluten-free chicken fingers every so often, we can't say we were surprised.  Like Yeah! Burger, King had the order-at-the-counter set up.  Unlike Yeah! Burger, there wasn't a place for people to stand in line while they ordered.  My husband even mentioned on our only visit there that he couldn't imagine they would be able to keep the order-at the counter process at King.  At least it wouldn't be feasible without them moving some tables and other things around to accommodate that set up.

*Apologies for the tardiness of this post - I literally thought it posted a while ago!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Citizen Soul makes the gluten-free grade!

After coming home from France and Spain recently, I sadly settled back into the reality that gluten-free specialty items such as bread, pastries, etc. are all MUCH better in other countries (including Canada!) than here at home.  I'm not sure why that is...but store bought and bakery stuff is just not anywhere near as good here as in several countries we've visited in the 12 years since my celiac dx.

Please don't misunderstand - the new hip eatery in downtown Alpharetta, Citizen Soul, doesn't currently offer gluten-free bread.  But...they offer something even more exciting - gluten-free fried chicken!  It's amazing...flavorful and tender!  The sides with it (currently grits and green beans) are also wonderful!  We shared the stonefruit salad which was so fresh and flavorful we thought we might be back in Barcelona ;)  The chocolate cake is huge and scrumptious...enough for 2 or three to share...for! 

Service was lovely and not rushed even though the place is usually packed.  Parking is easy in the close by free parking deck.  Great cocktails as well....Citizen Soul is a wonderful addition to downtown eateries.  In fact, as of now, it's THE best place down there for my money!   

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