Labor Day Food Coma

I’ve come to the conclusion that I am a foodie. Even with this blog, I’m surprised it took me this long to realize it. I think it’s because the word foodie has a snobby connotation, but by definition a foodie is someone who just loves food! And who doesn’t?!screen-shot-2016-09-06-at-8-54-06-pm

Most people spend Labor Day Weekend at the beach enjoying the last weekend of bathing suit season, but I spent my weekend in the complete opposite way… Eating, eating and more eating. Well I guess you could say I enjoyed the last weekend of bathing suit season by not worrying about having to be in a bathing suit for another 7 months.

This time my eating adventures took me to Atlanta. A place I called home for 4 years before moving back to New Jersey. I made sure my return to the ATL included stops to all of my favorite Gluten Free food spots! Check out the highlights from this weekend:

Friday September 2nd

Lunch: PIZZA! Most people who move to the South can’t wait to come back to New York to have some good pizza. I on the other hand couldn’t wait to get to Atlanta to have some good pizza. All of the places around me in New Jersey have terrible gluten free pizza. While I was at school in Atlanta I fell in love with Romeo’s Pizza. Their Gluten Free Pizza was 👌 and ironically it is New York Style Pizza…. They can put any kind of toppings on their gluten free crust.

Dinner: UMI. Umi is a sushi restaurant in Atlanta that is perfect for special occasions. It is definitely expensive but is worth every penny. Their fish is so fresh and they are really good about gluten allergies. They make as many dishes as they can with gluten free soy sauce or gluten free ponzu.

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Here is my go to order for two at Umi.
– Edamame
– Yellowtail Jalapeno
– Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice (*There is cross contamination with this dish)
-Ume-Kyu Maki Roll – it sounds weird, but trust me, its good!
– Bincho-Maguro Sashimi
– Hinomaru Nigiri
– Sake Aioli  Nigiri (Without the Aioli)
– Otoro Caviar Nigiri
– Kobe- Beef Nigiri **My personal favorite

Dessert: Jeni’s Ice Cream at Krog Street Market. Krog Street Market is located right on the Atlanta Beltline, and has numerous food stalls including a Jeni’s Ice Cream. Jeni’s is an artisan ice cream company that was started in Columbus, Ohio. Usually my go-to flavor is the Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso, but I decided to try some of the new summer flavors… Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk and Watermelon Buttermilk Frozen Yogurt.

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Saturday September 3rd

Pre-lunch snack: a fresh Macaron from Sur La Table! (Post to come on this adventure)

Dinner: Genki with my cousin and sister before heading to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Genki has gluten free soy sauce that they can make with any of their rice bowls.

A diversion from the food to write a piece on my favorite tourist attraction in Atlanta. The Atlanta Botanical Gardens has a night exhibit every summer featuring art installations around the grounds of the gardens. This years exhibit was Chihuly at Night. They installed 20 Chihuly sculptures on the grounds of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and lit them up. It was an amazing exhibit and I highly recommend it!

Ok, back to the food.

Sunday September 4th

Breakfast: West Egg Cafe. West Egg Cafe is an all day breakfast spot in Atlanta. They have amazing coffee and breakfast. They don’t have any special gluten free dishes i.e. pancakes or bread, but their egg dishes are amazing and everything is made to order so they can substitute anything that contains gluten.

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Lunch: Yeah! Burger. When I booked my trip to Atlanta I immediately told my sister we had to stop at Yeah! Burger for Gluten Free Onion Rings. I have only seen Gluten Free Onion Rings served in two restaurants. Once was in London, the other was at Yeah! Burger.  They also have gluten free rolls and hot dog buns which are great but I plan my meal around the onion rings :).

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That’s all for this journey! Let me know in the comments if you have any favorite spots in Atlanta!

Gluten Free Finds at Smorgasburg!

Hello Friends! It’s been a while since I had a new post. It hasn’t been for lack of adventures, but more the lack of time to write about them. This weekend’s adventure however deserves a post!

If you’re in the NY/NJ Area you’ve most likely heard of Smorgasburg. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an outdoor market on Saturdays and Sundays in Brooklyn. It’s a place for foodies and Instagrammable moments. (The number of times I heard the phrase “I have to Instagram this before we eat,” was insane!) The amazing view of Manhattan is not a bad accessory to the photos.

This was my first trip to Smorgasburg and before embarking on my journey I decided to do some research. My research consisted of gluten free spots at Smorgasburg, best stops at Smorgasburg, and tips for Smorgasburg. There was a lack of information online about gluten free options at Smorgasburg, but once I got there I was pleasantly surprised!!! There were a ton of places that had signs for gluten free options! (Many more than I actually tried.)

When you first get there I definitely suggest doing a lap (or two) before deciding on your food options. It might be crowded but it’s definitely worth it. Explore all the options before deciding on where you want to eat. I only did one lap and I actually regret it. I was too quick to decide and realized afterwards there were other options I wanted to spend my $ and stomach space on. Also, heads up the food is expensive at Smorgasburg. Gluten Free eaters are used to spending a little more on food but these prices were a little crazy.

Anyway, enough of the money. Lets talk about the food! 😍

My main stop for lunch was at Red Hook Lobster Pound! I got the Naked Maine Style Lobster Roll. Right on their sign they said if “Gluten Free order it Naked!”  I didn’t need to explain why I wanted the Lobster Roll on a plate with no bun.

I would give the lobster roll 4 out of 5 stars. It was amazing, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t have ordered it another style, but for $19 it wasn’t a lot of food.

For my next stop, my sister and I decide to try Raindrop Cake. We wanted to know what all the hype was about. The people at the stand were well-educated and said everything was Gluten Free.

 

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I have to say, I am not a fan of raindrop cake. There is no flavor and it’s a weird texture. You feel like you are eating sugar and flavorless jello. We did it to say we tried it, but I would definitely spend your money elsewhere and just take a picture of someone else’s.

After that, my sister wanted an Ice Cream sandwich. I took her there while keeping my eyes out for other options. We went to The Good Batch and when we got to the front of the line I was shocked, they had TWO gluten free ice cream sandwiches!!! A strawberry and a mint one. My sister (who is not gluten free) chose the mint one and I decided to take a bite. Holy mackerel!! It was the most amazing thing I have had in a while and I am not a huge mint ice cream fan. My sister was in heaven too! I totally recommend it! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟!! Skip all the lunch options and go straight to dessert!

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To wash it down I got an Arnold Palmer Slushie with Peach from Kelvin Slush Co. which was great too!

My only regret of the day was getting the lobster roll instead of food from the East Coast Poke stand. It looked amazing! I didn’t ask if their stuff was gluten free though because it was already too late and I didn’t want to torture myself. edit: upon doing research on East Coast Poke all of their fish is marinated in soy sauce or teriyaki. I am now happy with my decision to have the lobster roll.  🙂

Some of the other stops I didn’t eat at but had GF options…..

Home Frite- The line was the second longest of the entire fair so I am sure they were amazing. They only served french fries so no concerns about shared oil and cross contamination. According to their website all of their sauces are gluten free too!

Korean BBQ/Tacos/ Buns- I feel like a terrible blogger for not taking a photo of this stand, but there was a stand that had four items. Two of them were gluten free and you could get any of the other two made with gluten free buns.

edit: Doing more research to find the name of the stand that had the gluten free buns I realized more had gluten free food that I completely missed.

If you are Gluten Free and going to Smorgasburg here are a few tips of advice:

1- Go early. It opens at 11 a.m. and the “early bird gets the worm” falls true for this one. Beat the crowds, especially if you want to ask questions about gluten free options.

2- Go early or late in the summer. Going in July when it is 90 and humid isn’t fun. It suppresses your appetite and you lose patience with the crowds really quickly. Also all the ovens, fryers and stoves from the stands don’t help with the heat. Major props to the people working the stands.

3- Do your research ahead of time, but research with an open mind. What I mean is, do your research on the most popular stands and the different food options they have so you have an idea of what you want when you get there, but keep an open mind with what you want because it might not be gluten free or there might be better GF options out there.

4- Ask questions, if you aren’t sure if something is gluten free, don’t give up, ask! You might be surprised.

5- I said this at the beginning, but do at least one lap of the place when you get there. Explore the different options before making your decisions and see which places have GF labels on their signs!