Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Marino Wood Fired Pizza

We found Marinio's in Wood Dale, from a flyer that showed up at our house one day saying "GLUTEN FREE" on the front. They do a lot of advertising in the area, so we thought we'd check it out. Since my curiosity was sparked we went to check it out with mom and dad one day. They Loved their daily options for dinner. (Mom loved the glutenful Beef Sandwich on Garlic bread). They are casual, you order at the counter and they bring it to your table. They have a cute back room and ample seating.

We've been there a bunch of times now. It's our quick and easy dinner option when we have family and friends over. They offer a variety of GF options from Salads, Pasta, Pizza, and sandwiches on GF pitas. I will say ordering GF does take longer and with a group of people it can be a bit annoying but the food is so good it's hard to not love the place.

I haven't had anything bad here yet. I do like they can do sandwiches on a gluten free pita, I do wish they had some gluten free appetizers or side dishes. But I do like the salads they offer, they are pretty tasty. Plus the pasta with vodka sauce is a favorite of mine. Their pizza is pretty good, though I think I like White Cottage's pizza a bit more.

They have a second location in Elk Grove that is probably closer to us, but much smaller. Both have the same menu options and both are great for GF options in the area. I've actually talked my work into making them our preferred vendor for pizza lunches!

They get 4 dragonflies in my book. Great food, Great service, never gotten sick there, and everyone I take there loves the place!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Chicken Tater Crockpot

  • One 32 Ounce Bag of Frozen tater tots
  • 6 slices of your favorite bacon
  • 3 Large Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut into 1 inch Cubes.
  • 2 cups shredded Cheese blend of your choice
  • 2/3 cup of Milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon Adobo Seasoning

  1.  Chop up the uncooked Chicken, and sprinkle with Adobo Seasoning
  2. Fry Bacon until Cooked, Remove to a paper towel lined Plate. Crumble into small pieces and set it aside.
  3. Spray some non-stick cooking Spray, (Make sure it's cooking spray, not baking spray so it's gluten free) inside the crockpot
  4. Pour about half the Frozen Tater tots into the crock pot, and spread them across the bottom. Top the potatoes with 1/3rd of the cheese and 1/2 the crumbled bacon.
  5. Place uncooked chicken on top of the cheese and potato layer. Top chicken with more of the cheese, being careful not to use all of it yet.
  6. Pour the remaining tater tots over the chicken and cheese layer. Top with Remaining bacon and cheese. 
  7. Pour the 2/3rd cup of milk over the top of  the dish.
  8. Set the crock pot to either HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 6 hours. Or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, serve warm.
Personally something I did on this recipe didn’t work as intended. I only say that because it came out so salty tasting! I had added some low sodium Adobe seasoning to the chicken, but I don’t think that was the issue. Maybe it was the bacon I used.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Centro Cafe Milwaukee

On a recent trip up to Milwaukee we wanted to find something different, to try for dinner. While searching online Centro Cafe came up. It met my normal criteria, new, different, and a swanky little place. I read a few bad reviews about poor service at peak meal times. Since it was a bit later in the evening I decided to ignore those reviews and give it a try. I was very glad we did.

Right away we noticed the menu was clearly marked with little GF's for the gluten free options. They had everything from Appetizers to Desserts. They even had New Grist beer! I honestly stared at the menu for some time. So it was good that our server was a bit backed up on coming back to our table. They had too many good options. Incidentally my boyfriend ordered gluten free just because it sounded so good.

My boyfriend ordered the butternut squash lasagna. Not something I would normally order, but I tried some of his and it was tasty. I was super stoked that they offered gluten free garlic bread as an option. It was so good. I really wish I could replicate this at home.

I went with the Pasta Pomodoro, with the gluten free pasta substituted. It was tasty, and it came topped with cheese! It was a great tasty combination with the beer and garlic bread, it was a wonderful meal. The atmosphere was cute and cozy. It seemed that they had a back porch that you could dine on as well to expand the capacity. Everything about this place was unique and cute, and definitely worth a visit to check them out!

I give them 4 Dragonflies for pure cuteness of a place to try. Their menu was huge and had a lot of great options. I really liked this place, and wish it was closer to home. I will go back when in the area, and really hope others go check it out. Food was great, service was a bit slow, but it allowed us to really take in the atmosphere and observe the whole place.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Traverso's Naperville - Fried Chicken?!

Gluten Free Fried Chicken, YES! Where you ask?? Traverso's in Naperville. I'd heard this was a real possibility and had to check it out myself. The next question I had, was is it made in a dedicated fryer, the answer was yes. This got me super excited. Our  server was very versed in gluten free and was asking why we hadn't been there before. She shared my excitement of gluten free goodness. She kept telling me how good the pizza was. I told her maybe next time. I have 1 thing in mind with this trip!

I looked over the menu and there were a lot of good looking options. But I decided I was here for the chicken I was getting the chicken. They also had gluten free beer options on the beer list which was great, it was like a regular night out meal.

I got so excited looking at the menu I didn't notice my meal came with bread and a salad. They actually had gluten free baguette bread. It was so nice and warm and tasty. It came wrapped in foil so I did feel safe it wasn't contaminated. I was able to get a Caesar salad, no croutons and bread. I think I was as excited over the bread as I was the chicken. They brought me my own butter and I was happy. Ordering the meal I was slightly confused, but overwhelmed more than anything I realized. I was so happy the chicken was fried in it's own fryer I didn't think about the fact the French Fries would be in the same fryer, and opted for a baked potato. Next trip, I'm getting the french fries.

Everything was so tasty. I definitely was in food heaven, and couldn't finish all my food. My co-workers the next day kept telling me how good my left overs smelled, and were excited for me I found fried chicken. Not an everyday meal for sure. But a great treat that's worth the drive down to Naperville.

I give them 4 stars, and WILL BE BACK! The service was a bit slow, but other than that the food was fabulous and they were well versed in gluten free. My boyfriend ordered the ribs, but wasn't as impressed... He said he'd give a better review going with something that might be more of a signature dish next time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Easy Philly CheeseSteak Stuffed Peppers

I have to start of by saying I LOVE Steak-umms. I'm so glad I found out they are gluten free!! What's great about using Steak-umm's is how easy this meal was to make! It was pretty much a 30 minute meal, from start to finish.

2 Large peppers
1 Cup shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese
3 cloves garlic minced
1 medium onion, chopped (Optional)
1 cup diced mushrooms
1 package of Steak’Umms
2Tbs olive oil OR
2 Tbs of unsalted butter
Dash of salt to taste
Dash of black pepper to taste 
Dash of Onion Powder 

 Set the Oven to 425 degrees. 

1 - Heat a frying pan with add the Olive Oil or butter, and minced garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the garlic is aromatic.
2 - Add the Mushrooms and Onions to saute for 10-12 minutes. 
3 - While the mushrooms are saute'ing cut off the top of your peppers and clear out the seed. If you're not as hungry, you could cut the peppers in half and make half portions of peppers.
4 - Once the Mushrooms are nice and soft add the Steak'Umm slices one by one, breaking them up into pieces as they get hot.
5 - Once the mixture is the amount of meat to mushroom consistency you want, turn off the burner.
6 - Sprinkle a layer of cheese in the bottom of the peppers, then layer 2 spoons of the mix on top, alternating between cheese and meat on each layer. 
7 - Finish the top layer with cheese and pop into your baking dish, and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Since the mixture is mostly cooked you'll only have to cook 15 minutes to soften the peppers and help melt the cheese mixture.
8 - Enjoy!

A look on the inside of doing a whole pepper. I feel like I could have added more steak, but this was still Very Filling, and so good. Any pepper will do the trick. The second time I made these I used Enjoya peppers. They are tasty and complimented the filling perfectly.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Le Peep Cafe Mount Prospect

Le Peep Cafe has been in Mount Prospect for a number of years. The last time I ate there was prior to my Celiac Diagnosis. Breakfast is always the hardest meal for me to find when eating out. There is such worry about shared grills, and pancake batter in the eggs, that I ultimately just stick to the places I know or make my own breakfast on the weekends. My dad pointed out Le Peep had a gluten free menu so we thought we'd check it out.

I was pleased to see they had a stand alone menu with a lot of options. They even called out on the menu that they had a dedicated gluten free waffle iron, which was impressive. I will say service is slow. We sat there quite a while before someone came over and asked us if we wanted a drink, and we weren't there during breakfast rush, we were certainly after the main rush.

Looking over the menu I was intrigued by several options. I ended up going with the egg sandwich since they actually had gluten free toast as an option. The sandwich turned out to be pretty tasty. I was pleased. I do want to go back and check out what else they have to offer. I wanted to know what the HomeSpun cakes were, but our waitresses lack of attention I opted not to ask any questions when she came back, and just order so we could get our meal!

I give them 3 Dragonflies based on poor service. Even after our waitress came over to get our drink order it seemed like forever before she came back again. I guess this is a good place when you don't have anything else on your agenda for the day. They did have a broad variety of breakfast options, and really fill a location void from my other normal breakfast restaurants. I am willing to go back, and make sure it's when I have a lot of time to sit and chat and hang out while dinning.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Country House Restaurant

Country House Restaurant - This was an accidental find of a restaurant I’ve “technically” been to. We were driving by their Lisle Location and my mom went “Isn’t that a cute place. Do you think it’s expensive? Do you think they can do gluten free??” So I started to look them up. While at it I remembered that I’d eaten there, well a different location for the same restaurant. Prices were reasonable we went in and asked if they could accommodate gluten free, and the hostess said yes, so we gave it a try. Country House Restaurant has several locations in the South Western burbs of Chicago. I’d eaten at the Clarendon Hills location and really enjoyed the food. 

They had a cute patio out back, but in the direct blinding sun, we opted to eat inside. The waitress wasn’t the quickest, but she was polite and the service was good, when she remembered us. They weren’t super busy so that might have been part of the problem. When I ate at their other location they were super busy. I got a burger with the gluten free bun. The buns were from Sweet Ali’s in Hinsdale, IL, very close to where we were having dinner. 

I will say one thing I never buy at Sweet Ali’s is their buns, because they don’t include how to heat them after they are frozen. I’ve tried Toasting, Baking, Microwaving, even just leaving them on the counter and they always turn out gross! But usually when a restaurant uses them they seem to have the magic touch to make them turn out great. Not so much this time.

The bun for my burger was as hard as a rock. I tried cutting through it, it took some extra effort I was determined to try and eat the bun since it had a $2 up charge! I would have complained but our waitress went on an extended missing journey I gave up, and mulled my way through my now Bun’less burger to finish my meal. The burger itself was good, but nothing to rave about for sure. Sides were limited to Veggies or a side salad.

Their Menu says they’ve had Great burgers for 35 years, I can tell after this meal that it’s not based on their gluten free product! I give them 3 Dragonflies, but nothing more than that.