Friday, September 19, 2014

Puccini's Smiling Teeth

Off the beaten path for sure. There is a lot of construction on Meridian right now, so it was a little crazy. We were ending our trip in Indianapolis and deciding where to eat, if we ate in Indianapolis or drive closer to home. Looking on Find Me Gluten free Puccini's Smiling Teeth came up in Carmel. After we giggled a bit about the name, we read the online reviews. It seemed they had some good gluten free options. Thankfully we punched the address in the GPS or we might not have found it, but at last we did. They have been in Indianapolis since 1991, and now have several locations in Indiana and Kentucky, they have also won several awards for the innovative pizzas and other Italian dishes they've started to serve.

Right away before walking in there was a sign stating they offer gluten free, and that although they don't have a dedicated kitchen, their staff is trained in preparing gluten free food. Positive sign!

When we walked in, they'd just opened for dinner, so I felt an extra sense of security that my meal would be correct. They had a full menu for gluten free, with the pizza options on the back. There were so many good sounding different options it was hard to choose what I wanted. I ended up getting a pizza, and we got a appetizer of scamorza; which was similar to a warm bruschetta that game with gluten free toast. The gluten eaters in my group said they enjoyed the toast, and that they were glad we tried the scarmorza because it was really tasty!

Talking with our server and mentioning that I was "allergic" he assured me the items I got were fine, and I would be ok. The pizza came out in it's own disposable pan, so I knew it didn't get contaminated from cooking. I even had my own pizza cutter and spatula.

The food was good, the staff was friendly they seemed knowledgeable. I am curious if the same would go for when they are busier, since they don't have a large kitchen or dinning area. We are hoping to go back next summer when we are back in town for the race again. My brothers girlfriend kept calling it "The best flipping pizza" she's had in a long long time. So the gluten eaters in the group won't object to stopping for pizza while you're there.

They get four dragonflies from me on their variety of options they offer for gluten free with everything from appetizers, traditional dishes, pizza and pasta. Though they could be dicey when it gets busy, but the staffs training and knowledge of gluten free did leave me feeling happy with our decision to stop.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Chik-Fil-A -- A Gluten Free quick stop meal

The first time I had Chik-Fil-a was back in my pre gluten free days in college. Down at ISU we had them on Campus as one of the places to eat in the dining hall of Waterson. They were one of the more expensive places to use our dining dollars, plus they were not open on Sunday’s so we didn’t eat there a lot, it was really more of a treat to get a chicken sandwich from there.
Fast forward 8 years and chik-fil-a is finally making their move into the Chicago Market. I was ecstatic, only issue… I couldn’t get that amazing chicken sandwich any more. Until I was gluten free I would only order chicken breaded, deep fried was even better then breaded, but I’d never order it grilled. Then they went and put a Chik-fil-a Right by my house, walking distance, it begged going in to check it out. 
Looking for a quick meal that wasn’t Chipotle or Pei Wei,(Which are right across the street) we stopped at Chik-fil-a to get dinner. I went with a salad with grilled chicken. I told the girl taking my order it needed to be gluten free, no croutons or bread, she told me right away there were no croutons or bread to worry about, but she’d make sure everything else was ok on the salad. (how sweet) I had the list of Gluten Free salad dressings pulled up on my phone already, I noticed one thing, they did not have Ranch, Blue Cheese, or Caesar salad dressing, my normal salad dressing staples. I was a bit miffed because I didn’t know what to order!?!!  I got the avocado lime ranch dressing, which turned out ok, I did like it. 
I did some more research, I found out you can ask them to be certain, but they fry their waffle fries in a separate fryer from the breaded items so they are gluten free too!!!!  OMG French Fries!!!! My love!!!

Note - I couldn't pass up ordering a side of fries with my Salad.
The Chik-fil-a sauce is also gluten free, Yum! While we were traveling to Indianapolis for the race we stopped in Merriville to visit the Albanese Candy Factory and decided to grab dinner since we had several options there (Joe’s crab shack, Don Julio’s, Red Robin, Chik-Fil-A) to choose from. We opt’d for a quick meal so we could hit the road quickly after eating so we did Chik-Fil-A. I was so excited when the girl taking our order checked with the kitchen; yup the fries were safe! Large fry for me, and a salad, since I guess fries aren’t enough for dinner. We now have another place to add to the quick eats list when traveling, or grabbing a meal before an event. 
I give them 4 dragonflies, since they have several options for grilled chicken, salads, nuggets, and patties, if you want to do a bun-less burger and waffle fries. They also have several dressings and sauces that are gluten free. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Stashu's Deli, Pizza, Meats, Gluten Free?

Recently I found myself visiting my bestie down in Galesburg, IL. Road Trip! The last couple visits we've taken off for Peoria for her to do some real shopping and hit up Old Navy for some clothes and get some good food! This time we decided to see what the Quad Cities could offer. We didn't spend too much time, since things close by 5:00, or everything we wanted to do closed at 5:00.

When we got to Davenport we were pretty hungry, we did only start our day with Kinikinnik Cinnamon sugar donuts. We checked out Find Me Gluten Free and found Stashu's Deli. The menu sounded interesting, pizza's and calzones, sandwiches for the non-gluten free eaters as well. We plugged it into the GPS and went on the journey to find it. Turns out they are in the far corner of a strip mall, set off the road. We actually couldn't find it at first, because there were only a few cars in the lot, so it almost seemed like they weren't open. We decided to go and see if they were open, lucky for us, they were.

We all decided to try out the calzones, though I was the only one who got it gluten free. All calzones come in two sides, small and regular, and range from normal pizza parlor flavors to unique. I went with the Taco Calzone.

They are using a shared space for making and baking calzones, they do state that gluten free items take long to cook, so if possible call ahead. I give them a 4 dragonfly rating for the uniqueness of getting a calzone, in really any flavor you want. They also seemed to understand the need to make sure the gluten free taco was prepped away from other ones we ordered.