Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Gluten Free in Las Vegas

Another trip to Vegas, more great and interesting Gluten Free Dinning Options! 

First and Foremost my Favorite West Coast Restaurant is coming to the strip. In-N-Out Burger!! A burger Protein or Animal style with a side of fries is enough to keep me happy when I'm on the West Coast, so I look forward to an easy trip to In-N-Out on my next Vegas trip! The new location will be in the Linq Promenade right next to Sprinkle's Cupcakes who make a great Gluten Free Red Velvet cupcake to top it off. You can't miss In-N-Out or Sprinkles as you walk towards the High Roller Wheel at the Promenade. 
Going to the opposite end of the states, there is a Wahlburgers in front of the Bally's Hotel in the heart of the strip. I'd read that they had gluten free options so we waiting the 40 minutes at lunch time on a Friday to get a burger. They have their own propitiatory recipe Gluten Free Buns! Even better, they tasted wonderful! I got a double burger with bacon and a root beer float. It was an amazing meal. They made sure to note allergy when delivering my food so I felt even better about eating there. 

Crossing over to TI (Treasure Island) From my hotel the Palazzo seemed like forever (3 walk ways, up and down and the chilly weather made it seem forever), but totally worth it for this pizza. Pizzeria Francesco's was so good my fiance asked if I was certain it was gluten free. What was amazing they took new ingredients to make the pizza, made them in their own oven separate from the other pizzas they were making, and when they came out, they went in back to a special pizza cutter, not the shared ones up front. The pizza was so good. They're only 10" personal pizza's so I got two. We finished both without hesitation!

Another Positive, there are several Chipotle locations on the strip now. So if you want something quick and familiar they're there in several locations. 

I was slightly miffed with Tao Las Vegas. While I've had good success with places on Find Me Gluten Free, I've had options fall flat. This one fell flat, even with 7 Positive reviews and so many "Celiac Safe" Reviews. Their menu has Gluten Free Labels but not all are "Celiac Safe" Because the Chicken powder (I'm assuming this is bullion) has barley, so not everything marked GF is really Gluten Free! The Steak, Thai Chicken, Chicken Pad Thai and Asian Street noodles all marked Gluten Free, Contain Barley!! The waitress started out asking if I had a gluten allergy or celiac, cause that would make a difference. She tried telling me with a gluten allergy I could have these items with barley in them. That made me mad! But she directed me on the "safe" options, and gave me a wrong item, but the note to the chef that I have Celiac he corrected the option by not adding the sauce. Personally I'm glad I tried this place, as I've wanted to try it each time I've been to Vegas, but I won't be going back. It was a very expensive for chicken and veggies with no sauce! There were

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Chili Dog Casarole

This is a super easy meal that honestly anyone can make. I made this the other night, as the temperatures were turning colder, and I had an errand to run. Started this, threw it in the oven as my fiance got home, and told him to pull it out when the oven dinged! Super easy and I was home right after he pulled it out. Turned out amazing. 


  • 3 Cans Hormel Chili with beans. (Careful the Hormel Chili w/o beans is not Gluten Free!!)
  • 6 Hot dogs, chopped up
  • ½ a bag of Ore Ida Tater Tots
  • 1 package shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Optional: Sour Cream


  1. Take a casserole dish, 10x10 or so in size, pour in 1 can of chili and evenly spread on the bottom of the dish.
  2. Next layer in 3 chopped up hotdogs, and top with the 2nd can of chili.
  3. Repeat this step one more time, layering the rest of the hot dogs and the 3rd can of chili.
  4. Sprinkle the top with cheddar cheese.
  5. Next layer Tater tots laying on their side to cover the entire dish, and sprinkle with some more cheese.

Set the oven to 370 degrees and bank for about 45-50 minutes. When you take it out it will be bubbly and hot. I served it up in bowls, and added extra cheese to the top. If you like you could even add a dollop of sour cream to the top!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Explorium Brewpub

While up in the suburb area of Milwaukee we found the Explorium Brewpub, in Greendale. They are a small brewery inside the Southridge Mall, in the upper level by Macy's. They have a cute outdoor seating area, with an outside bar and fire pit. we opted to sit inside, cause winter is coming quickly here in the midwest! They brew their own beers, but unfortunately, none of their beers they brew on premise are gluten free. They did have an option of Green's Gluten free beer in bottles or a cider on tap. I never drink beers or ciders on tap, because you can't be certain of the lines and tappers having been cleaned well enough before the gluten free option was placed on the line. So I went with a Greens.
Squeaky Cheese with Hop Oil
Their menu is pretty awesome. They had lots of gluten free appetizer options, buns for burgers and crusts for pizza. They did have a couple items that made me scratch my head, you can get Gluten Free crackers with the Ale cheddar dip... But the dip isn't gluten free... My brother got there before us and got a table, asked the gluten free questions. When the server came over with our drinks she told me "I know you're gluten free and it's an allergy and I'm not even your server!" 

They have wings, which are gluten free, and fries are in their own fryer, (Yay!) there is 1 wing option a BeerBQ option that is NOT gluten free. We went with the medium buffalo, it's a mix of traditional buffalo and a BBQ flavor. So tasty, and tangy. We also got an order of mussels. We're not big fish fans, but my fiance and I do both like mussels. The only issue is the mussels came out with a huge chunk of bread on top. The moment I pointed it out to the waitress that it was an issue, she agreed they would remake my dish completely, to ensure there was no allergy reactions. She came back twice while we ate our wings to ensure us that they were remaking it and that she was so sorry for the mix up. 

Over all our meal was enjoyable, and we do want to make a trip there again, cause the food was tasty there were lots of options, I did not get the fries this time, so next time I will have to! The staff was really good at knowing and understanding gluten free, and happy to make sure it's done correctly. I give them 5 dragonflies cause despite not being 100% dedicated they left me with a good feeling and I knew  I was being taken care of. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Lulu's Gulf Shore

While visiting the Gulf Shore we visited Lucy Buffets Gulf Shore for dinner. Just like Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville, Lucy Buffets Lulu's had a decent gluten free menu, as far as the number of options offered. They also took the time to call out an allergy order when ordering.

When our server saw the gluten free menu at the table, he had the manager come over and specifically write up my order. I found some good items on the menu, but my disappointment was there was a LOT of seafood, and I'm not a seafood lover. That part was a bit disappointing, but The queso and chips for an appetizer was very tasty. If they could do some gluten free breaded and fried fish, we'd have been on a better tack together. But with that not an option I looked for the land options.
I got the pulled pork, my only issue is it was so spicy I couldn't eat it. It overwhelmed my tastebuds with spice. I had asked to have cheese on it, which I couldn't taste over the flavor from the BBQ sauce.

I did enjoy the veggies, some fries would have helped with cutting down the spicy flavor. Not only did the manager take my order, but she also brought out my food. I would say over all, it was nice to have an appetizer option, and luckily there is some "land" options on the menu, cause none of us in our party were seafood eaters. I would only give them a 4 dragonfly rating due to their lack of variety on items, though they did have appetizers, more variety would be awesome!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Gluten Free Stop in Madison

To be honest, this was two stops, but you could do it in one if you're spending the day in Madison. We drove thru Madison heading to La Crosse, and opted to stop and eat in Madison cause of a tip we got on a "must try" place. 

My goal on our way to La Crosse was to hit up Alt Brewery, a completely gluten free brewery. While visiting Burning Brother's Brewery in St. Paul, Minnesota earlier this year, I learned about Alt Brewery. So I added them to my gluten free bucket list. So heading up to this end of Wisconsin this was a must. 

It's a cute place with arcade games and a decent amount of seating. When we got there it was a bit dead, though it was Sunday and the Green Bay Packers were on TV. We decided to do a beer flight and try all 6 beers on tap, heck when in Rome, (or in Madison). We also got food. They have a simple food menu, but pizza with beer sounded great. Best part, the bartender pulled out the ingredients to make the pizza, Udi's Crusts and real "grocery" ingredients. It was a darn tasty pizza. 

The beers on tap were pretty tasty. Their Pumpkin Pail was my favorite followed by the Kickback and Copperhead.  It felt so normal to try beer and have some food at the bar. It was a lot of fun.
They have merchandise for purchase, hats, shirts, hoodies and such, as well as their beer. You can also purchase their beer in some local places including a few dining establishments. The bartender said to check their website for places that carry their product. He did mention Jac's Dining and Taphouse in Madison, always has options, plus they do gluten free options. So on our way back, to Chicago from La Crosse, that's where we stopped for dinner.

That was the best dinner stop idea yet! For whatever reason, when I was looking up Gluten Free in Madison, on I wasn't seeing this place in the results. Not sure why not, so I'm glad the bartender mentioned it. They have a dedicated gluten free fryer. That's right a dedicated fryer!!!

YES These are Gluten Free Cheese Curds!

Normally I'd ask my fiance, what appetizer he wants to have, but I saw deep fried cheese curds, there was no question, that's what I was ordering. OMG It was like heaven on a plate. I honestly could have ordered 2 orders and been happy. They have Alt Breweries beer on tap, and Green's Beers in bottles. I don't feel comfortable drinking any beer on tap at an establishment unless they are dedicated GF, so I went with the Greens Tripel Ale, one of my favorites. I also got their prosciutto chicken. Which was tasty, but prosciutto is salty so this came out salty. They have gluten free bread, and pizza crusts, and on Wednesdays there is no up charge for gluten free items.

Both of these places get a 5 dragonfly rating from me. The fact that Alt had food, although the easiest meals ever, was super tasty and added to the experience. Jac's was the icing on the cake for an awesome meal. The server was super friendly and they have a dedicated fryer - which they make cheese curds in! :) 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Stonewood Ale House - Good, Bad and Corrected

We recently did dinner with a couple people at Stonewood Ale House in Schaumburg. Stonewood is one of the restaurants in the 'Ace Place' portfolio. I've eaten here in the past a couple years back, so I was up for checking it out again. The menu has gotten a bit bigger, the one perk that really stood out to me is a dedicated gluten free fryer! That was huge to me, cause I knew that meant french fries!!

They had two appetizers, one of them being potato skins, which made me super excited. The entrees were a bit restricted but there was a variety from steak, to chicken and even pork. Plus you could get French fries! Now the part that gets difficult here. I ordered the steak to the specs on the gluten free menu. I noted more than once it was gluten free, and reconfirmed the gluten free fryer for the French fries. When my food arrived my nice gluten free steak had 2 perfectly round onion rings on top....When I questioned the server he told me they were perfectly safe and fried in their own fryer... Then he quickly whisked the plate back to the kitchen. After he came out a couple times to say they were working on my meal, the manager came out to tell us he was sorry and that a new steak and fixings would be out shortly. 

I was appreciative they took the time to fix the issue and talk to us about it. The second time my plate came out it was correct and no issues. Though I had requested my steak to be medium well, it came out rather rare, more red than done. I opted to not send it back cause our party was half way done with the meals already. I ended up taking most of the steak home and reheating it later, to cook it a bit more. When it came for dessert, the options listed were not gluten free friendly. Though for the birthday girl in our party they brought out ice cream with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Wish that was on the regular menu, but I did snag some of her dessert to meet my sweet tooth. 

Over all I'm giving them 3 dragonflies, I'd give them more, but the mess up on my meal, and needing to tell the waiter why it was an issue ranked them lower. Though they were nice an apologetic about the situation, but it could have been avoided, since it was specified gluten free an ordered per the menu, it shouldn't have happened. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Bareburger, Trendy and Gluten Free

Bareburger is a tasty organic and natural burger place, that's very trendy and fun. We stopped and ate at their Hoboken, NJ location while in the area. There were several interesting places to try this one peaked our curiosity. They have lots too choose from including fries in a dedicated fryer, including sweet potato fries!

Their menu had lots of unique eats including bison and lamb as well as beef and chicken. They have a dedicated fryer so french fries and sweet potato fries were available, as well as Sriracha Brussels Sprouts. If we had more time I would have loved to try their Brussels Sprouts, but a time crunch made that not an option. 

They're cute decor of silverware for their light covers made us giggle and added to the charm. It's not a place to take a huge party, but for a nice intimate lunch with a couple friends it's great.

The staff was well versed in allergies and helpful with ordering. I was a bit overwhelmed with options and stuck with a regular cheese burger (Sans onion and mustard, two condiments I just don't like!), and got sweet potato fries and a shake. It was delicious. I would totally go back again next time we're near a location! They get 5 dragonflies for unique food options and great service. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Beef - Cheese & Potato Casserole

I was in the mood for something different the other day.. wasn't sure what exactly but I wanted comfort food. this reminded me of a knock off Hamburger Helper dish that my mom would make regularly back in my Not Gluten Free Days. It was pretty easy, the time consuming part was slicing the potatoes, cause I don't have a mandolin. But I do have one on my wedding registry now! 

1.5 lbs Lean Ground Beef
6-8 Slices of Bacon
1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
1 tsp Minced Garlic
1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
4 Large Baking Potatoes Sliced Very Thin
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup (I used Progresso)
1/2 Cup Beef stock
2 Cups Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese


Set the oven to 350 degrees and grease your 13x13 baking dish.
Brown the ground beef and cook with the onions, garlic and pepper.
Mix in the 1/2 cup of beef stock and set the mixture aside.
You can use the same pan from the beef to fry up the bacon until crispy. 
Once fried, crumble the bacon in to small pieces and set aside. 
Slice the potatoes super thin. (If you have a mandolin that will be the best option, if not slice thin and watch your fingers!!).
Layer half the potatoes at the bottom of the dish covering the entire bottom. 
Pour half the soup (not cooked) over the top of the potatoes.
Next layer half the beef mixture over the potatoes, and top with 3/4ths cup of cheese.
Repeat this process with another layer of potatoes, soup, beef this time include the crumbled bacon and 1 cup of cheese.

Cover the top of your baking dish with tin foil and place in the oven for 80 minutes.  
After the 80 minutes pull the dish out of the oven and sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese. 

I sliced and served similar to lasagna and served with a side of veggies.
This was a good dish for 2 meals for us, and one I'll do again for a nice different comfort food meal!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Moretti's Gluten Free If You Must

I've been a long time fan of Moretti's. We've frequented the location in Edison Park, many time. I love their outside patio, it's a nice place to have a drink and hang out on a nice evening. I was excited when a location moved into the old Famous Freddy's location in Mount Prospect. Over all they have a small but decent menu for gluten free options. They are certified by an local doctor to be safe, but with the usual warning that it's made in a shared kitchen. 

I have to say it must be the location, service and food were both majorly lacking. We arrived at 6:00 on a Friday looking for a table for 5. You'd have thought we asked for a table of 10. They kept debating how to find a spot for us and put us in a corner in the back of the restaurant. Walking past an almost empty dinning room! We let that go, the others at our table placed an order for appetizers and our food. Appetizers came, and about 15 minutes later the waitress asked if we were ready to order.... Yup we did, 15 minutes ago. So we kept waiting and waiting. Our food came out you could tell it had been sitting under the warmer cause it was dry and burnt. It was rather underwhelming overall. The smaller menu combined with the poor service it brought the night down. Luckily we were dinning with amazing friends so the whole night wasn't a bust. But I'd go to another location, and not this one! I've had the pizza at the Mount Prospect location and the pasta at Edison Park and they were good. My Shrimp Pasta here, was very underwhelming.

There is a great place down the road, Village Vintner, again small menu but great tasting food, and they make their own wine! I'd rather go there next time! 

I give them 3 dragonflies, poor service, limited menu and not great food, plus the gluten free portion was not that large to compared to the regular options. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Burning Brothers

Burning Brothers Brewery is a gluten free craft brew lover paradise! This was the first stop we made in Minnesota. I was hoping our trip would time out correctly that we'd make it here the first night. That first night of our trip was also my mom's 75th birthday, so treating her to a few brews on her birthday I knew she'd be happy.Their beer had some hints of gluten free notes to them. Sorghum for me has a very distinguishable taste, but it's one I'm getting use to. I could not believe how many beers there were to choose from!

 The menu of what beers were available that night. 

St. Paul Heaven for sure. So we got a couple paddles of beer to try and got some popcorn out of the popcorn machine. We were a little overwhelmed with the options, and how many people where there! We had to sit in the overflow room cause the main taproom was filled. When we got there it was later an the food truck was leaving, so I recommend getting there earlier and you can have a brew with your food! We got a couple growlers of the ones we liked best. The Fused and the Raspberry. We were able to find the Pyro at a local liquor/wine store by the hotel we were staying at. I'm hoping soon, they're going to find their way to Illinois for distribution cause I'll be here ready and waiting! 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sprecher Restaurant Gluten Free Wisconsin

Sprecher's Restaurant and Pub Wisconsin Dells. I've seen their location in Milwaukee every time we drive that way, but we've never stopped, but a local gluten free friend said this was a place we had to try. So we did. We liked it so much we stopped here twice while traveling to and from Minnesota. You'll notice one thing in common with both meals. I had to have the Hash browns! 

I've had their root beer, and was hoping they'd have their gluten free beers available here, they did not, but that was fine, I took over driving the rest of the way shortly after stopping here. Since it was the off season when we stopped here it was dead. That was awesome cause the waiter was able to give us his full attention. I'm sure during peak season this place is packed! Off season it was also one of the few places even open! 

You'll notice one thing in common with both meals. I had to have the Hash browns! There were a decent amount of options to choose from, some came with alterations from the original menu so it was important to pay attention to those too. Each time the staff was friendly and helpful. Food over all was good, and my non-GF family members highly recommend going and checking it out, even if you can have gluten.

We debated our options coming back and figured this was a safe bet, since we liked the food and service was good we went back. Their bottled pops come in a variety of fun flavors and were all gluten free also. The menu points out the risks very easily and the options are plentiful, so they get 5 Dragonflies in my book! I would try another location of theirs when up in Wisconsin. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Rafters Restaurant, Gluten Free in Lena

We decided to go for a random drive out to Dubuque, IA for the day. Funny part, we never made it over the Mississippi, we found more stuff to do in Western Illinois than we expected. Our first stop was in Lena. Garmina, our Garmen loves taking us on the most interesting adventures. We've driven this way several times, and never passed this place before. It looked like a cute barn, next to a brewery we'd never heard of. My fiance asked if this place happen to be on Find Me Gluten Free. I was able to get enough of a signal to find out that YES they were. We found a place to turn around and went back.

What a great little place, The Rafters. The beer in the brewery was not gluten free, but they had several gluten free cider options and quite the gluten free menu! They did caveat that some sides weren't available until dinner, and we were there about noon. But were able to make an exception to have veggies ready for my lunch. I went with the "Spin-art Chicken, which essentially was a grilled chicken with spinach artichoke dip on top. It was very tasty and really enjoyable. My meal came with a side salad, the menu offered a wedge salad with homemade blue cheese. So of course I asked for blue cheese with my salad. Very nice touch, not too potent but tasty. My fiance went with a bourbon bacon burger, and was very pleased. He got a lot of food and was pleasantly full when we left.

We were going to stop and eat in Galena, but this was better over all, none of the places in Galena are amazing, this was pretty close to it. One review on Find Me Gluten Free stated, this the best place you're going to find in this area. I agree. Great food, our waitress was super chatty and told us about how they moved the barn we were eating to it's current location 15 or so years back from up the hill, using logs to roll it down. She took a lot of pride in all the things to do in the area, and kept telling us more reasons to come visit more often. I would totally come back here when we're heading west this away again. Next time we might find less interesting things and actually make our way to Dubuque! 4 dragonflies here, for great service, food, options and a nice stop in the middle of no where!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Papa John's Joins the Jerk Trend

Papa John's can you hear me rolling my eyes?? Please explain to me why you feel the need to join Domino’s and Pizza Hut and appease the millennial generation? I have a better idea, offer a pizza that may appease the millennial generation but is safe for those who have to avoid gluten, you know what, it will bring you more money in the long run, cause we like to eat carry out pizza too! We love an option to pick up a pizza on the way home from running errands or a busy day. We love the option of safe food for our families so we don't have to miss out. God forbid we have a child who is also Celiac, I guarantee you they don't want to sit here with us eating salad while everyone else eats pizza, or else we'd have just ordered a bunch of salads for dinner to begin with!! Plus some of those millennial's are the ones rolling their eyes cause they too have Celiac Disease and can't eat your trendy pizza.  
Blurb from today's news from The Street.

I would say hey having more options can't hurt, I mean those trendy want to eat gluten free for the heck of it people have brought more products to market. But more and more it comes to light, those products are not safe for those of us with Celiac. That's what boggles my mind. So you found a way to make a more expensive pizza from ingredients not including wheat, rye and barley, but you let them become completely contaminated. Why Bother!!! 

Is my money not good enough from you? Is my business as a loyal customer unworthy? I mean I kind of want to know what is wrong with me? But yet to seek the attention and money of the millennial using mom and dad's credit card to buy pizza? At what point do we point out I'm one of those Millennial age customers who will not be buying your pizza.

It makes me even more annoyed cause it blurs the line to the people around us. Yes it's gluten free, but I STILL CANNOT EAT IT. So while you advertise that it's gluten free, its hard for other people to understand it's not safe, so while they thing they're doing good, ordering someone like me a pizza, it's going to go untouched, cause I can't risk being sick for days because the "gluten free" pizza is only partially gluten free. What I don't get is you join the ranks of the fad places, while other places like California Pizza Kitchen rocks at making sure you're meal is safe, and they score 5 stars in my book every time we eat there. Every time, that means more than once, that's when we want pizza, it's a safe option, that's money YOU could be pocketing if you made a safe option. But seeking approval of a group that eat kind of gluten free is more your thing. So don't acknowledge the 1% of the population you could gain as regular customer on top of those millennial if you just took the time to make this a safe option for them. But maybe you're "rolling in the dough" and don't need more business, if that's the case, kuddo's, just don't call this new crust gluten free. Go for something more accurate like "Begging for Attention Millennial crust"