Tag archive for "restaurants"

Raw Foods Thursdays 5/8/14 and an announcement

GF Recipes, New York City, Raw Foods, Raw Foods Thursdays, Vegan

Raw Foods Thursdays 5/8/14 and an announcement

14 Comments 07 May 2014

Friends, I’ve been meaning to write this post every week for the past 3 months. But every week, I put it off and host another Raw Foods Thursdays, because I become incredibly inspired by your submissions and faithful participation. So I set aside a few hours to write a highlight post, and the post I meant to write is pushed to the back of my mind.

Until the next Wednesday evening.

Raw Foods Thursdays is going to take a little break. I love this event, so this is a hard announcement to make. But my life has changed so drastically since moving to NYC that blogging has become less of a priority. I’m finding that instead of my normal 2-3 posts per week, my only posts lately have been Raw Foods Thursdays posts. Why? Because I’m busy with other aspects of my life, but I have an obligation to our wonderful participants and readers.

Realizing that I’m posting out of obligation finally made me write this today.

This isn’t goodbye.

This isn’t an announcement that Gluten-Free Cat is closing down.

I just won’t be writing as frequently for a season. And when I do write, I will write because I’m excited to share something with you and not because of a schedule.

I’m also finding that my diet is changing. While I will always love raw vegan foods, and my diet will mostly consist of plant-based meals, I find myself not sharing certain experiences with you because of the raw vegan label. You might be disappointed if I told you that I’ve been eating some non-vegan foods. (There, I said it!)

That I enjoyed this very delicious not-so-dairy-free risotto from my favorite gluten-free restaurant on Saturday.

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That when I stumbled upon this sign in the West Village I just had to try the pancakes and didn’t ask if they were made with eggs.

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I don’t believe I’ll ever be a meat eater again. There are just too many ethical reasons why that no longer works for me. But I’m no longer swearing off all animal products. Living without them mostly? Absolutely. But completely? No.

I know that most of you don’t care how I eat, but there are some of you who read this blog because you’re a vegan. Not wanting to disappoint you is one of the reasons my posts have been dwindling. But I really just want to be me. Without a label.

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So, let’s share some raw foods before my hiatus begins! And I will definitely let you know when RFT starts up again!

Here’s how you can participate:

  • Simply link up a raw foods recipe (see What is Raw Food?), mention Raw Foods Thursdays, and link back to this post so your readers can join in the fun!
  • Please link to the recipe, not to a blog’s home page, so we can all find your raw foods recipe.
  • You may link up a recipe that you’ve made in the past. Just make sure to share something different each time you participate.
  • Be sure to leave a comment letting us know who you are and what you’re sharing.
  • Feel free to use the Raw Foods Thursdays blog badge created by the lovely, talented Heather Peters!

Sharing the Raw Love:

  • All raw submissions will be pinned on the Raw Foods Thursdays Board.
  • All raw submissions will be shared on Facebook.
  • Feel free to share this event in your social media communities as well!

What are Raw Foods Meals?

  • Plant-based meals that are not cooked.  Dehydrators may be used.  (The raw foods community has differing views on temperature, but the range is between 104 and 118 degrees.) Feel free to link up recipes that use a slightly higher temperature as long as they could be made at 118 with a longer dry time.
  • Raw Ingredients: vegetables, fruit, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, gluten-free sprouted grains, beans, and oils.

What isn’t raw?

  • Anything cooked or heated above 118.
  • Anything processed.  If it comes from a can or a package that lists more than one ingredient, chances are it’s not raw!
  • If your recipe contains an ingredient like maple syrup that makes your submission “almost raw”, please share it anyway. Raw sweeteners are easy to substitute.

What do you have to share?


Friday’s Find at The NYC Vegetarian Food Festival

New York City, Raw Foods, Vegan

Friday’s Find at The NYC Vegetarian Food Festival

4 Comments 07 March 2014

Last weekend I went to the NYC Vegetarian Food Festival and had a great time. It was fun to rub elbows with other veggie lovers, talk to vendors, and try a few new foods. I was excited to see that most items were vegan and naturally gluten free. So today’s Friday’s Find will highlight a few of my favorites.

As a vegan I love finding cheese alternatives, and it’s a double bonus when they’re raw! Imagine my surprise at finding two great raw vegan cheeses at the festival.

Treeline Cheese has two delicious soft cheeses and a new line of hard cheese that is coming out soon. The hard cheeses were there to sample, but one of them is not gluten-free. Not wanting to risk it, I only tasted the soft cheeses which were incredible!

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Treeline products can be found at Whole Foods and other natural markets.

I also found another raw vegan cheese by Nuttin Ordinary that I really liked. They had a Cashew Cheese Spread and a Spicy Cashew Cheese Spread available to try. Guess which one was my favorite!

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Nuttin Ordinary started in New Hampshire and is spreading (pun intended) throughout the Northeast. I hope to be able to find them in New York soon.

But nuts aren’t just good for making raw cheeses. I found another company that blends them into nut butters combining 7 nuts and seeds in each product. NuttZo butters are organic and come in three different flavors: original, a peanut-free version, and dark chocolate, which is out of this world.

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There were snack bars, protein bars, and nutrition bars everywhere, but these Amrita bars were delicious and packed with plant-based nutrients. Check out their store locator to find a sample for yourself.

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And just for fun…I couldn’t believe that we have this is Manhattan!

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Beyond Sushi creates 100% vegan sushi at two locations in NYC, Chelsea Market and Union Square. Forgive my blurry iPhone pictures, but hopefully this gives you a glimpse of the artistry. There was one roll for sampling which immediately caused me to put Beyond Sushi on my list of NYC eateries to try.

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Have a great Friday!

Readers, dish!

  • Have you tried any of these products?
  • What new gluten-free, vegan find have you found recently?
  • Have you had any fun food adventures lately?
Valentine’s Day at Candle Cafe West

GF Friendly Restaurants, New York City, Vegan

Valentine’s Day at Candle Cafe West

8 Comments 19 February 2014

On Valentine’s Day, the Husband took me to one of the vegan restaurants in our neighborhood that we hadn’t yet been to together. I was thrilled to be wined and dined at Candle Cafe West with my love on this special occasion, and he definitely knocked it out of the park with the restaurant choice. We had to chuckle when the waiter asked if either of us had ever been to Candle before. I had been there with some girl friends, but the Husband had not. So the waiter looked at the Husband and said, “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine. This is vegan food for people who like food.” Obviously he had no idea who he was dealing with!

There are two Candle restaurants in the city. We had a wonderful experience at Candle Cafe East several years ago, so I knew this was going to be an incredible dinner.

We had the option of ordering dishes off the prefixed menu or going for the whole kit and kaboodle by choosing a soup, an appetizer or salad, an entree, and a dessert.  There was also an option to have each course paired with a different wine. Guess which one we chose!

Every single item we ordered was outstanding. There were at least two gluten-free options in each category, so there was plenty for me to choose from. We both ordered something different so we could enjoy more of the menu.

The Soups

Both soups were creamy and unique, starting off our meal with warm tummies on a cold evening. The portions were huge, but they were so delicious I just couldn’t help eating the entire thing! I wondered how in the world I would be able to eat 3 more courses. Don’t worry, I managed.

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Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Arame Caviar and Truffle Oil

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Smoked Red Pepper Soup with Bread

(The soup was gluten free, but the bread was not.)

I appreciated that there was plenty of time between courses to enjoy the wine and actually start feeling ready for more food. We weren’t rushed on this busy night but were given time to savor and anticipate the next course.

The Appetizers

Again, the appetizers were ample. Mine was almost a mixture of an appetizer and a salad. The Husband’s was almost a lunch portion entree.

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Grilled Artichokes with Green Beans, Hearts of Palm, Kale, English Peas, and Red Pepper Aioli

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Yes, I actually ate peas! There are few foods that I dislike, and peas are one of them, but these weren’t bad disguised in the delicious flavors from the rest of the dish.

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Spinach Ravioli with Tofu Cheese, Sauteed Spinach, Garlic, and Roasted Plum Tomato Sauce

(This was not gluten-free, so the Husband enjoyed this one all by himself.)

The Entrees

I actually can’t say which entree I liked better. I thoroughly enjoyed both of them in the restaurant as well as the leftovers the next day. I am determined to improve my tempeh and tofu-baking skills after tasting what can be done with them! The tempeh tickled my tastebuds with spiciness while the tofu had a Asian flair similar to Suzanne’s Dragon Sauce at Hello Veggy.

Valentine's6_Gluten-Free_CatVegetable Stuffed Tempeh with Grilled Tempeh, Sauteed Peppers, Shallots, Oyster Mushrooms, and Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce

Valentine's7_Gluten-Free_CatSesame Crusted Tofu with Ginseng Infused Black Rice, Sauteed Snow Peas, Edamame, Ginger, and Sake-Miso Sauce

The Desserts

Love. Love. Love. Three out of the four desserts offered were gluten-free. So we narrowed it down to chocolate and chocolate. I’m a firm believer that if there is a chocolate option there’s no need to look further. I’m sure we ordered the best two desserts, because I can’t imagine a dessert tasting better than either of these.

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Almond Joy – Chocolate and Almond Mousse, Candied Almonds, and Raspberry Coulis

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Brownie with Candied Pecans, Strawberries, Kahlua Ice Cream, and Chocolate Sauce

It was a delightful evening with incredible food and wine and great service. I would highly recommend Candle West for a special occasion or just a fun dinner out. Put it on your list!

Candle Cafe West
2427 Broadway
New York, NY

Readers, dish!

  • What did you do for Valentine’s Day?
  • Which of the above dishes would you order?
  • Have you ever been to Candle Cafe?
Juice Generation: Day 30!

GF Product Reviews, Healthy Living, New York City, Raw Foods, Vegan

Juice Generation: Day 30!

18 Comments 02 February 2014

Day 30 of my New Year’s Juicing Challenge is finally here! While breezing around the City running errands, I hit an energy lull. A serious energy lull. But I still had one more stop and 6 more blocks to haul my bags of groceries. While I was telling myself just to power through, I literally looked up, saw this storefront, and thanked the Lord.

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Inside I found bottles of cold pressed juices.

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In all sorts of delicious combinations.

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And a juice bar!

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Do you think that produce rack would fit in my NYC kitchen? Of course my eyes immediately scanned the Fresh Juices menu to find exactly what I needed…PURE ENERGY.

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But they also have:

  • Smoothies
  • Acai Bowls
  • Shots and Boosts
  • Raw Foods
  • Vegan Soups
  • Baked Goods

For a 20-ounce juice I paid just under $10.00. I thought that was a little steep, but I reminded myself that I live in a City where someone will make juice for me at precisely the place and time that I need it.

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Cheers to Juice Generation and cheers to my final day!

Readers, dish!

  • Have you been to Juice Generation?
  • How do you replenish your energy when you’re on the go?

Juice_Badge

Dining Out While Juicing: Day 24

GF Recipes, Healthy Living, New York City, Raw Foods, Vegan

Dining Out While Juicing: Day 24

5 Comments 26 January 2014

I can’t believe that I’m almost finished with my New Year’s Juicing Challenge. It has been much easier that I thought it would be, but juicing does curtail your social events, and when you’re doing it alone it can feel kind of isolating. But going out and having fun isn’t out of the question when you’re juicing in NYC.

That reminds me, do you remember how excited I was on Day 1 about doing this challenge with a group of friends? Well, I’m the only one who actually started it! So I’m doubly thankful for supportive readers like you. I appreciate your encouragement and enjoy hearing how your juicing endeavors have been going.

Everyone goes to brunch on Sundays in New York City. It’s not a matter of if you’re going to brunch. That’s assumed. It’s where you’re going to brunch. We have several restaurants in our neighborhood that serve gluten-free, vegan meals, and thankfully they also happen to serve juice too. So going out for Sunday Brunch hasn’t changed while on this juice cleanse.

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These juices are from Blossom, my absolute favorite vegan brunch spot. I have sampled every juice on this menu, and it’s hard to say whether the Pink Lady or the Ruby Red is my favorite. The green juices are good too, I just make them a lot at home so the others are more fun for “out for juice” drinks.

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Last weekend I asked the Husband if he wanted to go hang out at a bar. His response was “I feel like this is a trick question.” It was and it wasn’t. We did hang out at a bar, but it was a juice bar at Peacefood Cafe. I was excited to try their Asian Roots juice with green daikon, sweet potato, apple, and ginger.

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I loved this juice and can’t wait to make it at home.

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They call this one The Hangover Cure with apple, orange, carrot, celery, and ginger.

Perfect for brunch.

Last night we went out for dinner with friends at Spring Natural Kitchen, another favorite neighborhood restaurant. They serve cold-pressed juices along with a beautiful menu with many gluten-free, vegan options. They even have homemade gluten-free bread!

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I meant to try several of their juices, but the Watermelon Pineapple was so good that I had to have two.

I realize that I’m in a unique situation in New York City. Not everyone has 5 different juice bars within a few blocks of their home. But on Day 24 I’m incredibly thankful to be living in such a juice-friendly city!

Juice_Badge

Readers, dish!

  • Do you go out for brunch?
  • Do you have juice bars near you?
  • What’s your favorite juice bar?
Weekend in the City and a Pastis Brunch Review

GF Friendly Restaurants, New York City, Vegan

Weekend in the City and a Pastis Brunch Review

4 Comments 18 November 2013

It was a gorgeous weekend in NYC. It started with an inspiring run in Central Park as we ran against over 500 ultra marathoners competing in a 60k race. Now when I say against, let me clarify that they were my oncoming traffic. I am not an ultra marathoner. But there’s nothing like watching such strength and dedication whiz by you to capture every possible complaint that might slip past your panting lips. If they can run 60 kilometers surely I can finish my 4 mile loop!

Afterwards we took the opportunity to try out a restaurant that I’ve been meaning to get to for months. A sweet friend gave us a gift card as a Welcome to New York Gift and it’s taken this long to finally make the arrangements to eat at Pastis. We tried weeks ago to make reservations for the next day and found that they were all booked up for weekend brunch until this weekend. Tip #1: Plan ahead.

Pastis

Pastis is a large restaurant by New York standards located in the West Village on a cute cobble stone street. It was designed to replicate a 1930s Parisian brasserie, and from what I read and experienced, it is always hopping. There’s a large communal table in the middle of the restaurant, a large bar, and small tables packed around the perimeter. I have no idea how we were fortunate enough to be seated at the best table in the house…a cozy table for two in a corner. If you’re looking for a quiet, romantic restaurant, this is not it. Loud and romantic? Definitely.

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Tip #2: Order a cocktail. Yes, even for brunch. They have an assortment of wines, and a full bar, but the brunch cocktails looked really delicious. We ordered simple mimosas that weren’t on the menu, and they were incredibly refreshing after a morning run. But be prepared to spend $13-14 on your beverage. Yes, two mimosas cost $28, so no refills thank you.

Mimosa

Tip #3: Make sure to notify your waitstaff of your food allergies. I was extremely impressed with our waitress who warned me about this gorgeous stack of fries that the Husband ordered. No nibbling for me as they are fried in the same oil as the shallots which include a little flour. Later, the manager even came to the table to check on us and make sure that I knew that the french fries were not safe for me. That inspired confidence.

Fries

Tip #4: If you are a vegan, however, you will find very limited options at Pastis. Much of the brunch menu consists of eggs, fish, and meat. There are a few salads that you could order without the cheese, fresh fruit, grapefruit, and this oatmeal.

Oatmeal

Knowing my limitations, I was prepared with my order before we sat down. (If you haven’t read my series on Eating Out Gluten-Free, my first tip is Do Your Homework. If I hadn’t done my research, I never would have known that their oatmeal was an option. Normally, ordering oatmeal at restaurants in off limits as they do not serve gluten-free oats. But Pastis uses Anson Mills Steel Cut Oats which are gluten free.

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Topped with sauteed bananas, walnuts, and golden raisins, these oats tasted divine. They were so good that I didn’t bat an eye at the $13.00 price tag. Tip #5: Be prepared to drop a pretty penny on your meal.

The Husband ordered this Bagel with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese which was not gluten-free. Although he thoroughly enjoyed his meal, he mentioned that the bagel with cream cheese that he picks up at the corner bodega is just as good, especially since this one was $19.00. But if they had gluten-free bagels for $19.00 I probably would have ordered two!

bagel

So the bottom line is that Pastis is a great experience that has many options for gluten-free diners but limited options for vegans. It was fun to experience once, but with all of the gluten-free, vegan fare this city has to offer we won’t be back.

After brunch we were off to explore more of the city, and this weekend we chose the American Museum of Natural History.

Nov Day

I met a few friends.

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thinking

This one was for my daddy. He has called me “Monkey” since birth. (What does that say about what I looked like as a newborn?) I texted him this picture and his response was, “Which one is you?” Love that guy.

Readers, dish!

  • Have you been to Pastis?
  • How was your weekend?
  • How do you prepare for a new restaurant?

Healthy Living

A Taste of the Weekend

9 Comments 01 September 2013

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Summer

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Cornbread at Angelica Kitchen

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Tired Feet

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Adorable Sprouts

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For Salads This Week

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Thai Falafel Salad at Spring Kitchen

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Saturday Night Appetizers at Home

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Radishes at Union Square Farmer’s Market

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Sweet Peppers at the Market

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An Unexpected Gluten-Free Treat

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Much Needed Juice Break

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Surrounded by Beauty in the City

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Fall is Coming

I hope you had a delicious weekend too!

Organic Avenue: I’m in Love

GF Friendly Restaurants, Raw Foods, Travel

Organic Avenue: I’m in Love

7 Comments 27 March 2013

On a recent cab ride into New York City I did a double take as we flew past the orange Organic Avenue sign. This trip suddenly had a new purpose. It was no longer just a weekend away. I had to find out what was in that store. To my delight, I quickly learned that it was located just a few blocks from where we would be staying, which made multiple trips quite convenient.

But it only took one trip to fall in love.

At Organic Avenue L.O.V.E = Live. Organic. Vegan. Experience.

I just had to step inside Organic Avenue once to know that this was a store for me. These were my first three sights:

Cases filled with high quality, organic, cold pressed juices

Protein Smoothies and Nut Mylks

Salads and Raw Food!

Fabulous fare for a traveler like me in search of healthy food while away from my juicer, Vitamix, and dehydrator. But Organic Avenue specializes in raw foods cleanses. They have three levels to choose from: Love Easy, Love Fast,  and Love Deep. So whether you are looking for deep detox or a restart, you’re sure to find a cleanse that will work for you.

A weekend in New York is not the time for me to detox. There are just way too many gluten-free goodies to sample, but I made sure to start each day off with a healthy breakfast from Organic Avenue.

Day 1 began with Green LOVE. Crammed with green veggies and lightened with pear and lemon, this juice was absolutely delicious and refreshing. The Husband loved the Green Coco with added Thai Coconut Water.

Day 2 started with smoothies. Since I made the walk to get breakfast that morning I got first choice when I returned home with two options. I think the Chocolate Love Smoothie is one of the best smoothies I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot of smoothies. Made with cashews, hemp seeds, dates, Himalayan salt, vanilla powder, cacao powder, and Irish moss, this smoothie was a great way to start the day. The Husband enjoyed the Berry Blast Protein Smoothie so much that he bought one every day for the next week. (Lucky man got to stay in the city while I returned home on Day 3.)

Day 3 started with Berry Chia Tapioca Pudding topped with Cinnamon Raisin Granola. Strawberries, dates, coconut meat and an assortment of nuts and seeds made this a satisfying way to start our last of day trekking through the city.

Organic Avenue isn’t just a place for breakfast. You can enjoy soup, salads, snacks, entrees, and even desserts. The Husband tried their Mexi-Fresh Tacos and gave a report that made me extremely jealous.

I’d highly recommend stopping at Organic Avenue the next time you’re in New York City. It will keep you well fueled for all of the activity you have planned. Like everything else in the City, it is expensive. A bottle of juice costs between $9.00 and $12.00 depending on the size of the bottle, and a smoothie is a whopping $10.00. But considering that you’re fueling your body with high quality, delicious food in the most expensive city on the planet, it may just be a deal! Hey, I was sold!

Readers, dish!

  • Have you been to Organic Avenue?
  • Have you tried one of their cleanses?
  • What is your favorite Organic Avenue product?
Nashville Sports Bar Has Gluten-Free Options

GF Friendly Restaurants

Nashville Sports Bar Has Gluten-Free Options

3 Comments 23 November 2012

Has this ever happened to you? Big game on tv, sports bar selected, you show up ready to cheer on your team, and there’s nothing you can eat. Well, you can usually find a dry bed of lettuce and a glass of water, but what’s the fun in that? You sit there half-heartedly cheering, starving, and longing for the days when you could order pizza, wings, and a pint of beer without a care in the world. That was all before you found out that you couldn’t eat gluten. Sports bars are one of the hardest places to eat gluten free. That’s why Sam’s Sports Grill in Nashville caught my attention.

Imagine my excitement when I found this gluten-free menu online and saw that it wasn’t just a list of salads! Sam’s Sports Grill has a gluten-free menu with appetizers, pizzas, burgers, chicken, and salads that are all made without gluten-containing ingredients.

Located in Hillsboro Village in the heart Titan’s country and blocks from Vandy, Sam’s is a popular place to hang out with friends and watch a game.

How many times have you been to a sports bar only to find that the only drink option is beer?

Sam’s serves Angry Orchard gluten-free cider.  My absolute favorite cider to date.

Sam’s has four different starters that are gluten free.  Baby Back Ribs, two different kinds of Nachos, and Spicy Chorizo Queso Dip will start your game off with a bang. We ordered the Nachos Grande with certified gluten-free tortilla chips piled high with chili, melted queso, tomatoes, onions, fresh jalapenos, and sour cream. I can’t tell you the last time I indulged in such decadence!

But the real reason I was there was to sample the gluten-free pizza.  Yes, gluten-free pizza at a sport’s bar!

Sam’s makes gluten-free pizza with French Meadow Bakery gluten-free crust. The crust comes in an aluminum tin to avoid cross contamination. I appreciated that Sam’s served the pizza in the tin so I knew that the pizza hadn’t been on any other surface that might contain gluten.

That did mean that the pizza was less than crisp, but this a small price to pay for delicious pizza and safe serving procedures.

On a Sunday afternoon, the bar was a buzz with football fans, but the waitstaff was very attentive and willing to answer questions about the gluten-free menu.

They did make one thing extremely clear. Their gluten-free menu is a menu of items without gluten ingredients. They state “In general, if you are highly allergic to gluten, we only offer a gluten-free menu as a healthy option.”

That statement almost prevented me from eating at Sam’s. Their gluten-free menu items are made in the same kitchen where flour abounds from sandwiches, burger buns, and pizza. I was very hesitant to risk getting sick just to review a restaurant for this blog. But then I realized that so many restaurants with gluten-free menus are in the exact same position. They want to provide gluten-free options, but they do not have the space to dedicate to gluten-free preparation. The difference is that Sam’s was honest with me. And they left the decision up to me.

Sam’s says that they make sure that when preparing gluten-free menu items the preparation surfaces are thoroughly cleaned. Their kitchen managers have all taken safe serve classes, and in weekly meetings they stress the importance with their staff about properly handling gluten-free orders.

Does that make you feel more comfortable? Or less? I decided that I was willing to take the risk, and thankfully I did not get sick. The food was delicious, I had a great time, and I’m glad to say that there’s one more place where Nashville can go to enjoy gluten-free food.

But it’s also a reminder that eating out gluten-free is the sole responsibility of the diner. You have the choice of whether or not to eat at a restaurant. Your health is your own responsibility. For more information about dining out gluten free, check out my series in 10 Days of Gluten Free created by Linda of The Gluten-Free Homemaker.

Readers, dish!

  • Have you tried Sam’s gluten-free menu?
  • Have you found a sports bar that offers gluten-free menu items?
  • How do you feel about ordering off a gluten-free menu in a non-gluten-free kitchen?
  • What questions do you ask before ordering off a gluten-free menu?
***(Disclaimer:  I have no connection to nor was I paid by Sam’s Sports Grill. I did receive a complimentary meal to review. I do not give positive reviews just because a meal was free but will always give my honest opinion.)
Sam’s Sports Grill
1803 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
(615) 383-3601

A Curious Girl in the Gluten-Free World

I'm a curious girl, wife, teacher, friend, fitness fanatic, foodie, high raw vegan, child of the King, and Mama Cat. I've made the transition from baking and cooking gluten-free to creating raw vegan recipes that are naturally gluten free. My gluten intolerance opened up my diet to a whole new world of nutritious plant-based foods. And now I have another challenge ahead...I'm moving to New York City! I look forward to Living Raw Vegan in the City and sharing my experience with you.

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