Monday, September 23, 2013

Brunching in Dallas: Top 3 Gluten Free Spots

In Dallas, brunching could be considered a sport.  The tradition of weekend brunch is sacred in this city, but can you blame us? Bottomless mimosas, great friends and a plate of gluten free goodness is all you need to start your weekend off right. 

Gluten Free Eggs Benedict
Gluten Free Eggs Benedict
Brunch is the easiest meal in my opinion for Celiacs.  Why, you ask?  Well, most restaurants offer plenty of egg options and the only problem you have to worry about is whether they share the same cooking surface as other glutened items.  Potatoes are also a good bet typically (as long as they're not fried) and Dallas happens to have plenty of brunch spots that offer gluten free menus.

I've been to quite a few places in my past 2 years of Dallas living, but for now I'll share my top 3 gluten free brunch locations.

Company CafeDeserving of a restaurant review by itself, this gluten-free focused restaurant is a Celiac's dream.  Company Cafe has 2 locations in the Dallas area and offers everything you've missed from being tied to a gluten free.  Brunch items include scrambles, huevos rancheros, french toast, pancakes, biscuits and gravy and my personal favorite: applewood smoked bacon and jalapeno stuffed pancakes topped with fried chicken and real maple syrup.  (Pause for dramatic effect).  Yes, it's just as amazing as it sounds too. The restaurant serves up locally farmed food that’s all organic and yes, everything can be made gluten free. Check out the deserts too, they offer a plethora of decadent gluten free cakes.
Panna Cotta at the Mansion on Turtle Creek
Panna Cotta at the Mansion on Turtle Creek
Kozy kitchen- Similar to Company Cafe in that they can make everything on the menu gluten free, but different in the atmosphere and history.  Kozy Kitchen was the original gluten-free restaurant in Dallas and offers a much simpler, dare I say it, cozy, atmosphere. For brunch, the restaurant offers the typical breakfast classics with a gourmet spin. I've tried both the Migas and gluten free stuffed french toast and let me just say, that french toast was lethal (in a good way). Other items include pancakes, french toast, steak omelets, their famous hangover helper and various egg dishes featuring their grass-fed beef, buffalo and other game meats. Kozy Kitchen also offers a variety of gluten free desserts, the most infamous of which is the OMG cake.  Lastly, I should warn you that this restaurant is BYOB.  So if you want to brunch the right way, don't forget the champagne!
Gluten Free Brunch at the Mansion on Turtle Creek
Brunch Desert: Creme Brulee
Mansion on Turtle Creek- While not realistic for a casual weekend brunch, TravelZoo occasionally offers brunch deals that make the meal much more affordable.  For about $65 total, a friend and I enjoy a full 3 course brunch in the gorgeous Mansion. To start I had a lovely panna cotta topped with mixed berries. For my main dish I ordered a gluten free Eggs Benedict (yes, they have gluten free english muffins) accompanied with a savory potato pancake and sauteed asparagus.  Because the restaurant keeps gluten free items on hand, they can pretty much alter anything on the menu to be gluten free.  For the third and final course the restaurant offered coffee and a variety of gourmet desserts, displayed in a buffet-style setting. The crème brulee and various chocolate truffles, as I was told, are all gluten free.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Gluten Free Restaurant Review: Kenny's Italian Kitchen in Addison Tx

When eating out, there’s a moment that will make even the seasoned Celiac feel a twinge of envy.  Yes, I’m talking about the moment the hot communal bread is set on the table.  I remember being a newly diagnosed Celiac and finding this to be one of the toughest challenges to overcome. Hey! It’s tough being hungry and watching your friends devour a delicious loaf of steaming hot bread!  Who wouldn’t be a bit jealous? But more on that later.

One afternoon we were celebrating a coworker’s birthday and found ourselves at a quaint Italian restaurant down the street called Kenny’s Italian Kitchen.  Being a Celiac, I figured I’d order a salad and then snack on chips or something once we got back to the office.  Not a big deal, we were celebrating a birthday after all!

Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan
When we sat down I was surprised to see the restaurant offered gluten free pasta and our waiter was extremely helpful. Once I put in my order for gluten free pasta, the waiter promptly brought out a steaming loaf of gluten free French bread.  That’s right, gluten free French bread.  I think I left my body for a few seconds I was so overjoyed and excited.  This bread was out of this world too.  Crispy on the outside, steaming hot on the inside with an incredibly light and fluffy texture.  I have no shame in admitting I ate the whole thing.  When lunch was over, I asked for a to go box for the remaining pasta and they included a new loaf of gluten free bread for me to take home!  To make matters even better, they didn’t even charge extra for the gluten free bread or pasta!! We had found a gem for sure.

I went back a few weeks later looking for a carb fix and hoping to see what else they could make gluten free.  After some convincing from the waiter, I decided to try the chicken parmesan (gluten free) over gluten free pasta with vodka sauce.  While the breadcrumbs did taste a bit different, the meal was decadent and something I don’t think I’d had since being diagnosed 5 years ago! And of course, it was accompanied by an amazing loaf of gluten free bread.

If you’re in the area, I strongly suggest paying Kenny’s a visit.  Not only do they carry gluten free pasta, but they can make their Italian sandwiches gluten free, fry anything on the menu to be gluten free (think chicken parmesan) and will top off your gluten free dining experience with a fabulous gluten free chocolate mousse.  Okay, so what could be better?  Well, you may want to sit down for this one.  The restaurant will actually prepare gluten free lasagna, made from scratch, if you call at least a day ahead of time.  What could possibly be better?!

The restaurant pride’s itself on serving the best gluten free products around, and those products happen to come from a local bakery in Carrollton.  I’ve also been reassured that the kitchen does an excellent job of keeping gluten free foods separate at all times to avoid cross contamination.  So feel comfortable and taken care of when visiting Kenny’s.  I am still impressed with the food, service, and care when it comes to gluten free dining and will be back many times. This is definitely a ‘must’ for Celiacs living in the DFW area.
Gluten Free Bread at Kenny's Italian
Gluten Free Pasta with Vodka Sauce