Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Restaurant Review: Cinders Wood Fire Grill (Mine Hill, NJ)

I had a great all around experience at Cinders Wood Fire Grill (319 Route 46W, Mine Hill, NJ 07803) last night. For starters, Cinders flags the gluten free items on their menu with a small green diamond. There were nine tapas (appetizers), eight entrees, and six sides. There is also a note that any item without the sauce or without bread would be gluten free.
Woodgrilled Half Chicken in a Cilantro Lime Marinade

Their specials list wasn't flagged but I figured I'd ask about an interesting sounding swordfish with peaches and sweet barbeque glaze since I needed to inquire about dairy free anyway. The waiter was very helpful and offered to check with the kitchen without being asked (always a good sign). They couldn't make the dish both gluten and dairy free as written but the chef offered to prepare the swordfish with a gf/df garlic wine sauce instead!

In the end, I decided to try the Woodgrilled Half Chicken (naturally both gf/df), with a side of grill asparagus and gluten free shoestring fries!

Overall a great time and somewhere with enough gluten free variety on the menu that I'm sure to go back!

Cinders Wood Fire Grill on Urbanspoon

Other restaurants you may like:

Opa Greek Cuisine (Wayne, NJ)

Pandan Room (Hackettstown, NJ)

Or search my full gluten free restaurant list!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Restaurant Review: China Sea of Absecon (Absecon, NJ)

On a recent day trip to Atlantic City, I decided to stop for dinner at China Sea of Absecon (662 White Horse Pike, Absecon, NJ 08201). It is fairly rare to find a chinese restaurant that has a gluten free menu and even rarer to find one as extensive as theirs. (The full gf menu is on their website.)

Gluten Free Sesame Chicken at China Sea Absecon
One of my favorite meals at a chinese restaurant is Sesame Chicken so I had to try their and I wasn't disappointed. It was just as good as I remember from before I gave up gluten. The food was so good I ended up ordering another two dinners to take home and eat over the following nights. Even as left overs, the gluten free chicken and broccoli and the gluten free beef with asparagus were terrific.

China Sea has a large eat in dining room and also does a brisk take out business. It is located in the Marketplace of Absecon strip mall (right past the Arby's). There's even a note on their website that for orders of $50 or more, they will deliver to AC casinos!

It's a bit far of a drive for me, but this is definitely somewhere I would return if I were in the area.

China Sea of Absecon Restaurant on Urbanspoon

There are a couple of other chinese restaurants offering gluten free food:

Lo Fatt Chow (Lebenon, NJ)

Panda Asian Fusion (Freehold, NJ)

Pei Wei (Cherry Hill, Moorestown, Paramus)

As well as other asian cuisines:

A Taste of Asia II (Chatham, NJ)

Bangkok Kitchen (Caldwell, NJ)

Pandan Room / Pandan Asian Fusion (Hackettstown, NJ and Long Valley, NJ)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Restaurant Review: Bologna Deli (Sparta, NJ)

Who knew Sparta was so Celiac friendly?

I recently found myself in the Sparta area for lunch and was surprised to find I had a number of restaurants to choose from! I ended up selecting the Bologna Deli and Cafe (8 White Deer Plaza, Sparta, NJ 07871). It is what you'd expect from a deli, with a cold cut display case, and a handful of small tables. What you wouldn't expect is the number of gluten free options.
Sandwich on gluten free dairy free flat bread at Bologna Deli

Most of the cold cuts are gluten free and they offer a flat bread by NJ's own Sogni Dolci. The owner knew that the flat bread was dairy free but she brought me the ingredients to double check. There are also a number of gluten free snacks but these weren't all dairy free.

I had an amazing roast beef sandwich with roasted red peppers and avocado. Since I couldn't have any of the other snacks, they even included a side of seedless red grapes to round out the meal. The owner selected Sogni Dolci's flat bread as she hates gluten free bread that falls apart. The flat bread held together quite nicely and was a welcome change from most 'standard' gluten free breads.

This is definite somewhere I would go back the next time I find myself in the Sparta area!

Bologna Deli & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Looking for other great lunch options in NJ?

Try gluten free burgers and more at Little Shanty

or a gluten free sandwich at The Fine Grind Coffee Bar.

And, don't forget to check out my full list of NJ Restaurants with Gluten Free Menus or my list of Gluten Free Fast Food and Chain Restaurant options!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Restaurant Review: Little Shanty (Warren, NJ)

They don't have a dedicated fryer . . . they have three!

Gluten Free Burger, Gluten Free Onion Rings, and
Gluten Free Fries at Little Shanty in Warren NJ
I had heard a rumor that Little Shanty (14 Mt. Bethel Road, Warren, NJ 07059) offered gluten free fries but needed to check it out for myself. I called them and they told me that they had four separate fryers in the restaurant and that three of them were for gluten free items, including . . . . gluten free onion rings! Of course I had to try them for myself (ah, the things I do in the name of research) so on a recent Saturday I took a drive to Warren.

The restaurant is a quick serve burger place where you order at the counter and they bring your food to the table. When I got to the counter and placed my order, as I always do I started by announcing that I have to be both gluten and dairy free.  The owner quickly rattled off everything that could be gluten free and even mentioned that their three gluten free fryers are dedicated and safe.

They offer Udi's gluten free hamburger buns for  any sandwich, gluten free wings, chicken nuggets, and three types of GF fries (only the sweet potato fries aren't gluten free)! As you can see I had a burger (on a bun!) and both gluten free fries as well as gluten free onion rings!

Little Shanty Fries on Urbanspoon

Other articles you may be interested in:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Restaurant Review: PositiviTea (Verona, NJ)

A quirky little vegan cafe!

Gluten Free / Dairy Free Big WAC wrap
Warning: this review is mostly for my dairy free / vegan followers. PositiviTea does offer a number of gluten free options as well but they are a small tea shop with shared prep space and a shared panini press. They do offer to clean both, but caution that there still may be cross contamination.

I've eaten at PositiviTea (550 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona, NJ 07044) twice already and since it is right around the corner from me, I hope to eat here quite a bit more as well. They offer a full menu of assorted teas (most of the herbals they mix themselves), smoothies (all gloriously dairy free), burgers, wraps, and waffles.  The wraps can be made gluten free, the waffles are gluten free, and I've had them make a burger on a wrap instead as well (sometimes they have portabello mushrooms as buns for the burgers).

Gluten Free Waffles with Dairy Free Ice Cream
The first time I went I had the Big WAC as a wrap. This is their take of a McDonalds Big Mac and the taste is pretty spot-on. Two vegan patties, special sauce (vegan of course), vegan mayo, vegan cheese, lettuce, pickles and onions. All with a side of gluten free chips. For those of you who recall how much I raved about the vegan burger I got from the Green Radish (review) this certainly gives it a run for the money!

The second time I had the Apple Pie Waffles - three apple cinnamon gluten free waffles (I suspect Van's) with raw agave nectar, vegan soft serve ice cream and a side of bananas and apples.

If you go, say hi to Abe and do be sure to take a look at the ceiling!

PositiviTea on Urbanspoon

Other vegan / vegetarian restaurants you might be interested in:

And my full list of Restaurants with Gluten Free menus is flagged with vegan/vegetarian options as well.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Restaurant Review: The Fine Grind: A Coffee Bar (Little Falls, NJ)

I've been attending the monthly Celiac Support Group called the GF Club at the Fine Grind: A Coffee Bar (101 Newark Pompton Tpk [Rt23S], Little Falls, NJ 07424) for a couple of years now. In that time, they've expanded their Gluten Free offerings from a couple of Get Fresh Bakehouse [contain dairy] individually wrapped brownies to a full gluten free menu. A good number of these items are already dairy free or can be made dairy free. Since owners Rhonda and Jon are dairy free as well, the Fine Grind even has vegan butter on hand.

Gluten Free Bagel and Gluten Free Oatmeal
at the Fine Grind in Little Falls, NJ
I stopped in for breakfast recently and had a toasted gluten free bagel with peanut butter and a bowl of gluten free oatmeal [made dairy free with almond milk]. The staff is well versed in avoiding cc [they have a dedicated prep area] and knew which items were dairy free or how best to modify them. This is one of the few places I can get a truly gluten free / dairy free breakfast but I've also been for lunch (turkey on GF/DF roll with GF chips) as well.

As mentioned above, The Fine Grind hosts a Gluten Free Support group called the GF Club [currently the second Tuesday of each month]. It is a great way to connect with others in the area who are living gluten free, share the latest gf finds, and keep up with what is coming next at the Fine Grind (we've gotten to sample most of their GF items before they've been added to the gf menu!). [This month we tried their Thanksgiving special – turkey on GF bread (or gf/df roll) with cranberry sauce and GF/DF stuffing!] There is a $10 admission but this includes a beverage and a wide array of GF snacks/treats.

Hopefully you'll check out the Fine Grind either for the food, the GF club, or both!  If you can't make their meetings, click here for more advice on finding a Gluten Free Support Group.

Fine Grind - A Coffee Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 30, 2013

Restaurant Review: From Seed to Sprout

Finally, a brunch where I can eat almost anything I want!

Gluten Free Vegan French Toast at From Seed to Sprout
Recently, I met one of my Celiac Support Groups at From Seed to Sprout (410 Main Street, Avon-By-The-Sea, NJ 07717) for brunch. They're closed Monday, open for breakfast/lunch during the week, and brunch on the weekends (although they do some dinner nights by reservation only). The brunch menu is a bit different from the weekday menu so some of the items we had may not be available during the week.

The restaurant is entirely vegan and has quite a few gluten free options as well (although not all of them are marked on the menu so you'll have to ask). [Only the pancakes couldn't be done gluten free, their only other gluten items were sandwich bread, rolls and english muffins, but they have a delicious gluten free millet and flax seed bread that can be substituted in (and our non-gf waitress stated the gf bread tasted better anyway)!] The juices / smoothies were all vegan (so no worries about cc with milk) although they did offer wheat grass (which if grown/harvested correctly is gluten free).

Grilled Avocado Sandwich on Gluten Free Bread
We ordered a variety of gluten free / vegan meals as well as some freshly prepared juices / smoothies. The gluten free / vegan french toast was amazing (since I can't handle a lot of egg, I haven't had real french toast in years)! Those who ordered it, raved about the grill avocado sandwich. And everyone was enamored with the coconut bacon!

From Seed to Sprout also has two dessert cases, one is for gluten containing baked goods and the other is for their raw vegan desserts which are all gluten free! Since our entire group was gluten free we decided to order one (or two) of every dessert and sample them all. The desserts were all great but the real standout for me was the lemon goji macaroon!

Our Line of Raw, Vegan,
Gluten Free Desserts
This is definitely somewhere I plan on returning to (especially to try that grilled avocado sandwich!)

From Seed To Sprout on Urbanspoon

If you're looking for some other shore area restaurants try:

Via Roma

Good Karma Cafe

Papa Ganache

Or check my full NJ GF Restaurant List!