Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Marina Kitchen - San Diego

One of my other favorite places to eat during San Diego Comic Con and any time I am in San Diego is Marina Kitchen in the Marriott Marquis. It is a little more expensive than what I would usually spend BUT it has ALWAYS been worth every penny. During SDCC they usually have a minimal menu but every item is yummy. They are not a gluten free facility but the do offer their own gluten free bread and can modify almost anything for you. 

My favorite meal is their Mahi-Mahi but it was not available the last time I was there. I am hoping that it was not available because it was fall and just not on the menu. I have only been there in the summer, so I am hopeful it will be back on the menu next year. So this time I went for the Seared Ahi meal with a Margherita flatbread made with gluten free flatbread and their Truffle Fries. Oh my goodness, just writing that and then looking at the photos, I am salivating. Full disclosure I do NOT like fish eggs and for some reason the Ahi was made with them even though it is not listed on the menu. Luckily they are easily moved to the side. 

Here are the photos and current write up/prices for Fall 2016.

Seared Ahi $19.00
pea shoots, fingerling potato, soft cooked egg, mustard vinaigrette
gluten free

Truffle Fries $12.00
truffle salt, parsley, Grana Padano, Garlic aioli
gluten free, vegetarian

Margherita Flat Bread $14.50
fresh mozzarella, Grana Padano, basil, olive oil
gluten free bread, vegetarian

So you can see it is a little more expensive but it is worth it to me as the items are made from scratch and they are different and special. I recommend you check this out if you are in the area and note that they do have a gluten free crisp for dessert but I always eat too much during dinner and have yet to try it. Sigh

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Old Spaghetti Factory - San Diego

I have attended San Diego Comic Con for 6 years now. It is unfortunate that it took me until last year to visit The Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown, the Gaslamp District, San Diego. But fortunate that I did visit last year. It is now on my list of must visits when I am in town.

I am always leery of places that serve gluten free pasta. How can I be sure that they will serve me the gluten free variety? When we visited last year we went with a friend who eats there regularly. He knew the answer to my question. The gluten free pasta is the only spiral pasta they serve! That means if you receive something that does not look like this, then you did not receive the gluten free version. While some may find this boring because it is the only option, I love it because it takes the anxiety out of eating here.

And this year they added the little flag too. There a quite a few options on the gluten free menu and I am thrilled that they offer marinara sauce and chicken to add. Since I can not eat beef it is nice to have a non-beef sauce and an option for a protein with my pasta.

The only think lacking here is that there is no gluten free bread. I always say I am going to bring my own but so far I have forgotten each time I have visited. Maybe next time.

Major note: Be aware (or beware) they do not claim to be a gluten free restaurant and there may be cross contamination.

I do not know if they use separate water to make the gluten free pasta, or if they change utensils for spooning out sauce, etc. I do know that I have eaten there three times and have not gotten sick or even felt off from eating there. Now recall I do not have Celiac's and I am not overly sensitive.

Also note that this is not your Italian grandma's Italian food. It is a restaurant that serves Italian food. I love it because it isn't overly spicy, it feels like a good amount of food and the price is perfect for my wallet. You get a three course meal (salad, pasta, ice cream) and a lemonade for $15 (or so, I could not find my receipt to be exact, sorry).

I think The Old Spaghetti Factory is worth a try but be cautioned again that they are not gluten free and there could be cross contamination.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Muffin Mix

One word...


I receive a gluten free subscription box Love With Food which I really enjoy.

The August box included Bob's Red Mill Muffin Mix

We just happened to have some blueberries from our local farmer's market that needed to be used. So what better way to test out the new mix.

I followed all the directions but had to use butter instead of vegetable oil, as I had no vegetable oil available. But I don't mind butter and I don't think that made this mix better than if I had used oil but I would be willing to try it again with oil to test my theory :)

The mix was thick so I felt pretty confident this was going to make very good muffins.

Seriously, these are fantastic muffins. Moist, soft, tasty, slightly harder top, just soooo good. And while the blueberries were exceptional they just added to the tastiness of the muffin mix.

No idea how much the muffin mix costs as this was in my subscription box but I will find out soon as I am sure to have this as a staple in my pantry. 

Easy to make and easy to eat :)

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Evol - Teriyaki Chicken

Just a quick post about my favorite go to frozen meal.

I don't usually eat frozen meals but after I tried Evol's Teriyaki Chicken I was hooked.

There is lots of chicken, great veggies, rice and teriyaki sauce. The meal is so magical to me that I now like sweet peppers! I never liked them before but after having them in this meal, I have now made stuffed peppers 3 times and loved them.

If you are looking for a quick single serve meal, this is it, if you like the ingredients. In 3 minutes and 30 seconds you have a healthy yummy meal. There are also two serving meals that are found in very few places and you cook them on the stove in 10 minutes, just as yummy.

I highly recommend this and be sure to check out their other meals (double check they are gluten free) as I am sure they are just as yummy, I just don't eat most of the ingredients in the other selections :)

Enjoy Evol!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Udi's Gluten Free Cheese Pizza

Out of all the small pizzas out there Udi's is my favorite. Even though I have had some issues with it in the past, the flavor always makes up for it.

In full disclosure the issues have been 1) the middle of the pizza not being connected to the outer ring of the pizza. 2) The cheese and sauce separating from the crust when coming out of the freezer but it doesn't cause a problem, just odd that it happens. More full disclosure, any time I have sent a complaint to Udi's they have always responded and offered a free item coupon. I appreciate this and I have seen changes in their items I write about that lead me to not have to write again. So it appears they listen and try to correct any issues.

Again though neither of these issues above affected the flavor.

Here is what the pizza looks like out of the freezer.

Best looking one to start, out of the current three I have tried.

This pizza also does have the oddest instructions:

You heat up your pan before putting the pizza in the oven. These are fairly new instructions and I would advise to set your oven timer to the 14 minutes to start AND still watch the pizza. I still haven't mastered not over doing parts of the pizza.

Again, I state, this does not affect the flavor of the pizza.

The pizza is equally proportioned with cheese, sauce and crust.
It has good pizza spice and the cheese is gooey and tasty.
The sauce is not overwhelming and covers the whole pizza, along with the cheese.
This might be my favorite part. There is no crust edge like many pizzas.

The price point can be high on this pizza $6.99 but I think it is worth it and I would easily choose this over the other 2 pizzas I reviewed this weekend.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Aldi's Gluten Free Cheese Pizza

If you read my previous post on Bonavita Gluten Free Cheese Pizza, let's start with... Aldi's pizza is so much better.

If you didn't read my previous post, no worries and here is my review of Aldi's Gluten Free Cheese Pizza.

I followed the directions on the package and only needed the 10 minutes in my oven. I also almost made it on a cookie sheet instead of just on the rack but I caught my error in time. I was also a little worried when I opened the packaging...

It looked like there was very little sauce but time would tell if all was well.

And all was well...


Aldi's Gluten Free Cheese Pizza is very good. Still not my favorite but definitely better than many.

With a price point of $4.99 it is well worth it.
The cheese is gooey and tasty. The sauce is not overwhelming and just enough.
The crust is crunchy and just enough to not overwhelm everything else.
I think it is missing something, like basil or some pizza spice, but it didn't turn me off to it.
Overall I really liked this pizza and would definitely buy it again.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Bonavita Gluten Free Cheese Pizza

Bought a new gluten free cheese pizza a little bit ago. It was on a great sale at a new store I was at but without giving too much away already, I can guess why it was on sale.

Bonavita - The Good Life

Hmmm Good Life?

If they had remembered to put the sauce on the pizza it may have been an ok life.
Unfortunately, it does appear they did not put any tomato sauce on the pizza and while I am not sure that would have saved this pizza, it might have helped.

Before baking

I followed the directions but had to add another 2 minutes as the cheese was not fully melted. I also noticed that while it seemed "thick" it was an illusion of the curved crust.

It is listed as a thin crust pizza and it was but that was only part of the issues I had with this pizza. 
It was very salty and even though it looked baked, the dough seemed to still be raw in places. 
I couldn't have cooked the pizza any longer or it would have burned the cheese.
I can only wonder if the lack of sauce is what caused all the issues.

If I could guarantee that the next one would have sauce I would give this a try again but it would also have to be on sale again as if I recall the regular price was $7.99 and the sale was $4. It most definitely is not worth $7.99. I can get a much bigger and tastier Freschetta for $9.99 and have leftovers. 

Has anyone else tried this pizza? How was it for you? Should I try it again and hope for sauce? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


I love bread. I love Italian bread, I love French bread. Lucky for me I have been able to try some yummy gluten free baguettes of both varieties recently.

Schar Italian Baguettes
Udi's French Baguettes
Wegman's White Baguette

From just that listing one of the biggest differences amongst the three baguettes I tried is that the Wegman's version only has one baguette in the packaging. This would make it the most expensive then:

Schar $6.99 2 baguettes 

Udi's $7.99 2 baguettes

Wegman's $5.99 1 baguette

Schar is the softest of the bunch both outer and inner
Udi's is in the middle of soft/hard both outer and inner
Wegman's is the hardest/toughest both outer and inner

Schar is sold on the shelf in the gluten free aisle
Udi's is frozen
Wegman's is also off the shelf but found in the bakery section

Schar is good both right out of the package and heated per directions.
Udi's I was only able to try heated from frozen following the package instructions.
Wegman's was ok out of the package and much better heated per instructions.

All three are good with and without butter.
All three are about the same size.

Schar is unlike any gluten filled bread I have had but I love it.
Udi's tasted just like I remember gluten filled French Bread and it is wonderful.
Wegman's reminded me of gluten filled Italian bread but different but not bad.

So with all this said, my order of choices for baguettes is:


The number one reason for Schar is that I like it both out of package and heated. I like that it is a little sweet. I like that it isn't as messy as Udi's and Wegman's which have very tough outsides. I also like that it is easier to find in stores than Udi's and Wegman's and ordering online if needed.

Everyone's tastes are different, so if you have any baguettes you think I should try please let me know in the comments.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Aldi Gluten Free Ravioli

Ravioli is one of my favorite foods.

When I had to start eating gluten free 16 years ago I was so sad to have to give up ravioli.

Since then a few companies have made gluten free ravioli. I have liked many of them and I will eventually post about them here.

This post is about my favorite by far at this time.

Aldi's Live Gfree Gluten Free Ravioli

And not only just the cheese ravioli
they also have Spinach & Cheese Ravioli 

Yummy yum yum yum is the best I can say.
The insides of the ravioli are perfect. 
Thick, cheesy, just right moistness, perfect spices, just like I like ravioli.
The pasta perfectly offsets the insides, not too much and not too little.
I followed the directions exactly as stated and cooked for the longer 8 minutes.
There were 12 in the cheese bag and 11 in the spinach and cheese bag, so basically two servings and six ravioli was the perfect amount for me for dinner, although I could have easily eaten all of them :)
Another great part... they are only $3.99 a bag.

If you love ravioli, I say run out to your nearest Aldi and pick up these ravioli now and enjoy!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Tomato Sauce

On Instagram I follow @alexisgfadventures for lots of great gluten free finds and tips. A little bit ago she posted about Rao's Tomato Sauce that she found at Whole Foods. She said in the post that her aunt told her it was as good as the homemade sauce she makes. Then a follower posted that there is a Sensitive version without garlic and onions! Color me impressed by both pieces of information and now I was on a mission.

Unfortunately after a trip to Whole Foods two weeks ago I had forgotten to look for the sauce while we were there. Luckily, a trip to the local Giant Food Store the next day had us finding Rao's ... and it was on sale. It was $6.99 on sale and I was a little sticker shocked. But I couldn't pass it up. So off we went with a bottle of the Rao's Tomato Basil sauce as they did not have any of the Sensitive version left on the shelf. My Mom, luckily found it at her local Giant still at the sale price and brought it to me last weekend.

Jump to today, the start of the three day Memorial Day weekend, and a taste test of Rao's Tomato Basil, Rao's Sensitive Marinara and Wegmans Tomato Basil (my current favorite sauce). I used Schar pizza shells and longhorn cheese to top the pizzas.

I followed the directions to a T on the pizza shell box so that all the pizzas would be the same except for the sauce. I used a colored toothpick to symbolize each sauce so that we would know which pizza was which and then carried the toothpick matching through to the pieces of pizza too so we wouldn't get confused.

12 minutes later, we were ready to eat pizza. Mmmmmm

I'm not sure I can move right now after all the yummy pizza but here is my take on the three sauces.

1) Rao's Tomato Basil - thick, "spicy", tasty but less tomato taste than the other two

2) Rao's Sensitive Marinara - excellent taste, a little thinner than the Tomato Basil, it tastes exactly, I mean EXACTLY, how I remember my Mom's homemade pizza tasting

3) Wegman's Tomato Basil - in between the thickness/thinness of the two Rao's, sweeter taste, I called it a childish version of tomato sauce unlike the Rao's but I still really like it

My order of choice:

1) Rao's Sensitive Marinara

2) Wegmans Tomato Basil

3) Rao's Tomato Basil

Mind you, they are all very good and I would not turn any of them down. Please also note I do not like a lot of spice nor do I like overly chunky sauces. All three of these fit my criteria without an issue.

Another huge reason for this test, in addition to wanting to compare taste, was cost. Rao's brand on sale was $6.99 at Giant. Wegmans' brand has all the time pricing of 3 bottles for $2.99. I am happy that if I could not afford Rao's brand that Wegmans' brand is more than an acceptable option for me.

What are your favorite tomato sauces? Maybe I will have to do another taste test if offered intriguing choices.


Welcome to my new blog!

My plans here are to post about gluten free foods and restaurants I find in my town and in my travels.

I plan to review the items and restaurants I find and I would love to hear of any items and places you know of in your area or in your travels.

Please see the bottom of the blog for my disclosure policy.

Let's get to the round up...