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.