Thursday, 31 July 2014

Gluten Free Girl In New York!!!!

Dale and I have just returned from 2 weeks in New York and it really was a trip of a life time! The only trouble is I want to go back! As always, I've got to remind myself that I write a food blog and not a travel's so tempting to tell you about all the fab places we have been to! However, I'm more than happy to share all the fab GF food I found instead! 

After much ummming and ahhhhing about how best to present this blog post, I have decided to sort the info into "lunch", "dinner" and the all important "snacks"! It's gonna be a loooong post but at least knowing the sub headings means you can scroll through the bits that interest you! Gold star to anyone who reads it all! Where possible I will put a photo of the outside of the restaurant (making it easier for those who are trying to find it), a photo of the food I ate (so you know what you're gonna eat there or for those who just enjoy food porn!) and a website (so you can find the place!!) That's the let's get started!

If you're GF and  heading off to The Big Apple, don't panic, you will be able to eat more than it's name suggests! There is good GF food out there, you won't miss out! You too, will be able to enjoy cake, burgers, hot dogs and cheese cake with your fellow gluten eating pals! However, don't be under any illusion that it will be easy. I had wrongly assumed that New York would be a GF haven that was geared up for "faddy diets"! WRONG!!! I had my fair share of blank looks, "what's gluten?" and "I think all our food contains gluten"! Argh! My favourite one, not wanting to name names was "This cake is mainly gluten free but not entirely"!!! (Oh, ok, it was the famous Magnolia Bakery! Good job those Sex and the City Girls didn't have a gluten intolerance!). My your research before you go. Google will be your friend! Read blogs such as or and then relax and enjoy! 

Plane Food!

We flew with BA and I must say I was a little apprehensive! I had read mixed things, so my expectations were low and my hand luggage was full of snacks! Well, I had nothing to worry about! No sooner had I sat down than the steward came to find me to say he had my GF meals sorted! Main meal was tilapia with veg, chickpea salad, GF bread and butter and fruit salad.

I nearly squealed with delight when they announced a light snack would be served! A chicken sandwich on GF bread! I was thrilled!! However, we did have a little chuckle at the pack of 5 grapes ha ha! 5 grapes?! But there was a small pack of raisins too! 

The journey home was also pretty good. I had chicken and cauliflower mash with fruit salad...fine but personally not a huge cauliflower fan. I was a tad disappointed when everyone got a croissant and I got fruit salad again BUT I was pleased to get something! Nevertheless, there are so many great GF brands out there now doing pastries / meals / puddings etc maybe it won't be long until we see them on the airline menu?! 


Whole Foods will be your other friend! Great supermarket for GF snacks, fruit / yogurt for breakfast and hot buffet counters for dinner. I found it to be more reasonably priced than in the UK and great value for money! They are everywhere and will definitely be an important resource while you are in NY!

Hale and Hearty

Another life saver...and they are everywhere too! Couldn't get the American website to work otherwise I'd have posted link! Not entirely GF but lots of soups and salads are. You have to ask the servers what is GF as (with most places it seems) they like to keep it a secret! 

Pret a Manger

Much the same as in the UK! Big GF brownie point for actually clearly labelling their food with "GF"! It's so much easier than having to ask the servers all the time!

Butterfield Express (

Stumbled across Butterfield Express by complete accident! If you squint you can just see it says "Gluten Free" in the window?! Yey! Only fellow GF's will understand that excited feeling of unexpectantly stumbling across a GF establishment!! Anyway, it's a great little place for sandwiches and cake, perfect for lunches on the run!

Friedmans at Chelsea Market (

They actually advertise GF options in the window. They do regular sandwiches too but I asked about cross contamination and they were fairly reassuring! I went for a Reuben Sandwich.....which is apparently "a must" when in NY! As you can see it was huge! Probably why it was quite pricey! I enjoyed it but would rather have had half the amount for half the cost!

Grand Central Station

The Food Hall has plenty to offer but sadly I could only find 2 openly GF places. Others may have been accommodating but when it's busy you don't really want to be faffing about queuing and asking only to be potentially met with a blank look! Therefore, I was faced with chilli or curry...I opted for chilli!

Can't remember the name of the place (bad blogger!!) but they were the only chilli place in the food hall at Grand Central Station!

Woodbury Common Outlet

Ohhhhhhh did I shop?!! Ok, ok, not a shopping blog either.....but you must go! If you have chance and you like shopping...GO! Not amazing food options for the GF or the "gluten eaters" to be honest. I was pleasantly surprised to find the garish Mexican offered GF options!

I went for a rice bowl... was GF and the tortilla chips were GF too!
Cons....didn't taste great, poor quality chewy meat, pretty bland for Mexican......better than going hungry but would rave about it! 

Smorgasburg Food Market (

Oh, I have saved the best til last! If you are a foodie and happen to be around Brooklyn on a Saturday then you HAVE to go here! Sooooo much choice! Not all GF by any stretch of the imagination but you will definitely have choices which is always good right?! I opted for Mofon.Go ( who stated that all their food was GF. 

I had the most delicious Puerto Rican dish made of mashed plantain, garlic and pork crackling....yum!


Guy's American Kitchen and Bar  (

Dale was keen to try Guy Fieri's place as he is a fan of the Diners, Drive-In's and Dives programme...not really my cup of tea but marriage is about give and take right?!  So...

Pros.....waitress automatically recommended the chicken dish as being "great for Coeliacs", so I opted for that.
Cons.....double checked my chicken dish was ok as it had gravy on it, waitress said yes but she would ask her manager, manager quickly swooped in to whisk dinner away saying it was not GF after all!.....thank goodness I checked!
Pros.....very apologetic......offered us a free pudding each! puddings were GF!!!!! (Eventually got dinner free instead!) 

Food ok but it was all a bit stressful, probably would go back!

Pie ( GF pizza we found in NY! Very "gluten aware" and asked straight away if we required GF bases, all toppings GF, lots of measures taken against cross contamination (see website!)

5 Napkin Burger (

Dale is a bit of a burger lover, whereas I can take or leave them...this is worth bearing in mind when reading the following! Dale carried out a lot of "burger research" while in NY and 5 Napkin scored best on his burger hall of fame! Me?! Well, I enjoyed it! They offer GF buns and their fries are GF too so that can only be good! The burger....? was good, I enjoyed it, it tasted like burger I guess! If you like burgers.....Dale  says you must GO!

Risotteria (

Much more my style! 

Pros.....nearly an entirely GF menu, GF breadsticks!!!!, delicious food, knowledgeable staff.
Cons...very small restaurant so you may need to wait, wasn't a huge fan of the cake I had for pudding BUT there was quite a big GF choice so I may have just not made a wise decision!

The Counter (

Back to burgers!! A fairly well know chain, particularly famous for building your own burgers. You are presented with a clip board and tick sheet which you fill in to create your perfect burger! I went for bunless turkey burger with feta and red peppers.

Pros....GF menu available on request, clued up staff, GF sweet potato fries mmmmmm, GF buns are available.
Cons....not many really, typical chain food place but I actually preferred this burger to others I tried.

Otto (

Pros....very helpful staff who clearly understand Coeliac Disease and GF requirements, great to be able to have GF pasta, delicious sauce, a couple of GF pudding options too and reasonably priced.

Cons...can't think of any....would definitely recommend!

S'mac (

GF mac n' cheese! Yep, you heard me right!'s GF man n' cheese.....what more do you want?!! Every bit as hot, bubbly, gooey and cheesey as it should be! Felt the calories going on as I ate but it was worth every mouthful! AND it was as cheap as chips (well, as macaroni I guess?!) Dale tried his first every macaroni cheese here (whaaaaat?! I hear you cry!) and he is definitely a convert....let's hope he adds it to his repertoire at home now! cons with the food! The place is a bit what I'd call "spit and saw dusty"...I mean the tables could do with a wipe, the server was pretty miserable, the toilets weren't the cleanest BUT.....don't let that put you off the most fabulous macaroni you're going to get in NY (and maybe even beyond!)


As all good tourists should do, we went to watch the Yankees play and I was thrilled to discover I could  enjoy the hot dog eating fun with my very own GF hot dog! They even use Udi's hot dog rolls! ('s a GF hot dog baaaaby!!
Cons... Located on ground level...if you have seats at the top make sure you buy before you sit down! It's a long way down!

Bistango (

Ohhhhhh I have saved the best til last again.......ohhhhhh gooooooo! If you have just one night in NY....GO!

Pros....first time I have ever been asked by the waitress if there are any allergies in the party! Wow! Impressed from the onset! Good GF choices, very knowledgeable staff, good understanding of cross contamination, GF bread for your side plate, GF filled pasta (!!!!!!), large GF pudding menu! Waaaaah I could have cried!!
Cons.....went on last night so couldn't go back!!


Snacking was a little trickier than in the UK. Food labelling is not quite as clear so you really need to have your wits about you....again, Google will be your friend! Ingredients are well labelled. But there there aren't many "may contain traces..." Or "made in a factory that handles..." warnings which makes cross contamination a bit of an unknown risk.

I did discover that the Hershey Bars (milk chocolate 1.55 oz) are GF and it actually states it on the packaging! Worth bearing in mind if you need a chocolate hit!

Again, Whole Foods is a great place to pick up snacks. I particularly enjoyed these chickpea bars which are great if you can't eat nuts (however, I'm fairly sure they did have a "may contain traces" warning....can't be certain though...sorry!)

I was also really impressed with these

Oh yes, GF fig rolls and I'm not ashamed to say I brought some home with me!! 

Apart from Whole Foods, I did manage to fit on some other snack stops.....

Mozarelli's (

I saw GF pizza was on offer but obviously I chose cake....who wouldn't?!

GF red velvet cake with...wait for it.....a cheesecake layer in the middle!! Arghhhhh!! You don't count calories on holiday do you?! Lots of other GF cakes to choose from....only disappointing thing was it was artificial can't have everything I guess!

Carnegie Deli (

To be honest with you. I only went for the GF cheesecake! I couldn't tell you if they do anything else that is GF but apparently it is THE place to go for cheesecake! A great little place, oooozing with atmosphere and a wall full of photographs of celebrities who have eaten there, oh and did I mention that there is cheesecake....

This was sooooo rich and creamy that the unthinkable happened.....I couldn't finish it!! Infact, I only managed about half.....catastrophe!! Worth every calorie and a must for any NY GF visitor with a sweet tooth!

The Big Gay Ice Cream Shop (

After tentatively asking if they had any GF ice cream, I was thrilled to discover that they also had GF cones! Opted for a milkshake but great to know a good old fashioned ice cream cone is available!

The Cold Stone Creamery (

No pics I'm afraid....I ate it too quickly! They offer a range of GF ice cream flavours (not all are GF though so you will need to ask). Dale was quick to spot them kneading/ mixing chosen ice cream flavours together on their work surface! However, they were happy to re scoop and not mix, in order to avoid cross contamination! It's worth asking because the ice cream was delicious!

To keep with tradition I have kept the best til last...

Baby cakes (

Gluten free, Vegan, soy free bakery! Apparently it has quite a cult following but it was new to me! I received a recommendation on Twitter from and I was so glad I did....I was just disappointed we went on our last day (although I think my waistline was very grateful!). Obviously, I couldn't decided between a doughnut or a cupcake soooo....obviously I went for both!

A vanilla cupcake and a salted caramel doughnut! Both were amazing.....but if I had to pick I'd say go for the doughnut! There are not many GF doughnut opportunities in life so you have to grasp them when you can! Gluten eating Dale was also impressed with his chocolate cake / doughnut combo! Therefore, go forth and enjoy cake don't have to be "anything free" to indulge!!

So, there you have it, my "whistle stop tour" of a fortnight of GF eating in New York! If you've read to the end....well done...give yourself a pat on the back! New York is amazing and if I can be of any help at all (food, shopping or sightseeing related!) just give me a shout on Twitter @lizprice79. Meanwhile, I'm heading off to the to start working off some of this cake lol!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Who Ate All The Pies? (& cake & pizza!!)

Oh my! I have had such a lovely week, stuffing myself silly with some of the goodies from The Allergyand  Free From Show. I'm ashamed to say that I have only made a small dent in my stash but what a delicious dent it was! Please let me share.....

Determined to make my Welsh in laws proud of me I made sure my first purchase from the show was a good Welsh classic! 

Strategically, this was a bad decision as I had to carefully carry my four delicate Welsh Cakes around for the whole day. Nevertheless, I'm proud to say they all made it home in one piece! I promptly posted my proud purchase on Facebook to score Welsh Brownie Points. One of my friends was quick to notice that they seem to be called "Bakestones (Welsh Cakes)" which we all found a little stange. As she quite rightly said "You would soon know if you bit into a Bakestone!" For those of you not in the know the Bakestone is the large cast iron plate traditionally used for cooking Welsh Cakes on!

Anyway, enough Welsh history! The Welsh Cakes were good. A little crumblier than I expected but otherwise you wouldn't know they were GF! They get a big thumbs up from me but couldn't run them past Dale as he is a disgrace to his country because he doesn't like them!!

While stuffing ourselves with samples at the show, Mum and I made room for one of the fabulous looking cakes on The London Dessert Collective stand( We both went for the salted caramel brownie

Hmmmmm.... I have to say I was a little disappointed. The cakes looked so amazing, I expected great things. I couldn't get any of the salted caramel taste. The brownie had a strange texture (I like a good gooey brownie with a bit of substance myself) and it left a strange grainy coating on my teeth afterwards. Mum amd I were both unimpressed. I don't like to give a bad review when a company is flying the GF flag. However, I do like to give an honest review and these just did not float my GF boat.... especially when I know that Dale (*put fingers in ears now Dale*) makes much better brownies at a fraction of the cost! Sorry :o( .....maybe we just didn't choose wisely.....there were lots of other lovely looking cakes that I'm sure were fab!?

Ok, now, onto the savoury and to say I'm excited about these discoveries is an understatement!! Goodness me........they are both A-MAZ-ING!!!

Clives Pies!!! (

There was serious excitement levels in our flat when I cracked this baby open!! Pies are a funny thing! Never really bothered with them in my gluten eating days but since they became off limits I developed pie cravings! I expected big things and I was not disappointed!! 

It tasted just like......well it tasted just like a pie.....I mean, a normal pie!! I didn't think it was possible! Lovely, crunchy, crumbly, buttery pastry with a hugely tasty filling! I will, most definitely be purchasing Clive's Pies again in the very near future!  (Ps, don't make the mistake I did....lifting the pie out of he foil by the pastry lid....big mistake....lifted straight off in my hands showing all it's innards? Oooops!)

Just when we thought the levels of Coeliac excitement couldn't get any higher, along came The Venice Bakery ( I had wanted to try their pizza bases for a while so when I saw them at The Allergy and Free From Show I took it as a was like it was meant to be!

Still, emotional from my pie experience, I was nearly moved to tears by my pizza! I've finally found a GF base that beats all others! It was crispy round the edges but soft in the middle, it held together well without feeling cardboardy and tasted great without tasting cardboardy!!

My GF life will never be the same again!!! I have said it before and I'll say it again...we are living in exciting GF is starting to taste normal again! Real life pizza, pies and Welsh Cakes! Whatever next?!?! (Please can I put in a plea for a GF Mars Bar, Chocolate Orange and Maltesers if anyone in the know is reading!!)

Oooooo and finally I'd like to give a little shout out to Helen ( and her seeds for cereal.

Being a rebel I put it on my yogurt instead...

I really quite liked it! I can't eat nuts and don't like fish much so this is a great Omega 3 hit. It also reckons it should help with bloating which can only be good! Pretty impressed and as I near the end of my bag I'm sure I will be placing an order very soon!

Well, the summer hols started for me on Thursday wooohoooo! I have packed my bags and Dale and I are heading off to New York for a couple of weeks (arghhhhhhhh!! Woop woop!! Just a little excited!!) sooooooo my blogging my be a little erratic over the next couple of weeks but never fear...I shall be eating my way round New York (all in the name of research!) and I can't wait to fill you all in as soon as I can! Have a great couple of weeks and see you when I get back! (@lizprice79)

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Can't Eat Quick Enough!

The are certain things in this GF life that are just plain hard to deal with. I don't mean all the predictable feeling grotty health stuff.....that's a given yeah? What I mean is the pain of the the realisation of never eating a Mars Bar again, never enjoying "the lighter way to eat chocolate" again (Maltesers...just incase you live in a cave and haven't seen the ad) and also never devouring the ultimate comfort food of real cheese on toast again. However, Tiger Tiger seem to have come some way to helping out my food troubles. They may not have developed a GF Mars Bar but they have made a delicious Worcester Sauce.....the perfect zingy addition to my sub standard cheese on toast!

Yep, there is light at the end of the tunnel! (Please ignore slightly excessive selection of plum tomatoes, they needed eating ok?! ) 

Rumour has it that the fabulous Tiger Tiger also make a brown sauce! Finally my GF bacon sarnie will be complete.....I just need to find some now!

As many of you will know, I have "issues" with potatoes, making snacking on crisps quite problematic! However, the lovely people at Tyrrell's produce these

Soooo good to be able to have something "crisp like" without running the risk of raging stomach ache! The only problem is that they are so moreish I ate half a bag without realsing!! Oooops!

My friend and I ate out at Deserie in Cockfosters last week (13-14 Cockfosters Parade. No website). I ate here a few times in my past gluten filled life but had not been back since being GF. The staff were great, answered all my questions and had a good understanding of my needs. I ordered pork and chicken kebab with salad. Thankfully, the waiter stopped me from having the rice as it it cooked with vermicelli noodles!

Delicious food, friendly and helpful service...I will definitely be going back!

So I gave you a week off from the "Ilumi Love" last week but I'm back on it this week. Scarily, Dale is eating more Ilumi food than I am now as he has discovered they are handy to take to work! This week Dale sampled the Chicken Massaman Curry which was a bit hit

and the Mediterranean Rice with Pork and Chorizo.....this was an even bigger hit!

I had a go at the fairly new Peppery Tuscan Style Beef Stew

It was certainly peppery but then I guess the clue is in the name! Probably good for a cold winters night as I had quite a rosey glow eating it during the warm weather this week! Nevertheless, it is just as delicious as you would expect with all Ilumi meals!

I also enjoyed sampling the new Ilumi Coronation Chicken at The Allergy and Free From Show yesterday! Mum and I were won over and I can't wait to order some! Yesterday really was my dream day out! Does it get any better than sampling a lemon muffin, followed by a hot crumpet, still swallowing the last bit of thin crust pizza and then having an Ilumi sample pot shoved in your hand!! Yep, I was in my element...I couldn't eat quick enough lol!!

If you live in a parallel universe and haven't heard of The Allergy and Free From Show...GO!!! It's the first weekend in July at Olympia next year...put it in your diary now!! 

As well as all the lovely samples (have I mentioned the samples before?!) it's a great place to try new brands/ products, meet like minded people, get some great offers....oh and there are some samples too!! 

Here is my little stash of goodies from the show....

I can't wait to get stuck in and of course, I will be blogging about them all!! Well, I've got some eating to do so I'll be off! Have a good week everyone! (lizprice79)