Sunday, March 9, 2014

biaggi's italian restaurant

Hello, gluten free friends!

When I was in Toledo recently for my boyfriend's drill weekend, I came across Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano via the Find Me Gluten Free smartphone app, and I was quite impressed.  I just wish this weren't the only location in Ohio!

The staff is GIG trained.  If you're not familiar, this means that the employees have gone through training and learned management practices from The Gluten Intolerance Group.  You can learn more about that program for the food service industry here.

When I was there, they had just started using a new pasta vendor.  For a while, they didn't have any gluten-free pasta, as they're previous vendor had gone out of business, and they didn't want to serve an inferior product.  They were after something of a high quality with a good taste and texture.  They found it!

I placed a to go order at the bar and was handed an official gluten-free menu (read: not a menu printed on copy paper).  I chose the Pasta di Mare: gluten-free pasta, large shrimp, scallops, and calamari sautéed in a spicy tomato-vegetable sauce and topped with mussels and Little Neck clams.  They're right: it is a spicy dish but very filling and satisfying.

The pasta is a different size than their non-gluten-free choices, and the spaghetti is green in color.  The bread you see below is a $1 up-charge and totally worth it.  It has a slightly sweet taste with a sprinkling of sea salt & black pepper. I set aside a piece for my boyfriend and had to fight him away from eating the rest of it!

If you're in the area, I highly recommend checking them out.  They're located in Perrysburg outside Toledo in Levis Commons, an area mall.  I will definitely be going there again soon.

Happy eating :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

frozen waffles at kroger

Hi, gluten free friends!

It's been way too long since I last posted.  So sorry about that!  Between working at my new job, taking classes at two universities to be able to start the next phase of nursing school in the summer, and family stuff, I let myself get bogged down.  On the bright side, Mom finished her 3-month treatment for leukemia.  Now we wait on additional results and the next plan.  It's also pretty apparent that I've got yet another food sensitivity going on to add to my list.  I don't want to further restrict my diet, but a person shouldn't have daily headaches and feel terrible every time they eat.  Today I visited a new allergist and will soon have allergy testing (again & more thorough).

I'm pretty bad about not eating breakfast, but I enjoy a good quick waffle almost as much as I like pizza.  Fortunately, I recently stumbled across some delicious gluten free frozen waffles.  While Van's Natural Foods, Kinnikinnick Foods, and Nature's Path each offer a frozen waffle, none really offered the flavor of the good old Eggo I missed.  Many gluten free varieties are sweetened with fruit juice.  I love that it's more health conscious...but it's cloyingly sweet to my sleepy tastebuds in the morning!

Until I found Simple Truth Gluten Free Waffles last month...
They toast pretty evenly, have a nice flavor, and don't have that same sweetness of the other gluten free options.  They come in a pack of 8, and they're found in the organic section at your local Kroger.

Simple Truth is a relatively new in-house brand of organic and/or natural products at Kroger.  

Enjoy, and happy eating :)