A long, long time ago, I met up with a fellow DC blogger, Katelyn Sornik for lunch at Cafe Green. She gave me a couple of bags of vegan granola bars that she had been experimenting with as a side project.
Fast forward two years and Cafe Green has closed down, but Kate and her bars are doing anything but. Her “Kate Bakes” bars are getting rave reviews on blogs, showing up on shelves in markets around DC like Society Fair and MENU, and having her on a plan to rapid expansion/world domination in the near future.
As fate would have it, Kate has teamed up with another of DC’s great gluten free bakers! She and Emily Robins of Goldilocks Goodies (and LivingSocial baking class/farmer’s market fame) hosted their first happy hour in their The HOUR* gluten free happy hour series in February. This monthly event combines fashion, art, music, food and drink in a whiz-bang combination of fun-inducing genius.
Last month the event was at Meeps in Adam’s Morgan, where I stuffed my face with goat cheese-stuffed dates, drank Omission Beer, and bought a fantastically tacky Hawaiian print jumper.
This month the event will be on March 26 at Hemphill Fine Arts on 14th Street. Get your ticket here! I plan on being a regular at these events, and I hope you’ll join me!
When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease I had never met anyone else who had it. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some awesome gluten free friends, and I love being able to talk about food/life in general without feeling like I’m boring them with my gluten free drivel.
That’s why I’m excited that there are a few events coming up in the DC area where I’m sure there will be plenty of time to talk gluten, while enjoying some great food and drinks.
1. The Washington Post is hosting a gluten-free pizza and beer party at Pizzeria Paradiso
The dinner is at 6:30 p.m. on June 17 at the Georgetown Paradiso. It costs $65, including tax and tip, and includes full pours of all the beers. Pizzeria Paradiso beer director Greg Jasgur will introduce the beers and take questions about them. The menu looks awesome!
I also asked on Twitter about the cross-contamination precautions they take at Pizzeria Paradiso, and they said the restaurant uses different equipment and cutting surfaces just for gluten free pizzas and prepares the dough daily before the regular dough is made.
The first meetup is on Wednesday, June 12 at one of my favorite bars, The Board Room in Dupont. There are already 15 people signed up to attend, and I’m looking forward to having a Brunehaut beer and playing games with some new people!
On Sunday I attended my second DC gluten free expo – this one at the Doubletree in Bethesda, which was a slightly bigger venue than last year. It still couldn’t contain the hoards of hungry celiacs and gluten-free friends who crowded the ballroom for free samples. I could barely move my arms above my head to get this snapshot:
Seeing the fabulous ladies of Sweet Nuttings. The last time I saw them at the DC Grey Market they didn’t have packaging, and now they had a beautiful display, brochures, and a new hazelnut flavor!
Meeting Pam Jordan from I’m a Celiac and buying one of her “Gluten makes me sick” t-shirts. Can’t wait to look super cool rocking that shirt out to brunch soon.
The chocolate truffles from Dear Coco. I usually stay away from truffles since most have cross contact issues (Lindor and Godiva, for example). Dear lord these were good. And beautifully presented. The peppermint was amazing! If your wife or girlfriend is gluten free you should buy these for her immediately.
Pete’s Apizza delivered again this year with a summer pasta dish with corn, cheese, and some kind of green sauce. My friend went back for a second bowl, even after we were stuffed to the gills.
I finally got a gluten free Pop-tart from Glutino!
The Bard’s Beer spokesman is my favorite. I met him last year and I’m convinced that he has the best job in the world. He bursts with passion for the product, and is generous with the samples 😉
After trying dozens of samples and loading up our bags, we headed over to Lilit Cafe to throw back a cold one and talk about the day.
I met some great new people, and loved the energy in the room. I wish the expo happened more than once a year! I might have to start doing some road trips around the east coast to get to a few more.
I’ll be sending out my usual email to my family and friends encouraging them to get tested. The average person waits 6-10 years to get diagnosed, which can lead to a slew of health problems, some potentially serious, like infertility and cancer.
I also posted Gluten Dude’s sweet poster in my cubicle at work, and I’ll be talking to any one who will listed about celiac disease. Just casually drop in a few facts around the office like this: “Thanks for sending over that file. By the way, did you know that an estimated 1 in 141 Americans has celiac disease, yet 83% of those who have it are either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed?”
Watch this video, and then download the toolkit from NFCA to plan how you’re going to help raise awareness this month!
Happy CDAM! (I don’t think that’s an actual acronym yet, but let this be its birthplace).
This year I am finding a way to pay the $250 to go to this. A cocktail reception and a three course meal, plus getting dressed up and wining and dining in a completely gluten free environment sounds like total bliss. (Although what’s with the poached pear for dessert? Can we get Happy Tart in there or something?)
According to Eater DC, there will soon be a B.J.’s restuarant opening. Their gluten free menu has thin crust pizza and broccoli cheddar soup! And gluten free beer!
And (stop the presses) a gluten free chocolate chip pizookie! It’s a pizza-sized cookie topped with ice cream. Completely unnecessary in its size, but perfect for the moment you give up your New Year’s resolution.
They already have the best gluten free (and general) beer selection in DC, and now they’re going to be introducing gluten free flatbreads to their menu.They already had gluten free chickpea crackers, but this is taking it to a whole new level. I always salivated over the regular flatbread options on their menu and now I actually get to try one!
This place serves healthy, high protein meals, many of which are gluten free! The amount of quinoa on their menu makes my heart do a happy dance. They also have a full allergen guide to refer to.
The Almond Berry Bowl, Black Bean Fiest Bowl, Vegan Quinoa Chili, and Superfood Vegan Salad are on my to-eat list. All of their blended protein drinks are also gluten free, and will make a nice substitute when I get one of those intense frappuccino cravings.
3. Pete’s Apizza makes a solid gluten free pizza. Broccolini continues to be gross.
I don’t know why I keep ordering broccolini – it’s bitter and ruins everything it comes in contact with. I ended up picking it off of my pizza, but loved the rest of it! Pete’s also has delicious gluten free pasta that I sampled at the DC Gluten Free Food Expo.
Anything else going on in the district that I should know about?
June 15th was the DC Gluten Free Expo – an event I’d been looking forward to for months. And it didn’t disappoint! There were so many samples and new products, not to mention the great feeling of being in a room where I didn’t have to worry about what I could or couldn’t eat! Meeting members of the gluten free community and talking about our favorite foods was so much fun.
Some of my favorites were the peanut butter and jelly cookies from Wildfire in McClean, VA (they also have a great gluten free menu, and a Gluten Free Wine Dinner event coming up on Tuesday!)
I also loved the lemon curd cakes from The Happy Tart, a new gluten free bakery in Alexandria, VA. There was a thin layer of white chocolate on the bottom, moist cake, and creamy lemon filling. Even though I’m usually more of a chocolate dessert person, if I was getting married this would definitely be on the menu.
And these chocolate chip cookies from 1-2-3 Gluten Free were the best I’ve ever had. Thick, buttery, chewy, and brown-sugary.
Here are some more pics of the goodies featured at the expo!
On my first trip to the DC Grey Market, I was slightly disappointed with the amount of gluten free options. Although I did have some amazing nut cookies from Sweet Nuttings.
This time, there were two vendors with gluten free products. First up was savory taro fritters from Noshables. I was a bit hesitant at first because I wasn’t a fan of poi or taro when I went to Hawaii, but I decided to give it a go.
It’s greasy, chewy, and unique tasting. Basically it’s ground or shredded taro, mixed with tapioca starch, sugar, and water – then rolled into balls and deep fried. A recipe for them can be found here.
I ate that while I walked around looking for something sweet, which I found at Whisking Through Lifein the form of gluten free carrot cake.
Honestly I went against my better judgement in trying this cake because they had the samples of the carrot cake right on top of the regular samples, which indicates to me that the baker isn’t exactly stringent about cross contamination. But it looked so good, and the cake itself was separate from the other things, so I got a slice (and thankfully didn’t come to regret it).
That’s after I ate half of it. It was really good! Full of grated carrots, coconut, and raisins. And the slice was so big it took me three days to finish.
Next time hopefully my friend from Kate Bakes can get a spot at the Grey Market and up the representation of gluten free vendors!
Yesterday I went to my first Grey Market. It was way-the-heck up in Columbia Heights/Petworth, and also in a small basement of a corner store. It kind of felt like the Dirty Dancing set where all of the workers danced, but filled with food vendors.
There were mostly baked goods up for sale, with adorable mini pop tarts, cupcakes, and Halloween-themed cookies. So, not much for me to sample. On their products page, it looked like there would be a few gluten free vendors there, but I only saw one: Sweet Nuttings. Maybe I missed the other ones in the chaos…
This place has a great bakery concept: focus on nuts, and let them each shine in their own dedicated cookie.
I got one of each.
The pistachio one was my favorite I think, but they were all delicious. They had a rich, buttery texture, and tasted like an amplified version of the nut.
How gorgeous is that cookie? I wish I’d bought a dozen.
Sadly I can’t find a website for them, but they have an email address: email@example.com.
After Grey Market, we headed over to The Heights, which I’m only mentioning because they had the most delicious Maple Squash and Sage soup ever.
It’s vegan and gluten free, and tastes like Thanksgiving. I guarantee that this will wet your whistle for Turkey Day. The Heights also has an amazing happy hour with $4.25 glasses of wine (dangerous).