Tag Archives: dc

Good Things Monday

Starting the week off right, by celebrating some of my favorite things at the moment!

1. Pop up farmers markets

Since Eastern Market is always a madhouse, I love the smaller farmer’s markets that pop up around the city. Like the one in McPherson Square every Thursday where I sampled about ten local cheeses.

Before deciding on this yummy local havarti from Keswick Creamery. They also had a really yummy chocolate pudding, and spreadable cheeses (like Boursin).

At the pop up market on U Street I got a kind of apple I’ve never tried before: zestar. I’m so excited that apple season is here.

And lastly, there was a random bake sale across from Flow Yoga on P Street on Saturday where I got a gluten free German chocolate cupcake, and this rice crispy-type treat.

2. Nutritional yeast

I’ve heard about nutritional yeast for awhile, but haven’t tried it yet because it just doesn’t sound all that appealing. But then I heard that it was in Cafe Green’s delicious mac and cheese, so I figured it couldn’t be all that bad. I got a small bag from the Whole Foods bulk bins to give it a try.

I used it to top some roasted eggplant and it tastes remarkably like parmesan cheese, only meltier and milder. Apparently it’s full of B vitamins and other goodforyou stuff, so I will definitely use it as a parm substitute again.

3. National Celiac Disease Awareness Day is tomorrow!

Check out this list of 13 ways you can celebrate the day from Celiac Central. I’ll be doing:

#1: Share the Celiac Symptoms Checklist. I’ll be sending the list out to my friends and posting on social network. Chances are someone I know is a closet Celiac.

#3: Go for a run. Pre-diagnosis I felt so awful there was no way I could run. I will celebrate my health and run a bit longer and faster.

#8: Have a party. I won’t have a full-blown party (maybe next year 🙂 ) but I will be making some gluten free baked goods to bring into my office.

Are you doing anything to celebrate Celiac Awareness Day? And how psyched are you that it actually exists now?!


Good Things Friday

Even though Friday is a good thing itself, there are always at least a few gluten free good things in my week that I have to share.

1. Rita’s Frozen Custard

Rita’s custard with hot fudge is so good. I don’t really get the whole “ice” thing that they have there – I tried some samples and it just tastes like watery ice cream to me. But I can get on board with the custard. I snagged this one from Rita’s in Chinatown.

2. One pan dinners

Sometimes you just have to throw a bunch of ingredients in a pan and hope for the best. This one pan dinner included: half a package of tempeh, a can of diced tomatoes, a big handful of frozen spinach, sauteed onion, and some chili spices.

And  I may have eaten this straight out of the pan while talking on the phone. Don’t judge.

3. Tomato Season

If I took a shot every time I saw the word “heirloom” on a menu this month, I would be incredibly inebriated. Last night at Lincoln I ordered the Heirloom Tomato Risotto with roasted garlic, ricotta, and capers. Our waitress, Gabby, has Celiac’s as well, so she was super helpful. If you go there ask for her, and tip her well 🙂

This risotto was tomato-tastic. I was expecting a plain risotto with some tomatoes sprinkled in, but this stuff was about equal parts tomato to rice. Even though it was a small plate it left me totally satisfied.

Additional good things coming up this weekend are all happening in Michigan!

I’m planning on getting in as many gluten free meals out as possible. Definitely on the list are Mudgies and Greengos, possibly a stop at Arts Beats and Eats, and a late night pizza from Cottage Inn might have to happen as well. Plus the kickoff of Michigan football season, the wedding of a dear friend, and a night in a fancy shmancy hotel. My cup runneth over.

How much gluten did I eat at Zoup! (?)

Yesterday after work I had a doctor’s appointment, and knew that if I didn’t eat anything beforehand I would be one grumpy patient. Since I happen to work in the gf food desert that is downtown DC, I was struggling to come up with an option close to my office.

When I saw Zoup! I figured I would stop in and see if they had any gluten free soups on the menu. I used to love Zoup! (even if I do think it’s a little silly for them to have an exclamation point at the end of their name) because they always had unique flavors, and a cup of soup and hunk of break could fill me up for lunch. Now, of course, the situation is a bit different.

I asked the very nice man behind the counter if he could tell me what soups were gluten free that day. They already label their menu with DF (dairy free) and V (vegetarian) so it seems like they would be aware of which soups were also GF (gluten free).

He said the only one on the menu that day was the vegetarian split pea (with what sounded like certainty), which didn’t sound all that great to me, but after trying a sample I decided to get it anyway.

But then later in the night I looked at their gluten free menu on their website – the split pea is not on there!

Bleh! Hidden gluten and misleading workers have done it again.

Luckily I’m not feeling awful, just tired and crampy, they probably only use a trace amount in that soup. Considering this experience, and the fact that it cost me $6.25 for a small soup and these gluten free veggie chips, I don’t think I’ll be back to Zoup! any time soon.

I sent a message to Zoup! on Twitter asking them to put a GF label on their in-store menus like they have for vegetarian and dairy free soup. But they just replied sending me back to the gluten free menu on their website. Which is great to have, but not when you’re in the store and your phone is dead and the staff gives you the wrong information.

Sigh… Next time I’ll be more careful. Or make my own darned soup. No exclamation point 🙂

Appam at Indique

Thursday was Ladies Night at All Fired Up in Cleveland Park, so a few friends and I spent the evening painting, drinking wine (it’s BYOB), and chatting.

But all that painting had us hungry, and my friend was craving Indian food, so we headed across the street to Indique. There was something on the menu that I’d never tried before: appam.

Their menu says that they are “hoppers, soft centered spongy rice breads made of fermented rice. It is traditionally served with Ishtew (Stew) made with coconut milk and meat or vegetables.”

I confirmed with the waiter that they were gluten free, and ordered one with vegetable stew. I’m always up for trying something new!

When it first arrived at the table, I was a little surprised at how it looked. Kind of like a wet thin frisbee. Ok, that doesn’t sound that appetizing, but it was just flatter than I expected.

The vegetable stew had peas, potatoes,and onions in it with a coconut milk/curry broth. If I could have done it over though, I would have ordered something more flavorful like Bringal Bartha to go with it, since the appam itself doesn’t have a ton of flavor.

The best part of the bread was the middle, where it had a bit of a crust on it, and was thicker than the outside. The texture was like a thin, spongy tortilla. Not sure if I would say that you have to run out and try it, but it was nice to be able to have something more than just rice. Especially when there’s all of that delicious smelling garlic naan around the restaurant.

Or you can try to make them yourself, using this recipe from Gluten-Free Cat. She is way more dedicated than I am to trying new recipes. I stop even reading after the first direction is “soak raw rice for three hours”.

3512 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC

Now it’s time to batten down the hatches for the hurricane! At least I still have some of my snack mix from El’s Kitchen to nosh on, plus three Indiana Jones movies to keep me entertained.

Sweetbites food truck cupcake

Fridays call for excessive desserts eating. As do most other days of the week. Yesterday I was determined to find the Sweetbites truck, after I tried to go on Thursday but they had already left Franklin Square. How cute is their truck? Sweetbites was at Farragut Square for Farragut Friday – a mass gathering of DC food trucks every Friday around lunch time. Sweetbites has eleven kinds of cupcakes on their menu, with one gluten free option. If I had a choice in the matter, I would have gotten the non-gf salty caramel flavor, but I gladly accepted the gluten free Madagascar vanilla and chocolate buttercream one. This was all kinds of sugary yumminess. Strong vanilla flavor, and ridiculously fluffy and creamy buttercream. The cake was really moist, but also kind of collapsed under the weight of the icing. Not in a bad way of course, since icing is a “the more the merrier” type of thing. I’m not the hugest fan of cupcakes, and often have lamented how DC seems to be in a rut where the only gf desserts offered anywhere are cupcakes. And I’m not opposed to throwing one out if it’s too dry or not impressing me, like I did at Sticky Fingers. But I gobbled this one up. I also was happy to see that Sweetbites keeps all of their cupcakes in tupperware containers to prevent cross contamination. Some of the trucks had huge lines, like the Red Hook Lobster Truck. They serve their lobster salad plain (or maybe on lettuce?) instead of on a roll, so I may try it for my next food truck adventure. Although a lobster roll is really one of those things that seems kind of depressing without the roll… :/ Food Truck Fiesta is a great site for seeing where DC food trucks are every day. For other food trucks with gluten free options, check out this list!  Although note that Curbside Cupcakes does not have a gluten free option, I got confirmation via Twitter.

Now off to The DC Scoop! Going to eat ice cream until I get brain freeze.

Good Things Tuesday: Folgers, Sweet Tea and Food Trucks

1. Folgers Chocolate Truffle coffee

Any excuse to get more chocolate into every meal, I will take.  Add in some Coffee-mate Naturals, and it’s like melted cake in a cup. Making Coffee-mate Naturals was such a brilliant idea given the mass demand for all things organic and non-synthetic. This stuff only has a few ingredients, and actually has an expiration date, unlike the original Coffee-mate, which will last a year unrefrigerated in the Sahara.

2. Firefly Skinny Tea Sweet Tea Vodka

I wandered into my neighborhood wine/liquor store, Sherry’s Wine & Spirits because I heard that they had a huge selection of beer and I wanted to check out their gluten free choices (just Redbridge as far as I saw). But then, miracle of all miracles, I stumbled upon their sweat tea vodka section – holy varieties! There was one that I had never seen before, their “skinny tea”, which is made with an “all natural sweetener”. Even though I hate things that are named “skinny”, I still got one. It tasted just like the original, except less sugary. Win!

3. DC Food Trucks Gluten Free List

There are always a ton of food trucks parked outside my office near Farragut Square, but I’m never sure which ones to approach.  I found this list yesterday of food trucks that carry gf options, and there seem to be quite a few.  I tweeted at Curbside Cupcakes yesterday, and they said that they did not have gf cupcakes yet, but the rest of the list seems sound. Now I just have to track them down! Sabor’a Street for arepas and Sweetbites are first on my to-eat list.


This weekend I went to Potenza for a special dinner downtown. Since I didn’t exactly have the healthiest of meals the rest of the weekend, I figured I would try to keep it light.  I started with an arugula, watermelon, and parmesan salad.

I also had a bite of my friend’s burrata and yellow tomato salad which was awesome. I love burrata like old ladies love root beer barrels. Both were seasonal salads, so they aren’t included on their online menu.

For my entree I split the tiger shrimp with my friend, which was served with green and white beans. Super fresh, but not incredibly substantial. It would have been a great meal to have after a few dinner rolls with butter, but sadly that wasn’t an option 😉

I loved that Potenza has so many seasonal dishes, and a great cocktail menu with my favorite… Pimm’s Cup!

*UPDATE: After some searching, I came across this post about Potenza from about a year ago that said that they carry gluten free pasta!  I called the chef to confirm, and they do have gf fusilli pasta “90% of the time”.  What a fail! It’s not listed anywhere on their menu, and even though I told the waitress I had a gluten allergy, she didn’t mention it at all.  I guess I’ll file this under “coulda/woulda/shoulda”. 

Afterward we really had no choice but to wash down dinner with some Pitango gelato. Speaking of seasonal flavors: blueberry jam, local strawberry, rhubarb, and cantaloupe were on their menu.

I of course needed to get two of the most decadent flavors they have in the same dish: vanilla chocolate chip and chocolate chocolate chip. Yes, that says chocolate three times.

For some reason Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” just popped into my head.  Oh, Monday mornings 🙂


15th & H Street NW

Washington DC. 20005

Gluten Free Hangover Cure

Yesterday I woke up feeling, let’s just say, not bright eyed and bushy tailed.  I had a blast going out in DC on Friday night, but in the morning I needed to recover, and fast!

So, I did what anyone would do in my state. Fry an egg, put it on top of leftover pizza, and eat it in bed in your underwear pajamas!

The pizza was leftover from Open City – Roasted corn, ricotta, mozzarella & jalapeno cream.  Cooked extra crispy.  And just what I needed.

Here it is sitting pretty the night before. Their gf pizza crust is just so good:

It didn’t exactly “cure” my hangover, but it sure made my belly happy.

So did my lunch from Firefly in Dupont.

I’ve been excited to try their gluten free menu for awhile.  And although I don’t necessarily agree with their claim to be “the quintessential urban neighborhood restaurant in Washington DC,” it still was a really cute place.

A mushroom and cheddar omelette for me! Substitute home fries for normal fries, because the more grease the better!

The mushrooms in the omelette were great, and the fries were my favorite kind: skinny, crispy, and handcut.

And some fruit on the side to put some nutrition in my diet of carbs and cheese.

Add a strong cup of coffee, a couple of ibuprofen, and I managed to make it through 🙂

I’m going to have to go back to Firefly to try their gluten free dinner menu: shrimp and grits, collard greens, truffle fries.

Oh, and a peanut butter ice cream “sandwich” for dessert: flourless chocolate cake, bananas foster sauce, peanut brittle, sea salt.

I need one right now!


1310 New Hampshire Ave NW

Washington DC, 20036

DC gets cool – Lincoln and Dirty Dancing

I think I may have finally found a bit of New York City in DC.  Lincoln is a new restaurant right by my work that was actually COOL.  As in well-made cocktails, quirky waitstaff, awesome decor, and delicious simple food – cool.  It reminded me of the many places in NYC that I had come to love and take for granted – where everything on the menu is great, made with fresh ingredients, and not stuck in 1992.  No offense or anything, DC.

When I arrived I was greeted by two of my fabulous friends and a giant bowl of Emancipation Punch!  In a vintage-looking punch bowl.  So cool.

My adorable glass.

The happy hour menu didn’t have anything gluten free on it (their french fries were hand-cut, but weren’t fried in a dedicated fryer).

So I ordered a kale salad and trout off of the dinner menu, which our drunk as a skunk eccentric waiter assured me were gluten free.

Organic kale salad with hazelnuts, dried cranberries, Parmesan, lemon vinaigrette

I have to figure out how to make this at home.

Trout with asparagus lentil salad and whipped avocado

The trout was perfectly cooked, and it was a great light and fresh dish. So I didn’t feel bad at all getting ice cream at the Capitol Yard outdoor movie later from The Orange Cow!

They had a bunch of cool flavors, like white chocolate blueberry.  But I got my classic mint chocolate chip.

And then settled in to watch Dirty Dancing on the big blow-up screen.

Gosh I love this movie.

I will definitely be back to Lincoln at some point soon for more punch and yummy food.  I also learned from Prince of Petworth that Lincoln will soon be doing Sunday Brunch!  With a punch bowl filled with mimosas. woot.

Such a fun night in DC!  I had the time of my life. (hee hee).

Sammies and Wraps

Now, doesn’t this look good?  Well, it was.  After trying the cupcakes and cookies at Sticky Fingers Bakery, I decided to give something savory a chance.  Enter the Chick’n Ranch Wrap.

Chick'n Ranch Wrap

They didn’t have any gluten free bread when I went (boo), so I was relegated to the wrap section of the menu.  And this was a great choice – really refreshing, and I kind of love the soy chick’n strips?  I don’t usually go for fake meat, but the mix of the avocado, creamy dressing, and crisp lettuce just worked.  The only downside is that it was pretty small (aka normal portion sized), and cost $8.50.  Egads.  It made me miss the humungo wraps from Terri in NYC that only cost $7.

I must find something that doesn’t fit into my hypothesis about DC food vs NYC food.  Which is that everything is either A) half as good or B) twice as expensive or C) bland or D) A, B, and C all at once.

Not to hate on DC or anything.  But, come on, it’s no New York City.

Case and point:the veggie burger from Java Green.

Java Green veggie burger

Looks okay, no?  It was… just okay.  Maybe it was an ordering fail on my part, but when they say “spicy burger sauce”, I expect a giant burger slathered in sauce, this was some kind of appropriately-sized health food?  Also similarly, cost $7 and I ate it in about 30 seconds.

I had such high hopes for you, Java Green.  At least they had an impressive selection of desserts to choose from provided by Sweet n’ Natural.  Chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cake, something with blueberry frosting, and carrot cake – which I will always favor.

And it was good to the last bite.  Not quite as good as the carrot cake sold at Mozarelli’s in NYC (can you tell that I’m a bit homesick for NYC these days?), bust still a great piece of cake.

At least the sandwich gave me enough fuel to get to the outdoor showing of West Side Story in Navy Yard. Oh yeah.

The dialogue in that movie is hilarious.  At the most serious/heart-touching moments the entire crowd was roaring with laughter.  Also after some initial Googling – I found this awesome spoof video “Web Site Story”… oh, the Internets.