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Ardeo Bardeo brunch

Brunch in DC is a sacred event. Without fail, every Saturday and Sunday between 11 and 4, everyone and their mom is at brunch. Restaurants cater to the brunch crowd with unlimited mimosas, multiple course and all-you-can-eat deals.

I’ve had some great brunches in DC. But I’m declaring right here and now that Ardeo Bardeo in Cleveland Park is the best brunch in the city. It just is. Don’t even try to argue.

Why?

  1. Two courses and unlimited mimosas for $25 – most places in DC are $15 entrees without unlimited mimosas, or they’re $25-$30 for unlimited mimosas, but they only give you one (usually kind of crummy) entree. Ardeo Bardeo gives you two delicious courses, plus they keep the champagne flowing!
  2. They are knowledgeable and friendly about making their dishes gluten free – I have had the nicest servers at Ardeo Bardeo, and they are always really accommodating. They check with the kitchen if they have questions, and know exactly what to do if you tell them you need your meal to be gluten free.
  3. I don’t have to eat eggs – About 90% of the time when I got to brunch I end up getting an omelette. While that’s all well and good, Ardeo Bardeo has a ton of other gluten free options. From salads and soups to salmon and risotto.

For my first course I always get this salad because it’s freakin’ amazing. Spinach salad with braised fennel and mushrooms with truffle vinaigrette.

Second course:

I’ve gotten the Scottish salmon a few times because it’s also just perfect. Crispy skin, perfectly cooked, with brussel sprouts, fennel puree, golden raisins, and lemon yogurt.

And last time I switched it up and got the rock shrimp and grits with arugula, lemon, and lobster emulsion. Yeah, lobster emulsion…that just happened.

I don’t know why more people don’t know about this brunch spot. People line up for an hour outside of Open City, but there are always tables open here.

Go! I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Ardeo Bardeo
Cleveland Park
3311 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
http://ardeobardeo.com

Gluten Free DC News Round-up

Seems like there are more and more gluten free things going on in DC all the time. Here are a few that I’m excited about!

1. Whole Foods and Cleveland Park Wines are now carrying New Planet beer

Cleveland Park Wines has the best selection of gluten free beer, and as far as I know they’re the only place in the city that carries the Off Grid New Planet beer and Estrella Damm Daura. Lucky for me it’s right by my apartment. They also sell New Planet for $1-2 cheaper than Whole Foods, at $9.49 for a six pack.

2. FUEL Pizza opens on K Street, offering gluten free pizza

Yesterday FUEL Pizza opened on K street and 16th, offering gluten free pizza crust and Redbridge beer. They also have a gluten free menu that points out which toppings are not gluten free.

  source

3. Whole Foods P Street is hosting gluten free tours on January 31st (1-2pm and 4:30-5:30pm)

Considering I’m at this Whole Foods about four times a week, I don’t think I really need a tour. But I may make an appearance to meet some other people in the DC gfree community.

4. Science Club serves delicious gluten free fries with homemade mayo

In my book, homemade mayonnaise is newsworthy. Science Club in Dupont has really delicious crunchy fries made in a dedicated fryer.They also have $5 glasses of wine for happy hour.

5. There will be lots of gluten free baked goods at the next DC Grey Market

Grey Market just released their product list for the January 28th market, featuring yummy goodies from Kate Bakes, Goldilocks Goodies, and MeBakes.

Anything else going on lately in DC gluten free news?

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?!

Yes! Organic Market

I’m already a fan of the Yes! Organic Market by my apartment in Cleveland Park. It’s small, but has reasonable prices and is great for picking up things that I can’t get at Whole Foods (things that will melt or are too heavy to carry).

After all the hype about the hurricane, and a long lazy Saturday, I needed to get out of my apartment in a bad way. So I ran. Then I went to yoga. Then I walked about six miles. So when I saw the Yes! Organic Market on 14th Street I figured I would stop in for a potential snack and to see if it was different from the Cleveland Park location.

It’s not only different, it’s about 300% better. Give or take.

It’s bigger, has a full wine section (with a sample table), and way more produce. The best part though? The gluten free baked goods.

I was particularly intrigued by Merry’s Miracle Tarts (they had chocolate-mint, and a lemon one as well).

And these chunky chocolate brownies from Frankly Natural Bakers.

Then I noticed that they had a whole shelf full of Katz’s products, including chocolate cupcakes, cookies, apricot tarts, and these vanilla and chocolate rugelech.

They also had a full freezer section with baguettes, breads, and this Against the Grain Gourmet pizza with nut-free pesto that I haven’t seen before.

So what did I buy? Nothing.

I panicked from the amount of choices, grabbed some Jojoba oil, and called it a day. I’ll have to go back when I actually need something, because that place has it all.

Have you tried any of these products? Let me know what you think!

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”.

Indique
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.

DC Pizza News

I think that a  certain part of my brain is devoted exclusively to pizza. I’m always on the lookout for new gf pizza places to try, as well as opportunities to make my own and share it, since everyone usually marvels at how good the gf pizza crust is.

So here’s some DC pizza-related news.

Homemade Pizza Co is now going to be serving gluten free pizza. This place has a pretty great business plan, where they make the pizza for you, but you bake it at home. I haven’t gone into an actual store, even though I pass the one on 14th St. and Church all the time. You can also order online (make sure you choose the medium crust option). I built one with BBQ sauce and four toppings and it came to $20.10. Ouch : /

The District of Pi is opening a brick and mortar store in 9 days on F St., which is described in Thrillist as a “skylit, chandelier-laden pizza haven with a huge, indoor faux-veranda and 40ft of bar.

Last time I walked by they still had this sign up and construction going on, but I’m excited to go give it a try! They also have daiya vegan cheese and vegan meat substitutes on their menu (although those have gluten in them 95% of the time).

Now, this place is not to be confused with Pi Pizzeria in Adams Morgan. It’s easy to make the mistake, since District of Pi’s Facebook page is www.facebook.com/pipizzeria and their website looks exactly like the Pi Pizzeria sign. I made that mistake a few weeks ago and tried to order gf pizza there, which they don’t have. Embarrassing! The waitress did, however, inform me that they were thinking about starting to carry it in the near future. Which is great because their patio is really nice.

If you’re too lazy to get to Homemade Pizza Co. or District of Pi, then you can always just go to a pizza party!

I brought my own dough mix, my favorite Namaste one, but got to use all of these yummy toppings and homemade tomato sauce made by the lovely hostess.

Topped with broccoli, mushrooms, basil, yellow peppers, and caramelized onions.  Everyone at the party helped me finish the whole thing before we headed out and seemed to really like it! Although that could have been the wine talking…

Lesson learned: if you keep a steady stream of pizza in my hand, I’m a pretty happy girl.

See? Wine and pizza is really all it takes. And a few rounds of Cranium.

So far my favorite pizza (and hangover cure) in DC is from Open City, but there are still a few places I need to try. What is your favorite gluten free pizza in the District? 

DC Restaurant Week: Art and Soul

Last week was restaurant week in DC. I loved restaurant week in NYC because you could try out some of the city’s best eateries for just $35 for three courses. While it was sometimes difficult finding a menu with a gluten free option for each course, I got to try places like Mesa Grill and The Breslin for a fraction of the normal price.

So when I saw Art and Soul on the list of restaurants for DC’s restaurant week, I jumped at the chance to taste Art Smith’s menu. If you don’t know Art, he’s the hilarious Southern chef who was on Top Chef Masters. I checked out the restaurant week menu ahead of time, and was sold at “buttermilk-ricotta panacotta, macerated peaches, local honey”.

Everyone else started their meal with this lovely gluten-fest of bread.

I chose the soup as my first course – heirloom tomato, minus the breadcrumbs that usually come on top. It was a nice starter – there were really spicy peppers as the garnish, plus it was just so pretty.

One of my friends got the shrimp and grits, which I would have gotten, but I would have had to ask them to omit the andouille sausage, and I didn’t feel like making a fuss with every course. I told the waitress that I had a gluten allergy, but she wasn’t overly accomodating.

Doesn’t it look so yummy though? That’s pickled okra on top.

I originally wanted to get the flounder as my main course, but I wasn’t sure what was in the sauce, and I didn’t feel like pestering the waitress with more questions, so I got the “dirty rice”. Basically like a risotto with sauteed mushrooms on it. Again, it was good, but more of a side dish in my opinion than a main course.

For dessert they didn’t have the panacotta on the menu! Such a bummer.

I hate when my only option is sorbet or ice cream, it’s kind of torturous to watch everyone else indulge in bread pudding and chocolate tortes while you eat the same thing that’s on the kid’s menu.

I asked them to put on some whipped cream to make it a bit fancier.

All in all it was a run-of-the-mill dinner for me. My fabulous company made up for the small portions and utter lack of protein in my meal. The atmosphere is great there too, but the service…not so much. It seemed like they were not very happy that it was restaurant week, and were lowering their standards.

I still love you though, Art Smith. And even though this experience didn’t blow my mind, you are still a top chef in my book.

This dinner also reminded me what a difference having an understanding/enthusiastic server can have.  Have you ever made compromises on your dining decisions because of a server?

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.

Soft shell crab at Ripple

After a long day of work yesterday, nothing sounded better than a glass of wine and french fries from Ripple in Cleveland Park.  I found out via Twitter that their fries are “100% gluten free and delicious”, as well as their soft shell crab (fried in tapioca flour).

While my girlfriends enjoyed these crazy breadstick things and some cheeses, I tried to make a decision between all of the yummy dishes on their menu.

I wanted one of everything, especially the roasted shrimp, heirloom tomato salad, and the bluefish (no quail for me, thankyouverymuch!).

But that crab was calling my name.

It came on top of green beans with some kind of crazy cumin marinade.

Guess the fries will have to wait until next time.

Afterward we needed something sweet to fuel our trip to the National Cathedral, so we hopped over to Cacao, where they had a nice selection of French macaroons.

An Americano and a vanilla one for me. Usually I go for the more exotic flavors, but this was really good.

I don’t know if there’s a soft shell crab “season”? Either way, I need more of it. Immediately. For every meal of the day.

The bartender at Ripple was really great and knowledgeable about the menu as well, which is always a plus. He said that on any night about 90% of their menu is gluten free (in yesterday’s case, everything but the gnocchi).

I think I’ve found my neighborhood wine bar 🙂

Ripple

3417 Connecticut Ave NW, DC

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.