Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Exciting posts to come!

Jason and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Ireland, and have loads of content to type out and post as soon as we can recover from the jetlag! Stay tuned for reviews for everything from the ease of finding gluten free places, lovely B&B options, dinners, and even places to pop into for dessert!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Pike Pub Review



Jason here. I really like bar food. Particular appetizers, burgers, wings, and fries. However, most pubs don’t cater to gluten free, and when they do the appetizers are usually still fried along with everything else limiting my options. I was hesitant to agree to try out The Pike Pub for those very reasons, but I’m happy to say I was mistaken and this place has excellent gluten free options.

The menu is pretty expansive, and all gluten free options are labeled. To start I ordered a Bison Bacon Burger, with a side of fries. The fries were listed as gluten free, but I have found in the past that means nothing when it comes to fried foods. I asked my waiter, and he was very knowledgeable and let me know that only fries go in that fryer to keep them safe for that reason. He even let me know they would take off the Pale Ale braised onions which would not be gluten free. Having the waiter catch that made me feel very safe ordering off the menu, and I did not have worry about cross contamination.

The plate came out with a massive burger, and covered in fries. It also had two delicious pickle spears which I was not expecting. They were listed on the menu, so I must have been particularly absent minded that day. I love the burger, with plenty of crispy bacon and some sort of cheese I did not quite recognize. The menu listed it as Samish Bay Ladysmith cheese, but I’m not sure what that is. If you have never had bison burger I recommend you give it a try. I find I prefer the taste just a little bit more, and it has more of a solid patty consistency, as opposed to the ground beef. Ground beef tends to leave a fatty coating in my mouth, which bison does not. I’ve heard it described as sweeter, but that’s not been my experience. I think just having less of that fatty coating in my mouth brings out the flavor more.

Now that we have found a couple different places not too far from the convention center, I’ll feel more prepared when Emerald City, or PAX roll around and we are hunting for places to eat.

Kayleigh here. Despite always being on the lookout for gluten free restaurants with homey pub atmospheres, I had passed this one by so many times because I assumed it was just another tourist trap on the waterfront. But then I noticed it had actually won a few awards for their beers, and I decided it was worth giving the food a shot. The gluten free menu is mostly limited to sandwiches and pizzas ( a couple of the salads are also safe), but there are quite a few options to choose from, and being able to order actually gluten free french fries is such a rarity! Plus, they have some decent kimchi as a side dish option- who would have guessed?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Prime Steakhouse Review

Jason here. We took another trip to Redmond for a night out, and decided to try Prime Steakhouse.

Prime is a restaurant focusing on steaks, but also has a good collection of burgers and sandwiches. The best part is the menu itself lists gluten free options, which tends to entice me to try out a place.

The restaurant itself isn’t too large, or at least they section off various rooms so it feels more intimate then most places. I was able to hear the table conversation without too much trouble, but we had to speak up. 

Of course I can’t go to a steakhouse and not order a steak for the first time. I honestly not sure if I have tried a dry-aged steak before. At the very least I have never tried them side by side. With this in mind, I decided to order the top sirloin baseball cut 12oz dry age steak, with a side of baked potato.

The baked potato was well crispy on the outside, although I just scooped out and ate the fluffy potato inside. Pretty standard affair.

The steak was fabulous. I ordered medium and that’s what I got, pink with a little red. It was plenty marbled with fat, which just melted in my mouth like cotton candy. The most delicious sensation one can have when eating a steak. This is the quality of a high end steak. If it’s a low quality cut, the fat will turn chewy and stringy, and be tough to actually eat. Everything here just melted in my mouth, from the first to the last bite. I did not add one ounce of salt or pepper, and ate it exactly how it came out. Not wanting to waste a good steak by having to reheat left overs, I finished the whole 12oz there which I was a bit worried about when it came out. I ordered the smallest of the dry aged steaks, so be prepared for leftovers if you order something like the 24oz porter just for yourself.

It is a high end steak restaurant so you get what you pay for. I got a really top end steak, the meal is a bit on the higher end. Although my sirloin, wasn’t too bad. I actually ordered this cut for the size, not the price, but it worked out for me.

Kayleigh here. While most steakhouses can put together a gluten free steak meal with relative ease, Prime has gotten nearly the entire menu to accommodate a gluten free diner. I failed to ask if the sandwiches would be served bunless or if they had an alternative, but I think there are more than enough options regardless. All of the salads, most of the starters, and many of the vegetable and potato sides are gluten free by default, as well as (of course) the steaks. And if you’re like me and are the odd duck that orders a non-beef entrĂ©e, you are pretty much guaranteed to find something that tickles your fancy. The menu is not particularly large, but so diverse and well thought-out that I think anyone would walk out happy.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Japanese Cheesecake for One Recipe



Kayleigh here. I know I just posted a cheesecake recipe a couple weeks back, so it seems too soon to post another one, but I feel strongly that one should go into battle armed with knowledge and options. Choose the one that appeals most to you, and go forth!

To give a little bit of a background to this, I found that quite a few foods I have come to enjoy in America are slightly different when bought in Japan. Beers are almost all pale lagers, bottled teas were unsweetened and usually green or barley, and peanut butter was replaced with peanut cream- a syrupy, lightly peanut flavored concoction that would best find its home on an ice cream sundae. Desserts were as likely to contain matcha or adzuki beans as they were chocolate, and coffee (if not bought in a can) was often brewed in fantastical steampunk contraptions of glass spheres and metal workings. But what this recipe focuses on is the cheesecakes that I would find, not in the refrigerated aisle, but on the baked goods shelf.



Really, this is pretty far from what the average American would consider a cheesecake, given its light and fluffy texture and mild creaminess-it's like someone mixed a New York cheesecake with an angel food cake. Because of this, I think it's the only cheesecake I've ever had that actually tastes best at room temperature, or even slightly warm. Heavy mix-ins or extra sweet toppings may not pair very well with this- I would recommend flavor add-ins like matcha/cocoa powder or tiny bits like mini chocolate chips or finely chopped chestnuts if you choose to embellish.

Japanese-style Cheesecake for One Recipe

Ingredients:

1 Egg, white and yolk separated
2 ts Sugar
1 pinch cream of tartar
2 TB Unsweetened Applesauce (if sweetened, reduce sugar to 1 ts)
2 TB cream cheese, Plain Greek Yogurt, or Sour Cream (whatever you have on hand)
1/8 Cups Millet Flour
1/8 Cups Vanilla Whey Protein powder
1-2 drops Vanilla Extract
1 Pinch Baking Powder
1 Pinch Salt (tiny amount!)

Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whip egg white, sugar, and cream of tartar in a bowl until stiff peaks form.
2) Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and stir thoroughly. Gently fold in the egg white mixture afterwards.
3) Pour/spoon the mixture into an oven safe bowl (sturdy coffee mugs or bowls work, and giant ‘Texas size’ muffin tins are great if you want to increase the recipe and make more than one). Bake for 20 minutes, or until the surface is cracked and lightly browned. If baked it in a container with little surface area, then you may also want to check the center with a toothpick to make sure it cooked all the way through.
4) Let sit for 30 minutes or until nearly room temperature, then transfer upside down onto a plate to cool completely. You can also refrigerate the cake for 1 hour or more to enjoy it chilled.



Jason here. So I never got to try any cheesecake while in Japan, or any baked goods really. Gluten free wasn’t really a known thing in Japan. That’s why I was excited to see what Kayleigh was raving about.

Some long time readers may remember the amazing Dragon Cake recipe. The thing about that recipe though… is it is ridiculously sweet. It’s basically sugar infused angel food cake coated with sugar and more sugar on top. If dentists had an arch nemesis, it would be that recipe.

The Japanese cheesecake tastes a lot like angel cake, but without all that ridiculous sugar. Sure it still tastes sweet like angel cake should, but it’s also got a creaminess to it that makes it good to eat all on its own.

We enjoyed our little cakes topped with raspberries, which added a nice tartness to it. Something fruity, but not too sweet is what I would recommend as a topping. As mentioned, the cake itself has a light sweetness to it, so you don’t want to overwhelm it. Something sour or tart makes for an excellent addition.

If you’re interested in trying out Japanese Cheesecake, or just looking for another angel food cake recipe give this one a shot.