BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse’s Certified G-free Menu

I had received a flyer in the mail about BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse’s gluten-free for two dinner. I have been a fan of their restaurant for a few years now. It use to be the place where my friends and I would meet up for Friday dinners. They have a wonderful menu filled with pasta dishes, specialty salads, deep dish pizzas, and their super yummy pizookie (vanilla ice cream on top of a warm chocolate chip cookie). Oh, and did I mention their beer menu and large flat screen televisions? BJ’s is the kind of restaurant where you can take date or watch the game with friends.

The flyer sat in our “things to do” pile until  my husband and I finally went for our Friday date night dinner. We were able to get seated  before the dinner rush and asked for the gluten-free menu. It was interesting to see that one side of their menu was g-free offerings and the other was a chart composed of all their dishes and the most common allergies. Making it very simple to see what dish contained what food allergies. I had a verity of items to choose from including their version of a gluten-free pizookie! But I had my eye on the pizza!

My husband and I decided to share the barbe que chicken chopped salad (no onion strings), veggie pizza, and a pizookie for dessert. They didn’t have any gluten-free beer in-house but offered 3 different  ciders. After chatting with my husband and looking over the menu time passed and our food was on its way.

My eyes lit up at the sight of our thin crust pizza as my nose took in the wonderful aroma of my long missed friend. I was so taken by the pizza that I didn’t even look at the salad. Helping myself to a slice of and salad it was time for tasting! Trying the salad first I enjoyed the sweet BBQ ranch dressing against the crunch of the fresh lettuce. It was super tasty and I can image it to be quite filling had it been the only thing I ordered.

Next it was time for the pizza, after tasting a hand-full of mushy g-free pizza I wasn’t sure if it would hold up to my memories. Going into my first bite as a skeptic but after tasting I thought I was dreaming! It was delicious! Bit after bite I consumed my first slice quickly. I was happy to see that the middle of the crust wasn’t a mushy mess  and could hold all the toppings without wilting. Diving into my second piece I took care to enjoy it at a slower pace. I had finally found it! A gluten-free pizza that I didn’t have to make myself or lack in flavor and texture.

Noticing that they are certified GF I inquired about their g-free pizza production. Speaking to the manager, Rich C., he informed me that they have separate pans, refrigerator, bins, and utensils that are only for their g-free dishes. That the cooks are knowledgeable about cross contamination, changing their gloves and sterilizing any surfaces before use. The gluten-free items are stored in their own refrigerator and are covered with green caps. They even use separate cooking pans for the pizookie that are also green. Gluten free ice cream is only scooped with their gluten-free scooper and then booth are covered after use.

After we devoured the bar-b-q salad and pizza it was time for our pizookie. Out came a warm g-free chocolate chip cookie with two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Again BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse could have fooled me into thinking this was a regular cookie because it flavors were amazing.

I will gladly return to BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse for more of their gluten-free dishes. I would recommend stopping by and enjoying their gluten-free offerings!

Now that I am writing about it… if you’ll excuse me, I have a pizza to order.

In-N-Out Burger

Image courtesy of www.in-n-out.com

Image courtesy of http://www.in-n-out.com

Ever since my husband moved, from Louisiana to California, his favorite places to eat has been In-N-Out Burger. And I, being a native Californian, grew up on In-N-Out. I have wonderful memories spanning my lifetime of their one of a kind burgers and shakes. Going on midnight trips for fries and a shake or grabbing burgers before heading to the beach. What’s a summer in California without a burger animal style, extra spread, vanilla shake, and fries well done? I’ll tell you what kind… its a bad summer.

After discovering my wheat allergy I sadly have not been back to In-N-Out. I was worried that their oh so yummy spread contain gluten. I just could’t bare another one of my favorites being banned. Finally, I got up enough nerve to call their customer service and ask the important question. Is In-N-Out gluten free?

After speaking with a customer service representative I found out only the bun was not gluten free. She said to inform the cooking staff of my food allergy because they use the same spatula to apply the buns to burgers. So they would use a new spatula for my burger to prevent cross contamination. Although I am concerned that bread crumbs might fall from the buns onto the grill. That is something I will be looking into when I go. Since I have to ditch the bun I can always order the protein burger that comes wrapped in lettuce. I was so happy when she confirmed that, my favorite, their beloved spread is G-free! I even double checked and asked her again. I just wanted to make sure my ears were working right. Now my husband and I can go back to one of our favorite places to eat and enjoy. So, next time I am hungry for a treat I am making my way to In-N-Out!

Open Faced Hummus Sandwich

Image courtesy of http://www.eatliverun.com

I find some of the best blogs on pinterest. While looking for new recipes to try i came along a picture of a open faced hummus sandwich. After clicking on the pic I was sent to the blog but sadly whoever pinned it from this blog just did the picutre and not the recpiep page. When looking through all the amazing recpies this blog had to offer I still couldnt find the one I wanted. So just based on the picture I tried to mimic the sandwich.

(Not until after I made the sandwiched did I find the recipe. I can’t wait to try Eat Live Run‘s recipe next time.)

I noticed that  Eat Live Run used a tomato but I decided to use red bell peppers because that is what I had in the kitchen. And I wasn’t sure what kind of hummus was used so I used a spicy one. I thought the bit of heat would be a good complement with the cool flavor of avocados.

Ingredients:

3 ripe avocados

2  red bell peppers

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 container store bought spicy hummus (you can use regular)

gluten free bread (I used Kinnikinnick brand)

1 lemon

pinch of salt

pinch of pepper

Directions:

Sorry for not taking pics when making this dish. But it was so quick and easy that it was finished before I knew it. Clicking on the image above will provide helpful images from Eat Live Run.

Wash, core, and slice your bell peppers while you heat a pan with a teaspoon of olive oil in it. Once the oil is heated start to saute your peppers. While those are cooking working on the avocados. Take the meat out of the avocados into a small bowl. Add a squze of lemon, salt, and pepper to taste. Samsh the avocados with a fork until it is chunky. Toast your bread and open your pack of hummus. When the bell peppers are soft and ready take your slice of toasted gluten free bread and get ready to make your sandwich. Take one slice of bread and layer the hummus, avocados, bell peppers and serve.

Thank you again to Eat Live Run for this super yummy recipe! This sandwich was perfect on a hot summer day.