Eating Gluten-Free At San Antonio’s The Fruteria (Chef Johnny Fernandez)

Few things are as lovely as a bowl of fresh mixed fruit, with the textures, shapes, and colors of various fruits forming a fruteriamosaic in a bowl or on a plate. I recently enjoyed such a beautiful, delicious bowl of fruit, made even more flavorful by a sprinkling of chili powder and lime, at The Fruteria, a restaurant in San Antonio’s revitalized South Flores area. I read an article about the restaurant in the May edition of San Antonio Magazine. Chef Hernandez modeled The Fruteria after the traditional fruterias in Mexico. Always in search of some interesting restaurant to take my mom, who lives in San Antonio, for our monthly lunch dates. My mom is a special person. In addition to being very special, my mom is very busy. Between her schedule and mine, finding time to spend together is difficult. To remedy this situation, I decided to give my mom and twelve lunches for Christmas, to be spread out over the course of the year: one lunch a month. This year is the second year I’ve given her this gift, and the commitment to lunching monthly (my treat!) works. We’ve not missed a month yet. Continue reading

Pizza Hut Announces Certified Gluten-Free Pizza

When I first saw the sign at a Pizza Hut announcing the arrival of gluten-free pizza, I was skeptical. Phil asked me if I

Image from pizzahut.com

Image from pizzahut.com

wanted to try it, and remembering the Domino’s Pizza gluten-free pizza debacle (about which I only read, but never experienced), I decided I’d hold off a while. A plethora of pizza restaurants are offering safely gluten-free pizza these days, so I felt no need to take the Pizza Hut gluten-free purity test. Still, I was curious about Pizza Hut’s success in offering a gluten-free pizza that can be safely consumed by people who have Celiac or suffer from gluten-intolerance. I decided to look into it and found that the Pizza Hut people have taken strong measures to prevent the cross-contamination of its gluten-free pizzas. I don’t know the price of the Pizza Hut gluten-free pizza, but I’m willing to bet that it’s probably less expensive than gluten-free pizzas offered by more exclusive pizza restaurants Currently, Pizza Hut offers its gluten-free pizzas in two flavors: pepperoni and cheese. Customers can order more toppings than pepperoni, of course, but the the Pizza Hut people explain that with the ingredients will have to come from bins from which are taken the ingredients for the regular pizzas; therefore, cross-contamination is more likely if additional ingredients are added to the gluten-free pizzas. Several Pizza Huts in ATX, Cedar Park, and SATX offer the new gluten-free pizza. Has anyone tried the Pizza Hut gluten-free pizza? If so, please leave a comment and let us know what you think of it!

Marvelous Gluten-Free Pizza at Mellow Mushroom

I just recently experienced one of the most delicious gluten-free pizza’s I’ve ever tasted. I like to take my mom out to mellow mushroom pizza 2lunch once a month, and I usually choose restaurants to which she hasn’t been; I try to choose restaurants to which I’ve never been, either. Ever since Mellow Mushroom began offering gluten-free pizza, I’ve been meaning to try it. My mom lives in San Antonio, so for our January lunch outing, I took her to the San Antonio location: 115 North Loop 1604 East (2426 Guadalupe St, in ATX). Mellow Mushroom gluten-free pizza is made with Smart Flour crusts, so it’s vegan as well as gluten-free. The ingredients of the pizza crust are listed on the Smart Flour website.

mellow mushroom 1Our entire experience at the restaurant was pleasant. The service is impeccable; several people in addition to our very attentive server stopped by our table to make sure my mom and I had everything we needed. Most of the regular pizza offerings can be made gluten-free; my mother and I both wanted to try the Kosmic Karma: Red sauce base with feta and mozzarella cheeses, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and Roma tomatoes with a pesto swirl. Since we wanted to try the same pizza, my mom said she would just share the gluten-free pizza with me. We also each ordered the Greek dinner salad.  The salad was a  common Greek salad, but a better quality than the salads I’ve been served a restaurants lately (an increasing number of restaurants seem to be serving smaller salads with more lettuce cores or wilted lettuce, and a paucity of tomatoes, cucumbers, etc).

The pizza itself was pretty amazing. The ingredients were flavorful, and the crust was perfectly tender, yet crisp. The crust looked and tasted so much like a regular pizza crust that I momentarily panicked upon tasting my first bite; I caught our server’s attention and asked her if she were certain the pizza we were served was gluten-free. She assured me it was. My mom, upon tasting the pizza, said she couldn’t tell the difference between the gluten-free pizza crust and the regular pizza crusts she’s used to eating. Mellow Mushroom definitely made my list of trusted restaurants that serve quality gluten-free food.

Just a note: he pizza was not inexpensive, but then again, people who eat gluten-free are accustomed to paying more for our food, whether at the grocery store or in a restaurant.

Delicious Tex-Mex: Easy, Safe Gluten-Free Eating At Rosario’s

In a recent blog post, I wrote that I have reduced the number of high carbohydrate foods in my diet. I emphasized in that post that I do not

Rosario's on San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX

Rosario’s on San Pedro Ave, San Antonio, TX

plan to completely omit carbs altogether. Food factors into my quality of life and to do away with carbs completely would mean to reduce the joy I derive from eating delicious food; for example, I live in South Texas, where one can find the best, most satisfying, carb-laden delicious Mexican food in the world. Of course Mexican or Tex-Mex food naturally low in carbs is available, but I, for one, cannot and will not resist those traditional enchiladas or tacos just to skip a few carbs. I find other dietary areas from which to delete my carbs – from other foods in which they’re not so irresistible. My claim about the superiority of Tex-Mex food in the Southern region of Texas is fact, not at all hyperbolic. No one has to take my word for it, however; doubters are free to do the field research themselves. I suggest they begin their culinary investigation at Rosario’s in San Antonio. Continue reading

EZ’s Brick Oven and Grill Update: No More Gluten-Free Buns??!!

Sad news. I went to fulfill my EZ’s burger craving last week and noticed the absence of the bright green menu that usually hangs over ez's burgerthe cash registers. I asked the girl who waited on us about the menu. She handed us paper menus and explained that EZ’s has changed management companies, and as a result the menu is changing. Until the new menu is finalized the giant menu that hangs over the registers will remain missing. I asked her details about the changes. GONE are the gluten-free pizza crust and the gluten-free hamburger bun! I was able to have a burger that night; the girl explained that the restaurants would use up the gluten-free stock they have and the location where my husband and I ate that night (on DeZavala) still had some gluten-free buns in stock. Life has been really busy of late; however, when I get the chance, I will email EZ’s and beg for the company to continue offering gluten-free hamburger buns and pizza crusts. In the meantime, people who need to eat gluten-free and are thinking about heading out to EZ’s for dinner need to call ahead to the location of their choice and find out if that location still has some gluten-free buns or pizza crusts. EZs serves my favorite gluten-free burger! How very unfortunate that the people who make these decisions for EZs would choose to delete the restaurant’s gluten-free options from the menu. Well, at least I recently discovered the gluten-free burgers Hut’s Hamburgers in Austin, a place that rivals EZs as my favorite go-to place for my burger fix.

The Cove: A Safe Place for Celiacs to Eat

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“I begin with the proposition that eating is an agricultural act. Eating ends the annual drama of the food economy that begins with planting and birth. Most eaters, however, are no longer aware that this is true. They think of food as an agricultural product, perhaps, but they do not think of themselves as participants in agriculture. They think of themselves as “consumers.” If they think beyond that, they recognize that they are passive consumers. They buy what they want — or what they have been persuaded to want — within the limits of what they can get. They pay, mostly without protest, what they are charged. And they mostly ignore certain critical questions about the quality and the cost of what they are sold: How fresh is it? How pure or clean is it, how free of dangerous chemicals? How far was it transported, and what did transportation add to the cost? How much did manufacturing or packaging or advertising add to the cost? When the food product has been manufactured or “processed” or “precooked,” how has that affected its quality or price or nutritional value?” (Wendell Berry, “The Pleasures of Eating”)

“I dislike the thought that some animal has been made miserable to feed me. If I am going to eat meat, I want it to be from an animal that has lived a pleasant, uncrowded life outdoors, on bountiful pasture, with good water nearby and trees for shade.” (Wendell Berry, “The Pleasures of Eating”)

“Our passion is SOL (Sustainable, Organic, Local). We work with local ranchers and farmers to bring you locally raised, humanely treated, grass-fed Beef, Bison, & Lamb; Free-range Turkey, & Eggs; & as much local, organic produce as we can get our hands on. Our sodas are cane sweetened, our bread is local, & our hearts are full of love.” (The Cove, menu) Continue reading

Updated Update: EZ’s and P Terry’s: Satisfying that Gluten-Free Burger Craving, and Gluten-Free Pizza

See this update about gluten-free offerings at EZ’s Brick Oven and Grill.

“A Hamburger is warm and fragrant and juicy. A hamburger is soft and nonthreatening. It personifies the Great Mother herself who has nourished us from the beginning. A hamburger is an icon of layered circles, the circle being at once the most spiritual and the most sensual of shapes. A hamburger is companionable and faintly erotic.” (Tom Robbins “The Genius Waitress” )

“It requires a certain kind of mind to see beauty in a hamburger bun. Yet, is it any more unusual to find grace in the texture and softly curved silhouette of a bun than to reflect lovingly on the hackles of a favourite fishing fly? Or the arrangement of textures and colours in a butterfly’s wing?” (Ray Kroc, Grinding It Out)

EZ’s Classic Bacon Cheeseburger on a Gluten-Free Bun

When Mr. Kroc affirmed the inherent beauty in a hamburger bun he was, of course, referring to the traditional hamburger bun in all its wheat and gluten-containing glory. The truth of his statement takes on philosophical depth, however, in the life of a gluten-intolerant individual destined to struggle with the task of keeping bits of bacon, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, and onion balanced on bites of cheeseburger, all of which must also stay balanced on the fork as it travels to the sad individual’s mouth. Continue reading