G-Free Review: WI State Fair

Last week I ventured to the WI State Fair to see all the best that my state has to offer. Generally, fairs and festivals are my least favorite places (despite my love of people watching) because I can’t safely eat anything.

This year’s fair had deep-fried everything: candy bars, veggies, s’mores, cookies, butter, pies… and all could be eaten from a stick. I was jealous that my husband could eat whatever he wanted.

I was lucky because this year I tried Slim McGinn’s basket of homemade potato chips that may not have been labeled “gluten-free”, but they didn’t make me sick (quite a risk eating them, but I was hungry!). Of course, that wasn’t as wonderful as seeing Molly’s Gluten Free Bakery supplying Robert’s Restaurant with hamburger buns.

It was expensive, and the bread was dry (likely from leaving it out… I know how food booths work), but it was nice to eat a meal and know I wouldn’t get sick. Thanks for being awesome, Molly’s!

G-Free burger
G-Free burger

G-Free Grade = B

G-Free Review: Moondance Cheesecake

After a stressful morning at work, I decided I would treat myself to the Chocolate Chip Cheesecake cup  (from Moondance) waiting for me in the fridge.

cheesecake heaven in a cup!
cheesecake heaven in a cup!

This heavenly creation was probably one of the best tasting grocery-store (Whole Foods to be exact) cheesecakes I’ve ever had.

The crust is “pecan shortbread” and I think it’s more pecan than cookie. I normally don’t like pecans but the texture and flavor only made the creamy cheesecake better. The cheese filling is typical, I would say. Nothing extraordinary, but nonetheless delicious.

For someone who is a chocolate fanatic, I initially thought the light sprinkling of chocolate chips was a bit too scarce. However, everything (crust, cake, topping) was in perfect proportion.

This is an excellent dessert – high in calories and high in satisfaction. I would definitely try more flavors… maybe when I’m not on a diet.

Don’t go the website if you’re hungry.

G-Free Grade = A+


In other news:
my scarf is coming along beautifully. I kind of wish I would have made something different. A hat maybe? I’m scared to try new shapes though…  Knit and Crochet Now! makes everything look so easy!

beautiful stitching
beautiful stitching

G-Free Review: Chili Lili’s Chili Bar

The moment I read that Molly’s G-Free Bakery was teaming up with this fabulous restaurant, I knew amazing things were in store. My regular Friday-night-dinner out was spent at Chili Lili’s Chili Bar a few months ago and it was amazing. They have a great menu of chilies and foods to put chili on and in. Not only that, but they promise to make anything allergy-free by altering their ingredients.

Last visit, I had the traditional Cincinnati chili over waffle fries. It was the best and weirdest chili I’ve ever had- tasted like there was cinnamon in the recipe. (After looking into this chili phenomenon it seems that cinnamon is an ingredient.) I didn’t go out of my way to make sure the meal was g-free, but I didn’t get sick so I think that meal would be safe for anyone else who is a sensitive Celiac. The waiter at my recent visit said the Cincinnati was g-full so I ordered the Spicy Pizza chili over fries. I felt bad doing a review without trying the bread, courtesy of Molly’s, so I cheated even more on my South Beach Diet Phase 1 (no carbs) to be able to honestly say that Molly’s garlic bread at Lilli’s is AMAZING. They also serve rolls to make any of the sandwiches that Lili’s offers.

Spicy pizza chili on fries
spicy pizza chili on fries

Pros:

  • They know what’s g-free and what ingredients are in their foods.
  • The chili tastes amazing and is healthy (extras like mac & cheese or fries probably aren’t as healthy).
  • They serve Molly’s bread.
  • Prices are very reasonable and affordable.

Garlic Bread
garlic bread

Notice the bread bending in the picture? That’s because it’s SOFT. If you’ve had any g-free bread, you would know that most are crumbly and disgusting and dry. This bread was soft and delicious, with a perfectly toasted crust.

Soft bread
soft bread

Cons:

  • Long wait (at least for this visit): The wait was 45 minutes! For 5 people in a slightly empty place, food should have been up in no time. And one person ordered a burger done medium, so that also should have been fairly quick.
  • Poor service : When the food came, there was no order of magical garlic bread and the burger was burnt and well-done. (Burger was obviously sent back and later refunded.) The waitstaff never asked how the burger was to make sure it was done the right way… then the bread finally came a bit after… then I had my special “oh my god I am eating delicious g-free bread” moment…. and then after the table was done eating, out came a new burger (another 30 minute wait).

I have never had to wait so long (or witness someone else waiting) for food. There was a small party going on but they were mostly drinking, not really seated to eat. And the other 4 patrons in the place weren’t eating. I don’t know what was wrong with the kitchen that night…

I would recommend going when you aren’t starving. Just in case.

G-Free Grade = B-

G-Free Review: Molly’s Gluten-Free Bakery

Hidden in Pewaukee, WI is the home of the best g-free baked goods I’ve ever had, Molly’s Gluten-Free Bakery. They have an extensive menu from brownies to pita bread to sheet cakes. I’ve only tried a few things so far, but everything I’ve tried hasn’t disappointed.

The most recent purchases were rolls and  a cake for my dad’s 50th birthday. Vanilla cake / vanilla frosting (he’s a boring guy, what can I say?) – but it was AMAZING. You couldn’t tell it was g-free. Usually g-free baked goods leave a weird feeling in my mouth. Not Molly’s cake! And those rolls… wow. Plain, they were delicious. Warmed up, they were delicious x500. It’s not easy to bake soft and moist g-free foods, but Molly’s has mastered it.

Previously I’ve had their raspberry dream cakes, which are small cake sandwiches with raspberry cream filling. The cake part tasted like a Twinkie but felt a bit heavier. It was so delicious. I should learn some more adjectives, but really, there are no words for something this yummy.

Dad holding his beautiful cake. Says, "Buon Compleanno, Maurizio"
Dad holding his beautiful cake. Says, "Buon Compleanno, Maurizio". Please note his "Italian" expression.

I can’t wait to try everything on their menu! Has anyone else been to Molly’s? Was it as fabulous as my experience?

Molly’s G-Free Grade = A+

G-Free Review: Red Robin

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Inc. used to be a favorite place of ours to eat before I knew I was a Celiac. They make huge, specialty burgers and have delicious onion rings. Not that I *can’t* have burgers, but they’re no fun to eat without the bun and onion rings…

We haven’t gone there in a while, but we got a massive gift card from my dad (hi, Dad!) who knew we liked it a lot, so we decided to see what they had besides plain meat patties.

Turns out… a lot!

  • They post a g-free menu online. It looks sadder than it is. I found other things on the regular restaurant menu I could have if some things are just substituted.
  • The staff was accommodating and knowledgeable. I didn’t see the menu before we went in, so I guessed at the safest thing on the menu. I asked the waitress about their nacho platter because they use both flour chips and corn chips. I told her just to use the corn ones. Instead, she asked the cooks about it and informed me that even the corn chips might not be safe. She replaced the chips for their wedge fries and I had those covered in the nacho toppings. It was pretty great. I could have gotten really sick if she didn’t double check like that. Go waitress!
  • AND they also have a lovely allergen alert system:

We will be going there without fear from now on!

Red Robin’s G-Free Grade = A