Sunday, May 15, 2011

Gluten Free Dining Out: WILDFIRE and dining in: fried chik n pancakes

The 5k runs we did in April and the almost daily workouts are wearing me out like Steven Tyler wears out sticks of eyeliner or Gallagher wears out sledgehammers or undiagnosed celiacs wear out toilet paper. So, when I twisted my ankle the other day while walking, I took it as a signal to rest.
Aside from playing Scrabble online, we have tried some new recipes. Check out my recipe box here. Note: I rate them after I make them, so they aren't all favorites. I don't generally repeat the 3 star or lower ratings.
Seth has come a long way in his cooking abilities and found and made his first recipe without any help-Baked Chicken with Saltine Crackers. Well, I guess he did ask me to help him find our gluten free crackers (Glutino). He LOVED it, rated it five stars, and devoured the leftovers the next day. (Sadly, the picture got lost on his half-broken, cracked up iphone.) I'm not big on chicken, but I did like it. The buttery, crunchy chicken coating was comfort-food savory, and the fact that it was baked and not fried helped me eat it without guilt (I lost 4 lbs in April). I take the skin off when I cook chicken, but I was not the cook. I stay out of his way! I'm just tickled to see my marine (whose middle name used to be Applebee's) become more confident in our little gluten free kitchen...or any kitchen.
Today I gave him a respite from pancake duty (he makes the BEST banana pancakes with Barbara's mix or Bisquick or The Cravings Place mix), and I tried the Maple Grove Farms Gluten Free Pancake Mix

. The ingredients are healthier than chemical-laden Bisquick, and they baked up fluffy, but the taste was lacking and the texture was dry. I only ate half my pancake. He ate two, but said his fave is still Bisquick.
Since I enjoyed Wildfire in Atlanta, Seth obliged me here at Tyson's Corner, and we both enjoyed a fabulous meal. Since they were running a half hour late for our reservation, they comped us an appetizer, so I chose the pizza. It was light, crisp, and flavorful. The crust was so thin, it was perfect for an appetizer to share. Then I had the prime rib (juicy and divine), a gluten free roll (thick, warm, great texture, and delectable) and the roasted vegetables (abundant variety and deliciously drizzled with basalmic).

Seth had filet mignon (great), mashed potatoes (good), and a starter salad loaded with chopped veg and a delightful house dressing he raved about. The salad and cornbread filled him up so much, he brought half his meal home for leftovers. The key lime pie (not gluten free) passed muster for my native Floridian marine, also. I love Wildfire's menu. They even noted the gluten free options on the separate 3 course "deal" menu. However, they didn't list the fish sandwich here, which is what I loved so much at the Atlanta location. The waiter said the manager has to sign off on every gluten free order and that they take major precautions in the kitchen with very specific procedures. It shows. Bravo, Wildfire! Funny, that their location here is next door to Legal Seafoods and P.F. Chang's, so I could eat at any of them, but I'd choose Wildfire every time! In fact, I'm lusting to try the pasta with shrimp sometime soon!

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