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Product Review: Zyliss Control Knives

As a member of the Atlanta Food Bloggers Society, I received a Zyliss Control 4.5″ Paring Knife and a Zyliss Control Chef’s 8″ Knife to put to use. I don’t really enjoy cooking, so when I get the urge, a nice sharp knife comes in handy. The knives I currently have dull easily and slip when being used, so I tend to using paring knives to cut everything. I know, this is not the best plan, but it has been working for years. And it keeps my fingers safe.

When I set out to buy a knife, I feel there is a missing category with coordinating pricing for reluctant chefs. Why invest in an expensive knife I am intimidated to use? I need a go-to knife, not a fancy chefs knife that will only be used occasionally.

Enter the new line of Control Knives from Zyliss. These knives are different from others I have purchased. How? They are crafted for every day use and incredibly easy to use. They fit in your hand, large or small, with non-slip grips on the handle. The handles are also weighted to give you control over the knife. I feel like an actual chef when using them – like I can conquer my cooking fears because I have this rad knife.

Anything in my kitchen that can be cut has been. Vegetables, thick sandwiches and even fruit yields beautifully with very little effort. There is no longer a need to press down when the blade goes into the item because its tapered edge is designed for precise cutting.

And the benefits just keep coming. The incredibly sharp blades are made out of German steel and designed not to dull after going in the dishwasher. Yes, they are dishwasher safe! Even better, they have a built-in finger indentation right where I put my index finger (should be thumb) to cut. Maybe I can finally unlearn my bad habit. There is also a touch point on top of the blade for increased leverage and a more controlled rocking motion – no more sore fingers when chopping vegetables. Best of all, these knives are affordable with a 25-year guarantee.

If you are looking for a new knife set that is easy to use, priced right and will last, then this is the brand for you.

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Disclosure: I received no compensation for this review; however I did receive two knives at no cost. In no way did it influence my opinions and views, which are derived from my personal experience.

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Butcher & Brew is serving up sandwiches and burgers on Pure Knead’s hoagie and hamburger buns. They don’t have a gluten-free menu or a dedicated fryer, but many of their dishes can be modified to be gluten free. I highly recommend the paleo bowl!

Dave & Buster’s is opening its 98th location this May (fourth in Georgia) in Alpharetta. The new site boasts over 34,000 square feet of food, drinks, and entertainment and has an allergen menu with basic, not exciting, options. 

Known for its tavern fare with a Southern flair, HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern is opening a second location in Town Brookhaven this May. The newest restaurant will be located in the former Smash Kitchen & Bar space, bringing tavern specialties, signature cocktails, and an expansive bourbon selection to Brookhaven.

Mediterranea, Atlanta’s newest dedicated gluten-free restaurant, is open for dinner and brunch with baked goods available all day.

Milton's Carrot Cake Can you believe the carrot cake at Milton’s Cuisine is gluten free? Well it is, and it has been in plain view on the menu for a decade. Made with a combination of chickpea and rice flours, this carrot cake is a layered experience containing pineapple and pecans topped with luscious cream cheese frosting. Stop by for a slice ($8) or special order a 12-piece cake that feeds 20-25 for $65. What a perfect addition this would make for your next special occasion, like Easter lunch. (contains dairy, eggs, and soy).

PREP, a shared kitchen facility in Atlanta, is expanding with a completion goal of mid-2017. PREP 2 will house (16) dedicated commercial production kitchens ranging in size from 470 – 15,000 square feet. Each unit will have a brand new HVAC system, and would make an ideal space for allergen-friendly product production.  If you are interested in meeting with them to review floor plan options, give them a call at 404-920-4150.
Rize Artisan Pizza + Salads at 6050 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs is having an epic grand opening experience. A date night opp courts Friday night, offering a free small plate with the purchase of sangria, beer or wine after 5 p.m. Snap and share your night’s pic tagged #rizedatenight on Instagram for a chance to win a $100 Rize gift card. Saturday game or practice? Sport your youth or school team apparel on Saturday to receive a free pizza with any purchase. Relax with friends on Sangria Sunday while sipping sangria, $5 a glass or $25 for a carafe, and enjoying $5 small plates from 11 a.m.–5 p.m. A portion of grand opening celebration sales will go to Create Your Dreams, a long-term program providing youth enrichment to nurture the talents and dreams of students living in under served areas of Atlanta.
Starbuck’s new gluten-free smoked Canadian bacon breakfast sandwich is now available at participating stores. The sandwich rolled out March 21st and features cherrywood-smoked Canadian bacon, a peppered egg patty and reduced-fat white cheddar cheese on a gluten-free roll.  It is prepared in a certified gluten-free environment and sealed into its own oven-safe parchment bag. It is also heated and served in this same packaging to prevent cross contact. You can also find Goodie Girl mint slim cookies at participating stores. These chocolatey-coated, crispy mint cookies may remind you of the still popular ‘thin mint’ girl scout cookies enjoyed pre diagnosis.
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The Halal Guys opened in Chamblee on January 28th bringing its food-truck cuisine to the burbs. Known for their famous beef gyro sandwiches, chicken-and-rice platters and “secret” white sauce, the menu offers a mix of various American Halal foods, but not all of it is gluten free. The gyro meat contains bread crumbs, but the chicken, rice, falafel, fries, topping, and sauces are gluten free and darn tasty.
You can now find Treehorn Cider at Rathbun’s, Cine Athens in Athens and Muss & Turner’s in Smyrna.  The Coffee Fox in Savannah, ‘Cue Barbecue in Cumming and two more Kroger stores (Briarcliff and Peachtree City) also offer their cider.
Yum Earth partnered with Target for the launch of its new Easter Basket filled with allergen-friendly treats. Each basket includes two sour bean snack packs, two gummy fruit snack packs, two gummy bear snack packs, and five lollipops plus one packet of carrot seeds, three compostable peat pots, three quick soil pods, and an instructional coloring sheet. All of the packaging is bunny themed and all of the products are organic, all natural and quite delicious!  Easter Basket
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Being a member of the Atlanta Food Blogger’s Society definitely has its perks. This past weekend we were treated to a day of pampering, mimosas, and outstanding local food. It was an opportunity to do what most women don’t take the time to do – something for themselves. And it put us in an environment other than a restaurant where we could connect with each other.

The day started at the L’Occitane en Provence (L’Occitane) at Avalon in Alpharetta. Just in case you haven’t been to Avalon yet, is an open-air walkable development offering shopping, dining, entertainment, living and working. It is a hub of activity for the community with a children’s activity area, a dog park, and a spa, to name of few of its amenities. What a fitting place for our day to begin.

L’Occitane’s products are sold at more than 2,000 boutiques worldwide and they are currently celebrating their 40th anniversary. We learned that the company supports many communities across the globe. From fighting avoidable blindness worldwide, encouraging economic emancipation for the women of Burkina Faso to setting up funds for lavender in Provence, it continues to be dedicated to improving the lifestyles of those in need.

I could hear the harp music as soon as we entered the gorgeous and inviting store filled with natural products designed to nourish and repair the skin, which is the largest organ on the body. As we sipped mimosas, we were treated to mini hand and facial treatments, and neck, hand, and upper body massages. All of their creations are made with herbs and plant extracts with homeopathic properties that you can actually feel working as they are applied. L’Occitane’s line of almond-based products were the winner for me because they are perfect for those looking to avoid dairy-based products. Ingredient labels are listed in French, English, and braille on each product.

The staff was so accommodating and lovely. To say this was a relaxing and rejuvenating experience is a huge understatement. If they offered a place to take a power nap, that would have been my next stop. Fortunately for you, they schedule private events like this one on Sunday mornings before the store opens at noon, or at a time that will work for your party. And, the organizer gets an incredible ‘gift’ ($150 value) for scheduling the event.

I hated to leave the store, but we were off to lunch at Butcher & Brew in historic downtown Alpharetta, just a mile down the road from Avalon. It is a ‘gastro sports bar’ with indoor and patio seating that opens into the restaurant. Flat screen televisions adorn the walls in a relaxed environment with rustic wood tables and chairs and a bar that spans the length of the restaurant. What happened next put most of us into a food coma, but who is complaining, not me! We were treated to an assortment of starters, protein bowls, sandwiches and sides layered with flavor and textures that you might think wouldn’t go together, but actually created a true party in your mouth.

There isn’t a gluten-free menu, but they do offer Pure Knead’s top eight allergen-friendly breads. I opted for the FFI sandwich with shaved ribeye horseradish mayo and caramelized onion jus on a gluten-free hoagie roll. The generous amount of meat gets its zing from the tangy mayo that manages not to overpower the palate. The jus was so flavorful that I ate it with a spoon and ladled the onions onto the sandwich! The hoagie roll survived being dipped in the jus and was very soft and flavorful. I also enjoyed a paleo bowl with sweet potato, spinach, caramelized onion, red bell pepper, avocado, hard boiled egg, peanut, broccolini, spicy honey mustard, and bacon. It was like eating healthful stir fry where each ingredient tasted like it was cooked individually and then folded together to create the perfect texture. A real winner. Sadly, I didn’t get to try the burger, but with all of my fellow bloggers raving about its drool-worthy flavor, I will definitely be back to get one on a gluten-free hamburger bun.

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We ended the day with over-the-top gift bags from our lovely sponsors: Scout & Molly’s coupons, a candle, lavender bar soap and essential oils; Stirrings “Margarita to Go” with margarita mix and tequila; shea butter hand cream, facial cream and free certificates for a hand massage and mini facial from L’Occitane; and a copy of the latest issue of Dining Out Atlanta magazine.

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Thank you Miss Melissa for putting together such a lovely event that nourished the mind, body, and soul. I can’t wait for the one!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this review, but the meal and services were provided at no cost. In no way did this influence my opinions and views, which are derived from my personal experience.

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I love grocery shopping and discovering new products and Sprouts Farmers Market is one of my favorite places to frequent. Whenever I visit my mom in Mesa, a trip to Sprouts is always in order to see what’s new and to shop for essentials while I am in town. Having Sprouts open in Georgia has been such an unexpected treat. So, being invited to attend a smoothie demo at the new Sprouts in West Cobb by the Atlanta Food Bloggers Society was definitely a yes, even on a school night! Especially when the lovely and talented Marisa Moore, registered dietitian, is teaching.

The room was packed with attendees anxious to learn more about creating smoothies. Marisa showed us how to make three healthful smoothies and how to add nutritious boosts using fresh ginger, turmeric, chia seed, matcha, hemp and beet powders, and brain boosters like frozen berries. I really appreciated that she used almond milk and not dairy milk for the smoothies, pointing out that these milks aren’t as high in protein as one might think.

I agree with Marisa that smoothies are a great way to get vegetables into breakfast and they are quite easy to make. Load the light ingredients into the bottom of the blender first and top with heavy ingredients, like ice or frozen bananas, to ensure everything mixes evenly. Make themed smoothies for breakfast like carrot cake, that incorporate your favorite flavors.

Watch out for added sugar when selecting protein powders. Instead, opt to sweeten smoothies with honey, dates, and date sugar, which are low on the glycemic index and won’t spike your blood sugar leaving you craving more instead of feeling full.

In the end, you get the nutritional value that you put into a smoothie, so stick with whole foods and utilize Sprout’s store brand hemp seed, beet and protein powders, fresh produce and fruit.

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Thank you Marisa for such an informative demo and for the smoothie recipes. I can’t wait to get blending!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this review; however I did receive a store gift card. In no way did it influence my opinions and views, which are derived from my personal experience.

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Restaurant Review: Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery

I am very hesitant to order a sandwich when dining out, so even though Schlotzsky’s Bakery and Cafe has been offerings them on Udi’s Gluten Free buns since 2014, it isn’t a restaurant I frequent. However, learning that Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery concept was opening in Duluth with expanded menu offerings had me intrigued, so I took the family to check it out. The new restaurant is a twist on the original with the addition of alcohol, small plates, pizzas, salads and sandwiches made with ingredients popular in Austin’s food truck scene, like chorizo, shrimp, and pulled pork.

The Duluth location has a drive-thru, a self-ordering kiosk and table service. I let my family order first and closed out the order to hopefully speed up the process, but alas, the staff was very unfamiliar with the gluten-free offerings causing the order taker to leave the register several times to get answers from the kitchen. Answers, as it turns out, that were wrong and made it take longer for me to order. At one point, my order taker became visibly annoyed with how long it was taking, which was partially her own fault, by eyeballing the line behind me – customer service fail!

Pizzas on Udi’s gluten-free crusts are a new addition to the menu too, but I was misinformed that they could only be ordered topped with cheese and pepperoni and not any of the new ingredients. In fact, pizzas can be topped with pulled pork, pineapple, kale slaw, etc., making it a unique gluten-free offering in the Atlanta area.

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I ordered a french dip and was assured the au jus (normally contains wheat flour) that accompanies it was gluten free. The sandwich arrived wrapped and uncut and now I know why. According to Schlotzsky’s, this is their procedure for preparing a sandwich on a gluten-free bun, “when a guest orders a sandwich on our gluten free bun, our ambassadors have been instructed to first remove their gloves, wash their hands, and then to put on a new pair of gloves. Next, they open the packaging, and place the bun on top of a foil sheet which we use to send the bun through the oven. After the bun is sent through our oven, the ambassador finishing the sandwich follows the same hand washing/glove changing procedures as outlined above. They lay out two sandwich papers on the finishing station, which the bun is then placed on and the sandwich build completed. We use a separate set of vegetables (lettuce, tomato, and onions), stored covered and away from our other ingredients, when guests order a gluten-sensitive item. We also do not use a finishing knife on these particular buns, and completely wrap the sandwich as we would a to-go order. Similarly, we use to-go style wrapped pickles if the guest is receiving a pickle.”

No matter what precautions that are taken, cross contact is always a possibility in a shared kitchen and my meal left me feeling tired and sluggish.  I don’t know if I will go back, but if I did, I would be sure to familiarize myself with their allergy scorecard before ordering. Also, not all sandwich toppings are kept separate, so ask them to use fresh, covered ingredients when preparing a gluten-free sandwich.

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Welcome to January in Atlanta, where it is 70 degrees, sunny and everyone is still running their heat. What an unusual way to start off 2017, but at least there is great news to report in Atlanta’s gluten-free dining and shopping scene. New restaurants are set to open in 2017 including a 100% gluten-free restaurant and bakery in Grant Park called Mediterranea.
Double R Restaurant Group announced today the grand opening of Another Broken Egg Cafe on Monday, January 16th  at 10800 Alpharetta Highway, Suite 501. This location marks their sixth in and around Atlanta. Offering breakfast, brunch, lunch and kids menus, along with a full bar menu from 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. daily, Another Broken Egg Cafe offers an online allergen listing detailing the status of its offerings.
R.O. Hospitality is launching a third concept, Coalition Food and Beverage, summer 2017. Located in Downtown Alpharetta in the Teasley Place development at the corner of Milton Avenue and Canton Street, Coalition Food and Beverage will be the third, chef-driven restaurant by the team that launched Roswell’s Table & Main in 2011 and Osteria Mattone in 2013.  The 3,331-square-foot restaurant will house 150 seats including a bar, outdoor dining and private dining. The lead in the kitchen at Table & Main, Chef Woolery “Woody” Back, a Co-Owner, will also be the driving force in the kitchen at Coalition Food and Beverage, offering a contemporary menu with progressive and signature interpretations of American wood-fired classics. The foodscape will emphasize premium meats, entrée-sized salads and burgers worthy of a second napkin. In addition to a selection of craft beers and cocktails, Beverage Director and Co-Owner Daniel Pernice (also a veteran Owner of Osteria Mattone) will make quality wine accessible by presenting the kind of curated wine list that’s typically reserved for special-occasion restaurants while also exploring one of Daniel’s guiding principles: that great wine doesn’t have to be expensive.

unnamed Executive Chef Jason Paolini takes the lead as the new culinary creative force of the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s restaurant scheduled for its transition in early 2017. Opened last spring in partnership with Chef Linton Hopkins, Linton’s in the Garden will be relaunched as Longleaf in January to reflect its new direction. Hopkins, who in 2014 helped conceive the original plant-to-plate concept for the restaurant in partnership with the Garden, will remain on board in the key role of chef adviser. Longleaf, a two-level contemporary glass structure next to Gardenhouse in the heart of the Garden, offers full-service dining, a grab-and-go cafe, and a flexible space for educational programs, private rentals and special events. Inside, guests enjoy commanding views of the Anne Cox Chambers Southern Seasons Garden and Levy Parterre, while from the rooftop terrace they drink in the beauty of Storza Woods, Alston Overlook and the Atlanta skyline beyond. Regardless of table, all will be treated to a savory menu crafted by Paolini. The restaurant’s new name is inspired by the longleaf pine, the resilient evergreen conifer indigenous to Georgia and the Southeast and a focus of significant conservation efforts. During winter, Longleaf is open Tuesdays – Sundays from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Garden admission is required for non-members of the Garden. Walk-in guests are welcome, though reservations are recommended.

Mediterranea, a gluten-free restaurant and bakery located at 332 Ormond St. SE Ste. 101 in Grant Park, is set to open this month. The bakery and coffee counter will open first, followed by the restaurant in late January. The baked goods and cuisine are Mediterranean influenced with an emphasis on simply prepared foods. The bar program will include wines and craft beers (including a selection of gluten-free beers), as well as cocktails using Mediterranean and Italian liquors.

One Eared Stag will begin serving a specialty pre-fixe offering for lunch daily starting January 17. The lunch offering, aptly named “The Businessman Special,” will be served from 1:00 until 3:00 p.m. The menu will include rotating and varying items but will comprise of a soup, salad, entrée and choice of non-alcoholic beverage for the price of $20.  “We are starting to serve this special pre-fixe menu to simplify and expedite the “workday” lunch decision making process,” shared Chef Robert Phalen. “I encourage guests to come in and see what we are offering every day. The meals will always be unique and add a little unpredictability to your day.”

 Table & Main’s Paleo Wednesday fare might be just the ticket for a new and healthful start in 2017. Stop by Table & Main for Paleo Wednesday where the restaurant’s special of the night is paleo and gluten-free friendly.

  • Jan-18 | Roasted Springer Mountain Farm’s airline chicken breast, broccoli and roasted root vegetables
  • Jan-25 | Acorn Squash stuffed with ground lamb and tomatoes

Table & Main is taking orders for a its wings from now until Thursday, February 2. Orders include 50 chicken wings, served your choice of style (BBQ, Mild Hot, or Hot Hot), celery sticks with creamy blue cheese. I have confirmed that all of the wings, except Southern fried, are gluten free. The $50 (not including tax) fee includes 10 chocolate chip cookies that are not gluten-free, so ask for an adjusted price when placing an order (678) 869-5178. Orders must be placed Thursday, February 2 and can be picked up on Sunday, February 5, between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

The Pinewood’s new full service lounge, with expanded private dining capabilities for intimate dinners or large group parties, is open. Chef de Cuisine Andrew “Andy” Jackson, a Georgia native, is the new chef de cuisine and will offer an inventive twist on The Pinewood’s locally sourced menu. Jackson helms from neighboring restaurant Revival, and has extensive experience in the kitchens of Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation. To celebrate five years of service with the Decatur community, The Pinewood is hosting an anniversary celebration on Tuesday, January 17, with $5 burgers and $5 old fashioneds and live music from 9:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

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Have a safe and tasty weekend.

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I didn’t think I would have time to get in a report this week, but time was on my side for once. Here is this week’s update:

Culinary Atlanta,” the new release from food writer Malika Bowling serves a curated buffet of Atlanta restaurants and breweries, including many of those featured in The Dish. Bowling conveniently divides her palatable paperback into 13 chapters covering geographic areas such as Decatur, Sandy Springs/Dunwoody and Buford Highway. Other chapters explore local chains, “Not Starbucks” java joints, iconic landmarks, plus food specialty markets, fests and tours/chefs.

Jenny Levison’s third cookbook, Souper Jenny Goes Vegan, pulls from her experience running a vegan cafe (Juicy Jenny) and her love of plant-based recipes. All of the recipes in this cookbook are both gluten free and vegan (no dairy, no eggs, no meat). Pick up a copy for that hard-to-buy-for person on your gift list. Souper Jenny sells gift certificates and has four locations in and around metro Atlanta.

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King of Pops has fully embraced the holiday spirit with its: Eggnog and White Chocolate Peppermint pops. Both of these pops are gluten free, but they contain dairy. Place an order to ensure you have the flavors needed for that festive party. Their pops are even better when dunked in a cocktail – you can thank me later for this boozy tip.

Pop Stars is offering festive holiday pops in: Chocolate Peppermint, Cranberry Bliss, Gingerbread Latte, Pumpkin Spice and can customize flavors for holiday parties. All of the pops are made with all natural ingredients and they are vegan too.

Rize Artisan Pizza + Salads is ready for diners chomping to expediently place mobile and online orders for the restaurant’s fresh and delicious lunch and dinner options. Ordering is a cinch through the website’s Mobi2Go feature. Select items and quantities from the menu, choose the date and time of pick up at the Poncey-Highland eatery and pay online. Customize orders with a few quick taps or clicks and your meal is ready for pick up when specified and as specified. Remember, they offer more than just gluten-free pizza and salads!

unnamedTreehorn Cider continues to expand its presence in Atlanta with its first Target store in Roswell – Super Target store at 1135 Woodstock Road.

Have a wonderful Christmas, if you celebrate it, and as always stay safe!

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Shake Shack Adds Gluten-Free Buns To Menu Nationwide

The news about Shake Shack adding a gluten-free bun to the menu swept through the industry like wildfire. Eater, Grub Street, The Daily Meal, Fortune and more covered the story, but provided scant information about the bun manufacturer or any details on how it is heated. These details are vital to those of us who follow a strict gluten-free diet and have to do our research up front before heading out to chow down.

After a little digging, I learned that the gluten-free hamburger bun manufacturer is Bellyrite Foods, Inc., a gluten-free foodservice bakery in New York. This name may sound familiar to you because it is the spin off of what was used to be Jennifer’s Way Inc., started by Jennifer Esposito and two investors in 2014. Bellyrite is no longer affiliated with Jennifer Esposito, who started the company as a way to expand distribution, and supplied the recipes, ingredients, client base, etc. Bellyrite is a separate company that seems to have no problems picking up big accounts.

The bun costs an extra buck and is made from: water, gluten-free flour mixture (organic brown rice flour, rice flour) tapioca starch, potato starch, legume (bean) flour, vegetable fibers, whole flax seed meal, millet flour, buckwheat flour, natural flavors. Thickener: modified cellulose, grapeseed oil, evaporated cane juice, yeast, Himalayan crystal salt, rice extract, calcium sulfate and enzymes. SS_Gluten-Free-Buns_1-1880x1254

It seems Shake Shack has done its research because they are not heating the bun in the same toaster with the wheat buns (like another restaurant that rhymes with Thrash Burger). Instead, gluten-free buns are heated on the griddle to ensure they never come into contact with gluten buns. I love that they recognize the need to prevent cross contact, but based on their kitchen set up, I would recommend asking them to change their gloves prior to making your order. I would also stay away from any condiments that are applied with knife. Instead, opt for packets of mustard, mayo, ketchup and apply them yourself. Once a knife comes into contact with a gluten bun and goes back into the container, the whole container is contaminated with gluten.

Unfortunately, the fries are still not prepared safely and there is no news about adding a gluten-free hot dog bun to the menu. Alas, the gluten-free offerings are still limited, but this is definitely a move in the right direction.

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This week’s gluten free dining and shopping news is full of tasty knowledge.

DaVinci’s Donuts offers gluten-free cake doughnuts on Saturdays or upon 24-hour advance request. These donuts are fryer in fresh oil at the beginning of the day before any gluten goes into the fryer. The donuts are prepared plane and you get to choose the toppings. Watch out for cross contact in the toppings bar – ask for yours to be made with toppings that aren’t on the main line. According to the company, their cake donuts  are unlike any other with a slightly crunchy exterior and a light tender center.

Fogo de Chao opened its second location in Dunwoody recently. The newly constructed restaurant is easily twice the size of the Buckhead location with a separate bar and two private rooms. The traditional menu is available with the addition of several seafood options. The entire market table is gluten free including the croutons, which are made from the cheesy bread served warm are filled as many times as needed. Most all of the meats are gluten free, with few exceptions, as are the Brazilian side dishes, potatoes and couple of desserts. The hardest part about dining at Fogo is pacing yourself before having to call it quits. Welcome to Dunwoody.

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Looks like Gluten Free Cutie is in the Christmas spirit with a holiday menu filled with sweet and savory goodies. I am partial to their cookies and this year they have pulled out all the stops offering: Cookie Decorating Kit $10.50, Gingerbread House Front Decorating Kit $12.50, Decorated Snowflake Sugar Cookies and Ginger Snaps in packages of four. They stop taking special orders December 18th, so make your selections ASAP!

Marlow’s Tavern opened its new restaurant in Brookhaven December 13th.  The 3,558 square foot restaurant opens in a newly constructed second building in Brookleigh Marketplace on Johnson Ferry Road. The restaurant is the chain’s 17th in Georgia and 22nd overall. Thanks for the new Eli at ToneToAtl.

Sally’s Gluten Free Bakery’s holiday menu is available for pre order. I think the Sugar Cookie Dough with four types of frosting and the new Coconut Cake need to make their way to my house!

Schlotzsky’s Austin Eatery had its grand opening December 15th in Duluth at Sugarloaf Marketplace (corner of Sugarloaf Parkway & Peachtree Industrial Blvd.). The restaurant, which offers Udi’s Gluten Free buns, will  feature not only a drive-thru but also a self-ordering kiosk. The menu will feature traditional favorites and a selection of new sandwiches and entrees not available at traditional Schlotzsky’s locations.  Wine and beer (not gluten free) are also on the menu for those who opt to dine in. 

15241352_1176300552438429_5953629565226780359_nSister’s Sauce, handmade in Georgia, is a bloody mary mix crafted from an old family recipe using only clean ingredients. Named after a beloved family dog, the sauce sells for $15 a bottle and is now available at Lucy’s Market in Buckhead and other specialty stores in and around Atlanta. This bloody mary mix promised you won’t feel bloated after consuming it and they hope you will stick with the standard celery stick and olives garnish. Simple is better!

Have a safe and tasty weekend!

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Restaurant Review: Fogo de Chao’s new Dunwoody location

Fogo de Chao, a staple in the Buckhead dining scene for more than 15 years, has opened a brand new second location in Dunwoody. A welcome addition to Dunwoody’s culinary offerings, it will quickly turn into a regular hang for residents, businesses and tourists offering lunch and dinner daily and brunch on weekends. This location is easily twice the size of the Buckhead restaurant with a separate bar area called Bar Fogo and two private dining rooms. From the wood beams and vaulted ceiling to the gorgeous lighting fixtures casting soft shadows over the dining room- it is a perfect spot for date night.

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If you haven’t been to Fogo before, it is a Brazilian steakhouse offering an all-you-can eat dining experience (called churrasco) where waiters clad in gaucho pants slice more than 10 types of fire-roasted meats table side. These meats are cooked slowly with subtle seasoning to allow the natural flavors time to mature and served as soon as they are removed from the fire. An expansive salad bar (called the market table) filled with imported meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables and a soup station occupy the center of the room serving as a perfect option for vegetarians. In addition to meat, Fogo’s menu also features seafood, Brazilian side dishes (polenta and caramelized bananas), garlic mashed potatoes, cheesy bread, desserts, and a full bar.

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My husband and I dined at Fogo on a Sunday night as the result of a media invitation. I love dining at Fogo because their Brazilian cooking style lends itself to the gluten-free diet and their service is exemplary. We couldn’t have felt more welcome and at home by the wait staff if they tried. They are constantly buzzing about offering clean plates, refills on sides, filling beverages and asking how they can make the dining experience better – and they really mean it. The entire market table is gluten free including the croutons, which are made from the cheesy bread served warm and refilled as many times as needed. There is a little something for everyone on the market table, but be careful not to get too full before the meats start coming around. Most all of the meats are gluten free, with few exceptions, as are the Brazilian side dishes, potatoes and couple of desserts. The hardest part about dining at Fogo is pacing yourself before having to call it quits.

Tell the rotating staff of servers how you like your meat cooked and that is all they will bring for the rest of the night. The staff works like a family, so anyone on the floor is more than happy to fulfill requests and answer questions. My favorite cut of the night was the filet cooked a glorious shade of medium rare. It was tender enough to cut with a fork and it practically melted in my mouth. It was a school night, so we opted to try a popular soda in Brazil made with cane sugar called Guarana, which is a fruit found in South America. It tastes like a light and refreshing fruity ginger ale. We also tried the housemade Limonada (limeade) made from a strange list of ingredients that include condensed milk. These ingredients manage to blend perfectly creating a slightly tart drink that would taste even better mixed with rum.  CzhPGYbWEAAJAka

 

We foolishly saved room for dessert and tried the flan. This flan is prepared in a South American style that renders it creamier, smoother and a nice change of pace for gluten-free dessert offerings. My husband, who dislikes flan, loved this dessert and actually ate more of it than I did. We left thoroughly stuffed and planning our next trip back.

If you haven’t been to Fogo de Chao before, make the time to stop by their gorgeous new restaurant in Dunwoody – remember to wear stretchy pants!CzhPHQGW8AEwf1P

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this review, but the meal was provided at no cost. In no way did this influence my opinions and views, which are derived from my personal experience at the restaurant.

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