Sunday, March 27, 2011

Gluten-Free in Austin, TX- Hopdoddy Burger Bar Review

Hopdoddy Burger Bar is a new restaurant on South Congress in Austin, Texas. The atmosphere is upbeat and modern. I had read somewhere that they had gluten-free buns, but they advised to call ahead to check if they have any because they go fast.  Because they have gluten-free buns, I assumed they must have gluten-free friendly burger choices. When you enter the restaurant you have to wait in a line to order, then they assign you to a table. Their menu features ten burgers. They all looked fabulous, but were any of them gluten-free? We asked one of the waitresses as we were waiting in line if any of the featured burgers were naturally gluten-free (just by subbing in a gluten free bun); her reaction was very hesitant and unsure (never a fun reaction to see when asking about gluten-free options). She stopped the next waitress that walked by and she was clueless too. Finally they went and got the manager; he was much more helpful, but not sure about if any of the burgers were naturally gluten-free. We had to point out the ones we were interested in and he read out the ingredients to himself to verify there was not gluten. All in all we learned that their BBQ sauce DOES have gluten in it. They have two specialty ketchups to choose from, a BBQ ketchup and chipotle ketchup, that the manager told us both contained gluten. Once we reached the front of the line we found out they did not have any gluten-free buns remaining.  When we inquired about the buns, they made sure to let us know that they were only 99% gluten-free because they are baked in a non gluten-free environment.  They actually bake the gluten-free buns themselves.  They claimed that the fries, however, are completely naturally gluten-free.

I ordered the Continental club, a turkey burger with pesto, bacon, arugula and provolone (no bun) with fries. It all tasted very good. The fries were excellent, but I wish I could have dipped them in some ketchup.

All in all I don't believe I was glutened, but I wouldn't describe Hopdoddy Burger Bar as "gluten-free friendly". They have a lot of potential. They just need to educated their employees more and go through each burgers ingredients and identify the gluten free burgers on the menu.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Baked Black Beans

Hello everyone! I am "the girlfriend". When I met my boyfriend and he told me he was on a gluten free diet I didn't even know what that meant. One year later I consider myself an expert. :)  Cooking gluten free was very foreign to me at first, but now I feel like shopping and cooking gf is second nature. I want to start blogging about how I alter recipes to be gluten free and  naturally gluten free recipes I try out!

February 2011 Real Simple
To start, today I made baked black beans. I am always looking for healthy snacks to munch on while I am at work, so when I saw this recipe in the Real Simple Magazine I knew I wanted to try it out. (Plus naturally gluten free!) 

From Real Simple: 
Black Beans
These burrito mainstays boast antioxidants and magnesium, which helps maintain nerve and muscle function. 
Try This: On a baking sheet, toss canned black beans with olive oil, ground cumin, and salt. Roast at 450 F until crispy, about 10 minutes, for a tasty snack. 

I was extra excited about this recipe because black beans are so cheap and it sounds so simple! I did exactly as the recipe said, except I actually cooked it for about 20 minutes. The beans were not getting hard for a while. I also thought it would be smart to 'toss' them half way through. I end up regretting that move because since the beans were still soft it kinda busted some of them up. I will not do this next time. After I let them cool I put them in a Tupperware to bring to work! 

Baked Black Beans
Beans on the Pan

I had the boyfriend taste them. Needless to say he wasn't too excited (probably cause they were not smothered in cheese!) I think they are quite tasty though and can't wait to not feel guilty snacking on Monday!

The same issue of Real Simple features Kale chips. I am going to give those a try next week! Stay tuned!