Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day! (PF Chang's news & Friedman's Lunch review)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I hope you had a lovely weekend. I’ve been telling my yoga classes all week that I love Valentine’s Day for three main reasons:

1. In the dreariest, grayest, most depressing month it’s nice to see pink and red everywhere.
2. It’s a good reminder to keep your heart open, not just to love, but to new experiences and ideas.
3. It’s an extra excuse to eat more chocolate!!

My Valentine’s Day was spent whipping up an exorbitant amount of food for a photo shoot with Kris. Lyla wanted to help but was upset that we wouldn’t share the cheese with her.

At the end of the night we had a beautiful pile of grilled cheese, crepes, chocolate, and cake to share. Couldn’t have asked for a more fun Valentine’s Day project.

I want to take a moment to share a recent piece of GF news. Some of you may have heard about the lawsuit against P.F. Chang’s in which a diner is claiming the restaurant discriminates people with Celiac Disease because they charge an additional $1 for gluten free menu items. Now, I’ve heard a horror story or two about restaurants trying to take advantage of GF customers by charging upwards of $10 extra for mediocre GF substitutions with little to no education on the subject, but this is not one of those cases. P.F. Chang’s is a company that is dedicated to helping Celiacs and NCGS folks feel safe and comfortable in their restaurants. They want us to have a good dining experience. All of this for an extra dollar is an amazing deal! Besides the cost of gluten free substitutions themselves, it does take the kitchen staff more effort and resources to safely keep GF and gluten-full ingredients separate, not to mention the time and energy it takes to diligently train both the front of house and kitchen staff. I’ll happily pay an extra few dollars for this comfort and peace of mind.

KC at GFreeFoodie.com started a wonderful #DineGF movement (a contest which concluded over the weekend) that asked readers to share their GF dining experience via pictures on social media and support the restaurants who are supporting us. What an amazing idea!

You can still see the pictures on twitter, instagram and facebook by searching #DineGF. But now that her contest is over, let’s continue this positive energy. Continue sharing your positive experiences with others in the GF community and thank the restaurant staff after every safe meal. Let them know we appreciate their efforts.

On that note, Kris and I went out to a favorite new restaurant of mine in NYC – Friedman’s Lunch. They are very well known for being GF friendly, and most of their menu items are either naturally gluten free or can be made as such. Two things I loved: they had five – count ‘em – five gluten free beers on their menu, two of which proudly were listed as testing below 5 ppm. I don’t drink beer, but I thought this was exceptionally cool. And you knew that there weren’t any mix ups in the kitchen, because the GF food comes to your table with a little GF flag right on top. Reassuring and cute! All in all, it was a lovely and delicious Valentine’s Day weekend meal. I highly recommend a visit to Friedman’s Lunch the next time you’re in NYC.

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Happy GF eating!