Brixx Wood Fired Pizza: GF Pizza & Beer

Where: Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, multiple locations across North Carolina and the southeast (I visited the 501 Meadowmont Village Cir, Chapel Hill, NC 27517 location.)

GF Menu: Yes! Click HERE to view it online.

What I ate: Gluten-Free Greek Pizza

How to order it: Ask for the Gluten-Free menu. The list of available GF pizzas is long. I counted fifteen, including a classic pepperoni. (FYI, did you know that not all pepperoni is gluten-free? Brixx has us covered, though. The chefs use Hormel’s GF pepperoni.)

Since each of the pizzas on this list can be cooked to order as regular or gluten-free, be sure to remind your server that you want the gluten-free version when you place your order.

The GF menu offers the following information:

We’re proud to offer options for those on gluten-free diets by necessity or choice. Please let your server know of any dietary restrictions you have or if you would like additional information about our gluten-free kitchen procedures and ingredients (updated 5/12/14).

At the bottom of this menu, they go on to describe in meticulous detail the careful process with which they handle GF pizzas in their kitchen. Their website also states:

At Brixx, we we’re all about equality. So, we’re proud to offer all of our pizzas on gluten-free dough for an additional $2. While our pizzas aren’t created in a completely gluten-free environment, each gluten-free pizza is prepared and cooked in its own container. Here’s a link to an ingredient sheet on our gluten-free dough.
Though I didn’t order one when I visited, every Brixx location carries at least one GF bottled beer. On the GF menu, they encourage you to “ask your neighborhood location about their latest gluten-free brew or make a suggestion!”

What it looks like:

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This pizza arrived hot out of the oven on its own thin metal pie pan (used to avoid cross contamination in the wood brick oven). It featured sliced roma tomatoes, mozzarella, kalamata olives, red onions, and feta cheese topped with fresh basil and a balsamic glaze drizzle.

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I’m pleased to report that this pizza passed the eat-with-my-hands test! When I picked up a slice, this thin and surprisingly crunchy crust stayed firm, supporting the fresh ingredients. The slices never became soggy, but stayed crisp and light. This is one of the better GF pizza crusts I have tasted. It was crispy, buttery-tasting, and more salty than sweet, as a pizza crust should be, with the hint of woody smokiness only achieved in a wood-burning brick oven.

Green Note: The Chapel Hill Brixx location offers reusable carry-out bags for $1, encouraging us to “buy a bag for two great causes: save the planet and get a nifty reusable bag.” Why carry your own bag? A statistic on igotmybag.org tells us: “Each year the United States consumes 30 billion plastic and 10 billion paper grocery bags, requiring 14 million trees and 12 million barrels of oil.

Brixx Wood-Fired Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Relish Cafe & Bar: Savor the Flavor

Where: Relish Cafe & Bar, 5625 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh, NC 27613 (Corner of Creedmoor and Millbrook)

GF Menu: YES! When we informed the server that we would be dining Gluten-Free, she brought us GF menus.

GFRelish2

Click on the image of the menu to see a larger version.

Note this well-informed disclaimer on the GF menu:

This menu and the information on it are provided as a service to our customers with the express statement that we cannot guarantee to any persons with Celiac Disease or gluten-intolerance that NO gluten will inadvertently be contained in these dishes.

Our kitchen does NOT have a dedicated gluten-free area. It is not possible to completely avoid cross-contamination or unintentional inclusion of gluten into dishes that are intended to not have it. We do not have a dedicated gluten-free fryer – so we are not suggesting any of our fried items on this special menu even if they do not originally have gluten in them. However, our grill is only used for grilling and blackening plain meats and vegetables so our recommendations are restricted to our salad and grill stations.

To the best of our information, the dishes listed on this special menu do not deliberately contain gluten and we will do our best  prepare them so they do not.

What I ate: Relish Shrimp Salad

How to order it: As the GF Menu suggests, choose from the salad or grilled meat/veggie options, avoiding fried foods and pasta dishes.

In general, it is best not to assume that because a server has handed you a Gluten-Free menu that they will automatically remember that your dish should be GF. In the restaurant business, servers are busy, handling multiple tasks and customers at once. Therefore, they may appreciate a gentle reminder from you, and you will be pleased to receive the Gluten-Free version of the dish you ordered. Win-win.

That said, our server at Relish was on-the-ball and took care of us with panache.

What it looks like:

GFRelish3

In keeping with Southern cuisine, our refreshing iced tea was served in classic Ball mason jars.

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 Cool shrimp were tossed on a bed of romaine garnished with purple onions, chopped tomatoes, boiled eggs, and capers. The dressing was both light and creamy, prepared with fresh dill and a hint of orange.

Green Note: Relish is a unique 3-in-1 business with a local focus. They explain on their website:

Preferences are trending away from the fried and greasy and towards the local farm to market offerings prepared in styles that coax more flavor out of more healthy choices. Through the marriage of a café and gourmet retail market and the innovative addition of a recreational culinary school, we provide a one stop, budget-friendly, epicurean experience which appeals to all ages and types of people. 

Relish offers items from their own kitchen for sale, like salsa fresca and poppy seed dressing. They also sell items produced by other local businesses: creamed or wildflower honey from Vintage Bee, 18-yr aged balsamic vinegar from Midtown Olive Press, and lemon basil hand soap from The Little Herb House, among others. All three of the businesses are Raleigh-based, so by dining and shopping at Relish, you help support your local economy.

Relish Cafe & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

BurgerFi: Making It Green Style

Where: BurgerFi, 3000 Wake Forest Road, Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27609 (near the Trader Joe’s). There is also a location in Cary at 2052 Renaissance Park Place, Cary, NC 27513.

GF Menu: No.

What I ate: Single Natural Angus Burger served “Green Style” with hickory bacon, garlic aioli, white cheddar, and salt & vinegar chips (yes, on the burger). I also tried a “Green Style” 100% Wagyu Kobe Beef Dog with dijon mustard.

How to order it: When placing your order at the counter, let them know you are dining Gluten-Free. My server helpfully informed me that the french fries are cooked in the same oil with the onion rings (which are battered in flour). I avoided the fries.

BurgerFi2

The menu states, “Order any burger or dog in crisp lettuce instead of a bun.”

BurgerFi allows you to “Build Your Best Burger.” For those of us who are adhering to a Gluten-Free diet, this option is ideal. We can choose toppings as we verify whether they are Gluten-Free.

When adding toppings, be sure to ask about the sauces. I inquired about the Bar-B-Q Sauce and learned that it is Cattleman’s. Since I was not certain whether it was Gluten-Free, I decided to pass on it. After looking it up online, I see that the Classic, Smokehouse, and Sweet & Spicy Cattleman’s BBQ sauces are Gluten-Free, but one of Cattleman’s sauces (Golden Honey) is not.

It is important to note that the Veggie Burger is not Gluten-Free (I asked). It is made primarily of quinoa (GF), but my server explained that the recipe also contains panko crumbs (not GF).

What it looks like:

BurgerFi4

The lettuce was satisfyingly cool and crispy, contrasting beautifully with the hearty burger and hickory bacon. As you see here, the cheddar cheese did exactly what quality cheese is supposed to do on a hot burger – melt. There were crunchy salt and vinegar potato chips tucked underneath the burger patty for a flavorful punch. Fantastic!

BurgerFi5

When I saw this 100% Wagyu Kobe Beef Dog listed on the menu, I couldn’t resist trying it. I ordered it “Green Style” with dijon mustard. This is not your average hot dog. Its flavor and tenderness reminded me of kielbasa.

Green Note: The franchise makes a practice of operating its business “Green Style”:

The following note is taken from their menu:

BurgerFi restaurants offer a unique dining experience – one you can feel good about. Each BurgerFi restaurant is built according to environmentally sustainable best practices and includes earth-friendly elements, like chairs that are made from recycled Coke bottles, tables made out of compressed recycled wood and large fans that use 66% less electricity. BurgerFi maintains a low carbon footprint and maintains strict recycling programs for oil, cardboard, bottles and cans. We’re creating an innovative, engaging, and efficient restaurant model that stands for all things BurgerFi. This is our commitment to our earth, to our team members and to you, our valued guests.

BurgerFi3

This dispenser offers recyclable forks, one at a time, promoting less waste.

BurgerFi on Urbanspoon

Published in: on July 21, 2013 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Coming Home: Part Deux – Sweet Gratitude

Hello! So much has happened since I last wrote, and I have some wondrous things to share with you:

  • In case you haven’t already heard, Dunkin Donuts has announced that it will offer a new GF cinnamon-sugar donut and GF blueberry muffin on their menu soon. These will be prepared in a dedicated facility and individually wrapped for sale. The global doughnut and coffee company also plans to phase out its foam coffee cups in favor of eco-friendly paper cups made from recycled material. To read more about the launch of the new GF offerings, click HERE.

Addendum: As of February 2014, Dunkin Donuts has canceled plans to release these items. To read more about this, click HERE.

GFDunkinDonuts

Photo credit courtesy Dunkin Donuts. To see more, visit the June 20, 2013 post on the Dunkin Donuts Blog “Behind the Beans”.

  • I usually feature restaurants located in the American South on this blog, but a few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to visit Israel and France. I’d like to show you what I found there. 

Israel surprised me with its Gluten-Free awareness. I bought delicious GF baguettes in the supermarket, and even ordered a full GF Israeli Breakfast at our hotel in the town of Safed. The innkeepers at The Safed Inn can bake GF bread, upon request, and they even use a designated toaster. 

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A GF dish served at Uri Buri Restaurant, a phenomenal seafood establishment located in Akko, Israel, included shrimp and eggplant noodles bathed in a delicate, savory broth.

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Inside the “Old City” of Jerusalem, a restaurant offered traditional (naturally GF) falafel and hummus.

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At a street market in Tel Aviv, a vendor sold locally-brewed ales. Two GF options were available. The one pictured above is a GF mead. The other was a pomegranate cider. I tried both. They were very refreshing!

France8Cropped

In France, I visited the 2013 Trip Advisor award-winning Helmut Newcake, a dedicated 100% Gluten-Free Bakery in Paris. I ordered three items – a financier, a fruit muffin, and a chocolate eclair. Bon bon bon! You and I could eat anything in this case.

  • Speaking of pastries, I baked this Strawberry Rhubarb Gluten-Free pie for July 4th. I was so pleased with this recipe from Dunn Sweet that I am passing it along to you.

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Does this look GF to you? This was the flakiest, fluffiest pie crust I’ve enjoyed since I was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance seven years ago.

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With this GF pie crust recipe in your repertoire, and the appropriate GF flour in the pantry, you can once again bake a pie from scratch for your family and friends.

  • Over the past three years, many restaurants I have featured on Sweet Tea & Wheat-Free have come and gone. Some of the restaurants that remain, however, are courageously expanding their GF consciousness.

GFNemonde3

For example, Raleigh’s Neomonde Mediterranean Deli has begun offering GF bread and pizzas (pictured above), and bu*ku (also in Raleigh) now offers a Gluten-Free menu. 

  • I’m thrilled to announce that I will be relocating to my beloved North Carolina this summer. I am very grateful for the year I have spent working and dining in Nashville. Music City will always have a special place in my Gluten-Free heart.

Parthenoncrop

Nashville is referred to as the “Athens of the South”. I’ll miss the replica of the Parthenon (complete with a colossal statue of Athena inside) in Nashville’s Centennial Park.

  • Sweet Tea & Wheat-Free is nearing 33,000 views. A heartfelt “Thank You” to all of you who follow, comment, and pass along this resource to others.

A delightful thing happened to me last year while I was shopping at the NC State Farmer’s Market in Raleigh. A beautiful pregnant woman overheard me question a vendor about Gluten-Free items. She asked me if I was gluten intolerant. When I replied “Yes”, she recommended my own blog to me as a resource! I am happy to know that this is how information can be shared. We belong to an ever-growing community of people who care about how our food is made, and how we can support each other.

It is my sincere hope that the GF options posted on this site help you feel inspired, improve your appetite for alternatives to wheat, and encourage you to navigate your own GF quest with savviness and optimism. 

Another restaurant review coming soon…

Simply Crepes: “Mais Oui!”

Crepes originated in northern France and are traditionally made with wheat flour; however, I’m delighted to report that a new restaurant in Raleigh, NC offers buckwheat crepes!

Buckwheat, also called a pseudocereal, is not related to wheat. It is not a grain and does not belong to the grass family, but still produces fruits that can be used to make bread flour.

Where: Simply Crepes, Lafeyette Village, 8470 Honeycutt Rd, Suite 110, Raleigh, NC 27615

GF Menu: Yes! Their menu states,All entrées and desserts can be made with a Gluten and Lactose Free buckwheat crêpe for [an additional] $1.00.”

What I ate: Turkey and Smoked Gouda Cheese Buckwheat Crepe + Chocolate Peanut Butter Creme Buckwheat Crepe

How to order it: Select a crepe from the menu, which currently features about 16 different entrees. Double-check with your server whether or not the contents of that particular crepe are in fact Gluten-Free. Place your order, stating that you want your dish to be prepared in the GF buckwheat crepe.

When we visited, our server asked us, “Are you ordering Gluten-Free based on a dietary preference, or do you have an allergy?” Surprised at this question, we asked why they needed to know. She informed us that the kitchen requires this information in order to take extra precautions when preparing dishes for those with food allergies.

What it looks like:

A warm and savory mountain of thinly sliced turkey, bacon, smoked Gouda cheese, fresh greens, tomatoes, and maple mustard vinaigrette, swaddled in a fresh-off-the-skillet buckwheat crepe.

Why stop at one crepe when you can have two? The crepes are so light and fluffy, I didn’t feel guilty about ordering dessert. I opted for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Creme Crepe. Fresh peanut butter cream, chocolate fudge, bananas, and vanilla ice cream were gift-wrapped in a delicate buckwheat crepe topped with double chocolate sauce and whipped cream.

Green Note: Buckwheat is healthy for your body and the earth. While researching its properties, I found a page titled “The Basics of Buckwheat”, which explains how buckwheat is also a smart agricultural choice for farmers:

Buckwheat has a variety of healthful properties. It’s an excellent plant source of easily digestive protein and contains all eight essential amino acids, so it’s close to being a “complete” protein. Buckwheat is also high in fiber (a big bonus for celiacs), B vitamins and, according to a USDA study, keeps glucose levels in check better than other carbohydrates — which is good news for celiacs who also have diabetes. It’s also said to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.

Buckwheat is hardy, which makes it resistant to damage and therefore relatively inexpensive and easy to grow. Tom Bilek, a Minnesota buckwheat grower, says “buckwheat will grow on anything.” According to the National Buckwheat Institute, Buckwheat is one of the few commercially grown crops that does not use chemicals.

To the Owners and Staff of Simply Crepes, I’d like to say, “Merci Beaucoup!”

Simply Crepes on Urbanspoon

California Pizza Kitchen: Nice Day for a White Pizza

December 2013 Update: I walked by a CPK the other day and this sign stopped me in my tracks:

CPKSign

The Gluten-Free pizzas are back! Currently, there are four options. See their online GF menu at http://info.cpk.com/documents/gluten_free_menu.pdf. As their website notes, these pizzas are prepared according to the strict regulations of the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG). As always, please inform your server of any allergies prior to placing your order.

June 2013 Update: While they still offer a Gluten-Free Menu, California Pizza Kitchen has temporarily pulled the Gluten-Free pizzas from this menu while they review their kitchens and procedures for potential cross-contamination. Still craving a pizza? Try Gluten-Free pies at Lilly’s Pizza, zpizza, or Mellow Mushroom in Raleigh.

California Pizza Kitchen announced the launch of a new Gluten-Free pizza crust in July, offering 29 of their original pizzas available Gluten-Free.

Where: California Pizza Kitchen, 5959 Triangle Town Road, #2121, Raleigh, NC 27616

GF Menu: Yes. At the Triangle Town location, the GF menu is incorporated into the restaurant’s regular menu.

What I ate: Asparagus and Arugula Salad (From the Small Cravings menu) + a White (GF) Pizza

How to order it: Regardless of where you are dining, it is a good idea to inform the server that you (and any other specific party members) will be dining Gluten-Free. This prepares the staff for your questions and hopefully helps ensure your safety throughout the dining experience.

When I mentioned to my server that I would be dining Gluten-Free, he explained that all of the pizzas listed on the menu (with the exception of the Jamaican Jerk Chicken and the Thai Chicken) could be made GF.

When asked how the GF pizza crust is prepared, he responded that it is handled with a designated set of utensils, placed on aluminum foil for baking, and then cut with a designated GF pizza cutter.

Folks who are extremely sensitive to air-borne gluten particles and cross contamination may want to read this discussion, on Triumph Dining’s website, to help guide your dining decision.

Online, the CPK GF Menu bears this disclaimer:

“Gluten-Free” designations are based on information provided by our ingredient suppliers. Warning: Ingredients or production methods used by our suppliers may change, or there may be product differences among regional suppliers. Additionally, normal kitchen operations involve shared cooking and preparation areas, or we may need to substitute ingredients in menu items. We are therefore unable to guarantee that any menu item is free from gluten or any other allergen, and we assume no responsibility for guests with food allergies or sensitivities.”

The Asparagus and Arugula Salad was light and tangy. Fresh arugula, crisp cuts of asparagus, sundried tomatoes, slivered almonds, and shaved Grana Padano Parmesan were topped with a homemade lemon vinaigrette.

The White Pizza arrived on a platter, crispy and golden around the edges, covered with sauteed garlic spinach, mozzarella, fontina, ricotta, parmesan, and pecorino romano.

A closer view displays the more traditionally thin Italian-style (as opposed to the thicker Sicilian style) crust. This crust tasted pleasantly of rice, and reminded me of a flexible version of a saltine cracker, topped with loads of good stuff.

Green Note: CPK also offers a Vegetarian and Vegan Menu. Why go vegetarian, even for a day? The semi-vegetarian global movement called Meatless Mondays, which advocates “cut out meat one day of the week”, offers this as one of several compelling reasons:

REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation. And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.

California Pizza Kitchen on Urbanspoon

The Ice Cream Cottage Cafe: Maple View Comes to Wake Forest!

June 2013 Update: Since the time of this posting, the Ice Cream Cottage Cafe moved from 401 Wait Avenue to a larger and more centrally-located site on 105 S. White Street in downtown Wake Forest. Visit their website or their Facebook page for the scoop.

Maple View, the 2011 Winner of the Rose and Indy Awards for “Best Ice Cream”, is now available in the town of Wake Forest!

Where: The Ice Cream Cottage Cafe, 105 South White Street, Wake Forest, NC 27587

GF Menu: No.

What I ate: A Medium Cup (2 Scoops!) of Double Chocolate and Orange Cream hormone and antibiotic-free local ice cream from Maple View Farm in Orange County, NC.

How to order it: Despite my numerous attempts asking about gluten in their ingredients, Maple View Dairy did not respond; therefore, I am unable to provide specific information from the source. However, At FRESH in Raleigh, I was informed that many of the ice cream flavors from Maple View Farms are naturally Gluten-Free.

To be safe, always ask the server about ingredients when placing your order. Use your best judgment, avoiding flavors like Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Cookies & Cream.

What it looks like:

Dreamy, creamy euphoria served with a spoon. The Double Chocolate flavor is dark and rich, with terrific mouth-feel. The Orange Dream is my new favorite, airy and delicately citrusy. Combining these flavors, I imagine a frozen version of Terry’s Chocolate Oranges from the UK.

Green Note: The Ice Cream Cottage Cafe is local and independently-owned. The cottage features ample indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a variety of plants and herbs for sale. In addition to homemade baked goods, the owner’s wife sells her organic herbal handmade soaps, shampoos, lotions, and candles in the cafe shop.

Bloomsbury Bistro: A Delicious Destination

Where: Bloomsbury Bistro, 509 W. Whitaker Mill Road, Suite 101, Raleigh, NC 27608

GF Menu: No. The menu at Bloomsbury Bistro changes approximately every six weeks. They state the following on their website:

We’re always happy to accommodate any special dietary needs or restrictions. Please call the restaurant at (919) 834-9011 with any questions.

What I ate: Asparagus and Yukon Gold potato Vichyssoise (without croutons), Pork Loin, and a Dessert Sampler for Two, all from the seasonal Three-Course Tasting Menu.

How to order it: When we told our server that we would be dining Gluten-Free, he responded with an encouraging, “Tell me what you want and we’ll see if we can modify it.” He added that he was carrying a list of the items containing gluten, but would also check with the kitchen before confirming our order. Lovely!

What it looks like:

This verdant asparagus and yukon gold potato vichyssoise with lumps of crabmeat, and topped with black pepper creme fraiche, was served chilled. A perfect way to begin a summer meal.

The main event was a pork loin roasted in a pecan crust. The crust was warm, crispy, herby, and delicately reminiscent of pecan pie. Paired with a savory bite of pork, the flavors enhanced one another.

Underneath the pork was a bed of stone ground yellow grits (locally-sourced from Lindley Mills) with a side of Appalachian greens, smoked bacon, and Sandhills peaches in Wild Turkey Boredelaise.

The Dessert Sampler for Two was a treasure trove. Clockwise from the top, was a ricotta custard with blackberry sauce, strawberries with vanilla chantilly and lemon curd, dark chocolate truffles, and a light sorbet.

Green Note: Chef/Proprietor John Toler incorporates local, seasonal ingredients into an ever-changing menu.

Why eat seasonally? Lou Bendrick, columnist for Grist, gives several reasons in The Surprising Benefits of Seasonal Eating. Check it out.

Bloomsbury Bistro on Urbanspoon

MachuPicchu: Noveau Andean Cuisine

October 2017 Update: I’m truly saddened to learn that this intimate Andean spot is now closed. It was an exceptional place to eat. They will be missed.

Where: MachuPicchu Peruvian Cuisine, 4500 Falls of the Neuse Road, #100, Raleigh, NC, 27609

GF Menu: No.

What we ate: Ceviche de Pescado (Fish Ceviche) + Brochetta de Pollo (Chicken Kebabs) + Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding) from the Lunch Menu. This was more than enough food for two, and we cleaned our plates!

How to order it: Ask the server whether the menu item you want to order contains any wheat or gluten, or ask for Gluten-Free suggestions. Our friendly and knowledgeable server, Jorge Manuel, was well-versed in the dishes’ ingredients. He also double-checked with the award-winning Chef Gloria Orihuela to ensure a happy dining experience. He explained that the kitchen can offer some substitutions.

Be mindful of ordering dishes that appear to be made with corn. While many South American dishes (such as tamales) are traditionally prepared with corn meal, some flour may have been added to the mixture in the Noveau Andean dishes. For this reason, it is best not to assume these items are Gluten-Free, and to check with the server before placing your order.

What it looks like:

Cancha, or roasted corn, was served as an appetizer. Very lightly salted and uniquely crunchy, these kernels whet your appetite for the main course.

The Ceviche de Pescado was appropriately served in a fish-shaped platter. The fresh (never frozen) fish was briefly marinated in a mixture of lime juice and aji amarillo (Peruvian yellow chile peppers) called “Leche de Tigre”, or “Tiger’s Milk”. Our server explained that this citrus juice and pepper combination is sometimes used in Peru as part of the ultimate hangover remedy. What is unique about this pepper is that the hot kick occurs at the back of the tongue and then dissipates very quickly, making it an intense and pleasant culinary experience.

Along with the Leche de Tigre marinade, the fish was garnished with red onions, cilantro, traditional style Peruvian white corn, and a sweet yam.

The mouth feel of this fish was exquisite. It was cool on the tongue, sliced into the perfect bite-sized morsels, and each bite blossomed with the flavor of the lime, the pepper, and finally, the sweet fish. Bonus: Jorge taught us to add some of the cancha kernels to the leftover marinade to soak up the last bits of flavor and experience the pleasant crunch.  So refreshing and satisfying, I could eat this dish every day.

The chicken kebabs were grilled to tender perfection and served with onions, green peppers, tomatoes, white rice, and a side of Chimichurri sauce (fresh parsley ground with garlic and spices).

The finale was the Arroz Con Leche, or rice pudding. Served Peruvian style, it was prepared with raisins, cloves, and cinnamon, and tasted simultaneously light and creamy.

Green Note: MachuPicchu is committed to reviving the use of ancient, authentic ingredients. The following is taken from their About Us page on their website:

Peru is blessed with 84 out of the 114 Eco Systems known in the World. This has allowed ancient Peruvian civilizations as well as today’s Peruvians to harvest a great variety of grains, spices, herbs, vegetables, tubers and fruits as well as more than three thousand different varieties of potatoes. This rich harvest along with a variety of cultural and ancient influences culminated to create Peruvian gastronomy, which is traditionally varied and sumptuously delectable. 

In January 2004, The Economist magazine stated that Peruvian cuisine can lay claim to “One of the World’s dozen or so great cuisines”. Over the centuries Peru felt the influence of Spain in stews and soups, Arab sweets and desserts, African contributions to Creole cooking, Italian pastas, Japanese preparations of fish and shellfish and Chinese culinary. However, Peruvian cuisine continues to incorporate new influences and also revives old ones. This infusion has given birth to the Noveau Andean Cuisine, dubbed the New Peruvian Cuisine, which uses ancient ingredients that date back to the Incas and presents them in a contemporary fashion; You must try ours to be transported to one of America’s oldest and most advanced civilizations. 

Machu Picchu Peruvian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Published in: on June 29, 2011 at 9:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Mami Nora’s Rotisserie: Authentic Peruvian Cuisine

Thank you to my foodie friend and photographer, Drew Davidson, for recommending this next restaurant, and for sharing his photo.

Where: Mami Nora’s Rotisserie, 2401 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh, NC 27608

GF Menu: No.

What I ate: 1/4 Chicken Combo with 2 Sides (Black Beans and Sweet Plantains) + Coconut Water

How to order it: I wrote to Mami Nora’s manager to ask the following questions about the gluten content of some of their menu items:

1. Do your black beans contain any gluten (flour, wheat, barley, or rye ingredients)?
2. Does your chicken seasoning mix contain any gluten?
3. Do the yucca fries have any breading on them, or are they fried in the same oil with anything that might have flour on it?

To these questions, Manager Ranbir Bakhshi responded, “The answer to all 3 questions is ‘no.’ The chicken, black beans, and yucca are all Gluten -Free.”

Special Note: Please see the extremely helpful clarifying comment from Laura Wooten below this post. It informs us that, since the time of this posting, the black beans are NOT Gluten-Free. The seasoning contains barley, which is not safe for celiacs.

I later inquired by phone about the two dipping sauces and the sweet plantains. I was assured that these are also Gluten-Free.

What it looks like:

Photo Credit: Drew Davidson


Pictured above is the 1/4 Chicken with tender, juicy, seasoned white meat breast/wing. (Dark Meat Leg/Thigh is also available.) You will taste the distinctive difference of food prepared in an oven using wood charcoal. The restaurant advertises that this slow-roasted flavor is authentic to what you would experience when dining on the street corners of Lima, Peru.

The black beans were hearty. The sweet plantains were gorgeous – warm, and a little bit tart on the inside, and candied with a light, crispy edge on the outside.

Green Note: Mami Nora’s uses little electricity in the cooking process. The following was taken from their website:

Mami Nora’s is recognized for its unforgettable rotisserie chicken, cooked in a special marinade, then roasted in our imported oven from Perú. This oven uses only wood charcoal, no gas or electric heat is needed.


I’m also pleased to share with you that “Sweet Tea & Wheat-Free” has had more than 10,000 views. Thank you, from the bottom of my Gluten-Free heart!

More good news – North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue has declared May “Celiac Disease Awareness Month” again. Read the full announcement on Gluten Free Raleigh.

Mami Nora's on Urbanspoon

Published in: on May 16, 2011 at 7:46 pm  Comments (2)