The Mosaic District Heaven

I just discovered a delicious landmark, Mosaic District Shopping Center. There is a cornucopia of goodies waiting for the gluten free foodie. Today I met up with a girlfriend at the Mosaic District Farmer’s Market.  What I can tell you is that there are many jewels to uncover there. The vendors I got to try are listed below.

  1. Out of the Bubble Bakery: They make delicious gluten free brownies, cakes, and cupcakes.
  2. Pappardelle’s Pasta: They have a selection of gluten free handmade pasta and orzo.
  3. Zayna’s Delight: Delicious humus, the best baba ghanouj, and fantastic garlic aioli.

There are lots more, but these were the ones I interacted with. This is a fantastic market held on Sunday’s, 9:30am – 2:30pm. Mosaic is located at 2910 District Ave.; Fairfax, VA 22031.

On this little outing of discovery, I also stumbled upon a wonderful sandwich joint called Taylor’s Gourmet. They make high quality sandwiches for the gluten consuming crowds, but a lot of their menu can be made on a gluten free wrap. I am told the wrap is Udi’s, but it was fantastic! It could have completely passed as a regular gluten containing wrap. What they put inside is pretty damn awesome.

I had the Filbert breakfast wrap (A wrap filled with Smokey Bacon, Hot Capicola, Farm Eggs, American Cheese, Arugula). Pure heaven. I could have easily consumed two.

In addition to all of those goodies, this shopping center also has Four Sisters Vietnamese restaurant. They sport an entire gluten free menu that is divine. Plus Mom’s Organic Market is just around the corner.

Mosaic has so many options, I could spend an entire day sampling its bounty.

Al Nakheel – Vienna, VA

340 Maple Avenue West
Vienna, VA 22180
(703) 938-4220
http://www.alnakheelvienna.com/

I know it has been a long while since I reviewed a restaurant, and I hope to change this in future. Today I cover Lebanese cuisine. Al Nakheel is located in a small strip mall in Vienna. It is small, unassuming, and attached to a wonderful little market.

The staff was small but very sweet and attentive, but the star of this visit was the food, as it should be. I got the Kabob Trio with chicken, lamb, and kefta. It came with rice and salad and I nixed the bread of course.

I have to tell you that these were the BEST kabobs I have had. Juicy, even the chicken. I am very picky about chicken, if I like it, it is good. The lentil soup was delectable but my favorite part of the meal was a garlic paste, called thoom. It was made with only roasted garlic and olive oil, and I could eat a bowl. The thoom came as a condiment, and OMG it rocked!

Most Middle Eastern food is gluten free, just stay away from the usual suspects and you should be good to go.

A Good Egg

First off I want to apologize for my absence. Things have been a bit crazy as of late. But I am back, so let us move on.

This post is one that is near and dear to my heart, eggs. Eggs are often over looked in the American culinary palette. Often submitted to the agony of being over cooked at IHOP. Never seen for it’s potential for greatness, a perception I hope to change.

This noble protein is versatile, delicious, naturally gluten free, and nutritious. It is true that if consumed in excess, the egg can contribute to certain health problems. As always, moderation is the path to righteousness. In this, I agree with the french philosophy, it is much better to have a little of something delectable that lots of something mediocre.

Today I bring you the perfect scrambled egg.The most important points are do not over salt, and most important DO NOT OVERCOOK. Here are some pointers for making a good egg.

Make sure to set you stove to medium at most. Very important, use real butter to melt in the pan (Preferably unsalted since Americans consume way too much salt.). Remember, moderation is the key. Butter is fine is you do not overdo it. Repeat after me, “Butter is not the devil.”

First, beat eggs very well. I once heard that a french chef at a fine restaurant would beet the eggs for 15 minutes strait. I am not suggesting you do it that long, but beat them until a slight foam appears at the top. Once your butter is melted, if you want to include other things, like onions and mushrooms (My favorite), now is the time. Please note this step is optional.

Pour eggs into pan, which is set to medium heat and stir, stir, stir, and keep stirring. In fact, do not stop till done. This step provides that perfect texture. You do not want flat lifeless eggs. You want fluffy happy eggs. I prefer mine a little on the wet side. If you have not tried them this way, I highly recommend it. Viola, the perfect scrambled egg.

Now that you are armed with the proper method, go forth and scramble.

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Sadness thy name is Whole Foods

In a previous post about GF bread, I told you about LivWell brand and how wonderful it is. Whole Foods was the only place I know of who carried that brand imported from England. Every time I went in to purchase more, they were out, and I finally got the gumption to ask why? 

It turns out that Whole Foods was starting to have trouble with the company so they severed ties. No more yummy bread? NOT fair…

Best GF Bread Thus Far

This is not going to be chock full of quirky dialogue and funny witticisms, OK, maybe a little. It is just how we roll here at GF DC. I have tried A LOT of the GF bread out there. And let’s face it, most GF bread on the market would not be distinguishable between well worn cardboard if it were not packaged in pretty bags and stamped at 6.00 a friggin loaf. Grrrrr. I mean, you hear people writing columns about which GF bread tastes the best, but come on, it really means which one can we doctor up enough to mimic real bread. Seems that bread making is rocket science. It is one of those mysteries we cannot crack, like the common cold, hair loss, Jimmy Hoffa.

Well, there is one I have tried that shows there is a small dot of light beckoning us to the end of this dark dank tunnel. It is made by a British company called Livwell. So far I have only tried the seeded bread loaf and crumpets. The amazing thing is this bread gives at the touch. It does not feel like it is made of clay and mortar, it is SOFT. You can even eat it without toasting it first! I know! Unbelievable.

The crumpets were pretty good, but the bread is the true gift here. I am eager to try more, however, the one problem is I have only found it at Whole Foods. My plan is to find out from them if they can start carrying more. I am only one of a starving public who needs real food again. So, dedicated fans, I will keep you posted…

Oh yeah, here is the link. Party on. http://www.livwell.eu/