Monday, June 21, 2010

Yeah! Burger: Gluten Free Heaven

After weeks and weeks of waiting, Yeah! Burger has finally opened! I couldn’t wait to get myself over there and managed to rope in my parents (also gluten free) to go for lunch on Father’s Day. I couldn’t think of a better father’s day meal than a gluten free burger and beer.

As we walked in co-owner Erik Maier happened to be greeting guests while they were waiting in line. Dressed casually he walked right up introduced himself, shook our hands and asked if we had any questions. Immediately I was put at ease. I mentioned we were all gluten free and asked some questions about the food.

He informed me all the sauces are gluten free; though not officially certified yet (they are working on it). He did note the slaw is not gluten free because it contains soy sauce. I was sad to see they had switched from Bard’s Tale to Green’s beer. My doctor is stricter than most on which grains to avoid, including buckwheat. Maier said they had to switch because they were having a hard time finding Bard’s Tale.

After basking over the simple yet stylish menu I decided to order a bison burger, gluten free bun of course, lettuce, onion, tomato and avocado with side order of gluten free French fries.

10 minutes later and I had this beautiful view in front of me.  

My first bite was sinfully delicious. I couldn’t believe how good it was. The bun tasted like the real thing and was nicely toasted. Every element was in perfect balance – the bun wasn’t too heavy, the bison patty was juicy yet not greasy and the tomato, lettuce and avocado were all high quality ingredients that flawlessly married with the beef and bread.

I was so invested in the burger by the time I got around to the fries there were only a couple left… but from what I had they were tasty.

Leaving Yeah! Burger I was already ready to go back and order another one. It might perhaps even require a quick lunch break trip sometime soon!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cuba Libre Restaurant: Orlando

In my recent travels for work I was lucky enough to hit a couple of great restaurant in my whirlwind trip to three cities in two and half weeks. While in Orlando my co-worker and I happened to come across a restaurant called Cuba Libre. The restaurant is tucked into one of the corners of Point Orlando, where at least 15 other restaurants are competing for diners.  I checked out the menu before walking in and a greeter was able to confidently alert me that all the servers are well educated on what’s gluten free and what’s not.

Convinced by the doorman we strolled in and were seated at a table upstairs. We started with an order of the Guacamole Cubano, avocados mixed with pineapple, lime juice and olive oil served with crispy plantain chips. I was hesitant about the mixture of avocado and pineapple since I’m not a fan of mixing fruit with anything other than fruit but it was absolutely delicious. The crispy plantain chips were tasty and a perfect combination with the guacamole.

Cuba Libre is also a rum bar so of course I had to order a mojito. I ordered the Passion Fruit Mojito and I immediately turned into a rendition of the dinner scene from “What About Bob?” It was by far the best mixed drink I’ve had. I couldn’t stop raving about it – I’m sure my colleague was starting to say “ok I get it…”

For dinner I ordered the Ropa Vieja (there were so many other good looking choices!). This stew-like dish is made up of shredded beef brisket, tomatoes, maduros, bell peppers, onions, red wine and served with rice.  It was the perfect comfort food after a long day of working. The sauce was rich and nicely spiced. The beef was tender and brought depth to the dish. It was a huge plate of food and I enjoyed every bite of it.

Traveling is always hectic to try and find places that are safe for me to eat and this one made it easy and wonderful for me. I would definitely go back.