Monday, May 31, 2010

My Taco Addiction

I’ve had a long addition with tacos. From my early days of knowing only taco bell (how I loved it dearly) to growing up and finding that Mexican food fits perfectly into my diet and is filled with wonderful flavors. 

Growing up in Atlanta, I’ve developed a long list of my favorite (and not so favorite) Mexican places to dine at. So much so that I like to think that I have become a semi-connoisseur of pork carnitas tacos and guacamole.

So with that I give you round one of my taqueria reviews. I hope you enjoy it and expect lots more! 

Taqueria del Sol (TDS) is my favorite taqueria in Atlanta. I can’t say enough good things about this place. The food is amazing and the staff is always helpful with food intolerances, no matter which location. They don’t have a gluten free menu but the staff makes up for it in knowledge and understanding. While the tacos are offered with flour tortillas, they always have fresh and delicious corn tortillas on hand. The tortillas are practically perfect. They’re fluffy, warm and are slightly toasted on the onside to give them the perfect hold and texture. The pork tacos are a dream. In fact, I’ve never been able to order anything else. The pork is tender and juicy and paired with the right portion of onions and cilantro. (Since my GF findings blogger Gluten Free Musings received updated information that the pork is off limits). I like to order some guacamole and throw a dollop on top of the tacos. The bartenders are helpful with ordering a gluten free margarita and they always come out with a harmonious blend of tequila and sour mix.  

Don’t get discouraged by the serious wait lines, they always move fast and the food is worth it. You can always grab a seat at the bar too.

It seems Cinco has been around the outskirts of Atlanta for some time now but I’ve only recently become aware of them. In the New Year they opened a location in Vinings, making it the perfect place for my co-workers to take me for my birthday lunch (I’m lucky that my co-workers love Mexican food almost has much as I do).  The waiter greeted us promptly and said they would take care of us quickly since we were on our lunch break; which we all thoroughly appreciated since the past couple of restaurants in Vinings have been less than speedy.                      
                                                                                                                                
The waiter noted that all the food is freshly prepared and served and he wasn’t wrong. The tacos al carbon were high quality and the guacamole had a great richness to it (you'll see the guacamole was my version of a birthday cake). Similar to Taqueria del Sol, they serve tacos on flour torillas as well but you can easily substitute for corn shells.

This is definitely a new place that has been added to my repertoire of restaurants.  

Update: As for my stance on tortilla chips fried in a conventional fryer with gluten products. I personally have never reacted from cross-contamination in a fryer and I consider myself extremely sensitive to small amounts of gluten. Also, coming from a restaurant based family I feel comfortable with how chips specifically hold up in a fryer. Since they aren't battered (like onion rings) I'm less concerned for the potential for gluten to stick to them. HOWEVER you should choose what is best for you which might include holding off on the chips if they are not fried separately. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Amy’s Kitchen GF, DF, SF Mac & Cheeze

Amy’s Kitchen recently launched several new gluten free products including a dairy free, soy free mac & cheese. The company contacted me a month or two ago informing me they would be launching the new products. I was very curious of how they were going to make it work so when I found it in Kroger last night I grabbed one to try.

The taste was surprisingly decent. It tasted similar to any frozen mac and cheese. However, I didn’t care much for the texture. The cheese sauce was too thick – perhaps I just have an aversion to cheesy products now. Also, the calorie count is pretty high – over 500 calories for the small serving.

I might use it in the future for holidays or special occasions as a side dish but it probably won’t become part of my usual foods.