Jun
10
    
Posted (Rick Lupert) in Chicago, Gluten Free, Illinois, United States on June-10-2017

An all gluten-free restaurant! Hurrah Chicago! What a treat, for my gluten-free wife, to be able to order almost anything on the menu without being exposed to the standard “cross contamination” warnings that accompany non gluten-free restaurant menu items.

I had the Mint and Pea Cavatelli. I’m not actually gluten-free and haven’t had great experiences with gluten-free pasta, but this tasted legit. Good pasta flavor and texture. The spring peas were fresh and it was a beautifully presented dish. I had the smaller size which is, well, smaller than I thought it would be based on the waiter’s description..I probably could have finished the larger, but ended up being fine with this size. But if you’re super hungry, you should consider getting the larger or supplementing with other items.

Mint and Pea Cavatelli.

Mint and Pea Cavatelli

I also had the Cucumber Gazpacho. It listed Cantaloupe as the first ingredient so I expected this to be a bit more sweet. It was mostly like eating a thin dill yogurt. It was fine but not what I’d hoped for with the melon so prominently listed in the ingredients.

Cucumber Gazpacho

Cucumber Gazpacho

My wife had the Roasted Spring Vegetables & Quinoa. She said it was fine, nothing spectacular or unique in terms of flavor but the vegetables were cooked well.

Roasted Spring Vegetables & Quinoa

Roasted Spring Vegetables & Quinoa

We also had a couple of bites of the Crispy Pearl Rice which our friends ordered and that tasted super good…also we had a couple of sips of their flavored sodas (Beet Soda was one) and they tasted phenomenal.

I’m a vegetarian so it looks like I could eat anything on the Snacks menu, almost everything on the Appetizers menu, and all of the items on the Market Sides menu as well. Plus 3 of the entrees were vegetarian (the two we ordered and a Grilled Cauliflower Steak). So plenty of options for vegetarians.

The service was fantastic. In particular, our server was very funny, accommodating, and downright friendly.

We don’t live in Chicago so when we’re back we try to eat at new places all the time, but if we did live there, I’m sure we’d be at the Little Beet table periodically. (There’s a location in New York City too.)

The Little Beet Table (Chicago Location)
845 N. State St. Suite 101
Chicago, IL  60610
http://www.thelittlebeettable.com/chicago/


 
Jun
10
    
Posted (Rick Lupert) in California, Gluten Free, Los Angeles, United States, Vegan on June-10-2017

It’s always exciting, if you have a special diet, to find a restaurant which caters to you…where you know you can eat every single thing on the menu, without having to search or make modifications. Enter Elderberries Threefold Cafe in Los Angeles, offering a menu composed completely of vegan, gluten free and organic items, complete with a super friendly staff, in an environment which feels, let’s say rustic.

I’m a vegetarian and my wife is gluten-free so Elderberries was her choice for Mother’s Day brunch. It’s not, perse, the fanciest of restaurants, a bit more of a very casual shabby coffee-house vibe to it which undoubtedly many will find comfortable.

I had the Emerson’s Frittata. It was okay, perhaps more casserole like than frittata like. I’m a bit of a semantic person when it comes to labeling foods so always get a little suspicious when something is labeled with a reference that it’s not so much like. (ie I’m not sure what I would have called this but “frittata” would probably not be my choice. The potatoes it came with were definitely overcooked and dryer than I wanted.

Emerson's Fritatta

Emerson’s Fritatta

My wife had the Grilled Mac Daddy – a sandwich served on gluten free bread…she felt it was rich comfort food. Always exciting as a gluten free person to be able to eat a sandwich.

Grilled Mac Daddy

Grilled Mac Daddy

She also had the kale chips as a side which she thought were great.

Our son had a very nice bowl of berries and fruit which tasted great.

They’ve got a whole lot on the menu to choose from so whereas what we chose to order this time didn’t blow us away, and since we live in the valley I don’t think we’d make another special trip here, but I think we’d give it another try if we were nearby.

Huge kudos to them for creating an entire restaurant devoted to these special diets.

Elderberries Threefold Cafe
7564 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
https://www.elderberriescafe.org/


 
Jun
09
    
Posted (Rick Lupert) in California, Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, United States on June-9-2017

We have a winner with The Sherman! I dined here with my wife and child and we were all satisfied with what we got.

I started with a Downtown Cocktail which was composed of Clover Honey, Knob Creek Rye Bourbon, Orange Spice Bitters, Honey Comb. Who doesn’t want beverage that comes with a honeycomb in it. This was perfectly sweet, sticky and yummy.

Quinoa Veggie Burger with Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes

Quinoa Veggie Burger with Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes

I also had the Quinoa burger – To be fair there isn’t a lot on the menu for vegetarians (hi)…the Quinoa burger and a couple of salads. But when you add in most most of the sides you end up with quite a selection. – I’m always go into a house-made veggie burger skeptically. They either fall apart or try to avoid the ‘simulation’ of being a burger altogether by going in a chickpea / falafel texture.) This one was quite tasty, served on a multi grain bun with melted cheddar cheese lettuce and tomatoes didn’t fall apart as much as other house made veggie burgers do. The texture wasn’t 100 percent perfect, but it was still pretty darn good. Also the burger it’s self is gluten-free

I also opted for the smoked gouda mashed potatoes as my side (subbed for fries). These were awesome. I would easily come back to this restaurant just for these.

The vibe of the place is cool – 80s music playing, reclaimed wood everywhere, in particular on the walls. A very friendly staff and a full bar with many wine, beer and cocktail selections.

The Sherman
14633 Ventura Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 91403
http://www.theshermanla.com/

SaveSaveSaveSave


 
Jun
09
    
Posted (Rick Lupert) in Brunch, Chicago, Coffee, Illinois, United States on June-9-2017

There’s something so very comforting for lovers of breakfast about the yellow color pervading Yolk in Chicago. We visited the newer State Street location for breakfast and we’re not disappointed.

The coffee was strong. You need good, strong coffee in the morning if you’re bothering to have coffee. The brew hear satisfied these requirements. They also have a nice selection of loose-leaf Rishi brand teas which you steep yourself at the table.

Egg White Skillet with Asparagus and Onion

Egg White Skillet with Asparagus and Onion

There are many options at Yolk suitable for vegetarians regardless of whether you’re in a sweet or savory mood – I had a skillet which, although not listed on the menu, is automatically made with potatoes and cheese. My choices otherwise were asparagus and onion and they, happily, made it with egg whites. Could have used a little more seasoning but was tasty enough. The potatoes were slightly underdone. They were able to do a biscuit as my bread choice and this was a legit southern biscuit with just the right texture. (They do automatically heat these up on the grill so it has sort of a “Texas Toast” vibe about it which you may or may not prefer.)

Biscuit

Biscuit

My gluten-free and dairy-free wife was disappointed that the Steel Cut Oatmeal could not be made without the milk, but pleasantly surprised that gluten-free bread for toast was available. (Also not listed on the menu.) She loved it with the smashed avocado she ordered with it.

Gluten Free Toast with Smashed Avocado

Gluten Free Toast with Smashed Avocado

Our waitress was super-friendly and accommodating. We’d definitely come back to try other things from this extensive menu and location which was very easy walking distance from our hotel, Michigan Avenue, and the river.

Nice Looking but not so ripe Berries

Nice Looking but not so ripe Berries

P.S. The berries looked great but were not quite ripe.

Yolk, Chicago (State Street Location)
340 N State St.
Chicago, IL 60654
http://eatyolk.com/

SaveSave


 
May
07
    
Posted (Rick Lupert) in Cajun, Faux Meat, Los Angeles, North Hollywood, United States on May-7-2017

Vegetarian Cajun Food?!? This is one of those occasions where the phrase “stop everything” needs to be vigorously applied. My wife and I love New Orleans, it’s music, food…and, well, it’s everything, though we did struggle a little bit to find great vegetarian friendly food there…Now suddenly there’s an all vegetarian Cajun restaurant that delivers to us in Van Nuys…like I said…stop everything!

We loved everything we ordered from here, though there were a few issues with order accuracy, we would give this place a thousand more chances based on flavor alone.

I had the New Orleans Poboy…battered hearts of palm on sourdough with lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. This tasted GREAT…the bread was perfect…the battered hearts of palm were delighful…and if you do a search for “classic po boy” you’ll find that it looked a whole lot like one too! I had asked for the house-made Tabasco mayo on the side as I generally don’t like mayonnaise, and they didn’t include it with the order at all so small ding for that, would have at least liked to have tried it.

My wife and I shared the Cajun Jambalaya. The cajun-spiced rice and beans mixtures was just the right amount of spicy and it was super tasty. We had asked if they could split this order into two containers…one WITH the veggie sausage, and one without…and they interpreted that as just putting the sausage on it’s own separately…I would have rather had it cooked in with the dish so was a little disappointed that I had to roll my own, but it still tasted great. (Though it was much more rice-heavy than anything else…the beans and other ingredients were fairly light in this dish. Feels like there should have been more relative to the amount of rice.

The Louisiana Cornbread…this IS the cornbread you are looking for. Most, just rightly sweet and might kill you dead with joy with the awesome butter it comes with. I could live on this cornbread for all of eternity. More please.

The one small disappointment food-wise was the Cajun Rainbow salad. They list Organic Kale as the first ingredient but it was basically a spinach salad that had a little bit of Kale in it. Typically when ingredients are listed, the larger to smaller amounts are listed in that order and my wife definitely would have preferred more kale.

Despite small mistakes and the salad, we want this restaurant to succeed as the food was SO TASTY and authentically Cajun/New Orleans. I’d love for them to round out the menu with a take on a classic NOLA Red Beans and Rice recipe, and maybe a “Dirty” Rice too.

Please don’t ever close, Krimsey’s!

Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen
http://krimseys.com/restaurant/
818-308-6166
12906 Victory Blvd,
North Hollywood, CA 91606
(Dine in or order on Grubhub for delivery)