Thursday, 15 March 2007

Sainsbury's add new stuff to Free From range...

Sainsbury's have added some great new stuff to their Free From range... Unfortunately they don't seem to still be doing the pitta breads (which were perfect for making a sandwich if I was going on a train journey or something) but they have added frozen fish fingers which I'm very excited about...! They have also now got lots of frozen Free From ready-meals, which are not something I'm a fan of, but it's nice to have the option...
They also stock the Dietary Specials frozen pizza, which, if you add your own toppings, is a pretty good Friday-night-in-with-a-movie option.
They have also re-introduced their pizza bases, but they are now half the size and you get two in a packet... so not ideal for taking to Strada (as mentioned in my last post) but maybe you could take two...
The Sainsbury's near Clapham Common tube has a great selection of all this stuff but you can get a good list of most of the stuff that's available online...
If we're on the subject of supermarkets, I would add that Waitrose always has reallly good selections of Free From stuff in most of their stores, some Sainsbury's have a great selection, some don't (the Angel one didn't last time I checked) and bigger Tesco's are also good.
However, small branches like the Locals or Expresses are generally rubbish and don't stock any Free From stuff. I'm campaigning for this to change (it's not like people with allergies don't suddenly need a loaf of bread or whatever, albeit different bread, or want to be able to nip in somewhere central on the way home or something) so if anyone else wants to email supermarkets to help the cause, please feel free!

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Strada - you can take your own pizza base!

I lived in Italy for a year and when I came back to London, Strada was the place I went for pizza as theirs were the closest thing to the real deal that I could find (this was before I discovered I was Coeliac). When I found out that I was allergic to gluten/wheat, pizza was one of the things I dreaded not being able to eat most - as I love good pizza (particularly Italian).
However, all was not lost - Strada allow you to take your own pizza base which they will then add delicious toppings to and cook in the wood-burning oven! Amazing!
It's always best to ring the branch you're going to beforehand to check that it's OK, and some of them ask you to bring some gluten-free flour with you too so that they can dust the base to stop it sticking, but they are so lovely that they don't even charge you for a whole pizza - just the toppings that you have!
It is so nice to be able to go out and eat pizza in a restaurant.
However, I am now at a bit of a loss as Sainsbury's, whose bases I found best for this, seem to have stopped doing them since they introduced their new range of Free From foods...
I haven't tried with any others yet as have been making my own and staying in (I'm not sure what the Strada policy is on having to use a sealed base rather than a homemade one as I guess they need to know exactly what's in things in case you claim food-poisoning or something) but am sure there are other good ones out there - suggestions welcome! My problem is that they're all so small and thick...
However, if you're ever in New York you can get the best gluten-free pizza in the whole world ever at this amazing gluten-free Italian (which also does toasted focaccia paninis and cupcakes and stuff - all gluten-free!!) on Bleecker St called Risotteria.
Seriously, it's my new favourite place in the world, but Strada is a pretty good back-up for when you're not in NYC...

Monday, 12 March 2007

Amazing Indian food - with gluten-free bread!

Rasa has a few restaurants in London (I don't want to label them a 'chain' as it has the wrong connotations for these friendly, small, lovely places) - I've so far visited the one on Charlotte Street, W1 and the one just behind Oxford St, W1.
The food is really, reallly good and the Charlotte Street one specialises in fish dishes - all of which are absolutely delicious - and there is a vegetarian one in Stoke Newington, which is the original venue.
There is a delicious rice-flour bread, which has onions and garlic and other tasty things in too, and the basket of traditional, crunchy starters are all made with gram or lentil or rice flour so are all gluten-free! Woohoo!
Seriously, if you want a great curry and want to be able to enjoy all the sides that you would have to miss out on in other places, give Rasa a go.
The fish one and the one off Oxford St are pretty reasonable (main curries about £12 - worth it) and the vegetarian one is positiviely bargainous, with delicious vegetable curries for about £6.
Lots of choice for puddings too for Coeliacs - traditional Indian rice pudding and kulfi are winning.
Mmmm mmmm.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Best burgers in town

The best burgers I've had so far in London are from Hache, in Camden. The restaurant itself is quite small and decorated in a very cosy, intimate way. The burgers are 100% beef and are seriously tasty. There are loads of different options and most are gluten-free (without the bun obviously). If you ask for no bun you get extra salad, which is always good, and in this case particularly good as the salad dressing is delicious.
Unfortunately, if you're vegetarian and coeliac you won't fare so well on the burger front, as the veggie burgers (there are a couple of different ones) aren't gluten-free, but if you eat fish there is a tuna steak, and there are vegetarian salad options.
The skinny fries are also the best I've ever had (and I've heard the chunky ones are good too but I don't like fat chips so haven't tried them).
I've also never indulged in the puddings as am always too full after the burger, but they do a range of ice creams which I'm sure would be gluten-free as they use really good, fresh ingredients for everything.
It's also very reasonable which is always a plus - I mean we're not talking McDonalds prices, but burgers are under £10 and you get enough chips in one portion to share (and that's coming from someone who loves chips and usually hates sharing them).
Hache is on Inverness St, really near the tube and the market so if you're tired and hungry after shopping, or in need of sustenance before a gig in the Barfly or something, make your way here - you won't be disappointed.

Leon does dinner

Since my last post, I have been to Leon to try out their dinner menu - they have some of the same big dishes but then a whole host of different hot and cold mezze that don't feature on the lunch menu.
As expected, it was award-winningly good.
And you can have the gluten-free brownie hot with delicious vanilla ice-cream.
Well worth a visit.