Dining out has deemed to be a daunting experience.
Last week, I decided to stop by Rubio’s for a bean taco. That should be safe, right? I started looking at their new items, considering this restaurant was on my Gluten Free app, and questioned whether the new items were gluten free and soy free. They brought out their binder of allergy listed ingredients and sure enough, they were not free of my allergens/in-tolerances. Back to my original plan, I ordered a bean taco, corn tortilla, with lettuce and avocado. When the cashier questioned my choice of bean, I thought this would be a great opportunity to see if they add anything to them as well. Soy.
What? Are you kidding me? Why? I mean, I know your beans probably come from a can, but seriously, why is there something else lingering in the bean besides onion and cumin? I left there disappointed, frustrated – actually, more than frustrated, I was ready to bite some heads off. I realize that this poor girl works for minimum wage, probably eats McDonald’s or Jack-in-the-Box on the way home from work, and has no idea what I struggle with on a daily basis. Not the one I should be snapping at for ingredients out of her control.
So, I wandered over to Raley’s, reading more labels while picking out dinner, and snapped at the cashier there.
The day before, I had an opportunity to meet with a celiac group through Meetup. I thought it would be good idea to get together with like-minded individuals. I have not been diagnosed with celiac; however, the group announcement invited those with celiac or gluten sensitivity.
The shop looked small seating 5-6 tables. A freezer stationed against the back wall contained frozen breads, pasta and desserts, a back room shelved jars full of fresh herbs, and a side room held the morning’s baked goods. I was surprised to see a variety of bread loaves. It felt just like any other old-fashioned bakery. Sweet!
Their menu for lunch was quite pricey. I guess that should be expected for gluten free, fresh food; although, I was disappointed in the menu selection. I was in the mood for my pseudo vegetarian practices, so chicken was out. The menu also contained items with egg and soy, so I opted for the Black Beans & Organic Risotto with Escabeche (some kind of pickled pepper) for $10.95.
Conversation was mediocre with this group. I stayed in the moment, thinking what can I gain from this experience? the discussion came up regarding my allergies and some of the women there commented that I was probably intolerant. Or, perhaps I just had IBS! Ugh~
It could be that they meant nothing personal by the comment, but somehow I felt myself feeling like an outcast-not good enough. I didn’t fit in with their health issues. I could tell they were being helpful as they gave me suggestions on doctors I could visit. I looked down at my beans and rice, discouraged in what I had selected. It was good but definitely not worth the price. My belly was feeling expanded so I didn’t finish my meal.
On the way out, I bought a brownie, cookie, and some bread rolls for future sandwiches. I emotionally ate the cookie and brownie on the way home.
One would think that this review is full of disappointment, frustration, and self-pity. One would think that I should learn my lesson about restaurant food not having the full flavor of home cooking. One would also think that I would not be going back to this restaurant.
Well, there is Hope!
The brownie was moist and delicious–highly recommended~
When I got home, I put the bread in the freezer. I was not anticipating anything positive from the bread. Will it be the standard dry, gluten free product? or will it be the fallback texture – dense and pasty?
I pulled it out of the freezer the other day when my son decided to cook up some turkey meat. Screw the vegetarian concept. My son is starting his health journey and I am going to support any direction that he is willing to take with this today. Huge transformation; however, we still ended up with two different dinners. He created a meatloaf with cheese, and I opted for turkey burgers.
I threw together the turkey meat, a little garlic, green chili’s, salt, basil and cumin, along with almond meal until it formed together.
The bread defrosted and heated up nicely. Take a look at this sandwich I created:
Let me tell you, this bread was fantastic!! It had a soft texture, yet not too crumbly–the kind of bread I would love to create in my kitchen. This burger held together nicely with the lettuce, onion and avocado. Mmmmm. I could eat more of these.
I did a little happy dance, along with some pleasurable moaning as I ate this turkey burger sandwich.
I will definitely go back to The Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe to stock up on my bakery items. At least until I learn to do it myself:)