MN Week Day 3: Breakfast at Birchwood Cafe, Minneapolis, MN

Entrance.

Tasty Gluten Free Review
Location: Minneapolis, MN 55406
Site: birchwoodcafe.com

So wanted to find a new restaurant to try on Vaca in Minnesota and used YELP and the Birchwood Cafe by typing in gluten-free sort by highest rated for brunch. Wanted to also get drunch (haha).

So I’ll with hold my political views since this restaurant is HIGHLY political in every possible way (coming from Texas it’s a culture shock) however, if you have good food I don’t care what you do.

Oh My Gahh, a sweet potato, rice flour, kale, bacon, fried egg waffle, see full ingredients below

From the entrance to the last bite this place is truly a 5 star restaurant and deserves every award in the book, it needs to be on TV, national attention, and all employees brought to light this is a hidden gem. You get your menu at the front, figure out what you want and order with the lovely lady up front. All items are noted with the GF status if they are gluten free. They had the largest selection of unique gluten free items I’ve seen in awhile, now I opted for a bunch of food since I have to try everything that is unique. Started with a Gluten Free Pyro American Pale Ale brew which is tasty! (I then got the “booch” which was SO darn good).

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MN Week Day 1: Dinner at Firelake

After shopping or window viewing all day because honestly not much shit you want to buy at the largest mall in America (who needs another Journey’s). We decided to find a nice ass restaurant to grub at, enter Fire Lake. This place was connected to the MoA through the Radisson hotel which is at the Mall of America itself. So you can stay and shop and eat without leaving the mall ever muahahah!

Fire Lake had gluten free items noted.

While in MN for the week to do tourist things I kept looking up on Yelp for the most gluten-free classy place. Kept coming across Fire Lake so decided to give it a try. The day we went it was almost dead so it ended up for a perfect evening. The interior is beautiful, clean, organized and has a beautiful motif to it. Our waitress was a total cougar and took care of us, even gave us tips on what to do and sight see during our visit. The cocktails we had were also tasty (nothing super cocktail lab worthy, but tasty!).

Cocktails & Appetizers at Fire Lake (Poutine Fries, nom!)

For appetizers the other friends in my party got the Battered cheese curds and loved them. I got the Poutine fries were simply so darn tasty and amazing, very well seasoned with nom taste. For main course the Wild Acres Rotisserie Duck simply stood out as much as it could. Sweet potato spaetzles, carm brussels, apple sweet cerry chutney and yes it was delicious.

Excellent sweet chicken.

If in the area Fire Lake is not to be missed, great management, service, and quality. Prices are on par with everything.

Minnesota Week Day 1: Mall of America

So we decided to hit up Minnesota for a few days and see what all the hype was about. So stay tuned will be updating posts of each thing we did and it’s review or my thoughts of it! Also main reason was Mall of America which is located in Bloomington, Minnesota. Known for being the largest mall in the United States of America. My full review of the MoA will be at the end of blog post. But first let’s review the Nordstrom Cafe located inside the department store.

Flight in was chill (STL airport sucks), +1 for Starbucks

Nordstrom Cafe

nordstrom

Nordstrom Cafe

Gluten Free review of Nordstrom’s Cafe. Which is wishy washy with there location on YELP. Is it Nordstrom Cafe or Marketplace cafe I’m confused?

Anyways had a meal here and was asking about gluten free items. Both the chef and cashier were very knowledgeable of gluten free items and knew what to say and went over a few things in a certain dish to make sure it was gluten free.

 

nordstrom

Excellent service, great chicken, even better side salad.

Had beautiful views of Minnesota looking out the window. Decent service and overall a great lunch and way to start the day, I’d go back! Tasty chicken dish and the side salad it comes with DARN that’s some good stuff. Read More Below

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Chillin at Kemuri in Hillcrest, Decent Sushi Option

Gluten Free Review
+server had to check with chef on any item if it was gluten free
+eh no dedicated gluten free menu

I’ve wanted to back here to give this place another chance maybe a better waiter so I will do that soon to try and get it 5 stars. We were seated at the bar and then the bar had a light that was like a strobe light so had to move chairs next to another table next the back bar.

Kemuri Chillin, a decent Sushi option in LR

The service was good however he had no any of any gluten free options nor what contained soy sauce, etc so probably the reason wasn’t as pleasant. We got a bottle of Sake which was excellent (he did know his Sake) and we got some Robota appetizer I think? Was like filet beef sticks and also some roasted pork belly appetizer which was excellent, the apps were great. The sushi however was 3/5, it didn’t taste fully fresh and the rice as soon as you picked it up with the chopsticks fell apart, the sushi chef that night was terrible. I’ll be back soon though because it’s def a hot spot and got real busy bar side before we left.

http://kemurirestaurant.com

 

Ciao Baci in Little Rock, Arkansas

Cool hidden gem in Hillcrest area of Little Rock, it’s an old house across from the Krogers there and has cool lit candles on the way up like your in someones backyard.

Ciao, an adventurous hybrid of a restaurant. American/Mexican/French?

They have have multiple gluten-free options, great service, and somewhat friendly bartenders. We also got a bucket mixed drink for 2 which was like malibu/sprite seemed like but was tasty and got us a good buzz none the less. Had a filet strip with mash potatoes and greens and did the job, I’d check out other places in the area before coming back but a solid choice none the less.

Ciao Baci
605 Beechwood St
Little Rock, AR 72205
http://ciaobaci.org

Starbucks Gluten Free Sous Vide Egg Bites

So Starbucks recently dropped these Gluten Free Sous Vide Egg Bites which are LIT. I can’t tell you how many times I went to Star Bucks saying if any drive through had gluten free stuff it would be Star Bucks, so finally they introduced these little nomnoms of joy.

starbucks

Starbucks new Sous Vide bites! (Gruyere & Bacon) Also Black Iced Tea

They have two varieties: Bacon & Gruyere which are my favorite are cage-free eggs with aged Gruyere and Monterey Jack cheese, and topped with applewood smoked bacon. 310 Calories. The other ones are Egg White & Roasted Red Pepper (170 Calories) which I dislike because I hate red peppers. The Gruyere ones have this creamy texture to them that just melts in your mouth. Go try em!

Pho Thanh My in Little Rock

Hit up some Pho on this 54 degree weather day to soothe the soul and it was decent pho, Id give it a 2/5, the greens were wilted, the service was 5 star however. The Taro bubble tea was almost to thick, could still taste the powder while you slurped. The pho itself was decent, good broth, good meat, excellent noodles, however the smell lacked what I look for in a Pho, I’d be back if I ran out of other Pho options.

pho

Pho Thanh My spread, Taro Tea, Spring Rolls, and Thai Iced Tea

Best Tasting Menu In America? Artisans Houston, TX

Artisans Entrance — Houston, Texas

Gluten Free Review
+gluten free tasting menu
+gluten free accommodations
+no gluten free bread however

So I’ve done around 11 tasting menus all over the country now and most of them are all about being trendy and hip, and trying to use foam and all this crap to get you to enjoy their food. While that’s an awesome experience it’s always leaving quality lacking.

 

Enter Artisans, a modern downtown Houston restaurant that is by far one of the best restaurants I’ve been to in awhile. The tasting menu is not only eye candy, it’s actually good food and great quality. Not to mention you get to sit at basically the “prep” area chefs table which is quite enjoyable.

artisans

Started off with some decent libations and that lobster bisque tho, also beats + feta.

chefs table

Not much “Chefs Table”

The Chef’s table isn’t actually a chefs table since no one is actually cooking anything out there, mostly final touches to dishes at least on the Tuesday night we went. The service was excellent, the price was reasonable, and the food quality was amazing and for them to accommodate gluten free status was beyond there duty and explained each dish perfectly. I’ll post pictures of my dishes instead of explaining each dish.

The only downside? Artisans cocktails were lacking, even though your suppose to enjoy wine pairing, I’d figure a place of this caliber would have a lot more choices of custom craft cocktails to be enjoyed, however it doesn’t change the quality of restaurant Artisans is. If your looking for an enjoyable foodie night out with great food, this is the place.

artisans

My dessert was gluten free (top) and brother had a cool candy crack rock (bottom).

If your in Texas, or Houston please check out Artisans, that was amazing.
http://artisansrestaurant.com/

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