Tag Archives: gluten free

Florence — Food Glorious Food

WARNING — A TON OF SUPERLATIVES INTHIS POST!

The food gods are shined down on us in Florence. The first restaurant was a family owned trattoria one block down our street. For lunch they had a 9 euro set menu that includes an entree, side, and water bottle The serving sizes were perfect and the waiter pointed out every single gluten-free option. My husband settled on a chicken and ham dish with a side of potatoes and I got salad and a beef steak.

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For dinner, we went to the wonderful i’Toscano. Almost all the appetizers,  entrees, and desserts are gluten-free. Both our dishes were gluten-free, including this amazing fried chicken that was plated nicely on a wood plank. My husband — who is a fried chicken afficianado — ate everything off the plank, including the perfectly fried rosemary. We spent hours at the restaurant eating and capped the evening off with a wonderful apple tarte for me and a pannacotte for El hubs.

For lunch the next, day, we had reservations at Buca dell’orfo. Our AirBNB host had recommended the place as a local favorite not to be missed. Reservations are a must at this tiny restaurant right next to the Ponte Vecchio. The restaurant only has about 7 tables and their menu is entirely in Italian.  There weren’t many options without gluten and tomato so the waiter suggested a beef and cheese dish. My dish was incredible with perfectly seared beef slices topped with lightly fried herbs and pecorino cheese, all covered with olive oil.  It was so good that I wanted to lick my plate! For dessert I got a caramelized pear which had been marinated in simple syrup, wine, and spices. So good!

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My husband had an equally amazing dish — lightly breaded and fired chicken and artichoke. The food was priced reasonably for the quality – the only downside was the 8 euro 750ml of water. Every bite was so unforgettable though that the ridiculous water was worth the cost of entry.

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Gluten-free can be found at some unexpected places in Florence and in the outlying regions. For those with more mild gluten issues who don’t need food to be prepared in separate facilities, I found that it can never hurt to ask if there are any options that are senza glutine.  For example,  this morning my husband stopped at a bakery and I was resigned to eating the remains of my white chocolate bar for breakfast. When we walked into the Deanna Terracafe (right off the square at the Santa Maria Novella station), I found a large sign saying that there were gluten-free options on the piano level. I walked upstairs to find croissants, tarts, and some prepackaged gluten-free cookies.

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My luck continued on our day trip to the Cinque Terre. Our tour guide spent the day reminding us of the amazing wine tasting and fried bread. When we finally got to the fried bread shop, I asked if they had anything senza glutine and he told me that he had a chickpea bread in the oven. It was the perfect snack after a long day of hiking. I found the same bread again at the first village – this time with zucchini and onions.

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My husband’s pain frito or fried bread.

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First leg – No sleep until Rome!

The fist of our two-leg flight will be landing shortly. Per usual, I was unable to sleep; instead, I read Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout, watched 500 Days of Summer, and played about an hour’s worth of Frozen Bubble. About three-quarters of the way to Amsterdam, I finally asked for some sheets and pillows. Holy smokes I never realized how cold it can be on an airplane – my thighs were freezing!

We are flying KLM for this leg. We had some small hiccups in the beginning includling a late departure. Dear husband got an unexpected upgrade to his seat that resulted in more leg room but also meant that we were separated by 30 rows. The service on this airline is pretty good though and I was extremely surprised by my gluten free dinner. The breakfast is nothing to write home about (a plain rice cake, apple sauce, and OJ), but the dinner was the best I’ve ever had on a flight. My econony dinner was leagues better than any of those times I was lucky enough to fly business class! They served a butter sauce over chicken breast, wild rice and broccoli. It also came with a GF dinner roll, a melon plate, and a salad with no dressing. I couldnt get a good photo of the meal because the lights were too dim for my tablet camera,  but I saved the dinner roll for breakfast so I could at least one proper picture. After scarfing it down this “morning” — it’s 1246 am EST — I can happily attest that the GF food was delish and my tummy is happy!

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PS Wonder what Domo is doing at the doggie place. Dear husband said he’s probably jumping in the kiddie pool and doing back flips.  We spent the day wondering if Domo’s full name should be Domo Bucko Nation Station Welsh.

Surprise cupcakes!

Got a phone call 30 minutes ago for a Georgetown Cupcake delivery…. driver said it was from “my boyfriend.” Husband had no clue who it was from. Driver just dropped off a DOZEN of their amazing gluten-free cupcakes. (I’m not the only one who thinks the gluten free ones taste just as good as, if not better than GC’s other chocolate cupcake offerings!)

The delivery came with a sweet note about enjoying some sweetness during the cold winter days. What a wonderful surprise! I think I know who the mystery person is – I’ll have to wait until they wake up to thank them!

How very very sweet!