Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sanaa Lunch - Kidani Village at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas

This review was updated 5/10/16

Yesterday, my daughters and I had lunch at Sanaa at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas with my friend Sarah from Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW.  Sanaa is a table service restaurant featuring African cooking with Indian flavors, and great views of the animals on the savanna outside.


Sanaa is one of my family's favorite restaurants at Disney World for lunch and dinner, and is featured in the following blog posts: My Favorite Table Service Restaurants at Disney Best Disney Restaurants without a Park PassBest of 2014 - Disney, and two posts in my series The Best Thing I Ever Ate at Disney - Gluten Free Appetizers and Gluten Free Desserts.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Gluten Free Fried Smelts

Both my husband and I have Italian Catholic grandmothers, so we were raised with the tradition of eating fish on Christmas Eve.  Growing up, I always had several fish dishes to choose from, while Mitch's family had at least seven for the Feast of the Seven Fishes.


Both of our grandmothers made fried smelts, a dish we have not had since our last Christmas in Pittsburgh, ten years ago.  This year, while having dinner at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant on Christmas Eve, we decided that we needed to revive some of our family Christmas Eve traditions, like the Feast of the Seven Fishes.  While we brainstormed all the fish dishes we could cook next year, we decided that we needed to make fried smelts, so we bought some smelts at Lombardi's Seafood in Winter Park on Saturday.



Sanaa Christmas Dinner - Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas

Sanaa, which is located in Kidani Village at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas, is one of my favorite table service restaurants at Walt Disney World for both lunch and dinner.


We usually have Christmas breakfast at Disney World, and dinner at home, but this year, we changed things up a bit and had breakfast at home, and dinner at Disney.  Sanaa was very busy when we arrived at 3:30, and I had to wait 10 minutes just to check in.  Walk-ins were not being accepted, so if you want to have dinner at Disney World on Christmas day, make sure you have advance dining reservations.  



Monday, December 21, 2015

The Bald Strawberry Cake Cafe - Melbourne

The Bald Strawberry Cake Cafe is now closed.  The restaurant is still open.  

The Bald Strawberry, a 100% gluten free restaurant in Melbourne, Florida, recently opened The Bald Strawberry Cake Cafe in the same shopping plaza as their gourmet waffle cafe.  You can read my review of The Bald Strawberry here.


At the Cake Cafe, you can buy a variety of baked goods, mixes to take home, fresh organic coffee, and gluten free pasta.



Saturday, December 19, 2015

Portobello Country Italian Trattoria - Disney Springs

Last Friday, my daughters and I had lunch at Portobello Country Italian Trattoria in Disney Springs.  We have never dined at this restaurant before, because of mixed reviews on TripAdvisor, and we tend to have very high standards when it comes to Italian food, our favorite cuisine to cook at home.


After a member of my private Facebook group Gluten Free in Orlando raved about her meal at Portobello, I finally decided to give it a try.  Portobello is not Disney-owned and operated, so they do not have an allergy-friendly menu.  When I told our server that I had celiac, she did not offer to bring out a chef, but I asked to see one to discuss gluten free options.  Our server had told me that there were salad options, and the chef mentioned that most pasta dishes can be made gluten free with the use of gluten free penne, because their sauces are gluten free.  When I asked what brand they used, I was told Bonta d'Italia, which is Schar.



Friday, December 18, 2015

The Ganachery Chocolate Shoppe - Disney Springs

After having lunch at Portobello today, my daughters and I stopped at The Ganachery Chocolate Shoppe, which opened in Disney Springs earlier this week.  The shop is very small, and we had to wait in line for about 10 minutes before we were allowed to go in.


The Ganachery, with its apothecary theming, features hand-crafted chocolate.  Upon entering, we watched chocolate being applied to their custom-made ganache.



Thursday, December 17, 2015

Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen - Magic Kingdom

Yesterday, I had lunch at Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen, the newly opened Jungle Cruise themed restaurant in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom,


Currently, Disney's newest table service restaurant is not accepting reservations, but we were able to put in our name before the restaurant opened at 11:00, and I received a text when our table was ready.



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Gingerbread Spiced Cookie Mix

Earlier this week, I made gingerbread cookies with Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Gingerbread Spiced Cookie Mix.


I was really excited to try this new product from Williams-Sonoma, because the mix contains my favorite gluten free flour, Cup4Cup, and I love their gingerbread spice quick bread mix.  I had high hopes for this mix, and it certainly did not disappoint, though I was disappointed that I never received my online order of the gingerbread spiced cookie mix, which I placed back in October.  I knew it wasn't supposed to be shipped for several weeks, because it was not in stock yet when I ordered it, but after seeing it in the Williams-Sonoma store in Winter Park, I called to find out where my order was.  Well, it turns out that the online store would not be fulfilling my order, because I guess they never received the mix, so I headed to my local store to buy two boxes, which were on sale for $12.99.



Sunday, December 13, 2015

Backlot Express - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Yesterday, we headed to Hollywood Studios to immerse ourselves in everything Star Wars.  We rode Star Tours twice, so we could experience some of the new adventures inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  We also checked out "Star Wars: Path of the Jedi" and the Star Wars Launch Bay, where Disney Visa cardmembers can feel the power of the force at a private Star Wars Imperial Meet 'N" Greet.


The Backlot Express, a quick service restaurant at Disney's Hollywood Studios, recently updated their menu with Star Wars themed food options, so we headed there for lunch.



Thursday, December 10, 2015

Trader Joe's Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Cake

Earlier today, I stopped at the Trader Joe's in Winter Park to buy a gluten free cranberry orange ricotta cake.  The cakes are available in the bakery section of the store, and a new batch are put out each morning, so be sure to get there early, especially if you are going on a weekend.  An employee also told me that you can call in the morning and reserve one for pickup later that day.


The cake, which costs $5.99, has an allergen warning that it contains milk, egg, and soy, and may contain traces of almond, hazelnut, and walnut.  It is not a large cake, but it would probably serve 4 to 6 people.



Boardwalk Pizza - Winter Park

A couple of weeks ago, we had dinner at Boardwalk Pizza in Winter Park with family that was visiting from out of town.  We first discovered Boardwalk Pizza about four years ago, when I was still teaching full time.


Before Boardwalk Pizza, I had never had a gluten free pizza that I liked at a restaurant.  Last month, I found this picture of a Margherita pizza I ordered there years ago.  I enjoyed their pizza so much, we ate at Boardwalk Pizza pretty regularly until I retired from teaching and started making pizza with Chebe at home.



Thursday, December 3, 2015

Carrabba's Italian Grill

Earlier tonight, we had dinner at the Carrabba's Italian Grill in Oviedo.  We have had several good dining experiences there since moving to Orlando, but we haven't eaten at Carrabba's in probably three or four years.


Carrabba's recently expanded their gluten free options with the addition of casarecce gluten free pasta, and modified their signature grill-baste to make it gluten free.



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Honey Corn Bread Mix

This year, we spent Thanksgiving with our family in our hometown of Pittsburgh.  My aunt bought a Williams-Sonoma Gluten-Free Corn Bread Mix to make muffins for my daughters, who are not huge fans of stuffing.


The mix, which is certified gluten free by the Celiac Support Association, contains degermed white cornmeal, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, sugar, potato starch, baking powder, salt, and light amber honey.  It has an allergen warning that it contains eggs and milk, and is prepared and packaged using machines that may come in contact with soy.  The mix itself does not appear to contain eggs or milk, but the directions call for the addition of 10 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 1 cup of milk, and two eggs.


Monday, November 30, 2015

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse

We recently had dinner at BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse in Oviedo.  Locally, they also have restaurants near the Mall at Millenia, on International Drive, and in Kissimmee and Lake Buena Vista.


BJ's has a pretty extensive gluten free menu, which you can view online here.



Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cranberry Ice Cream Float

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our house.  All three trees are up, including our Disney tree, which is full of the Disney ornaments we have collected since moving to Orlando 7 1/2 years ago.


While we were having Thanksgiving dinner in Pittsburgh with my family, I remembered a drink my grandmother used to make at the holidays.  Both my mom and aunt said it contained two simple ingredients - cranberry juice and vanilla ice cream.



Sunday, November 22, 2015

Paradiso 37 - Disney Springs

Yesterday, we had lunch at Paradiso 37, Taste of the Americas at Disney Springs.


Paradiso 37, a table service restaurant, features cuisine from North, Central and South America.



Monday, November 16, 2015

Landscape of Flavors Lunch - Disney's Art of Animation Resort

Last week, my friend Ron and I had lunch at Landscape of Flavors, a quick service restaurant at Disney's Art of Animation Resort.


Landscape of Flavors, which serves both international and American cuisine, is featured on My Disney Top 10 - Quick Service list.  I asked a cast member for an allergy-friendly menu at one of the food stations, and she said she would get a chef for us.  I was excited to see Chef Tony, who has helped me several times when I have dined at Landscape of Flavors for breakfast, which you can read about here.  He is incredibly helpful, and obviously loves his job.  We never did see an allergy-friendly menu, but Chef Tony talked to us about options at the various food stations.  



Saturday, November 14, 2015

Harambe Market - Disney's Animal Kingdom

Earlier today, we had lunch at Harambe Market at Disney's Animal Kingdom.  Harambe Market offers African-inspired food at four walk-up windows.  We stood in line at Kitamu Grill, where we were able to order all of our food, even though some of it came from Chef Mwanga's.  My suggestions is to pick the window with the shortest line, and order your food there.  


Harambe Market recently adopted an allergy-friendly menu that lists options for people with gluten/wheat, milk, egg, soy, fish/shellfish, and peanut/tree nut allergies.  You can also stop at the Discovery Island Allergy Kiosk to see the ingredients in the food at Harambe Market and other Disney-owned restaurants in the Animal Kingdom.



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Gasparilla Island Grill - Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

Earlier today, I stopped at Gasparilla Island Grill, a quick service restaurant at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, to see their allergy-friendly menus.


Disney's allergy-friendly menus usually include options for people with gluten/wheat, milk, egg, soy, peanut/tree nut and fish/shellfish allergies, but none of the menus I saw today at Gasparilla Island Grill listed any soy free options, which is the first time I have seen this at Disney World.



Sunday, November 8, 2015

Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Yesterday, we had dinner at Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano at Disney's Hollywood Studios.


On our yearly trip to Disney World, before we moved to Orlando, Mama Melrose's was our table service restaurant of choice when we went to Hollywood Studios.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Backlot Express - Hollywood Studios

Yesterday, I stopped at the Backlot Express, a quick service restaurant in Disney's Hollywood Studios, to check out their allergy-friendly menu.


You can read a review of my last dining experience at the Backlot Express here.



Monday, November 2, 2015

Studio Catering Co. - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Studio Catering Co. will be closing April 2, 2016 for construction of the new Toy Story and Star Wars Lands.  

Earlier today, I stopped at the Studio Catering Co., a quick service restaurant in Disney's Hollywood Studios.


I have been wanting to dine there, but we decided to eat at the ABC Commissary, because it was 90 degrees, and Studio Catering Co. only has outdoor seating.  There were fans circulating the air, but I wanted some air conditioning.



Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tokyo Dining - Epcot

Earlier today, my husband and I had lunch at Tokyo Dining in the Japan Pavilion at Epcot.  I was excited to try it for the first time after reading my friend Amanda's review on her blog Eating Out Without...Gluten and Dairy.



Tokyo Dining is not a Disney-owned and operated restaurant, so they do not have an allergy-friendly menu like the ones adopted earlier this year at table service and quick service restaurants at Disney World.



Monday, October 26, 2015

Baked Spaghetti Squash Caprese

A couple of weeks ago, when my husband was in Asia, I tried a new recipe for Baked Spaghetti Squash Caprese.  I loved it so much, I kept going back for more, but I finally had to just walk away, and put the leftovers in the fridge for lunch the next day.




Sunday, October 25, 2015

Honey Almond Muffins with Mexican Chocolate

If you have been following my blog or any of my social media accounts for a while, you might know that I am a huge fan of Taza Mexican chocolate.  My two favorites are the guajillo chili, which I like to eat as a lunch treat with cashew butter on it, and the cinnamon, my first choice for baking.


The cinnamon, which I use to make honey almond muffins with Mexican chocolate, contains organic cacao beans, organic cane sugar, and organic cinnamon.  It is non-GMO, vegan, and free of gluten, dairy and soy.  I purchase Taza Mexican chocolate discs from Whole Foods or Amazon.com (affiliate link).



Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Trader Joe's Gluten Free Cornbread Mix

Last night, I made corn muffins with Trader Joe's new gluten free cornbread mix.  They were the perfect side for the turkey meatloaf we had for dinner, and I hope to buy another box, so I can use it for my cornbread stuffing on Thanksgiving.




Saturday, October 17, 2015

Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods Oatmeal

Last week, I purchased Straw Propeller Gourmet Foods peaches & berry bramble oatmeal at The Fresh Market.


I love the idea of oatmeal-on-the-go cups for travel, because all you have to do is add boiling water, cover, wait a couple of minutes, stir, and breakfast is ready.


Trader Joe's Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread & Muffin Baking Mix

Last fall, we fell in love with Trader Joe's Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancake Mix, so I was excited to try their new gluten free pumpkin bread & muffin baking mix.




Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Melting Pot

Saturday night, my daughters and I had dinner at The Melting Pot on Sand Lake Road.  I have eaten at fondue restaurants before, but not since being diagnosed with celiac disease seven years ago.


Since reading Jennifer's review of The Melting Pot on her blog Celiac in Orlando, I have been excited to dine there.  The Melting Pot worked with the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) to create their gluten free menu, which you can view here.



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cinderella's Royal Table Allergy-Friendly Menus - Magic Kingdom

This past weekend, I stopped at Cinderella's Castle in the Magic Kingdom to check out their allergy-friendly menus, which list options for people with gluten/wheat, milk, egg, soy, fish/shellfish, and peanut/tree nut allergies.


Dining at Cinderella's Royal Table should be on everyone's Disney bucket list.  Since moving to Orlando, we have had dinner there twice, and both times enjoyed the food and the experience of dining in Cinderella's Castle.



Sunday, October 4, 2015

Morimoto Asia - Disney Springs

Last night, we had dinner at Morimoto Asia, the newest addition to The Landing in Disney Springs.  


Morimoto Asia, like Tutto Italia, Tutto Gusto, and Via Napoli in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot, is owned by the Patina Restaurant Group.  I recognized the manager who came to our table to discuss gluten free options with me, because he used to work at Tutto Gusto.



Friday, October 2, 2015

Hawkers Asian Street Fare - Orlando

Last night, we celebrated my father-in-law's birthday at Hawkers Asian Street Fare on North Mills Avenue in Orlando.  Hawkers is named after the Asian street vendors who sell food from stands and mobile carts.  Their menu features the best "street food" recipes from different areas of Asia.




Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sunshine Seasons - Epcot

Yesterday, I stopped at Sunshine Seasons, a quick service restaurant in The Land pavilion at Epcot, to check out their new allergy-friendly menu.  Sunshine Seasons is featured in My Disney Top 10 - Quick Service post.  I like that they have gluten free options beyond chicken tenders and hamburgers, and that their entire grill station is gluten free.




Akershus Royal Banquet Hall Allergy-Friendly Menus - Epcot

Yesterday, I stopped at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot to check out their allergy-friendly menus.


The allergy-friendly menus at Akershus list options for people with gluten/wheat, milk, egg, soy, fish/shellfish, and peanut/tree nut allergies.



Friday, September 25, 2015

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival 2015

This afternoon, I attended the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, which started today, and runs through November 16th.


I picked up a festival passport at one of the festival shops as I headed into the World Showcase.  


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar - Disney Springs

Yesterday, I had lunch at Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar, the latest addition to The Landing in Disney Springs.


The restaurant, which is described on Disney's website as a "1940s airplane hangar turned dive bar," is themed around Jock Lindsey, Indiana Jones' pilot in Raiders of the Lost Ark.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Erin McKenna's Bakery Soft Serve - Disney Springs

Earlier today, I stopped at Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC in Disney Springs (aka Downtown Disney) to check out their latest sweet treat - soft serve.




Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Captain's Grille Dinner - Disney's Yacht Club Resort

Last Saturday, I had dinner with my family at the Captain's Grille, a table service restaurant at Disney's Yacht Club Resort.  


We have eaten breakfast and lunch at the Captain's Grille, but this was our first time dining there for dinner.



Friday, September 18, 2015

Trader Joe's Chicken Tikka Masala - Frozen Meal Friday Part 2

After I picked up my girls from school, we headed to the Trader Joe's in Winter Park to check out their stock of pumpkin products.  I saw two favorites from last year, pumpkin butter and gluten free pumpkin pancake mix, and Pumpkin O's cereal, which I have never seen before.  I rarely eat cereal, but I bought a couple of boxes, because I wanted to try it, and thought my husband might enjoy it.


While shopping for everything pumpkin, I saw Trader Joe's Chicken Tikka Masala in the freezer section, and was happy to see the gluten free label on the front of the box.  According to their website, products that are labeled gluten free at Trader Joe's have been tested to contain less than 20 ppm of gluten.


Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Plaza Restaurant - Magic Kingdom

Last Saturday, we had lunch at The Plaza Restaurant, a table service restaurant located at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. in the Magic Kingdom.


We love to go the Magic Kingdom in early September, because the summer crowds are gone, and the Halloween decorations are up.  We can pretend the fall is coming soon, even though the daily high temperature is still 90 degrees in September.



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The BOATHOUSE - Disney Springs

Last Friday, I had lunch at The BOATHOUSE with Debbie, one of my blog readers, and a fellow celiac.


The BOATHOUSE, a signature dining restaurant, recently opened in The Landing in Downtown Disney, soon to be known as Disney Springs.  It is managed by the Gibsons Restaurant Group, so they don't have an allergy-friendly menu like restaurants that are owned and operated by Disney.  I forgot to take a picture of their menu, but you can view it on Disney's website here.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Columbia Harbour House - Magic Kingdom

Yesterday, we stopped at Columbia Harbour House, a quick service restaurant in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom, to see their new allergy-friendly menu.


Columbia Harbour House has long been my favorite restaurant for allergy-friendly chicken tenders and french fries at Disney World, and is featured in My Disney Top 10 - Quick Service blog post.  We dined there so often in the first year or two we lived in Orlando, that the managers started to recognize me when we came in.  They used to bake the chicken tenders and fries for me, and I had to wait 20 minutes, but now they have a dedicated fryer, so they only take about 5 minutes to prepare.


Pinocchio Village Haus Allergy-Friendly Menu - Magic Kingdom

Yesterday, we stopped at the four major quick service restaurants in the Magic Kingdom to check out their allergy-friendly menus, which list options for people with gluten/wheat, milk, egg, soy, fish/shellfish, and peanut/tree nut allergies.  We have not dined at Pinocchio Village Haus in Fantasyland since I started my blog two years ago, because when we are eating quick service at the Magic Kingdom, we usually go to Columbia Harbour House or Be Our Guest (lunch only).  




Saturday, September 12, 2015

Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe Allergy-Friendly Menu - Magic Kingdom

Earlier today, we stopped at the four major quick service restaurants in the Magic Kingdom to check out their allergy-friendly menus, which list options for people with gluten/wheat, milk, egg, soy, fish/shellfish, and peanut/tree nut allergies.  We have not dined at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland since I started my blog two years ago, because when we are eating quick service at the Magic Kingdom, we usually go to Columbia Harbour House or Be Our Guest (lunch only).




Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe - Magic Kingdom

Earlier today, we stopped at the four major quick service restaurants at the Magic Kingdom to check out their allergy-friendly menus, which list options for people with gluten/wheat, milk, egg, soy, fish/shellfish, and peanut/tree nut allergies.  Our first stop was Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, which recently introduced a reimagined menu featuring Tex-Mex cuisine.




Friday, September 11, 2015

Trail's End Restaurant Lunch - Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort

Last Sunday, we had lunch at Trail's End Restaurant at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort.


For breakfast and dinner, Trail's End serves up American favorites at an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet, but for lunch, they have an a la carte menu.



Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Three Broomsticks - Universal's Islands of Adventure

Earlier today, I had lunch at the Three Broomsticks, a counter service restaurant in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade at Universal's Islands of Adventure.


Before having lunch, I enjoyed a frozen Butterbeer from the cart outside, but I later regretted my impatience, because I wanted something sweet after I ate lunch.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Wendy's Frostys

Yesterday, we decided that we didn't want to spend our whole afternoon in the kitchen preparing our Labor Day dinner, so we kept it simple - mini turkey meatloaves, corn, and a tomato & cucumber salad.  For dessert, we were going to make our first cream cheese pumpkin pie of the season, but in the spirit of keeping it simple and enjoying our holiday, we went to Wendy's for Frostys.




Monday, September 7, 2015

Snacks with Character at Walt Disney World

Yesterday, I stopped at Mouse Gear in Epcot to check out the new gluten free Snacks with Character.


This is the first time I have ever seen certified gluten free treats with Disney characters on the packaging.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Electric Umbrella Allergy-Friendly Menu - Epcot

Earlier today, I stopped at the Electric Umbrella, a quick service restaurant in Future World at Epcot.


Their new allergy-friendly menu lists options for people with gluten/wheat, milk, egg, soy, fish/shellfish, and peanut/tree nut allergies.