Thursday, June 24, 2010

Culinary Adventures in the City

Last week I was visiting some friends back in New York City and had to rely on restaurants for food. Typically when I'm living in New York I buy all of my groceries so that I can cook, know everything I am eating, and can be pretty economic about it, but this time that wasn't as much of an option as I was staying with a friend for only a couple of days.
While on the bus to New York I decided to try and check out some places that were gluten and dairy free so that I would have some good options, knowing that my friends wold entertain and participate in my culinary adventure.
The most interesting find for me was going to the very popular restaurant S'mac. This place has all different kinds of build-your-own mac 'n' cheese, so when I heard that it had gluten AND dairy free options, I was floored. Although it's (understandably) a little more expensive to order the gluten free pasta and the dairy free cheese (mine was around $10), I was still able to enjoy mac 'n' cheese with chicken, broccoli, and mushrooms. I felt like I was having a chicken alfredo dish again!! For people who are extremely sensitive to gluten though, I would be a little wary. The website does provide a disclaimer that they can't completely guarantee that all the ingredients are separate and not contaminated of one another, and I did feel a little sick afterwards. It could be the imitation cheese, or the portion size, but I am always a little skeptical when it tastes so close to the real thing and then I my belly feels a little too full afterwards.
Laster that night my friends and I went to Stogo for dessert. Stogo is located on 10th street between 2nd and 3rd avenue and is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!! I seriously recommend it to anyone and everyone with or without a dairy allergy. All of the ice cream is gluten and diary free, some made with a soy base, and others with a coconut milk base. I ordered peanut butter chocolate fudge (which was really great!), one of my friends ordered chocolate chip cookie dough (I can't believe it was gluten free), and my other friend ordered almond joy, which was made with the coconut milk to make it taste like a real almond joy. The employees were SOOOOOO helpful and knew everything about their product. Even though the ice cream was a little more expensive, I am definitely going to make a repeat trip there.
These two new discoveries were definitely well worth the trip to NYC. It is always important though to double check and make sure that the employees know what they're serving you. Maybe that "dairy-free cheese" had some gluten in it which made me feel sick? Maybe it was my imagination?

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