Savory Sedona

Blue moons have come and gone since I posted here last, but now I feel absolutely compelled to, because of Sedona. And Utah too, I might add. That will be another, separate post.

After over six months of living in New Jersey, my husband and I took our first Great American vacation in the west. I have heard so many things about from so many different sources about how special Sedona is that I was determined to go there, and since muggle had his annual conference in Las Vegas, of all places, we simply tagged on a few days of traveling and we were good to go.

Our route was: Las Vegas – Escalante, Utah – Grand Canyon – Sedona – Las Vegas, then a flight back to Hoboken.

It seems almost superfluous to say that eating gluten free in the States is easy peasy. Everybody knows, many accommodate, so great. But even in Vegas, you have to work for food, it feels like. If you stay in one of the big resorts, there are buffets and cafés, but you gotta stand in line before you get a table, for example. The first hotel we stayed in, the Aria, made it difficult for you to bring your own food with. You were allowed your fridge for 60 seconds before they start charging you sthg for it. If you store personal belongings in it, there is a fee of $25. Per day. Apparently you can contact the front desk if you wanted to use a fridge for personal storage, but who wants to do that when they put you on hold for hours on end on the phone? “The next available customer service representative will be with you in just a moment…” Please hold.

But I’m getting sidetracked. I wanted to talk about specifically about Sedona because it was really easy for me to find something  to eat there. With a population just north of 10,000, this little town impressed me with its awareness of gluten free eating. It seems a lot of new age type folks live in and frequent the town, and many are very health conscious and environmentally aware and that makes it really easy for people like us to eat good food.

Below three places I feel are worth mentioning:

  • ChocolaTree Organic Eatery
    Don’t be put off by name or by the fact that it’s vegetarian. It’s menu is “100% Organic, with No Grain,  No Gluten, and No GMO.” So that’s the second place in Sedona that offered an entirely gluten free menu, which is you know, pretty cool.

    This is one of those places that put care and thought into their food and surroundings, which I always really appreciate. Some might say that it was slightly pricey, but what they had was all organic, and extremely well done and tasty.

    My husband and I shared an Avocado Herb Sandwich and a Saag Paneer, and I took the Banana Bread & Butter, which is usually more of a side dish, as dessert. It was great, not too sweet at all, just what I wanted. Hubby had some chocolate from the vitrine, which he liked. We both had the tasty Ginger Lemonade to drink. And, I couldn’t stop drinking their water, which the waitress said is drawn from a well and filtered. I can’t explain it, but it just tasted really, really good. I drank glasses of it in one sitting.

    We sauntered in on a Monday night, and they happened to have live entertainment – one lady and a guy with a guitar, and they took turns singing. It was great! Mind you, service is a bit on the slow side. The food took long, everything took long, but I think that’s just part of the philosophy… There’s no reason to rush. And they don’t rush to make you pay – you can just be there and hang out and chat, and in this country, especially after being in Vegas, where absolutely everything is about money, that was really, really nice. Highly recommend!

  • Picazzos
    They are known for their gluten free pizzas. This is quite a busy restaurant whose entire menu is gluten free. The pizza section is the only part where you have to specify that you want it gluten free because they offer glutenous doughs too. Everything else, though, is gluten free. Now how special is that!?I do have to say that my husband wasn’t so impressed with the taste of his dishes, and we ate there twice. One night he had a normal pizza with figs and goat cheese (he found it all too sweet). For lunch he had a soup with Caesar Salad which had too much garlic in it.

    I had the Spicy Diavola Pizza for dinner. Now I have to say, it was tasty, but, it was also just too too hot, and I’m usually not so squeamish when it comes to chilli. I had to scrape the seeds off of the pizza so that I could eat it. What was fantastic was the Hot Apple Crisp with Coconut Ice Cream. That was something that as a gluten free eater you don’t get everyday. Highly recommend that.

    On the second day I had a pepperoni pizza, light on the cheese. And that was pretty good, I must say. So if you’re hankering for a pasta or a pizza and want to go somewhere where you know you can eat everything that’s on the menu, that’s the place to go.

  • Cowboy Club
    We just happened upon this place while strolling around the downtown area. It was quite popular too. The burgers looked really good, and they had a gluten free bun, so this is what I ended up ordering. It was quite good. I would also recommend the coleslaw with coriander on the side… Both muggle and I found it really refreshing.This is a typical restaurant with some gluten free options located centrally by all the shops, so it’s worth stopping by.

    You can see pics of the dishes I ordered below.

One last place I need to mentioned is Pink Java Cafe. It’s a coffee place that also serves soy-based drinks. They have a great place for you to hang out in in the back – with a great view of the rocks.

If you love nature and hiking, Sedona’s a great place… It’s so easy for us folks to find food, so I was really grateful for that.

The next post, which I will put up soon, will be about Escalante and Boulder in Utah. Now those are really special places to visit. The nature is just spectacular  – so hard to describe. And, there are two restaurants and an organic store worth mentioning.

Talk to you soon!

Burgers!

It’s been surprisingly easy to eat glutenfree burgers here, I have to say. A lot of places offer gf buns, simple as that. And if they don’t have a suitable bun, I’ll ask for one without.

A true American classic, the best burgers I’ve eaten the last years have been from here. So that’s something to be happy about – the fact that I will have my choice of great burgers here, and without too much effort, either.

So, below some of my favorite burger eating experiences, in no particular order. One of them is a bunless burger, which was still great.

All in all, I’m a happy burger bürger!

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Five Napkins Burger. This was just delicious! Gotta try that once.

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Bare Burger in Hoboken. This one was the Fire Quacker, aka duck meat. Spicy and tasty! And they source fresh and organic ingredients when they can.

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This one was a different kind of bare burger. At the Liberty House Restaurant in Liberty State Park. During the week, it’s really quite empty. And a special location to be at somehow. Really loved the fries too!

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At the Grand Lux Cafe at the Garden State Parkway. Just ask for the gf bun, and voila! This one was with extra avocados and mushrooms.

 

Moved! And the quest continues…

I am in a bit of a conundrum because my blog is called glutenfreeinmunich, but we moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, for a few years.

So after going back and forth on this in my head, I am just going to continue posting about food here, even though we’re on another part of the world. Hope that is okay with you guys.

One of the things I am doing to keep myself busy at the start of our stay here is to learn how to write movie scripts. So I am taking Screenwriting I at the NYU School of Professional Studies. Class starts at 6:45 pm and goes on till 9:05 pm on Tuesdays. That means, I need to find places to eat in town before class starts, otherwise, my hungry tummy won’t focus on what the teacher’s saying.

It’s a blessing and a curse that Manhattan has over 4000 restaurants and eateries to choose from. Because well, you have to find the right ones. So every Tuesday, I run around trying to find good, affordable, food.

The first one I went to is, somewhat unoriginally, Chipotle, where I can get a bowl or rice with a whole bunch of stuff on it – beans, meat, veggies, onions, salsa, etc. It was good. A caveat: In two of the branches I went to, they did say I was allowed to eat the tacos (which is not true), so you gotta watch out, not all of the staff is that knowledgeable. A bowl and a drink set me back circa $11-$12 or so.

The second week, I went right around the corner from class, in the Le Pain Quotidien on Park Avenue. They have two sections – a restaurant and a self-serve. I chose the self-serve one cause I only had 30 minutes or so, and got myself a cold cobb salad. With no drink. When the cashier said that it was a total of $15.19, I really couldn’t believe my ears. Only after paying did I notice that many opted only to order a drink or two. On the plus side, it was a quiet, spacious place – which is hard to find in Manhattan, and the salad was actually really good. And since there were no crowds – at that time of the evening, few people go there – I could basically sit there as long as I wanted, and no one would’ve said anything. Which is something, in this city where turnarounds are everything.

Jump forward a week, I thought I would go for something a bit less fast-foody, and found a California Pizza Kitchen, also on Park Avenue. That was a sit-down, with really friendly service. I forgot the waiter’s name unfortunately – but he was great. He actually makes me want to go back there. They have a dedicated gluten-free menu, from which I ordered a pepperoni pizza. I also asked for the raspberry lemonade. The pizza was pretty good… I expected a bit more from the sauce, actually but it was tasty enough. The lemonade was too sweet. There was plenty of space in the restaurant, and again, it was before 6:30 pm, so I enjoyed sitting there.

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And now jump to yesterday. I had to check out a store on Sullivan Street and because I had time, I decided to walk from there to class. Where, by chance, I walked by Senza Gluten. I don’t know why I didn’t do too much research about glutenfree restaurants in NYC, but I didn’t, cause I’m sure I would’ve found it online. So man, did I get excited. A restaurant where EVERYTHING on the menu was gluten free! A whole gluten free establishment!! How cool was that!!!

I sat down at a table for one and ordered Spaghetti Vongole and a bread basket.  The bread basket was good, and then the main dish came. Now, this is where the story goes south a little. First, the venus clams smelled a teensy bit too fishy, and then, the sauce was bland. I added loads of salt – granted how salty you want something is individual – and even asked for extra olive oil. I did not soak up my bread with the sauce, which is saying something. When I go to a restaurant and order a $19 dish (pre-tax and service), I am expecting something that I couldn’t have made myself at home. And this dish, I could’ve made better. Now, I am not discounting the entire place based on one dish, Um Gottes willen. I will have to go back and try some of the other things on the menu. What I did appreciate was the attentive service, the nice atmosphere – I liked the decor and the music. And I soo appreciate the owner’s chutzpah for opening up a gluten free restaurant in Soho in the first place. All in all, for a pre-class affair, it was a pretty good one. I would’ve liked the kiss to taste a bit sweeter somehow.

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Which brings me to a thought that’s been simmering a while now. It’s been over 18 years since I last lived in the US. That’s quite a long time. And, since then, I’ve learned to cook for myself, which was first driven by my intolerances, and then, by my palette.

We’ve eaten at a number of places in the City, and in Jersey, and I have to say, the food isn’t as amazing as I expected it to be. I had really high expectations for the cuisine of the City, because, well, where else can you get great food if not in Manhattan? Perhaps we’re frequenting the wrong places. Often times I think to myself, I could’ve made that better. Which sounds arrogant, but I think my cooking has evolved, my taste buds are different than what it used to be when I lived here, and well, there are just too many mediocre restaurants and not enough cooks. My theory is because there are over 4200 eating establishments in town, the quality of cooking can’t be that high in all of them. It just can’t be.

But am not deterred. We had great Korean BBQ the other day, and an amazing shish kebob from a Persian place one weekend. We ate at a great Peruvian in Lambertville, had a great Cuban in the City and good Indonesian food in Queens. And tasty doshas and curried meats on 28th street, and a fantastic burger with a glutenfree bun from 5 Napkin Burger. (I will do posts on some of those later.)

So the quest for great glutenfree goodies in the Big Apple – and beyond – will continue. This weekend am expecting to visit at least one amazing place. It was great the one and only time I was there, and I’m hoping it will be as good again.

In the meantime, wishing you all many tasty treats and Guten Appetit!

 

 

The last suppers

The Wies’n, or Oktoberfest, is in full swing. Hundreds of thousands of people frolic on Theresienwiese everyday.

These days, my focus has been on another event entirely – our impending move to the US. For this reason, there have been no reports from the largest folks fest on earth. Perhaps after tomorrow.

But first, less than 48 hours before take off. The last weeks have been full of planning, sorting, cleaning, and spending time with friends. One good-bye after another…a little bit heartbreaking, but we will be back in a few years, so that’s a consolation. Moving across the seas means getting rid of any and all food items… which is also quite heartbreaking in itself.

Which means we’ve been eating out, a lot. So these are some of the things I’ve been eating the last days:

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Pho Bo from Hanoi, in Untergiesing

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The Mexican Burger (with my own buns) from Hamburgerei, on Brienner Strasse

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Omelette with olives, tomatoes and onions, from Garten Salon in the Amalienpassage in Maxvorstadt

Fish with vegetables and potatoes

Fish with vegetables and potatoes at the Café Restaurant Schloss Dachau

Pizza with ham, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes

Pizza with ham, mushrooms and fresh tomatoes at La Fabricca, located between Karlsplatz and Königsplatz

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Miso soup and grilled chicken teriyaki (sauce on the side) from Ohayou in West Schwabing

Rice noodle bowl with spring rolls

Rice noodle bowl with spring rolls from Koriander, at the Nordendstrasse in Schwabing

Sweet müsli with rice milk

Müsli from Hammermühle with rice milk, here at our temporary housing

I can’t say that we’ve been slumming it. Our last suppers have been delicious.

All the places above I can recommend. A caveat – Hamburgerei uses the same toaster for other breads, so if you are sensitive, you can’t bring your own bread. They do have breadless burgers though.

Prost, and Guten Appetit!

Tasty dairy-free ice cream in Munich

BonIce

BonIce chocolate covered rice milk ice cream

This past week, Munich has seen some the hottest days of the year, with close to record-breaking temperatures.

Yesterday quite a few of my friends cocooned themselves at home – blinds down, not daring to let any of the hot air seep through the cracks into their already warmer-than-normal abodes.

R, D and I opted for a more active escape. We went walking up the little mountain of Taubenberg (post to come soon), as it is covered with a very pretty forest. Up on the hill is a farm with a little restaurant, where one can regain some strength. Afterwards, on the way back down, we took a nap near a little chapel, and made our way back.

Once back in town, we freshened up, grabbed a picnic blanket and went up the hill of the Olympic Park, and took a nap. It’s simply one of the best ways to beat the heat. Below a view from the ground:

Flower at the Olympiaberg

Little flower on the Olympia Berg

Now besides sleeping under the tree in the park, another one of my favorite ways to cool down is to savor some cold, sweet treats.

So below are a few of, imho, the best ice cream parlors in town (including one to which I’ve never been but have been wanting to), which offer dairy-free and/or vegan ice creams:

  • BallaBeni – Maxvorstadt
    Last spotted offering vegan chocolate ice cream, along with their delicious sorbets. They produce some of the best-tasting icy delights. No skimping on quality here.
  • Del Fiore – Glockenbachviertel
    I once had a lemongrass mango sorbet there. OMG. Amazing taste.
  • Der Verrückte Eis Macher – Maxvorstadt
    They make a variety of unusual flavors, worth trying.
  • Eismeer – Glockenbachviertel
    They have a very tasty chocolate sorbet.
  • Gelato Bartu (organic) – Schwabing and Maxvorstadt
    One place I’ve been planning to visit for a while. They have a stand in front of the Lenbahhaus, and a store on Wilhemstraße.
  • Ice Date (exclusively organic and vegan) – Maxvorstadt and at a stand at Tollwood until July 19, 2015
    Everything in the store is gluten and dairy free. It’s the only place in town where I order two scoops and finish them because the ice cream is not too too heavy.

Another tip is to go to a Basic store and check out the ice cream on offer there – the one on Schleissheimer Strasse has chocolate-covered rice milk ice cream on a stick, from BonIce. The Bistro next door offers mini tubs of ice cream which are also often gluten and dairy free.

Keep cool and enjoy!

A few of my favorite places. For Marit.

So Marit Kuperus will be in Munich in September and asked me for places where she could go eat.

According to Trip Advisor, one can find 2816 restaurants in Munich. That is quite a lot to choose from.

And scrolling down through the long, long, list, I find that I’ve only, naturally, visited a teensy tiny fraction of those locales. But, if it helps Marit, I will list some of my favorite haunts in alphabetical order. Most are quite centrally located and reachable by public transport . And, most-importantly, all provide delicious gluten-free treats.

  • An Thu – Vietnamese, Schwabing
    Always a winner. Their dishes are just the freshest, I find. Go for the lunch menus, they provide the best value for money. They are open from M – Th for lunch. The rice noodle bowls are my favorite. Bun Bo La Lot is my absolute favorite of them all.
  • Bun Bo La Lot

  • Broeding – Austrian
    Went there for my birthday this year. Bring some cash, and time, with you. You can only choose from either a 5 or a 6 course menu. But you also get an amuse-bouche and a sorbet to clean the palate, so by the end you would’ve had 7 or 8 courses. Loved every single one of them, of course.
  • Birthday meal at Broeding

  • Fabricca – Pizza, Maxvorstadt
    Stumbled across it quite accidentally. Pizza Pizza. Ever since Il Salento moved to Obermenzing, I stopped going. It was just too out of the way. So imagine my delight when I found out by accident that this place, located quite centrally, serves gluten free pizza!
    Advice: don’t come exactly at 19:00, which is when they start the evening shift. Their ovens are often over or underheated and the crust comes out mega crunchy, and, as opposed to the picture below, they often don’t pre-cut the gluten free ones, so you will have to struggle through it with a normal dinner knife. I would come around or after 20:00, when they’ve got the fire more under control.
  • Spinach and sausage pizza

  • Gratitude – Organic vegan, Maxvorstadt
    Thankful indeed. They do bio, understand gluten, and provide tasty, healthy food. My favorite – the tapas plate. And they have gluten free cakes and ice cream on the menu.
  • The tapas plate at Gratitude

  • Hamburgerei – Burger, Maxvorstadt and Haidhausen
    Once when I asked them if they could use my bread for the bun, and the lady behind the counter immediately said gluten-free! Why yes, gluten-free indeed. So they understand what that means.
  • Burger and sweet potato fries

  • Tushita Teehaus – Afternoon tea, Glockenbachviertel
    Delicious gluten-free, dairy-free cakes. A must if you are craving a special treat. If you’re not into tea, try some of their lemonades or coolers.
  • Glutenfree banana pie

  • Wirtshaus Ayingers – Bavarian, Old Town
    I am partial to most establishments with affiliation to the Ayinger Brewery. Because my experience has been that they do good food. And this place actually belongs to the Ayinger Brewery. It is located in the center of town, across from the Hofbräuhaus, in the lovely Platzl square. They have friendly staff, and clearly designated glutenfree dishes. (A law was passed requiring eating establishments to list all the allergens on the menu. Some are better at it than others.)
  • Veggie plate at Ayingers

If I can think of anymore, I will add to this post as the weeks go on.

Hopefully though, Marit, this is helpful already.

Biding time

Today I went to a bakery down the street and bought one bread roll for me. It was a normal, run-of-the-mill plain semmel. Just one, for €.25. I actually didn’t know till just then how much a semmel would actually cost, it’s been that long since I bought one for myself.

And as much as I wish I could say that I’ve been cured and this was my first excursion into a gluten-ous life again, this particular bread was only indirectly for me, to pass on to our resident ducks. There are two living in our compound, and I call them Sally and Harry.

The first thing I look for when I get out of our building are these two. They adopted the somewhat sterile artificial bodies of water that make the centerpiece of our little gated-community, and come and hang out here in the spring. They sleep on the compound, sometimes in someone’s patch of terrace. They float, waddle, quack, pose pretty, and generally make the place a bit more homey. And they are not at all shy. Today, as I was handing them bits of bread, I got nipped at least three times by their naughty, hungry beaks. Sometimes they leave the compound, whereto and for what purpose I do not know; it always lifts my heart to see them back.

Now going to a bakery to buy bread just to feed the ducks, and the fact that I’m even writing this blog – are both indicative of one thing – I have time. I am currently in limbo, looking for work, reaching out, and biding my time until the next project. Not that there aren’t enough things to do, mind you. Still need to finish my website, and am taking part in some courses at Coursera, and I do reach out to new potential clients on a regular basis. But still, there is time. So in between working on things and taking care of administrative knick knack, I find that I can focus on matters Harry and Sally.

So what does this have to do with being glutenfree? Well…I thought I would just depart from the normal fare and just spill whatever’s on my mind. Fortunately, there will always be something related to eating, because that’s just how my mind works. But first and foremost, I thought I would just do some writing. It’s needed.

Speaking of food, I did have to go to town to pick up a couple of things for tomorrow’s lunch. Before going there, I stopped by Sakura, my old hang out on Pranner Strasse, to have the salted salmon from the lunch menu – M5. I waited till I knew the lunch crowd had gone and came in to find it quite empty, save for an older couple. The owner asked me if I had been back home, so I told him about Bali. I asked him if he’s going to Vietnam, so he said he will for a couple of weeks in August. He always shuts down in August – not enough business. He also asked me to help him figure out some new app on his phone. He also has an iphone 6+. He says he has no idea how to use it, he only knows how to use it as a phone.

Sakura is one of the few places in town where I can walk in and just feel at home. No airs, no frills, good food at great prices. I can sit there by myself and read my book, and he chats with me while he works. It’s all quite chilled. And we don’t even really know each other’s names. Does it matter? In 2018, when muggle and I are back from our sojourn to the US, he will (hopefully) still be there and be as grumpy and stressed out during the lunch rush as ever, preparing the same sushi he’s been making for decades it seems.

Post-salmon, as I left the restaurant to head towards Marienplatz, I realized that I will very much miss Munich. And I wonder with what kinds of feelings I will come back. Will I find Toytown too quaint and quiet, or will I appreciate the fact that I know quite a number of people and that I will run into them in the streets. The other week I had a friend visiting and I kept running into friends and acquaintances as I was with her. People saying hi to me randomly – on Sonnenstrasse, at Odeonsplatz. Yesterday as I was on my way to meet Ambria I ran into Sebastian – cause the restaurant just happened to be in his neighborhood. Sebastian, in turn, ran into even more people as the evening wore on. Munich is small. It’s big enough though, to kill time and find ways to occupy yourself.

And now, for the strictly informational part of this blog. For those who might be interested, this Saturday and Sunday, May 9th and 10th, is the Slow Food Spring Market Days at Maienzeit Carrée on Lindwurmstrasse 122. There will be food and seminars from Regional Producers… It should definitely be a delicious couple of days. I will check out the happenings on Saturday for sure.

Maybe, I will run into you there. : )

Easy, healthy fast food

There is one perk to working in a corporate environment – one has access to canteens. Now many will moan and whine about the awful goop that they had to ingest at their lunch break, but at least, it comes at a fair price, AND, they didn’t have to make it themselves.

Ever since I started working from home, I’ve had to take care of my own lunches. I have to buy the food, prepare, cook, and clean up after myself everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don’t know how stay-at-home parents do it. I am starting to go a little crazy with all the preparation. And last week, I almost staged a strike. Though I was hungry, I could not, for the life of me, gather the energy to actually make anything. Knowing that if I prepared something, anything, really, I would have to clean it up. It was a strange kind of a hunger strike.

So in my desperation, I started creating. What can I make that’s easy and still nutritious? Dishes that didn’t require too much chopping or attention to make. Below some of the results….

Sausage, peas and potatoes
This one was the easiest one to make. Ready-made potato pockets from Demeter (pop in the oven for 20 minutes and voila), sausage sauteed with onions, and peas with butter. Pretty calorific but quick and easy with some nutritional value.

Sausage, peas and potatoes

Soup with spinach
This one is quick if you have frozen stock ready. Sautee onions and garlic in a pot, put the frozen stock in, add some dried and/or fresh herbs (in this case rosemary, oregano and marjoram) and cover. If you don’t have frozen stock, use dried ready-made stock and add water. While the stock is heating up, chop up some carrots and wash some spinach, take some frozen peas, and once the stock starts to boil, add the carrots, then the peas, then at last the spinach. Serve with potatoes, rice, gluten-free bread or anything else you have on hand.

spinach_soup

Pasta with thai curry
One of the easiest things in the world to cook is thai curry. You just need ready-made curry paste which is available in all Asian stores. Sautee some garlic and shallots in oil, add the curry paste and the thick part of coconut milk, let that mix well with the oil and the paste, add your meat and/or vegetables, coat, and then pour in the rest of the coconut milk. For flavor you can add a teaspoon of indian curry, some chicken stock, and kaffir lime leaves. Season with fish sauce, sugar, and lime or lemon juice.

What’s also great with curry is, you often make more than you can eat, and you end up with leftovers. This dish below was made with a leftover Thai curry with chicken, pineapple, bell pepper and peanuts, made with the recipe above. Eating it with pasta is quicker and I think tastier than with rice. Just cook the pasta and pour the leftover curry on top (you don’t even have to heat that up, the heat from the pasta is enough to warm it.)

Glutenfree pasta with thai curry sauce

So I hope this will help you in coming up with quick and easy dishes. And if you have any ideas, please do share! Would love to hear from you.

Forum Cafe

For years, I haven’t gone to Forum Cafe, because, well, the occassion never arose. It wasn’t near where I lived or worked, and no one made the suggestion to check it out. Until last week that is, when through some bizarre coincidence, I ended up there three times. With different people – all on their suggestion. And the experience was so surprisingly positive that it must be shared.

Forum Cafe is conveniently located on the corner of Cornelius and Muellerstrasse. It’s at the Glockenbachviertel and also very close to the Viktualienmarkt and the new synagogue. There is a tram station nearby, i.e. it’s very easy to get there.

I was there for dinner with my gamelan group on Tuesday night (we finally found a dining alternative!), then for a business lunch with friend on Wednesday, and lastly, for a birthday brunch on Sunday. I ordered a bunless burger, roastbeef with potatoes and vegetables, and salad with chicken breast and extra fries, respectively.

Forum Cafe Burger

When I ordered the burger, I mentioned that I couldn’t eat wheat, or dairy, so would it be okay to leave out the cheese and buns? On the menu it said something about a BBQ sauce, but for some reason, I never mentioned it. When it came, there were neither cheese nor bun, as ordered, and they also left out the BBQ sauce even though I didn’t specifically mention that that might also contain wheat. So that was a plus.

Forum Cafe also offers a lunch menu for during the week, and you can have 0.3 L of either water, apple juice with soda water, or an alcohol-free wheat beer shandy for an extra 1.6 EUR. I picked the roast beef (and water) because of all the lunch options that seemed the easiest, and mentioned to the waiter that I couldnt’t eat wheat or dairy. He said casually, “No, that shouldnt be a problem” and left. On the menu, it said that the roast beef came with potatoes, vegetables, and its own gravy. My roastbeef came without the gravy, and again without me explicitly saying that it might be thickened with something glutenous. Two points for Forum Cafe.

Forum Cafe roast beef

For brunch, I ordered salad with chicken breast and honey-balsamico dressing. That was pretty straightforward, I don’t think they had to modify anything in particular.

Forum Cafe salad with chicken fillet

The waiters also all spoke English, so that’s a plus point if you are a tourist just passing through town.

So, strange but true but I felt as if I were a restaurant critic. Visiting an establishment with different people at different times to check out the consistency of service and food. And with that, I can definitely recommend Forum Cafe to all glutenfree eaters out there. The price is reasonable, the service good, and the kitchen very understanding of allergies. 🙂

Tushita Teehaus – Sweet comfort for cold afternoons

It’s November. Muenchners hurry down sidewalks in a flurry of fluffy shawls, hats and down jackets, heading deeper and further into the depths of fall. Yellow and orange glow from the trees as the sky looms grey.

Fall is a season I learned to love over time. When I first set foot in Europe in October, 1997, it wasn’t so welcoming, though. I boarded a plane in tropical Bali, full of smiles and sunshine, and was spit out onto the melancholy reality of an Austrian autumn, complete with the first snow of the year. My system went into shock, which was to last a few years.

But now, many seasons and soft sweaters later, I look forward to cozying up under a blanket, and watching my favorite tv series, or whiling the afternoon away in a café  – a cup of warm tea in your hands and a piece of cake on your plate. There is something comforting about being forced indoors to cocoon and cuddle, to read and bake and while the time away, sheltered from wind and rain. Which brings me to this afternoon’s experience at Tushita Teehaus.

This small cozy tea house is one of two places in Munich that offers homemade glutenfree cakes and pies everyday. They offer a good variety.  On Wednesday I stopped by and took home a cashew cake. And today, I went with an old friend who is also gluten and dairy intolerant, and he took a piece of fig cake, while I enjoyed a banana toffee cake. Both were also vegan.

We sat at the table in the back by the window with a view, surrounded by warm wood, canisters full of tea, pretty pots and ceramic cups, and chatted about food and baking, letting go of our old jobs and meeting new friends. It was an alcove of calm in the middle of the city.

Someone from the store said that on Saturdays and Sundays they have more glutenfree cakes, because, naturally, the demand is higher. So, I will one day stop by on the weekend and induge. Perhaps you might want to do the same?

Glutenfree banana pie tushita_fig_cake tushita_menu tushita_table tushita_tea