Saturday, April 28, 2012

J SIX Restaurant

jSIX is located in the Kimptom Hotel in the Gaslamp district of San Diego.  I have driven by it and heard about it but never visited it until last night.

Chef Christian Graves has a great menu with support of local vendors.  Many items are from Suzie's Farm in Southern California.

I head that for May, Celiac Disease Awareness Month, they were offering a Gluten Free 3 course meal for each week.  I figured that if they were doing that they must have a good handle on GF cooking.

We called and they said that the menu is clearly marked which items were GF and many of the ones not listed could be changed.  Although not a separate GF menu, it is easy to see which plates are GF - one star.

We were seated and given our menus and there were many GF options including grilled shrimp, braised octopus, charcuterie, pork chops and roasted chicken to name a few.

Our waitress, Jaime, was excellent.  She knew the menu well and relayed my gluten allergy and celiac disease to the kitchen.  Another star.

I had the braised octopus to start.  It was served with crispy new potatoes and it was delicious.  The octopus was done perfectly - a nice texture, not chewy, and seasoned well it its sauce.

For dinner I had the sea salt and thyme roasted chicken with green garlic bacon risotto.  I didn't get much in the way of thyme flavor but the meat was tasty and moist with crispy skin.  The risotto was well cooked and creamy.

For dessert we split a creme brulee.  It was nice with vanilla and a hint of lemon along side some fresh berries.

When the food came out I did not get any information that the plate was GF.  Once I asked they did confirm it was GF - half a star.

Overall food taste and quality - 1.5 out of two stars.

If you haven't seen my other posts I use the following scale when I go out to eat.

GF Menu up to one star
Waitstaff knowledgeable up to one star
Dishes being served by stating that it is GF (this is going to be hard for each restaurant to earn) up to one star but something I think is important
Food: taste, quality and presentation up to 2 stars

So jSIX ended up with 4 out of 5 stars.  I would definitely go back and we are actually planning to go back in the month of May for their GF Celiac Disease Awareness menu.

For the first week (May 1 - 7) they are offering a $30 3 course GF meal consisting of Lentil Soup, Seared Maine Diver Scallops and a Strawberry Sorbet Float for dessert.

And if you have time visit their outdoor bar on the 4th floor.  It it just a really cool atmosphere.  You can get valet parking right at the front of the hotel (10 dollars with validation).

When it comes to eating out you can't get better than local food, prepared well, with a knowledgeable staff and a cool atmosphere.


The Un-Gluten Guy

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Glutenator

As you know I'm always looking for good GF beer and so far New Planet Off Grid Ale has been my favorite.  I have been looking for Epic's Glutenator for a month now since it came out but I couldn't find it in California.

We were skiing in Park City, Utah and my wife made a trip down the brewery since no one is Park City (restaurants or liquor stores) carried it.

This is Epic's first trip into producing a GF beer but their goal was to produce a good beer that was also GF.  It is made with millet, molasses, rice, sweet potato and hops.  It comes in a 22 oz bottle and is 6.9% ABV.

It pours nice and had a nice color and aroma.  The taste?  Well, this really does taste like a beer, a really good beer.  It didn't have the funny sweetness you get with beer made from sorghum and the hops add a nice taste to the beer.

Versus New Planet I am going to have to wait and taste them side by side.  I am sure I would be a bit biased after a day on the slopes that any beer would be good and this was great.  I'm going to put it up there as a super strong challenger and it may take the title.

If you can find it, get it.  You won't be disappointed.


The Un-Gluten Guy

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Park City

We just got back from Park City.  Spring skiing is great and we even got 5 inches of fresh powder on thursday.  I did some research before we left and found some new places but this is what happened.

Arrived on Sunday and went shopping at Whole Foods in New Park.  As with most Whole Foods they had a good selection but this one had more than my local Whole Foods.  Tons of Udi's and Rudi's breads and muffins.  Their back wall had a ton of GF crackers, cookies, flour and baking supplies.

We found a new one, Andean Dream.  These cookies are GF and low in sugar and come individually wrapped.  Good for lunches or for you pockets while you are skiing.

We ate lunch at Loco Lizards in New Park.  They claim to be 100% GF except for their flour tortillas.  Except their fryer is used for kids chicken tender and french fries.  They have a separate corn fryer.  I had the Chile Verde, it had a nice kick and tasted fresh with nice pieces of pork.

Another place we found in New Park was Park City Pizza.  What I found out was that the owner has celiac.  They keep the GF pizza dough in the walk-in and prepare it there too.  It goes into the same over as the non-GF pizza but it is placed on a pan.  They also serve GF garlic bread on Udi's bread.  Each GF item comes with a nice sticker "Yipee, I'm Gluten Free."  They seemed knowledgeable and pizza was tasty and delicious.

What about Park City Mountain Resort.  If you saw my previous blog post I had called and emailed ahead of time and they seemed to have a good take on GF. Kristi's Cafe has GF cookies (pre-packaged) and fresh muffins (in the case) from New Grains GF Bakery in Provo, UT.  My daughter fell in love with the chocolate cookie brownie (it became a daily post-skiing treat).

When it came to eating we had lunch one day at Legend's.  I am not sure where they get their salsa but it is not GF (seems like it would be easy to find a new vendor).  They offer their nachos as GF but you can't have the salsa.  I had the shrimp salad but I avoided the corn which is roasted on the grill where they also toast buns.  You don't have a lot of options but there are a few.  As for the cafeteria and mountain lodges - they have GF pizza crusts but my daughter thought is was disgusting.  I wound up making her a PB&J every day instead.  They also offer GF pasta but we didn't try it.

For dinner one night we went to 350 Main.  It is usually packed in winter so it was a bit strange seeing it empty but the food was delicious.  They have a GF menu and GF certification and they seemed very on top of things.  Unfortunately for my daughter they do not have a GF fryer, so no french fries.  She has steak.  I had the Potage de Sante immunity soup and it was delicious - hearty, tasty and fresh.  For dinner I had the Grilled Trout.  It was out of this world.  It was cooked to perfection and plated over a salsa verde along with a spicy yam mash.  It came out with a crisp plantain - which I questioned.  They were sure it was okay but double checked with the chef and it was baked not fried.

Another option to try is Hapa.  It is in New Park too.  My wife talked to one of the sushi chefs named Adam.  His wife has celiac disease so he is well aware of cross contamination.  I can't speak for other nights but he was happy to prepare my fish and clean the counter and his hands and knife first.  They also have GF soy sauce.  Being from San Diego the fish was just okay but for a quick bite it hit the spot.

We made one last stop for lunch on the way to the airport.  Ruby River Steakhouse was the place and they offer a GF menu on their website.  We talked to the manager who was super helpful and told us that they just had a GF education series to educate the staff and they created a GF menu.  Their BBQ sauce is homemade, GF and delicious with just the right amount of 'tang. I had the smokey mountain chicken and a baked potato.  It was good but the portion was small.  I could have eaten 4 or 5 of the chicken medallions that I got.  My daughter had the kids portion ribs and she loved 'em.

We cooked at home a few nights too, made some pizza, grilled some steaks and chicken.  All in all, a great trip and we are home.  Hope this helps if you are heading to Park City.

The Un-Gluten Guy