Category Archives: Dining

Jacksonville Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event November 3rd

gluten free jacksonville allergen free wellness eventHey guys!  There is a really great event coming to Jacksonville where we can feel safe and try all kinds of yummy gluten Free Foods!  The event is November 3rd from 10-3pm at the Aloft in Tapestry Park.

Here are the Details:

Jacksonville Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event
November 3, 2018
10 am – 3 pm
Aloft Jacksonville Tapestry Park
4812 W Deer Lake Dr,
Jacksonville, FL 32246

Admission is $10 for Adults
Children under 13 enter for FREE
Military ID & Senior Citizens ID over 55 admission $8

FEATURED SPEAKERS
Chef Bob Aungst:
Chef Bob Aungst is a New England native, growing up in New Jersey, and launching his career in upstate New York. He was classically trained at Schenectady College, graduating with a Culinary Arts degree, following a successful career as a real estate broker. In his 20+ years in hospitality, he has worked some of the largest sporting, political, and private events, including the Kentucky Derby, Presidential Inaugurations, and the Super Bowl. He’s had the pleasure of serving three U.S. Presidents, numerous members of Royal Courts, and countless political leaders. On average, he overseas the service or preparation of 2 million meals each year.

Chef Bob’s private label gluten free flours, coffees, “Heat ‘N Eat” holiday dishes, and handcrafted meat rubs and serving sauces. Items are shipped within the US, or delivered by courier in the Winter Park, Florida area. .

Enjoy hand crafted gluten free flour blends, produced in a gluten free facility with dedicated equipment. CBGFree flour can be used cup-for-cup in place of regular flour, or instead of other gluten free flour blends. Chef Bob’s flour performs identically in terms of taste and texture.

Carolanne LeBlanc:
Carolanne LeBlanc freely admits that she is an un-diagnosed Celiac. Getting diagnosed with Wheat Allergies over 30 years ago was only the beginning in a lifelong journey of understanding and discovery. A very social person herself, Carolanne manages a web-based Support Group called “Gluten-Free in Florida” designed specifically for people living or visiting in the Sunshine State. The group gives people across the state an opportunity to talk to others, exchange recipes, share information and education as well as find support. She also maintains an active web-page with contacts around the Globe and sees first-hand how Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance can affect all kinds of social interactions, making it difficult to navigate even the most common gatherings. Carolanne is a big advocate for taking control of our own health, listening to our body’s needs, speaking up for ourselves, and of course attending local Support Groups.

Group:https://www.facebook.com/groups/GlutenFreeforLife
FaceBook:http://www.facebook.com/​G​luten​F​ree.in​F​lorida

Jen Cuevas:
The Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet supports delicious eating that is gluten, grain, soy, and poultry free. Jen Cuevas experienced her own journey to wellness by eating this way, and desires to share the message that life can still be delicious!

Just a few short years ago, Jen was ill with a multitude of issues (although not typical “Celiac” symptoms), including high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, sudden weight gain [over 60 pounds], Hashimoto’s, and arthritis (read more of her story here). After more than seven frustrating visits with various doctors, she finally learned about her gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease. In becoming well, she found that life without gluten was really great from a health perspective, but affected everything else that had a social factor.

Jen went completely grain and soy free in 2012, and became a certified coach under the direction of Gluten Free Society. She uses her own health journey to coach and inspire others to consider dietary changes as a way to achieve optimum health. In 2013 she established a support group, and found that food availability continued to be the biggest barrier to success. She began developing food products that support a grain-free, soy-free and even dairy-free lifestyle; many items are allergy-friendly and are free of refined sugars. She also offers allergen-free Communion to churches, raising awareness about the effects of gluten exposure.

Nikki Everett:
Nikki Everett founded ECHO Event Solutions, LLC in 2011 to oversee educational events and trade shows for the gluten/allergen free community. Her mission to plan events started in Charlotte, NC, her home town, in 2009. Nikki uses her vast knowledge as an advocate for the gluten/allergen free community on behalf of her daughter who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008. She recognized her daughter’s grief process through her support group background as a teenager. After the unfortunate death of her older brother, Nikki’s mother became a regional leader for Compassionate Friends, a national support group for bereaved families, when Nikki was only 11 years old. Nikki went on to become a youth peer support group leader by 14 years of age. Her presentation to the NC State Board of Education helped open the door for peer support groups throughout Middle and High Schools across the state. Nikki carried on this legacy as an adult by chartering R.O.C.K. (Raising Our Celiac Kids) for Charlotte, NC in 2009. Her positive approach to the journey of dietary change makes each event a celebration of community wherever they are held.

Mary Herrington:
Mary Herrington has been featured in Gluten Free Delights, has 2 internationally published gluten free cookbooks (with a third GF How To book being revealed at the GFAF Wellness event), won numerous awards for her gluten free baked goods, and is a keynote speaker on living well with several life threatening allergies. She works with area doctor’s in Charlotte NC assisting their patients adjustment to their new diet through menu and recipe creation.

Mary suffers from two rare disorders: Systemic Nickel Allergy Syndrome and Mastocytosis making eating anything gluten a life threatening activity.

See you there!

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FLA Juice and Bowl

Gluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and Bowl
Ever since Florida Juice and Bowl opened up over a year ago I have been wanting to try it. Not only is it super close to where I live it just puts off this really cool beachy and healthy vibe that I wanted to be a part of. Florida Juice and bowl is located in Jacksonville Beach and was recently voted best Acai bowl in the 904. In addition to acai bowls they have fresh juices, coffee (including nitro brew), kambucha on tap, smoothies, pitaya bowls and poke bowls.

My husband and I stopped by to get kambucha, cold pressed coffee with macadamia milk, tuna poke and a salmon poke. I loved all of the add ons for the poke and they let you choose all lettuce, rice or a mixture of lettuce and rice. Add ons include things like macadamia nuts, avocado, seaweed salad, cucumber, ginger, wasabi, spinach, avocado, etc. I opted for the spicy aioli on the side and my husband opted for the Shoyu Wasabi sauce which he said was much spicier than mine.

It was delicious and I felt really safe because I didn’t see gluten anywhere except in the sauces that contained soy sauce and those are optional. It is a little pricer than most lunch spots but you definitely get what you pay for. Everything we had tasted so fresh. In talking with one of the staff they pretty much make everything in house and try to avoid refined sugars or sugar at all. The constant sound of delicious fresh smoothies being made filled the air during lunch. I also liked that almost all of the disposable items were biodegradable.

This is definitely the kind of place I will crave and I will be back!
Gluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and Bowl

Gluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and BowlGluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and BowlGluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and BowlGluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and BowlGluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and Bowl salmon poke bowlGluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and Bowl tuna poke bowlGluten Free Jacksonville Florida Juice and Bowl

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Foo Dog Curry Traders a Gluten-Free Facility

foo dog curry traders gluten free jacksonville

Since June 1, 2017 I have been dreaming of eating at Foo Dog Curry Traders located in Riverside. What is a Food Dog you ask? According to a quick google search: ” Chinese guardian lions or Imperial guardian lions that are a common representation of the lion in imperial China.” Once I got over the interesting name I quickly learned that this is a dedicated gluten-free restaurant.

Foo Dog’s Philosophy “Let’s abandon trying to retrofit classic European and American recipes to please a more health conscience patron as well as all-consuming food lovers. Let’s look to the cultures that have mastered tasty vegetarian and gluten free diets for centuries. Southeast Asian and Indian cuisine are the perfect inspirations to create beautiful food that is delicious, and healthy. Let’s apply that tradition to fit a wide array of dietary preferences. All the people can eat great food together.” I just love this!!!

The want to give our community an eatery that is delicious and meets a diverse array of dietary restrictions. All of their food is naturally gluten free and begins its life vegan. Beyond that, the choices are yours to make. They want to provide a clean, affordable, diverse, and delicious food with a conscience.

The owner of Foo Dog is also the owner of 13 Gypsies around the corner. Their culinary team is experienced and passionate. They hail from different walks of life with a broad range of interests and backgrounds. Professional Cooking, Catering, Music, Art, and Management… but they all share a love of food. But seriously, who doesn’t love food?

I visited in Early August with much anticipation. It is an order at the counter restaurant with very reasonable prices and quick service. I thought they would be slammed it being 7pm on a Friday. However, we got there during a rare lull which gave us plenty of time to chat with two very friendly staff members and ask all sorts of questions. My first question of course: Are you really a dedicated gluten-free facility? And they were like yep! Is everything really made fresh in house? Again yep! They were very patient as my husband and I tried to decide what we wanted to get and of course we had to share everything. We decided on an appetizer, a rice dish and a noodle dish. Food Dog Curry Traders also has a variety of assorted sodas so we got two which came highly recommended one tasted like hot of the grill pancakes and the other was a version of basic cola.

food dog curry traders gluten free jacksonville

Ban Mi Spring Rolls with Pork

We started off with the Ban Mi Spring Rolls with pork. These were so fresh. I just love spring rolls that taste fresh and are not fried. This was such a great introduction to the enormous flavors we were about to experience. It came with a side of vegan mayonnaise which I quickly mixed with their chili garlic sauce that was amazing!

food dog curry traders gluten free jacksonville

Chick Pea Spinach Masala with Jasmine Rice

Next was the Chick Pea Spinach Masala with Jasmine Rice. The flavors were just amazing. I had done a little research from other food reviews and this came highly recommended and it was well worth the recommendation. It has a little bit of spice but nothing that should scare you off. The portion sizes are just right not too large but you definitely leave feeling fulfilled. They serve them in environmentally friendly boxes that you could easily take home.

food dog curry traders gluten free jacksonville

Chicken Laksa with Rice Noodles

Lastly was the Chicken Laksa with Rice Noodles. This had a more curry flavor and was a tad bit sweet. I loved how different it was from the Masala and it went so great with a little bit of the chili garlic sauce.

food dog curry traders gluten free jacksonville

Pancakes and Kola Drinks!

These are our sodas! They were so sweet but it went nicely with our dishes which we added a little spice to so it was a nice offset.  The White Gourd Drink seriously tasted like pancakes you have to try it!

I had a great experience, felt great after wards (well maybe a little hopped up on sugar) and even though it is about 30 minutes from where I live I am going to find a way to visit once a week- I love it that much!

food dog curry traders gluten free jacksonville

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Epik Burger: Burgers of Epic Proportions

gluten free jacksonville epik burgerI recently met with Korey Konopasek, owner and Chef of the very gluten-free friendly restaurant Epik Burger on Atlantic Between Kernan and Hodges. While I have been to Epik Burger many times I had yet to meet the mastermind behind the deliciousness. Epik Burger has been open for 4 years and this restaurant is his dream. Before becoming a restaurant owner Korey was Director of Operations for Food Service at the University of North Florida.  While at UNF he came across many students with various allergies and knew when he finally opened a restaurant of his own it would need to accommodate a variety of food allergies.  He also wanted a place his mom could enjoy- she is living with Celiac Disease.

While talking with Korey he shared that he wanted a place people could come on a regular basis not just on the occasion when they were wanting to splurge on a greasy burger. Epik Burger is also known for their vegan and vegetarian options. While they are not a completely gluten-free establishment, they take extraordinary steps to avoid cross contamination.  There is nothing put in the fryers that have gluten in them and they have a separate toaster for the gluten-free buns.  They also use separate utensils for gluten-free preparations.

We enjoyed the Vegan BBQ Burger with a side of onion rings and the Epicurean Burger with a side of their truffle fries.  Their menu features a variety of flavors that go beyond just a lettuce and tomato topping.  Some of the interesting burgers are: PB and Burger, Vietnamese Burger, Fruit and Cheese Burger and the Buffalo Fried Burger.  Here is a link to their full menu. 

Korey and his wife recently expanded their restaurant offerings and opened Empire City Gastropub nearby.  

gluten free jacksonville epik burger

Meet Korey- Owner and Chef of Epik Burger as well as their new restaurant Empire City Gastropub.

gluten free jacksonville epik burger

I had the Vegan BBQ Burger with a gluten-free bun which includes BBQ sauce, vegan cheddar, cole slaw and an onion ring.  I got it with a side of onion rings because I don’t know anywhere else I can get gluten-free onion rings.  They make them with a gluten-free batter and gluten-free beer.  They make all of their onion rings this way.  The burger was amazing.  Loved the chunks of chick peas in the vegan burger and the onion ring gave it a nice crunch.  The onion rings have a nice cross between a beer batter and tempura so they are nice and crunchy.

gluten free jacksonville epik burger

We also tried the Epicurean Burger which is one of their award winning burgers with a side of their truffle fries. It includes Maytag Bleu Cheese-Truffle Mousse, Pancetta, Mushrooms,
Blackberry Jam, Balsamic Mayo, Green Onions and Parmesan Cheese on a gluten-free bun. The flavors are so unique and go so well together.  This is an awesome burger!

gluten free jacksonville epik burger

It was totally worth the splurge!  See you soon Epik Burger!

Make sure to not only check out Epik Burger but stop by Empire City Gastropub.  They have gluten-free items at Empire City- things like Bi Bim Bap- a tasty korean dish, burgers, shrimp fried rice, salads, and so much more.  See their menu here.

Have you been to either?  What is your favorite?

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Fresh Jax: Gluten Free Goodness

gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxI was recently contacted by Jason at FreshJax to stop by and see their almost one year old store. I have known about FreshJax for a few years now through their strong presence at the Riverside Arts Market and just hadn’t had the time to make it to their store. Prior to opening their store they invited me to a wonderful gluten-free dairy free meal that was delicious.  Fresh Jax is the brain child of one of the sweetest couples you will meet, Jason and Hilary.

As I walked in I was kindly greeted by one of 2 staff working at the counter. I asked for Jason and was asked if I would like a tour while I waited.

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxAs I approached the cafe counter I could quickly see chili, broccoli soup, donuts, kale wraps, yoga bars, a TON of amazing spices and a nice menu of fresh to order food options. The thing that is so hard to believe is that their entire menu is clean and the ENTIRE STORE IS GMO-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE AND DAIRY-FREE. No joke! Staff are not even allowed to come in with gluten-containing foods.gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

How do they do it?? They use a ton of locally sources fruits and vegetables and use a variety of replacement options such as organic coconut milk and organic maple syrup.  They also have a vast array of spices that they create in house.  A sample of their amazing spices include:

  • Bold Bayou perfect for pasta, potatoes, corn on the cob or as a marinade. It is made from Ancho Peppers so it is not too spicy but has a nice flavor.gluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Grill Master: one of their most popular seasonings this time of year as people start firing up their grills. Great on burgers!gluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Their signature coconut bacon that tastes just like bacon.  Great to add to on saladsgluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Thai Coconut Curry includes real coconut and thai spices
  • Himalayan Sea Saltgluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • Italian Herb Blendgluten free jacksonville fresh jax
  • A tofu scramble spice that makes tofu taste just like scrambled eggsgluten free jacksonville fresh jax

They also have an entire case full of Kambucha and turmeric drinks. Turmeric is all the rage right now for its ability to decrease inflammation in the body which is very helpful for those of us living with Celiac Disease and other gluten-related illnesses.

They support a ton of local products such as 5 Points Candle Co. – they are organic soybean food grade essential oil with wood wick and a 60 hour burn. They are colorless so you are not breathing artificial coloring as they burn.

I tried their sushi bowl which is made of home made pickled veggies, carrots, ginger, seasoned rice with wasabi and cashew cream, black sesame seeds and guacamole. The flavors of the pickled veggies and the cream and guacamole make you forget that there isn’t ahi tuna in it. It was delicious and so fresh!gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

In addition to the cafe, spices and local products they also have a yoga studio attached. They have thought of everything! They offer 40 classes a month and they pride themselves on providing restorative yoga for every body! It is a beautiful space and you can purchase a class pass or a regular membership. They also host cooking classes and movie nights.gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxgluten free jacksonville fresh jax

They recently started catering office lunches to provide a healthy option during work meetings.  They are now offering boxed lunches for $15 per person that includes a kale wrap, yoga bar, cashew cheese and healthy chips, clean pickle and a pass for a free yoga class!  Here is an example of the yoga wrap they use for their wraps.

gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

I love this place! Not only is it a really nice environment, it is nice to support a business that is owned by passionate people who love what they do and believe and live out the mission of their organization. As I left I tried the chocolate donut with blueberry jelly.

gluten free jacksonville fresh jaxOMG! I was just thinking about how much I miss Dunkin Donuts chocolate donuts and this hit the spot and tasted just like it and yes it is organic, gluten-free and dairy free (I seriously asked 3 or 4 times because I couldn’t believe it).gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

If you are in the area- they are near 2-95 and Gate Parkway- I suggest you stop by.  Not only is it delicious but you are supporting this great couple who are truly following their dream.  gluten free jacksonville fresh jax

Update: As of June 30th Fresh Jax has announced that they will be closing their store. However, you can still find all of their delicious spices and food at the Riverside Arts Market each Saturday.

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Gluten-free and Vegan Six Course Meal at Super Food and Brew 

gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewOn Saturday, August 20 I attended a Gluten-free/Vegan wine dinner at one of my favorite Downtown spots- Super Food and Brew. Over 30 people gathered to taste traditional meat dishes transformed into gluten-free/vegan deliciousness without a bit of compromise on taste.  I was lucky enough to dine with Jessica from Jax Vegan Love.  We had a great time sharing our opinions of the food and our favorite restaurants.  If you aren’t following her on Facebook you definitely should!
gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewThe first course was a  beet carpaccio.  The beets were sliced thin and the accompanying dressing was delightful.  It also included tempeh crumbles to add a little protein.

gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewThe second course was a Rainbow Vegetable Pad Thai Salad.  I am a big fan of thai food and the flavors were spot on.


gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewThe third course was an eggplant involtini with ratatouille.  Don’t even get me to try to pronounce this dish.  It was the first of the hot dishes that were served and I could have sworn there was cheese or meat in this dish.  But it was completely gluten-free/vegan

gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewThe fourth course was a Forest Mushroom Risotto.  This was so creamy I swear there was butter in here.

gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewThe fifth course was a Carrot Osso Buco over Cauliflower Grits.  Traditionally this is served with some sort of beef and for those (usually the vegan’s date) that were meat eaters they graciously added a nice steak with this dish.  I am not a vegan, but I am dairy free and this was such a nice treat.  However, I was extremely full.

gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewThe grand finale was a Coconut fig bar, fresh Berry Nut Cream bar and a chocolate Tart with salted Oat Crust. We each got our own plate of these three desserts and they easily could have been shared with my table mate.

gluten free jacksonville superfood and brewI know you are thinking right now- I want to go.  When is the next one?  Well you are in luck!  Dale from Super Food and Brew is going to do another one since this one was so successful!  For all of the latest updates on events and restaurant openings please make sure you are following us on Facebook.

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New Gluten-Free Additions to Candy Apple Cafe and Cocktails’ Menu

In honor of Summer Candy Apple Cafe and Cocktails has added some new additions to their menu and many are gluten-free!  In case you are unfamiliar with Candy Apple Cafe and Cocktails- they are co-located with Sweet Pete’s  in Downtown, Jacksonville. The Candy Apple Café and Cocktails is a full service restaurant located in Downtown Jacksonville that serves breakfast, brunch, and lunch daily, as well as dinner Tuesday –Saturday. With a menu of French and Southern fusion cuisine, a full bar, and three private event spaces, The Candy Apple Café & Cocktails celebrates the decadence of everyday life. Here is a snippit of some of their food:

gluten free jacksonville candy apple cafe and cocktailsgluten free jacksonville candy apple cafe and cocktailsgluten free jacksonville candy apple cafe and cocktailsgluten free jacksonville candy apple cafe and cocktailsgluten free jacksonville candy apple cafe and cocktailsgluten free jacksonville candy apple cafe and cocktails

Their new gluten-free menu items include:

Brunch

VEGAN HASH GF/VA ($11)
roasted red potatoes, wild mushrooms, haricot vert, baby carrots and wilted spinach with romesco sauce

Appetizers, Soup, Salads,Sandwiches

BEEF TENDERLOIN TARTARE GF ($13)
house chips, soft boiled egg

HOUSE CHIPS GF ($6)
with smoked bacon dip

WEDGE CAESAR GF without crouton ($10/7)
sweet gem lettuce, boquerones, crouton, pepper-parmesan dressing

FRENCH ONION SOUP GF without crouton ($8)
sherry, caramelized onions, gruyere

Entrees

HERB ROASTED CHICKEN MOUTARDE GF ($24)
potato dauphinoise, grilled asparagus

SHORT RIB POT-AU- FEU GF without baguette ($28)
oxtail, bone marrow, celery root, cornichon, toasted baguette

WILD MUSHROOM RISOTTO GF/VA without reggiano ($17)
lobster and chanterelles, sage beurre noissette, shaved reggiano

For more information click here. Have you been before? What did you think?

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