Tag Archives: gluten free burgers

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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Gluten-free Whiskey Jax

gluten free jacksonville whiskey jax

A new restaurant is in town, Whiskey Jax Kitchen and Cocktails.  Located near Baymeadows and 9A their menu includes salads, burgers, seafood and of course Whiskey cocktails.  The space is very warm and welcoming and the staff is very friendly.  While they do not have a dedicated gluten-free menu at this time, their kitchen staff is knowledgeable of steps to take to avoid cross contamination and they offer gluten-free bread.

I ordered the burger with egg and bacon with a side of their roasted fingerling potato medley and whiskey pickles.  I am usually fine ordering a burger without the bun, but since they had gluten-free bread I thought I would give it a try.  The burger was HUGE and delicious.  I loved the potatoes, the portion wasn’t too large and they were nicely seasoned.  Another option for a side, instead of the potatoes is the kale salad.  Other menu options that the chef mentioned they could do gluten-free included the Southern Atlantic Salmon, Bourbon Salmon, the Pork Chop, or any of the salads.

Because they don’t have a dedicated gluten-free menu, you need to let the server know of all of your gluten-free needs.  They cook their burgers on the flat top, but for the gluten-free burger and the potatoes, they used a separate skillet to help avoid cross contamination. But you have to let your server know prior to ordering.

Some other cool things:

  • they have live music most nights during the weekend
  • they have a great happy hour Monday-Friday from 5pm-7pm
  • they have USB chargers under the bar to charge your phone
  • they have a Sunday brunch with bottomless mimosas
  • they have a great Old Fashioned

Have you been yet?  What do you think?

gluten free jacksonville whiskey jax

gluten free jacksonville whiskey jax

gluten free jacksonville whiskey jax

gluten free jacksonville whiskey jax
gluten free jacksonville whiskey jax

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Good-Bye 2013, Hello Gluten-Free 2014

Thank you for a great 2013, I am so excited about 2014.  More new restaurants, more new gluten-free foods and the new gluten-free labeling standards starting in August 2014.

As we enter 2014 I thought I would share some of the greatest hits of 2014. Some are oldies some are goodies.

Sweet Theory Baking Company

Sweet Theory Baking Company

Restaurants that get it, restaurants that don't

Restaurants that get it, restaurants that don’t

 

publix gluten free section jacksonville, FL

Publix: Where Gluten-Free Shopping is a Pleasure

gluten free j william culinary

Product Review: J. William Culinary Prepared Meals

 

gluten free french fries epik burger

Epik Burger: Worth the Splurge

While it is nice to look back every once in a while, it is time to charge forward to 2014.  Here is to a year filled with healthy and nutritious foods.  What are you looking forward to in 2014?

 

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Epik Burger: Worth the Splurge

the table at epik burger gluten free jacksonville
I would like to think I eat relatively healthy. A majority of my diet is made up of lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. However, every now and then a girl needs to splurge. That is exactly what I did when I had lunch at Epik Burger.

the front of the store epik burger gluten free jacksonville
Epik Burger is the first of its kind in Jacksonville. They offer gluten free burgers, buns, desserts, onion rings and fries. They are located on Atlantic Blvd right where Girvin runs into Atlantic. I have no idea what part of town that is considered, but it is about 5 minutes East of 2-95. It is not really close to a major area where they might get foot traffic or a lot of drive bys; it is definitely a place you have to know about.

They are super nice there! I asked a lot of questions and found out that all of their fryers are gluten-free (including those that they cook onion rings in). Their onion rings are beer battered with Redbridge beer and gluten free flour.  They also have a separate toaster for the gluten free buns. The atmosphere reminded me of something we see in Chicago; clean and contemporary.

gluten free statement at epik burger gluten free jacksonville
They offer a lot of different burger options, including vegetarian, chicken, tuna and the beef is all grass fed. You can order a fast food size or restaurant size burger depending on your hunger. I especially love how everything is marked vegan, vegetarian or gluten free. They have quite a menu.  Prices are reasonable, however there is a $2.00 upcharge for a gluten-free bun.

We ordered
le steakhouse at epik burger gluten free jacksonville
Restaurant size gluten-free Le Steakhouse Burger. It had sauteed onions, grass fed beef and cornichons (pickles). So tasty and flavorful, but a little greasy.

gluten free hamburger epik burger at epik burger jacksonville
Restaurant size gluten- free Epik Burger. It had pancetta, brie, lettuce, tomato, onion, cornichons, and basalmic mayo.  This is a beautiful burger.  Full of color and flavor.  My boyfriend ordered this and I was really envious.  He loved it; he ate it all!

gluten free french fries epik burger jacksonville
Ahh, gluten- free french fries.  There are not many restaurants that serve fries that are TRULY gluten-free so I had to get these.  I loved the large chunks of salt and pepper and it was a great portion to share, not too big, not too small.

gluten free onion rings epik burger jacksonville
Gluten- free Beer Battered Onion Rings. This was the highlight of my day. I was never a big onion ring person, however, since my diagnosis of Celiac disease I jump at the opportunity to indulge safely. They were awesome. They were flakey and not too chewy. While there was a tiny bit of oil residue, it was light and seasoned perfectly with salt and pepper. I never wanted these onion rings to end…

jennifer eating gluten free hamburger epik burger jacksonville

The food was amazing! However, I felt like I needed to go run a marathon to burn off the calories; but it was worth every second. While I didn’t order the Epik Burger I really wish I did. Some other things:
– They are environmentally friendly. They don’t have a lot of packaging and pretty much every container was recyclable or compostable.
– The wait for your burger is a little longer than I expected, but not too bad.
– The place seats only about 35 people.

I will definitely make this a place I go to as a treat, however I doubt I need to order fries AND onion rings. I highly recommend this place!  Have you been? What do you think?

Epik Burger
12740 Atlantic Blvd Suite 105
Jacksonville, FL 32225

Epik Burger on Urbanspoon

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Travel Review: Port of Call, New Orleans

port of call new orleans gluten free hamburger

On a recent trip to New Orleans, my boyfriend and I discovered Port of Call.  It was a top rated burger joint on tripadvisor ; locals and tourists alike claimed it is “worth the wait.” This is a no frills kinda place and the average wait time is around 1 hour. The space is small, however the bar takes up half the restaurant. You can put your name on the list or wait for a seat at the bar which is first come first serve.

We had quite the experience. We tried to go before an 8pm ghost tour, however, the wait was around an hour and a half. We tried waiting at the bar for two seats, however, it was quite stressful; people were cowering over bar patrons waiting to pounce on their seat the second the credit card bill was brought out. I could not handle the stress.

We decided to try to come back around 10pm after the ghost tour to see if there was still a wait. The wait was less than 30 minutes. For a restaurant that deals with so many people in one day, the staff at Port of Call are some of the nicest people. The bartenders were working their butts off but finding time to smile, take everyone’s orders and listen to stories from locals who obviously go there frequently for the amazing deals on drinks.

Once we sat down we were greeted by the sweetest waitress. She gave us a little time to look over the menu and got us some drinks. After reviewing the very small, yet focused, menu I inquired about the burgers. Turns out they put nothing on the grill except burgers and they don’t add butter or anything to them.. They serve baked potatoes instead of fries. I was so excited! The waitress said they frequently have people ask to have their buns toasted on the grill and they won’t do it. I ordered a burger with no bun and baked potato plain. My boyfriend and I both agreed this was one of the best burgers we have ever had. It was thick, not greasy, not too salty and cooked just the way we liked it. I wish I took more time to get a picture of my food before I devoured it. But here are the remains.

port of call new orleans gluten free hamburger

This is definitely a place you should check out, however, this is not the place you should visit if you are in a rush or are impatient. If you have some time and are in the party mood, they have giant tropical drinks that are only $10 and you can walk around New Orleans with them. We loved this place, and even though this is not your typical New Orleans restaurant (they don’t serve red beans and rice, jambalaya or po-boys) it will knock your socks off and not break the bank at the same time.

What is your favorite gluten-free burger?

Port of Call on Urbanspoon

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