Tag Archives: gluten free

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?

Leave a comment

Filed under Dining, Indulging, Sponsors

Sponsor Post: Wine and Chocolate 5K

I like wine
gluten free jacksonville gluten free wine

I like to run

20130218-212132.jpg

And now I get to combine the two at the Wine and Chocolate 5K in San Marco.

wine17-266x200gluten free jacksonville wine and chocolate 5k

Join 1st Place Sports and Tropical Smoothie Cafe on Saturday April 22nd at 4:30pm in San Marco Square for the Wine and Chocolate 5K. This will be my very first Wine and Chocolate Run and you can’t beat getting a souvenir wine glass and wine and chocolate post race. I am very excited!

It is rare that there is an event that time of day, it should be beautiful and it takes you through the beautiful San Marco Neighborhoods. I haven’t run since the Gate River Run so I am excited for a much shorter run.  Check out their Facebook event page for more info.

This blog is sponsored by 1st Place Sports and Tropical Smoothie Cafe. You should try an Acai Berry Boost TM with Acai, pomegranate, banana, blueberries & strawberries.

tropical smoothie gluten free jacksonville

 

Are you running?

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, exercising, Indulging, Sponsors

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

Have you been before? what did you think?

Leave a comment

Filed under Dining, exercising, Nutrition, Shopping, Sponsors

Sponsor Post: Run 13.1 and 5K

gluten free jacksonville run13point1

Hi Friends- There is another super fun race coming up  the Run 13.1 and 5K put on by 1st Place Sports and sponsored by Tropical Smoothie Cafe– what a team!   I am still recovering from the Gate River Run which was a perfect race this year.  Great temperature, no rain and everyone was in high spirits. I saw the craziest food on the course this year.  In addition to the hot dogs, donuts and fruit I saw people passing out jello shots, rice crispy treats, full bottles of beer and so much more it was a hoot.  I was so happy that I was able to be seeded so I didn’t have to get passed by too many people however, during the crowded areas I did get elbowed a few times by runners passing by.

One of the greatest challenges of running is planning what are you going to eat on race day.  I am great at the carb loading but I am always nervous about what I eat and drink on race morning.  I try to make sure I eat enough calories to get me through the run and that I pre-hydrate without having to run with a full bladder.  I usually eat gluten-free bread with some Trader Joes Better’ N Peanut Butter and a banana. During the week when I am training but not racing I love a good smoothie for breakfast.  I could have a banana, strawberry, spinach, PB2 and coconut water smoothie every day practically.   Why PB2 in my smoothie vs Trader Joe’s Better’N Peanut Butter you ask?  PB2 is a powder and much easier to add to a smoothie than taking out a spoon and trying to scoop into liquid.

Are you into smoothies?  Check out Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s awesome smoothie concoctions (YUM):

  • Chia Banana Boost with Strawberries (Coconut, almonds, dates, cinnamon, whole grain oats, chia seeds & roasted banana with strawberry).
  • Chia Banana Boost with Peanut Butter (Coconut, almonds, dates, cinnamon, whole grain oats, chia seeds & roasted banana with peanut butter).
  • Acai Berry Boost TM (Acai, pomegranate, banana, blueberries & strawberries).

Don’t miss out on this fun race.  The race details are as follows:

  • Sunday, April 2, 2017, 7 am
  • The Jacksonville Landing
  • All participants receive moisture wicking, technical shirt and a sling pack goodie bag!
  • Large finisher medals for participants
  • Post-race celebration with music, beer and food

Follow along on Facebook.

gluten free jacksonville run13point1 1st place sports tropical smoothie

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, exercising, Sponsors, Training

More Gluten-Free Coming to Jacksonville Beach

Lots of exciting things happening and coming soon in the Gluten-Free World in Jax Beach!!!!

Native Sun is Coming September 4th!
native sun coming september 4,. 2015 gluten free jacksonville

Whole Foods is coming in Early 2021 to Pablo Plaza, 1822 S. Third St.

Do you  know of any other gluten-free openings soon?  I for one am happy that I can get my gluten-free/Dairy-free oatmeal cream pie from Native Sun very soon!

2 Comments

Filed under Events, Shopping

Travel: Surdyk’s Flights Minnesota Airport

south dakota montage gluten free jacksonville

During a recent trip to South Dakota we connected through Minneapolis St Paul International Airport. We had a bit of a layover coming home and thought we would stop some place for a bite to eat. I checked my new app Gate Guru to do a little research on the best restaurant in the Airport. Syrdyk’s Flights came up as number one.

surdyk's flights gluten free jacksonville

In addition to having a high rating, it was super close to our departure gate. I loved this place from the start. They have a few seats inside and seats in the walkway where envious onlookers drool.

surdyk's flights gluten free jacksonville wine flight

Surdyk’s is the perfect travel snack/meal stop. In addition to a great location, they also have plugs everywhere making recharging your phone, laptop, iPad, etc. very easy and convenient. After taking a quick glance at the menu I was so excited to see GF next to many items, they even had gluten-free crackers. We started with a flight of interesting whites and a salumi plate with gluten free crackers.
surdyk's flights gluten free jacksonville wine flight and meat plate

The salumi plate had various Italian meats along with olives, almonds, pecans and apricots. After our appetizer my boyfriend got a panini (gluten-containing) and I had the smoked salmon salad with Mediterranean beets. It was delicious and very healthy!!!
gluten free jacksonville smoked salmon salad surdyk's flights minnesota

If you are gluten-free and need a place to stop between flights for a snack or meal I recommend this place. In addition to it being a sit down restaurant, they also have items that you can grab and go (including mini bottles of wine). It is located in the main terminal between C and G gates. If you need help finding it, they have information desks everywhere with very helpful staff.

Bonus info: check out Gate G, they have iPads everywhere. You can browse the web or order food or drinks. There must have been over 200 iPads.

minnesota airport ipads

Leave a comment

Filed under Dining, Travel