Gluten-Free in San Diego: True Food Kitchen

I feel like I won’t be able to do True Food Kitchen justice. They aren’t 100% gf but before Chaz and I went to the San Diego location, Hordus took me to the one in Newport Beach for lunch with his oldest son a few years ago, the day after taking me to True Shabu. I was overwhelmed by how many things on the menu were gf since I’m used to having just a handful of options.

true-food

Menu from the Newport Beach location.

I know it’s hard to tell from the photo but there really were a lot of options and I wanted every single one of them. At the Newport Beach location, I had the Honey Lemonade with added matcha and we shared the Tuna Tataki as an appetizer. My main course was a turkey wrap (the wrap on the menu now is different) with sweet potatoes and kale as my sides. I wasn’t able to finish my sandwich or the sides so I got the leftovers to go and had them in Hordus’ fridge while hanging out with him and his kids. Guess who left the leftovers in the fridge?

I was thrilled when we discovered a location in San Diego. Chaz and I had already spent the day with two of my author friends (separately) – one we had lunch with and the other we walked around Balboa Park with and saw things like koi trying to eat the ducks. Which would explain this huge koi we saw outside Inamori Pavilion. It was so big I had to reference it as a joke in my latest book.

balboa-park-2

Back to True Food. I started with the Matcha Horchata

true-food-8

It was so good I had two. Next was Chicken Noodle Soup. No joke. Real gf chicken noodle soup on a menu. It was glorious. *queue up choir of angels*

true-food-9

And then you’ll never guess what happened. I ordered the special. Who gets to order the special when they can’t have gluten and aren’t at a 100% gf restaurant? Turns out, in this case, me. It was sea bass and it was scrumptious.

true-food-10

Last – yes, there’s more – there was dessert to be hand and it wasn’t ice cream or creme brulee. It was gf Frangipane with pear compote. To. Die. For.

true-food-11

If you can’t take my word for it, how about my friend Valerie? She seems to have traveled (for work) to all the areas where there is a True Food Kitchen and she has a lot of photos on her Instagram like this one.

Gluten-Free in Encinitas: Solterra Winery & Kitchen

solterrra-1

We drove up to meet Hordus at Dana Point, a sort of meet in the middle since we weren’t able to see him while we were in L.A. If he looks familiar to you it’s because I’ve done a restaurant post with him in before, and if you follow my Chocolate Wasteland blog, I just did a post about him being one of my best friends.

solterra-2

We lingered over lunch before driving down to the marina to wander around and then sip on some wine. Before we knew it, it was time for him to leave because he had dinner plans.

solterra-3

We drove back down to Encinitas so I could ground myself in the sand and watch the sun set.

sunset-8

Cardiff State Beach is the setting for some scenes in my first novel, Family Ties, but none of the scenes take place at sunset. If you’d like to see more real life settings I used, you can check them out here.

solterra-5

We then drove up 101 to Solterra Winery & Kitchen for dinner. Pro tip: make reservations if you want to eat here. We didn’t have reservations but they had a high top for two right outside the entrance. This place is not 100% gluten-free but when we asked the hostess about a gluten-free menu she was knowledgeable about my needs without me asking questions, pointed out what wasn’t marked gf that could be gf if I wanted it, told our server before she came to our table about my needs, and checked on us twice to make sure I was doing well.

solterra-4

Solterra offers cask wines and I couldn’t pass that up – why bother with the middleman…er bottle? I tried the La Sureña (white) and Chaz had the Ainsley Reserve (Cab blend). If we were to go back, it would be my mission to have every single wine they serve. They also have a wine club. *wink wink*

solterra-6

We ordered the Cheese & Charcuterie plate and they gave us housemade gf crackers to go with it – I didn’t even ask for them!

solterra-7

And because it was important to eat our veggies we ordered Roasted Brussel Sprouts.

I would go back to Solterra in a heartbeat. Who wants to go with? I’ll even make the reservations.

Gluten-Free in Encinitas: Healthy Creations

healthy-creations-1

Hotel room keys can make jokes.

We headed south again after leaving Los Angeles. Destination: Encinitas. When we got in, we had enough time to check-in to the hotel before picking up Mom (my best friend’s mom) from work and take her for dinner.

We went to Healthy Creations, a 100% gluten-free bakery and restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch. They close at 6 pm, so we had an early dinner. It wasn’t packed while we were there, so it made conversation easy.

Since the place is 100% gluten-free, it meant everything was safe and everything on the menu looked good so it was hard to choose. Eventually, I settled on a California Wrap (it was a teff wrap).healthy-creations-4

Mom ordered a BLAT on ciabatta and wanted her sandwich to be part of my food porn. I was more than happy to oblige.

healthy-creations-5

Don’t they look good? They use fresh ingredients and who in the world doesn’t love a good California avocado? The only thing better is a Hawai`i avocado. After having both types, Chaz says I’ve ruined him for avocados. He didn’t know he was missing out before.

I also got a chocolate “malted” with almond milk. There is no malt in the “malted” and even though I haven’t had many in my life, it did taste just like I remember them to be.

healthy-creations-3

Chaz went back for some of the baked goods and a few drinks (soda for him and local cold brew coffee for me)  before we left. The pastries we tried later were pretty good, but the cupcakes weren’t my thing. Chaz really liked them so that should tell you something since he’s the gluten eater. As you can see in the next picture, they do have gf specialty products for sale as well.

healthy-creations-2

We took Mom home and kept her up past her bedtime, chatting. (I’m such a bad influence)

healthy-creations-6

The sun was setting over the Pacific on the way to Mom’s. Too stunning to not share.

healthy-creations-8

Drank the cold brew coffee another day. It was good stuff and the restaurant had repurposed some of the old bottles, which is what brought my attention to it. Cold brewing coffee is a great way to keep the acidic content down if it bothers you. It’s also the best way to make coffee if you’re going to use it for iced coffee drinks.