Food Review: Udi’s Gluten Free Bread

Today I had the most amazing breakfast.  I made a plate with cheesy eggs, bacon, fresh raspberries and gluten free toast.  I hadn’t planned on reviewing the bread, but it was just so surprisingly good that I decided to get the word out.

This morning’s breakfast; please excuse the nibble from the toast!

This week I have been eating Cinnamon Chex and yogurt, but I decided I missed having a good eggs and bacon breakfast.  Yesterday I went to Earth Fare in Greensboro and picked up some Udi’s Gluten Free Bread to include with my breakfast.  I had heard of Udi’s before and was told that it was top-notch as far as gluten free products are concerned.  Having never tried gluten free bread, I was pretty nervous about how it would taste, but also about the texture.  I have a thing about food textures– I don’t care how good it tastes, if the texture isn’t pleasant, I’m spitting it out.

When I opened the bread I immediately noticed that it wasn’t soft like most regular breads, but it had a pleasing aroma.  I popped a piece into my toaster and it came out nice and crispy.  I applied a thin layer of margarine and the bread soaked it up, which is a lot more than I can say for some regular breads I’ve toasted in the past.

The first bite was absolutely delicious.  This bread has a great flavor, as well as texture.  It wasn’t crumbly and it tasted very fresh, despite its not-so-soft feel.  The grains around the crust added some interest to the texture.  In my opinion, it tasted close to a homemade wheat bread.  It was extremely satisfying.

Udi’s Gluten Free Bread, Millet-Chia variety

Inside the package

Even my babies Grumpy (who’s in the middle of asking for a treat) and Daisy were curious…

“Mommy, can we have some Udi’s too?”

I give the Udi’s Gluten Free Bread (Millet-Chia) an A+.  Even though I don’t have anything to compare it to, the bread was completely satisfying to me.  The texture and taste combined make a lovely bread that I couldn’t even tell was gluten free.  This bread rivals the Nature’s Own Honey Wheat I’ve been eating for years!  If you’re looking for a great new gluten free bread, please try Udi’s.  I promise, it’s worth it!

If you’re interested in learning more about Udi’s Gluten Free Foods, please visit their website at http://udisglutenfree.com/

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Food Review: Pieworks

Today Chris and I went to Pieworks (Greensboro, NC) for lunch.  I’ve been craving pizza lately, but with starting the gluten-free diet I was nervous to try out a gluten-free crust.  Pieworks is one of my favorite pizza places (and I’m pretty tough on Southern pizza places after having pizza from the North) and I was very excited to learn that they offered a crust that I could eat and still stick to my diet.

Decor

The decor inside the restaurant is simple, yet elegant.  It’s not too overbearing and makes for a comfortable space.  Pieworks moved from a stand-alone building to a suite a couple years ago.  The new space feels much smaller, but offers a more upscale environment.  The only bad thing is that the dining room gets really crowded, and when you’re there at the peak of dinner service it gets hard to move around and can be uncomfortable.  I recommend going to lunch over dinner because it’s usually not very busy earlier in the day.

Rating: A

Service

The service at Pieworks is always great, and today was no exception.  We were seated and served promptly.  Our waitress was very knowledgeable about the menu.  I asked her if the salad dressing was made in-house and she informed me that they received it through their food distributor.  She did offer to ask if the dressing I had (raspberry vinaigrette) was available in a grocery store.  I was very impressed at her willingness to go the extra mile to answer my question.

Rating: A+

Food

Chris and I shared the 10″ Gluten-Free Pizza ($14.95 before toppings).  This is just a crust and you pick which toppings you would like.  We chose pepperoni and mozzarella cheese.  I also had a Side Salad (Romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, croutons and shaved Parmesan cheese….$2.95) with Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing.

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After looking back over the menu, I realized that the kitchen actually made a House Salad for me (Fresh Romaine lettuce with tomatoes, sliced red onion, cucumber and croutons).  I asked for the salad without the croutons to keep the salad gluten-free.  As you can see from the above picture, there was only one cucumber and one tomato.  I would’ve preferred a little more of both, especially since I didn’t have any croutons or cheese.  I also took the onion off.  I’m not much of a salad eater, but I was really pleased with the lettuce.  It was fresh and crisp and overall pretty tasty.  The dressing was delicious.  It was rich, sweet and slightly tangy.  I only used a little of the dressing in the cup and it was plenty.

The pizza arrived looking much more appetizing than I was expecting.

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The pizza was covered in cheese and had a perfect amount of pepperoni.  It smelled absolutely amazing.  The sauce was also applied in a perfect proportion to the toppings, so it wasn’t too saucy or too dry.  Pieworks’ sauce is also really delicious.  It has a zesty taste without being too spicy.

Now for the most surprising thing, possibly ever: the crust was good!  I was definitely not expecting to like the crust.  The texture was a little chewy, but overall it had a good taste.  I would eat it again.  If you know me, you know I don’t try new things very often and when I do, I usually don’t care for them.  This gluten-free pizza crust surprised me and I’m happy that I know I can return to Pieworks and still eat within my diet.  Overall, the pizza was very yummy and both Chris and I enjoyed it.

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A delicious slice of pizza with grated Parmesan cheese

Rating: A

I recommend Pieworks to any pizza lover.  I have never been disappointed anytime I’ve dined here.  I’m pleased to say that I can now recommend the gluten-free crust, in addition to the other crust options.  If you go, I also recommend trying the Stix & Dippers (Six large, fresh, hand rolled breadstix buttered and sprinkled with our own cheese mix. Your choice of three dippers: marinara, garlic butter, barbecue, ranch, Blue cheese, Parmesan & peppercorn or honey mustard…..Half $4.25/Full $6.50) as an appetizer.  The bread sticks are always tender and taste divine.  The dippers are also very delicious and complement the bread well.

Overall Rating: A

You can visit Pieworks online at http://pieworks.com

Food Review: Village Tavern

This past Sunday, Chris and I went to Village Tavern in Winston-Salem, NC for Brunch.  Village Tavern is what I would consider to be a nicer restaurant, perhaps on the same scale as a Longhorn or Outback Steakhouse.  It is a bit pricey, but the food is worth it in my opinion.

A note about the format of my reviews: I find it easier to break my reviews down into a series of categories.  If there is a category you would like me to add, or one you feel is unnecessary, please let me know in the comments.  I also score/rate the categories and provide a final score at the bottom of the entry.

Decor (Interior/Exterior)

The decor of Village Tavern is interesting.  In my opinion, the inside doesn’t match the outside.  When you enter the restaurant, you are greeted by a hostess behind a large host station.  The vestibule isn’t roomy, which makes waiting uncomfortable.  There are a few chairs to sit in, but they are awkwardly placed.  This place gets crowded fast, so I definitely recommend going early so you don’t have to wait in the crowded front entrance, or outside on the sidewalk, which is barely wide enough to accommodate two people in passing.  The sidewalk issue is mostly due to large holly bushes which could be cut to allow more room for walking.

The decor scheme inside the restaurant is particularly strange.  The building reminds me of a ski chalet on the outside, and a “down home” restaurant on the inside.  There are paintings of fruit bowls and the curtains are checked, which adds to the country feel inside the restaurant.  The kitchen is visible from the dining room and is a beautiful, open space in which you can see the food being prepared.  This high-end look really doesn’t go well with the rest of the decor.  I would expect to see the high-end look throughout the restaurant instead of the unconventional mix of country kitchen and upper class winter home.

One thing I can say about the exterior is that it does have nice landscaping.  There are some beautiful plants that look like cabbages that I absolutely love.  I’m curious as to what these plants are.  If you know, please tell me!

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Rating: C

Service

On this visit to Village Tavern, I would rate the service as okay at best.  Although our waitress was friendly and got our order correct, she didn’t come by our table often.  She also came to the table quite some time after we had been seated.  We ordered our drinks and meals at the same time, but it took a long time for the drinks to arrive, and they were brought to us by another waitress.  I’m happy that I sipped my drink because refills were offered after we were more than halfway through eating.  The waitress could have been more attentive.

Rating: B-

Food

Chris is a huge Eggs Benedict buff, so every time we go to a restaurant that offers a Benedict dish, he has to try it out.  Village Tavern offers a few types of Eggs Benedict, so Chris is in his element.  On this visit, he ordered the Crab Cake Benedict.  The menu describes this dish as: Two toasted English muffin halves with our Maryland-style crab cakes, poached eggs and topped with Hollandaise sauce……$12.95. Benedicts are served with Tavern hash brown potatoes, fresh fruit and a fresh-baked apple walnut muffin with whipped honey butter.

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Chris commented that the crab cake element of this dish was good, but not exceptional.  The eggs were room temperature, leading him to believe that they were finished before the rest of the dish and were sitting out while the plate was assembled.  The temperature of the eggs distracted him from enjoying the meal.  He did really like the apple walnut muffin and thought it complemented the brunch nicely; however, the honey butter was missing.  The fruit was also fresh and tasty.  Chris also said he would have liked more Hollandaise sauce.

Last time we visited Village Tavern, Chris ordered the Steak Benedict (One 5 oz. filet served on a toasted English muffin half, topped with a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce…$13.95).  He said the steak was full of flavor, unlike the crab cakes on this dish.  He would recommend the Steak Benedict over the Crab Cake Benedict.

Rating: B-
(Chris would give the Steak Benedict an A)

Since I’m a cheeseburger lover (hence the name of the blog), I ordered the Cheeseburger (Mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, tomato, sliced pickles, diced onion and your choice of Cheddar, Mozzarella, Swiss or Pepper Jack….$9.50).  The menu states: We use fresh premium lean ground chuck in our Burgers, artisan sesame or whole wheat bun and your choice of classic French fries with sea salt, sweet potato fries, potato salad, pasta salad or coleslaw.

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I chose cheddar cheese and ordered my burger without onions and lettuce.  I picked the fries with sea salt as the side.  Overall, my burger was excellent.  The meat was juicy and cooked perfectly (well-done, without being burned).  There was a sufficient amount of cheese and the pickles were crunchy.  The mayonnaise and mustard were also applied in amounts intended to complement the burger.  I usually smother my cheeseburgers with mayo and mustard, but I didn’t need to ask for more condiments since what was already on the burger was perfect.  The fries were also very tasty.  They were fried to perfection and not covered in salt.  The only thing I didn’t enjoy about the burger was the tomato.  It was a little too soft for my taste.

Rating: A

I recommend trying Village Tavern if you’re looking for a Sunday Brunch with a lot of variety.  Our bill came to $26.47, which isn’t a bad price for the quality of the food.  Although, for $2.35 for a Coke, I do wish that I had more refills.

Overall Rating: B-

You can visit The Village Tavern’s website at http://www.villagetavern.com/

Welcome to my newest adventure

Welcome to Cheeseburgers & Nail Polish.  I hope you’ll enjoy your visit to my blog.  I’d like to start with a little background about me.

My name is Sarah and I’m 24 years old.  I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in English and minor in Creative Writing in 2010.  Since then, I’ve been on the hunt for a career.  Recently, I lost my job, which was devastating.  In between searching for jobs, I came up with the idea to do a food blog.  I love eating and writing, so I thought, “Hmm, why not start a blog?”  I already have a blog that I use for my personal thoughts, but I wanted something with more focus.  I also decided that I could write about beauty products because I have a slight obsession with OPI nail polish.  I’m hoping that this blog will be an adventure and will give me an outlet for my writing.  Perhaps it will also be the start of me becoming more worldly.

Something you should know about me: I’m a very picky eater.  Most of what you’ll see here is food within my comfort zone.  I’ll also feature dishes that my friend Chris eats, since he’s much more adventurous than me.  Also, I just started a gluten-free diet, so I’ll be able to provide feedback on the gluten-free options out there.

Please feel free to leave a comment or reply to any post.  I really appreciate feedback (good and bad) and would love to know how my readers are responding to what I write.