Hey guys, this post got behind me but I wanted to tell you a bit more about our gluten-free travels in North Carolina. I was there for the GFAF Wellness event in Raleigh. It was so fun to see sweet gfree friends like April from Gluten Hates Me, Pam from I’m a Celiac and Jen from Gluten Free School as well as Jordan from Delight Gluten Free and Nikki who runs the GFAF Wellness event. I wrote about our first meal together at Primal Spirits HERE. It was incredible! Saturday morning began with breakfast at our hotel. I called ahead and asked if the chef could make gluten-free pancakes for me (I was pregnant and craving them 😉 ) I let him know that I have celiac disease and so that they needed to be cooked in a fresh pan and prepared with all new utensils and dishes. He presented these BIG, beautiful pancakes to me that were made from scratch using Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free all-purpose flour. They were incredible! He also had fresh bacon and potatoes made for me since they served the breakfast meats on bread at the buffet. (Why?!) I enjoyed fresh scrambled eggs and fruit as well. Finally, I had to give the grits a try because hey, I WAS in the south. I topped them with brown sugar and raisins for a nice sweet breakfast cereal. I was very impressed with my first meals in North Carolina for sure. Always make sure to ask chefs what they can do to accommodate your dietary needs. You might just get a fantastic meal like this one.
Next I headed to the GFAF Wellness event and was surprised with goodies from Daisy Cakes Bakery from my sweet friend April! (Look at both our little baby bellies 😉 ) Oh my goodness was the stuff GOOD! She got me a flaky biscuit breakfast sandwich with bacon, egg and cheese, plus a chocolate cupcake, peanut butter cookies and a lavender eclair. They were all divine! The lavender eclair was very unique and fun. I thought all the treats had excellent flavor as well as wonderful texture. Jordan and I had fun at the Delight Gluten Free booth meeting lots of wonderful people.
After the event, I just had to take April recommendation to enjoy fresh dumplings and bibimbap at a local restaurant. I am SO glad I did! It was awesome!! The dumplings held together great and there were even two options, pork and vegetarian. The bibimbap was full of flavor and the egg on top was perfectly cooked. I, like April, recommend this place. They know food and they know how to do it safely gluten-free.
Our last meal in the Raleigh area of North Carolina was at Bella Monica. (Sorry, the pics aren’t the best.) The gluten-free menu here is very extensive and full of Italian favorites like tiramisu, ravioli and pizza. I hear it is hard to get in on the weekends so make you reservation well in advance. We began with the freshly made gluten-free focaccia bread. Next up was Nikki’s choice, beef carpaccio. I didn’t try it as I was pregnant and didn’t want to do raw meat but I heard the oo’s and ah’s that made me think it must have been pretty good. I will say that the fresh caprese salad was fantastic! It was drizzled with pure EVOO and topped with fresh cracked black pepper. For my dinner, I ordered the famous gluten-free ravioli. I am glad I did because they were great! They held up well and were filled with creamy cheese. The sauce was very tasty and obviously homemade. Finally, for dessert I couldn’t resist the tiramisu. While the flavor was right, it wasn’t a true tiramisu. It was mostly the fluffy cream and no soaked lady fingers that I could taste. I would go for another dessert next time. Overall, it was a lovely experience with delicious food and an educated staff who knew how to prepare it safely.