The last stop on our trip was beautiful San Francisco. We spent only two days in the chilly city, so we had to cram in as many sites as we could. Shortly after arriving in San Fran (and after spending a significant amount of time looking for parking) we went to Mariposa Baking Co. for gluten-free eats. Mariposa had so many gluten-free options that I rarely get to enjoy. I decided on the ham and cheese puff pastry. I am not kidding when I say it brought tears to my eyes. It was so delicious; buttery, flaky crust with a warm ham and cheese inside. Pure heaven I tell ya!
For dinner we stopped at Jamber Wine Pub which had a cool vibe and out door seating. Many of the menu options were gluten-free although not marked on the menu. Our waitress was very helpful in pointing out which items I would be able to order. We shared spicy buffalo cauliflower as an appetizer. It was a bit too spicy for me, but I liked that it was not dipped buffalo sauce. Instead it was coated in a dry rub. I chose a salad for dinner, which was on the small size and Mike enjoyed a burger.
While in San Fran we visited Lombard Street, the San Fransisco Bridge, the Embarcadero Center and did plenty of walking through the city. We were really hoping to ride a trolley, but after waiting on line for almost an hour a trolley broke down just as our turn came up. Luckily, a nice person standing next to us told us that we were holding metro passes that could be used on all public transportation. After asking several people for directions we finally found a bus to take us to the bridge. I am so happy we got to walk across the San Fran Bridge, but we definitely could have used jackets. The downside of San Fran is definitely the limited and expensive parking.
This is the last of post of my California Gluten-Free Guide. I hope you have enjoyed my posts and picked up a few new restaurants to try.
While planning our trip to California several people (all unrelated to each other) told me we should stop in Solvang. On the day we booked our hotels, Expedia was having a great special on the Hadsten House Inn and Spa and just like that Solvang became part of our trip. Solvang is an old Danish town on the outskirts of Santa Barbara wine country. I never would have expected this random little town to be one of my absolute favorite stops on our trip.
We arrived in Solvang on a Wednesday afternoon only to learn that is was “3rd Wednesday.” On the third Wednesday of the month the town hosts a wine tasting festival. To participate, you purchase a wine glass and 5 tasting tickets for $20. The town is filled with wine tasting rooms of local wineries; most of which participate in 3rd Wednesday. It was so much fun and we loved being able to try so many different types of wine. The best part was that the Hadsten House is right in town; walking distance to dozens of tasting rooms. Also, Hadsten House provides their guests a list of tasting rooms and near by wineries that offer free and discount tastings.
Our room at the Hadsten House was so cute and cozy. I loved the decor. It didn’t feel like a standard hotel room because it had a homey feel. After indulging in wine tasting all afternoon we made a reservation at the Hadsten House Dining Room which was also beautifully decorated. The menu had a good variety, the service was great and our waitress was able to easily accommodate my gluten allergy. I ordered a little out of my comfort zone and tried the scallops with risotto. The Hadsten House also offers a complementary American breakfast in the Dining Room with your stay.
I LOVED this part of our trip. Since we got home I have been recommending Solvang and the Hadsten House to everyone!
After leaving LA, Mike and I headed to Santa Barbara. It was cloudy, but we stopped at the beach to put our toes in the Pacific one last time. We walked around the town and visited the historic Santa Barbara Court House which offered the most beautiful views of the city.
I was looking forward to stopping at Savoy Cafe for lunch because I had read that they offer gluten-free options. Totally pumped and ready for a gluten-free sandwich I ordered the Gibraltar on gluten-free bread. I also asked the waitress if they cut the gluten-free bread on a clean cutting board with a clean knife to which she respond, “Yes, no problem.” After overhearing our conversation, another waitress behind the counter interrupted us. She told me that since I was concerned about how my bread was being cut, she wanted to let me know that the bakery Savoy orders the bread from slices the gluten-free bread on the same machine that slices gluten-filled bread. Que the silence. I did not see these details coming (although they were greatly appreciated) and had to get off line to re-think my order.
Totally stumped and not in the mood for a salad, I asked the waitresses if they would be able to make the Gibraltar sandwich with a romaine lettuce wrap. Luckily, they said they were definitely up to the challenge. Mike ordered the Gibraltar on regular bread, we bought a snicker doodle cookie and sat down at a table to wait for our food. The Gibraltar Romaine Wrap was a success! It was so good and perfectly wrapped. I didn’t miss the bread at all. The waitress told me it was the first lettuce wrap she ever made. Let me tell you; she nailed it. I am sending a big thank you to that waitress and Savoy Cafe for going above and beyond to make my lunch awesome.
After leaving Savoy Cafe Mike and I continued to walk around Santa Barbara. We walked past Lilac Patisserie, a completely gluten-free cafe and bakery. I could not resist and ran right in. There are very few gluten-free cafes on Long Island, so I was excited to buy a homemade baked treat. Mike and I agreed on a cinnamon coffee cake which we ate the next morning. It was perfect. This coffee cake was tasty, moist and the perfect size to share. Mike even said that if he wasn’t the one to buy it he wouldn’t have thought it was gluten-free.