Sunday, April 24, 2011

The gluten-free menu at Bonefish should be everyone’s menu, in my opinion.

Truly.  Crammed packed with variety and choices, you won’t go home hungry. Or lacking.  I personally counted 33 items on the menu that was gluten-free that I personally can eat.  And, if I were able to eat dairy, pork or shellfish, the menu offerings skyrockets!  With so many choices, I wonder why they even have a regular menu!

Don’t just take my word for it.  Take seven of my friends’ word for it.


Recently, I received an invitation by Matt and Arlisa (managers of the local Bonefish Grill here in Rogers), for a “gluten-free excursion” dinner.  Full disclosure:  they wanted to treat me to a free dinner for eight people (drinks included) as a way to showcase their “exceptional GF offerings.”  We chatted over the phone and confirmed, “yes, we’ll set up a table for eight and serve you a wide variety of choices from our gluten-free menu.  You pick the time.”

How cool is that?

Then came the hard part… picking seven friends.  No silly, not because I don’t have seven friends!  I wanted to invite the right people who would really see the gluten-free menu from their unique perspective… and then share back with you.

Guest list:

1.    Me = seemed like the right thing to invite myself
2.   Dennis = my husband because, well, he is my trophy husband
3.   Jeanette = she’s been thinking about going gluten-free
4.    Nathan = Jeanette’s husband who happens to love Bonefish already
5.   Corwin = local family medical doctor who tests his patients for food allergies, including gluten
6.    Rachel = Corwin’s wife who is in love with Bonefish martini’s
7.   Colton = their 10 year old cool son who cracks me up
8.    Emma Rae = their sweet 6 year old daughter who happens to have a wheat allergy, just like me!

I did well with the guest list, didn’t I?

The evening started off with a bang!  Matt was the gracious host for our excursion and Ryan treated us like royalty.  The gluten-free tasting plates, drinks, and offerings kept arriving like clockwork.  Wait, I am getting ahead of myself a bit.

Let’s start with the drinks… 

They started us off with pomegranate martinis and blueberry martinis.   The group unanimously determined that the pomegranate martinis were our favorite drink!  Perhaps it is because they marinate the berry with the vodka for seven days.  It was sweet but not too sweet. Packed a punch, but not too much punch. I applaud Bonefish greatly for cleverly working in martinis as “gluten free.”

As we each enjoyed our crisp martinis, Matt and Ryan brought out the edamame appetizers.  These aren’t your grandmother’s soybeans!  Sautéed in butter with salt, pepper and touch of garlic (I’m guessing), these were hard to resist!  Even Emma Rae devoured them like candy!

Then came the impromptu celiac-gluten-free-upper-versus-lower-gastrointestinal-track demonstration.  Take my word for it.  When someone casually asked Corwin (aka Dr. Petty with Champions Family Clinic in Rogers) about how gluten affects the body… we were all transported into an actual play-by-play animation of how gluten reacts negatively in some people’s bodies.  Let’s just say if you want to get tested for a gluten intolerance and you desire to talk to someone who is passionate about it, just do it… call Dr. Petty already!

Let’s move on to the meal now…

The gluten-free dish that surprised me in the most delightful way 
Florida Cobb Salad with jerk chicken, crisp greens, avocado, mango, tomatoes, Danish blue cheese, pine nuts and citrus vinegarette.  This is a huge dish and quite filling.

The gluten-free dish that surprised my husband in the most delightful way
Would you believe… tilapia?  Lightly seasoned with lemon butter and cooked over their wood-burning grill.  Dennis was hooked.  Whatever magic they did to make this fish flake so tastily in our mouth was mesmerizing.

The gluten-free dish that everyone loved and said they would order again  
Lily’s Chicken.  Fire-roasted chicken topped with creamy Chevre goat cheese, sautéed spinach, artichoke hearts and a lemon basil sauce.  This was pure heaven in a fork.  Even though I scraped off the goat cheese, it still was to-die-for.  And yes, I have already gone back to Bonefish and ordered this.

Everyone’s favorite gluten-free topping
The warm mango salsa that adorned our salmon.  A perfect balance to the boldness of salmon.

(bottom left to right: Lemon buttered grilled Tilapia, Salmon with warm mango salsa, wood grilled Sirloin Steak and Lily’s Chicken)
Last and most certainly NOT least, we were treated to gluten-free dessert.

Crème Brulee topped with fresh whipped cream and berries were brought to our table along with the Macadamia Nut Brownie, a flourless brownie with raspberry sauce, vanilla ice cream and more of the fresh whipped cream.  Eight. Thumbs. Up. 

A robust cup of coffee completed the perfect end to a perfect meal… almost three hours later and we were spent.  Satiated.  Complete.

In the days since we attended this gluten-free excursion with our friends we have already been back twice and have had family members go on their own after hearing about our taste-testing adventure.  It’s hard not to follow suit when someone passionately enjoys a great meal.

For those of you who have never been to Bonefish Grill in Rogers, I think you will find something to please everyone, young and old, allergies or not.  If you are like me and hadn’t been to Bonefish in quite awhile, I hope you venture in and become pleasantly surprised and newly addicted, like I am.


(I would love it you would follow me on twitter and  facebook, thanks!)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Please help get the word out on this gluten-free quick survey!

This one is for my gluten-free foodies and all of your gluten-free friends...

Can you spare about 2 minutes to fill out this survey to help the students of the USC/Marshall Food Industry Management program?

The purpose of this survey is to see how a gluten free diet has changed the planning, shopping and lifestyle habits of this particular consumer.  

Please share because they need to get answers quickly for a project they are working on and that would be most awesome of you.  I just took it myself and it literally took less than 2 minutes.


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