gluten free

Seva

After a trip to the Detroit Science Center this past weekend, Jacki and I grabbed lunch at Seva, a vegan/vegetarian spot in Midtown, Detroit. Seva has been the top vegan restaurant in Ann Arbor, first opening in 1973, but has been a resident of Detroit for about 4 years. Seva showcases typical dishes that would normally include meat, only they put a vegan/vegetarian spin on them (think Reuben or Mushroom French Dip). Located in the back of the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, Seva has indoor/outdoor seating and a bar area. Check it.

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Atmosphere: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites (creative menu)

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Northville Brewery & Winery Scary Spice Hard Cider: Seasonal cinnamon and nutmeg spiced hard cider. Since I was a huge Spice Girls fan as a girl, I couldn’t pass this up (Don’t judge, you know you were, too)! Crisp, light, sour, with a touch of spice. I was hesitant because I thought the cinnamon would be too much, but it was subtle.

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Yam Fries: With spicy mayo and BBQ sauce. The fries were slightly sweet, crispy on the outside, and tender on the inside. The spicy mayo was my favorite of the two condiments adding just enough bite to the fries.

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General Tso’s Cauliflower: Light tempura batter, sesame seeds, green onions,  sweet & sour chili sauce. Since General Tso Chicken is a favorite of mine, I had to order this. The cauliflower was so satisfying and I hardly missed the meat. The sauce was delicious, sweet, and the tempura batter was light and didn’t take away from the cauliflower.

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The inside dining room consisted of exposed brick (which I love) high, wooden ceilings and delicate string lighting. The bar area was separate from the dining room and had an inviting lightness to it. Seva uses fresh, seasonal ingredients that will make you forget all about the meat. Seva offers Gluten Free items, weekly drink /food specials, and a happy hour menu with half priced appetizers and drinks. Next time, I want to swing by and check out their brunch menu. Mimosa’s, here I come!

Seva Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Noodles & Company

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We’re going to do things a little different this post. Last week I was invited to sample some of the new menu items at Noodles & Company with a handful of my favorite people. What’s on the menu, you say? Well, for starters, noodles, but they also offer salads, soups, sandwiches, shareables, and desserts. I love that Noodles & Company doesn’t use artificial colors, additives, sweeteners, or preservatives. They offer organic, cage-free, hormone and antibiotic free proteins and fresh produce. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites (clean and fresh dining room, menu posted for easy ordering)

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites (totally customizable menu)

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Korean BBQ Meatballs with Gochujang sauce: Flavorful meatballs tossed with a sweet and spicy Korean-style Gochujang (go-choo-jang) barbeque sauce. The Gochujang sauce was really delicious! The sweet and spicy sauce added a caramelized coating to the meatballs.

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Cheesy Garlic Bread: Parmesan and garlic butter melted over toasted petite baguette with Italian seasonings and marinara sauce. Chewy and soft on the inside, with a toasty crust. The bread was seasoned well with a nice blend of garlic and Parmesan. The marina was rich and chunky, very good!

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* New! Chicken Veracruz Salad: Mixed greens topped with Roma tomato, red onion, chili-lime chicken, crumbled naturally raised bacon, fresh-cut corn, tossed with Jalapeño Ranch dressing and crispy jalapeños, fresh California avocados and cilantro. My favorite! There are a lot of flavors going on without being overwhelming. Noodles & Company roasts their own corn on the cob and cuts it off just for this salad! Bad ass! This salad had a nice spicy crunch from the crispy jalapenos, but the cool Jalapeno Ranch dressing and avocado balanced out the heat. The acid from the chili-lime chicken went really well the salty bacon.

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*New! Napa Market Chicken Salad: Mixed greens layered with Gala apple slices, Roma tomato and red bell pepper topped with pulled grilled chicken, bleu cheese and naturally raised bacon crumbles, tossed with pomegranate vinaigrette. The crisp, sweet apple paired perfectly with the bleu cheese. I also appreciated that the bleu cheese wasn’t overpowering-sometimes it will steel the show, but in this case, it was a nice addition. The pomegranate vinaigrette added a light and sweet, yet vinegary touch.

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Penne Rosa: Spicy tomato cream sauce, penne pasta, mushrooms, tomato, spinach, wine and parmesan cheese topped with parmesan crusted chicken breast. Another favorite! This sauce is the perfect blend of tomato, cream, and spice. The parmesan adds a nice nutty layer that is perfect with the wine.

Tip: Add a touch of Sriracha for more heat (shout out to Jacki)!

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Alfredo MontAmore: Spaghetti noodles, four-cheese blend alfredo, mushrooms, tomato, spinach and parmesan chicken. Topped with MontAmore cheese, Italian parsley and cracked pepper . This was another top pick. I liked that the Alfredo sauce was light, it seemed appropriate with the delicate pasta. The fresh veggies were the perfect blend. Less is more and this dish is proof!

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Whole Grain Tuscan Fresca: Whole grain linguine with balsamic, olive oil, white wine and roasted garlic, red onion, tomato, spinach,  feta and Italian parsley with grilled chicken. The balsamic was a nice surprise and made perfect sense with the whole grain pasta. The feta added a nice saltiness that went well with the balsamic and white wine.

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Japanese Pan Noodles: Caramelized udon noodles in a sweet soy sauce, broccoli, carrots, shiitake mushrooms, Asian sprouts, black sesame seeds and cilantro. One of my personal favorites. I love the thick, chewy udon noodle. It is perfect to soak up the sweet soy. The shitake mushrooms had a nice meaty earthiness and the cilantro brightened up the dish.

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Pad Thai: This new recipe highlights a more traditional sauce and features green onions instead of carrots. – Rice noodle stir-fry with scrambled egg, napa and red cabbage, citrus, peanuts, Asian sprouts, green onions and cilantro with sautéed shrimp. Yum! I typically am not a fan of Pad Thai because of the sweet and spicy, Peanut sauce, but this was delicious! The sauce was lighter and didn’t smother the dish. I loved the combo of egg and fresh veggies. The shrimp was the best choice for this menu item.

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Pesto Cavatappi: Curly pasta, basil pesto, garlic, mushrooms, tomato, wine, cream, parmesan and Italian parsley with naturally raised shredded pork. The pesto cream sauce was light, fresh, and paired nicely with the salty pork. I really like how the curly cavatappi pasta captured the pesto sauce with every bite.

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Wisconsin Mac and Cheese: A classic blend of cheddar and jack cheeses, cream and elbow macaroni with broccoli. Classic creamy and cheesy favorite. The broccoli was a nice addition and showcases how every dish can be customized and tweaked to your liking. Also, it’s a great way to sneak in those veggies for kids.

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Steak Strogonoff: Marinated steak, mushroom sherry cream sauce, fresh herbs, cracked pepper, sautéed mushrooms, wavy egg noodles, parmesan and Italian parsley. The steak was juicy,  tender, and paired nicely with the salty Parmesan. The sherry cream sauce was light and went well with the beefy steak, but it was missing that rich stroganoff flavor I am used to. I would described this dish as a modern stroganoff.

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Desserts!

Snickerdoodle and Chocolate Chip Cookies and Rice Krispy Treat: Delicious! The rice krispies are made in house  daily and you can tell! They are soft, fresh, and takes your right back to when you used to help mom make these as a child. The cookies were also soft and delicious.

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Noodles & Company is the perfect spot no matter what you are in the mood for. One of my favorite features Noodles & Company’s customizable menu which makes it great no matter if you are gluten free, picky, or just simply trying to eat all natural, organic food.  You also have the option of getting some dishes as buff bowls (hold the noodles, more veggies). Noodles & Company is family friendly and even has options for the kiddos, too. They will happily cater your next event or get together. How awesome would it be if you could eat Pad Thai or Penne Rosa at your birthday party or a shower? Remember to sign up for the email club so you don’t miss out on specials, promotions, and coupons. Stop in and experience the new menu items and don’t forget your classic favorites!

Thanks to my mom, Nastassia, Inda, Lauren, and Jacki for joining me. It was so much fun, ladies!
Noodles & Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Moo Cluck Moo

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I have to give all the credit to April for finding this gem. Moo Cluck Moo, located in Dearborn Heights, offers all natural, no preservatives, no gluten, or additives “fast food.” With a plethora of burgers, fried chicken, shakes, sides, and hot dogs, Moo Cluck Moo is doing things different. Who knew that we can still eat fast food and be healthier? See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4.5 out of 5 bites (creative theme and menu)

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My Pick:

The Baa Burger: Ground lamb topped with feta, sliced onions, and homemade cumin aioli (also pictured above) . I added a side of garlic fries (tossed in homemade garlic oil) which were crispy and flavorful. The only thing I didn’t like is that they seemed to soak up the garlic oil.  The lamb was so flavorful, juicy, and lean. Moo Cluck Moo offers the option of getting your bun fried, so naturally that’s what I did. It gave the bun a nice crispiness and prevented it from getting soggy from the juicy burger. You can never go wrong with feta and onions on a burger and they paired well with the lamb. I added pickles for an added sour crunch. It was messy, but a burger isn’t a burger unless you have lamb juice dripping down your hand. I highly recommend this burger!

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I couldn’t leave without also ordering Cluck Bites.

I went with the Garlic Cluck Bites: Fried chicken bites tossed in garlic oil with ranch . Crispy on the outside and juicy, tender, white meat chicken on the inside. The chicken didn’t seem to soak up the garlic oil like the fries did. Very good!

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Notorious Cluck: Deep fried and sprinkled with spicy seasoning and topped with picnic slaw. The fried chicken was awesome! Lightly battered, tender, juicy, and delicious. The slaw added a nice crunch and creaminess. This sandwich is where it’s at and I will be getting it on my next visit.

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With an order of Romano Parsley Fries: Tossed in garlic oil and sprinkled with romano cheese and parsley. The fries were yummy, not oily. The romano added a nice saltiness and the parsley brightened up the fries.

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This place is small inside, but offers a few tables if you wanted to dine in. We did dine and the service was great. Since it was our first time, we asked for recommendations on what to order. The staff was so helpful, friendly, and just all around awesome. Moo Cluck Moo offers vegetarian options as well as yummy shakes, and soda sweetened with real cane sugar. I love that they offer better quality food, but a decent price. Even though, I deep fried my bun, I felt a little better doing it. Plus the cow and chicken theme is creatively adorable.

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April, we are do for a dinner date!!!

Moo Cluck Moo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

La Feria Spanish Tapas

Today on the Bite Tonight: La Feria

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Located on Cass Ave, in Midtown Detroit, La Feria was born in 2012 when three friends decided to bring their joyous experience of the Seville Fair (a week long celebration in Spain) to Detroit. They submitted their idea to the Hatch Detroit contest and won $50,000 to start their business. La Feria Spanish Tapas soon became one of the few restaurants of it’s kind in the area. Popular for serving small plates perfect for sampling and sharing, La Feria, offers authentic dishes. My former co-worker, April and I stopped in for dinner and drinks. See how they ranked.

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Atmosphere: 4 out of 5 bites

Price: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites (creative style and seasonal menu)

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Our server recommended the Sangria. We didn’t want to be rude, so we tried it.

Sweet, fresh, fruity, with a bold red wine flavor. This Sangria was dangerous because it was so tasty. April and I could’ve easily finished another pitcher. One of the best Sangria’s I have ever had. I really appreciated the fresh fruit.

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Tostada De Almogrote: Cured Goat & Sheep Cheese Spread. Baguette. The baguette was grilled and toasty, but still had a chew. The cheese was creamy and nutty. Perfect starter!

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Patatas Bravas: Fried Potato. Spicy Tomato Salsa. Aioli. One of my favorites! The potatoes were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The tomato salsa had the consistency of a marinara sauce and had a nice flavor with a hint of spice. We should’ve ordered two!

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Tocino Relleno De Datil: Bacon Wrapped Dates. Stuffed with Almond. The best! I want to recreate these at my next gathering, but I afraid I won’t do them justice. The bacon was that perfect balance of chewy and crispy and added a nice saltiness to the sweet date. The texture of the almond was delicious. You must try this!

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Chorizo: Grilled Pork-Spanish Paprika-Wine Sausage. The sausage had a good flavor, but was just a little too charred for our taste. When we asked the server about it, she said it was intended to be charred, but it was dry and not appealing. So we asked for something else.

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Our server brought us the Chicken Skewers instead of the sausage. They were grilled with nice grilled marks and still moist. Not spicy, but flavorful.

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Service was good and we really enjoyed the tapas selections. Our server was really knowledgeable and made recommendations based on what our likes were. It was nice sharing and trying different things. Everything we tried was really delicious and fresh (aside from the sausage). You can really taste the passion and love the chef and owners put into every recipe. La Feria offers plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free items so there’s something for everyone. La Feria is really cute inside with exposed brick,  paintings, and vibrant red walls that displays Spain’s culture. I can’t wait to enjoy Sangria and small bites as soon as it’s patio season!

To our next date, April!

La Feria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

HopCat Detroit

One of Downtown Detroit’s newest neighbor: HopCat

With 7 locations in the Midwest, HopCat recently moved into a new home on Woodward Ave in Midtown, Detroit. With over 130 craft beers on tap and a menu consisting of scratch made grub, the bar and restaurant opened it’s doors in December 2014. They are getting tons of exposure and Food Network just named HopCat’s crack fries America’s Top 10 Best French Fries in their July-August addition. Since neither of us had been, a co-worker, April and I decided to check out what all the fuss was about. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 4.5 out of 5 bites

Price: 4 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 bites

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We started with Blake’s Hard Cider: Light, crisp, and refreshing.

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My pick

Nacho Burger: Pepper jack cheese, avocado, spicy fried jalapeño peppers, tortilla strips, and pico de gallo served with crack fries. Delicious! I thought the south of the border heat would be too spicy for me, but the fried jalapeno’s were surprisingly subtle. The creaminess of the avocado with the crunchy tortilla strips really amped up this burger. Oh the crack fries! I had mixed feelings about these because I thought how good could fries be? They were awesome! Super crunchy,  lightly seasoned, and perfectly golden. The flavor was elevated to another level when dunked in creamy ranch. Yum!

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April’s pick

Turkey Burger: Our house-made, herbed turkey burger patty is topped with chilled marinated tomatoes, basil, lemon, garlic & feta cheese crumbles with spinach & pesto aioli. I didn’t try this one, but April told me it was yummy.I really liked that the toppings were full of flavor because sometimes a turkey burger can be labeled as boring. The lemon and pesto aioli really added brightness and the feta gave this burger that mouth watering saltiness.

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Lucky for us it was happy hour which means half off burgers and $3 select drinks! Service was good and the food was pretty tasty as well. I will be honest, I wanted to wait until all the hype of the opening died down. I heard horror stories about how busy HopCat was when they first opened and how service suffered as a result. We went after work on a Tuesday and it wasn’t busy at all. I also really dig how important the environment is to the HopCat’s owners. They recycle and compost as much of their waste as possible. HopCat offers gluten free beer and food items and growlers to fill with your favorite brew. The only bad thing would be the parking. They offer valet and have suggested parking on the website. If you haven’t made a trip in, put it next on your grocery list!

Thanks for great conversation, April! Let’s do it again soon.

Click to add a blog post for Hopcat on Zomato

Potbelly Sandwich Shop

Today on the Bite Tonight: Potbelly Sandwich Shop

I like Potbelly because they have their own thing going on and it’s a nice break from Subway or Jimmy John’s. This past weekend, Josh and I visited the Allen Park, MI. location on the hill. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 3 out of 5 bites

Price: 3 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 4 out of 5 bites

Service: 3.5 out of 5  bites

Wow Factor: 2 out of 5 bites

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Italian: Capicola, Mortadella, Pepperoni, Salami &  Provolone Cheese on Multi grain bread. Fresh ingredients on hearty, soft bread. My favorite thing about Potbelly is the hot peppers! Boy, are they hot.

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Potbelly has gluten free (varies by location) and skinny (less meat and cheese on thin cut bread) options as well as soups, salads, smoothies, shakes, and baked goods. Established in 1977, Potbelly is still staying true to their roots and doing things the same. Stop in and check em out.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop on Urbanspoon

SugarKissed

Today on the Bite Tonight: SugarKissed

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Located on Front St. in Traverse City, SugarKissed has been a bright, colorful addition to Downtown since 2012. With everything for your sweet tooth from cupcakes, to cake pops to the hot chocolate bar, we stopped in for frozen yogurt. See how they ranked.

Atmosphere: 5 out of 5 bites

Price: 3 out of 5 bites

Quality/Taste: 3.5 out of 5 bites

Service: 4 out of 5 bites

Wow Factor: 3 out of 5 bites

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Pistachio/Raspberry Tart: Topped with blueberries, raspberries, and cookie dough bites. Light, refreshing, yet just the right amount of sweet. I really love pistachio frozen yogurt because it has a subtle nutty flavor. The tartness of the raspberry paired well with the sweet, creamy pistachio.

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Raspberry Tart/Salted Caramel: Topped with blueberries, raspberries, cheesecake bites, raspberry sauce and Reese’s. The rich, smooth Salted Caramel was just enough to balance the raspberry. The cheesecake bites are creamy with a little bit of texture from the graham cracker.

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SugarKissed really is the best place for your inner child. When you walk in you are surrounded with vibrant colors and the smell of sweet. They serve gluten free options and offer samples of whatever flavor you want. If you’re looking for a nice dessert or even somewhere to spoil your appetite, cool off with SugarKissed.

 

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