Review: Spoons Bistro and Bakery

Last Friday I took the afternoon off to take my mom for a Mother’s Day mani/pedi.  Before we went, mom asked where we should grab lunch.  Since she had never been to Spoons Bistro and Bakery, and we had time, I suggested that we go there.

Spoons Bistro and Bakery is a unique place.  It is located on the campus of HopeWest, which is the Hospice center for Western Colorado.  All proceeds from the restaurant go back to HopeWest so you feel good about eating there because it supports and amazing cause.

Their lunch menu consists of sandwiches, paninis, pastas, salads and the like.  Simple fare with either chips, veggies, fries and more.  They also have amazing desserts!  They also have a dinner menu that appears to cover many different tastes, although I haven’t eaten there for dinner.

It had been a long time since I had eaten at Spoons but knew that they offered gluten free options.  We looked at the menu, made our choice and when it was our turn to order, the first thing I told the lady was that we were both gluten free.  I was shocked when she said “Are you gluten free or Celiac?  If you are Celiac, I would recommend not to have a panini because there may be bread crumbs from regular bread.  We have a special frying pan just for our gluten free bread and we can toast your sandwich.”

Wait…what?

She understood!  We told her that I was Celiac and she said that the chef had a sister that was Celiac so they carefully watched for cross contamination although they couldn’t guarantee it.

I was thrilled.  How often does that happen?  Mom and I both ordered the Rosemary Chicken and Avocado Panini in grilled sandwich form with carrots and celery on the side.  It’s not often that I get a sandwich while eating out so it was a treat!

The sandwich consisted of rosemary chicken, bacon (how can you go wrong with bacon?), avocado, lettuce and tomato.  It was amazing!  I enjoyed every bite of it…and could have eaten more.  I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture!

They usually also have a gluten free dessert but not that day.  We did discover that they have a weekly gluten free bakery item so I will have to check that out at some point.

I also love the fact that their prices are super low.  It was just over $15 for the two of us to eat, which is very inexpensive for a lunch anywhere.  Easy on the budget, great for the tummy!  In fact, I’m going there for lunch tomorrow and can’t wait!

If you want to know more about Spoons, visit their website.  The visit there will be well worth your time.

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Review: Feel Good Foods

I’ve been waiting for Feel Good Foods to release their line in Grand Junction for a while.  Last fall they brought their dumplings to town and then, more recently, I saw their freezer meals in stores as well.  While it’s the egg rolls I really want to try, I decided to jump in for a Chinese dinner.

I chose the vegetarian dumplings and General Tso’s Chicken. 

The dumplings came with a sauce which I chose not to use since I wasn’t going to eat all of them.  The directions seemed simple:  a cup of water in a saucepan and one tablespoon oil, add dumplings, cook until the bottoms brown.  The bottoms browned but the dumplings kind of broke open.  The flavor was good, a bit of a sweetness to them, and next time I will try the sauce as well.

The General Tso’s Chicken was easily popped into the microwave and was ready in less than five minutes.  The flavor was really good with broccoli and rice with the chicken.  Usually General Tso’s is spicy but this had just a tinge of spice so if you usually stay away from this dish, this is your opportunity to try it!  

I like the General Tso’s because it’s an easy meal for work or after a long day.  I will be trying other meals and the dumplings again.  But, Feel Good Foods, can we please get egg rolls?  

  

Traveling on…

I just finished up my second trip for work, destination: Minneapolis, MN. I spent one year in Minneapolis in college and was there a few times while I lived in Sioux Falls. So, it was going “back to my roots”, in a way. None of the other three gals from my office had been to Minnesota but when they found out we were near the Mall of America, they were all kinds of excited.

Eating is always a big part of a trip so once we hit the Mall of America, it was on! We did our shopping (they even had a store that was ALL running gear! Can you say heaven?) then headed to Tony Roma’s. They had a great gluten free menu and adult beverages as well.  The service was lacking, our dinner there was almost two hours and we didn’t order anything special, but when it came, it was amazing.  I had the Mojo Chicken which had great flavor and a great pineapple salsa on a bed of rice.  Lesson learned, don’t go there unless you aren’t overly hungry or are in a time crunch!

Before we left Grand Junction, my manager called ahead to the hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn in Eagan, to make sure that there would be gluten free meals for me. While they weren’t sure about the breakfasts, and only confirmed that the eggs were ok, they did amazing with the lunches. The first lunch we had was Chinese and they made me a special plate with sauteed veggies and rice as well as a side salad. The second lunch was a huge bowl of pasta and they went the extra mile by going to the nearby gluten free bakery and getting me desert! More on that in a second…

After we finished up our first day of training, I told my manager that we were going to hoof it the half a mile to the gluten free bakery, Bittersweet Bakery.  Before I left for my trip, I did some research on good gluten free places in Minneapolis and was pleased to find that there was a gluten free bakery so close! There was a kindly gentleman at the counter and he helped me make my breakfast choice for the morning: cinnamon pecan coffee cake. Since I LOVE cupcakes, I couldn’t pass up the marble cupcakes with chocolate frosting and candies on top. I also nabbed a double chocolate chip cookie because, honestly, who doesn’t like cookies. All of those items were under $10 too! I’ve never purchased that much in gluten free items and have it that cheap! I tried the cookie out on the walk back to the hotel…ok, devoured it. It was amazing! I had the coffee cake the next morning and it was equally amazing. It almost didn’t even taste gluten free. The cupcakes, even after a day, were still soft and tasty.

When I returned to the hotel from my trip to the bakery, my workmates were at the hotel bar and I just had to show them the treats I had gotten, minus the cookie:

Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake and Marble Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Cinnamon Pecan Coffee Cake and Marble Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

The bartender, who I later found out was the assistant general manager, Ronnie, overheard our conversation and told me that his son had a wheat allergy and he had forgotten about the bakery.  He said that they would get me something for lunch the next day from the bakery but I didn’t think much of it.  The next day they delivered:  two double chocolate chip cookies from Bittersweet Bakery!

We decided to stay close for dinner that night and we across the street to Ansari’s Mediterranean Grill.  They had amazing food and were very attentive to my needs, even checking to make sure that the Ooso, the Greek beverage, was gluten free.  When we ordered hummus, they accommodated me and brought celery for me to have with the hummus.  Our server was amazing!  They also had karoke so it was a fun time by all!

Our last night, we decided to stay close as well and Doolittle’s Woodfire Grill was recommended by Ronnie.  I was pleased with the huge selection of gluten free options on their menu, even appetizers, which I find aren’t always on a gluten free menu.  The Balsamic Tenderloin Skewers were a great way to start the meal.  So tasty!  For an entree I had the Spit Roasted Chicken.  It was the most tender chicken I’ve had in a long time and the mashed potatoes were so good too!

It was a great trip, great training, amazing people and amazing food!  I would recommend trying the above places, they won’t disappoint!

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