This year has been an incredible year. There were lots of reviews for gluten free products and restaurants. There were also many new experiences, new faces, new recipes and new adventures. Although I’ve been gluten free thanks to a celiac diagnosis for almost 8 years now, 2018 marks my introduction into the online gluten free community. What a ride it has been and thank you all for joining me on it and providing incredible support. I hope this has been as helpful for you as it has been for me. There will be much more in 2019 as Up Yours Gluten continues to grow.
Without further ado, let’s get into the Best Of 2018. If you have been following my Instagram account then you’ve already seen my Top 3 Gluten Free Products and Restaurants. This is a consolidation of all those posts with the addition of three honorable mentions per category. These honorable mentions were almost just as good as the Top 3 and deserve a shout out. Each title contains the link to the original review of the restaurant or product.
GLUTEN FREE PRODUCTS
Trader Joe’s comes out with some incredibly unique gluten free products but sometimes re-inventing the wheel is actually what’s really needed. Good gluten free bagels are hard to come by since many don’t taste anywhere near what the real gluten filled ones taste like. Not these. The Trader Joe’s GF Everything Bagel tastes incredible with the perfect texture, flavor and comes as close to the real thing as I’ve seen. I find myself looking forward to breakfast much more if I have these in my kitchen. Addictingly good is how I’d best describe these.
Goodie Girl Birthday Cake Cookes
Goodie Girl has consistently come out with some incredibly tasty gluten free treats. But the Birthday Cake Cookies sit above them all and were an instant hit when they arrived in stores this year. For good reason too. It has been a long time since I’ve had an oreo but I can’t imagine them being better then these vanilla & sprinkle filled treats.
Brazi Bites is one of the best gluten free products I’ve had and is something I’ve consistently stocked in my freezer. Ever since I first saw them on the show Shark Tank, I knew I had to have them. Every one of their four flavors have distinct delicious taste profiles and are extremely easy to cook. Even my gluten eating friends and family love them. I mean what’s not to like with flavored cheese bread bites?
I know this is probably an unexpected first place pick considering the places I’ve reviewed over the year. But Carbone is truly a one of a kind restaurant experience with one of a kind dishes. It isn’t a Bistango or Friedman’s where the entire menu can be made gluten free, but it doesn’t need to be. At Carbone, about 50% of the menu can be made gluten free or already comes gluten free. On top of them making you feel like royalty and offering incredible Italian dishes, this is the top dog of 2018. The spicy rigatoni vodka is by far the best dish I’ve ever had. It is cooked separately with gluten free rigatoni that is made from scratch on site. Even places like Bistango, whom offers incredible high quality gluten free pasta, doesn’t go this far in terms of quality. I still crave this dish many months after eating and I’ve never felt that strong of an addiction towards a single dish before. Reservations are very difficult to get but very worth the trouble as both gluten free eaters and gluten eaters alike will come away amazed.
Friedman’s in NYC is a pioneer in the safe glutne free eating restaurant game and serves up some incredible food. There are multiple locations around NYC so you can easily find one wherever you may be in the city. Almost 99% of their menu can be made gluten free including things like fried chicken and waffle, mac and cheeses, and other incredible dishes. They use a separate kitchen space for gluten free orders and there is no wheat flour in the kitchen whatsoever. This is as safe as it gets for us.
This is one of those places where you feel “normal” while eating out. The restaurant cant make any dish gluten free including all dessert options. This spot was one of the first restaurants in NYC to offer safe gluten free eating with the use of separate cookware and training against cross contamination. I’ve had a lot of dishes from them including gluten free breaded chicken parm, pasta, ravioli and all kinds of gluten free desserts I never thought I could have again. Incredible is an understatement in describing this restaurant.
Happy New Years to everyone! I’m excited for another gluten free 2019 and all that will come! Stay tuned!