Tuesday, June 29, 2010

AJ Creations

Brandie found this bakery online and since we were going to be in Covington, KY to check 0ut the Mainstrasse tour, we ought to check out this place. AJ Creations was worth the trip over the river from Cincinnati alone. When we approached the shop, I had a little trouble opening the door (I swore it was closed b/c I pushed and didn't try pulling, or vice versa). The trouble was worth it too. We walked in and the place smelled wonderful, and they had a case full of goodies. We bought a caramel brownie, a cherry scone, a piece of coffee cake, and a loaf of bread.

Although I did not like the scone (I'm not a big fan of them anyway), Brandie did, and everything else was very delicious. We originally bought the brownie for me, but after I gave Brandie a taste (big mistake), we ended up sharing it. The coffee cake was very good, too. I did not expect the raisins (I think), but they were an excellent addition. And the bread was fantastic. We bought the loaf so I could make breakfast sandwiches at the hotel the next day, because we had a tight schedule and no time to stop for breakfast. The bread was very good, even though I could only use the microwave at the hotel since I'm sure the toaster was full of gluten crumbs. Since I've brought it home, and can use my own toaster on it, it is even better.
All in all, Brandie and I were uber-impressed with AJ Creations. I hope to make it to Cincinnati again sometime soon, and across the river to Covington for more GF deliciousness.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Rusty Bucket

A new restaurant has opened in Indy, off of 86th and Ditch. When we found out that they had a GF menu, naturally we wanted to eat there. When we found out there was one in Cincinnati (where we just spent a week on vacay) it seem fated that we should eat there. If we liked it, then that meant there was a new GF restaurant at home to go to.

So how was it? Initially I wasn’t too impressed because the GF menu seemed small. However, it was A-MAZ-ING!!! The atmosphere resembles that of a sports bar, but a little more calm and laid back. The waitress was fantastic and she was very knowledgeable about the GF options. She had even eaten some of the GF offerings (even though she isn’t GF) and was very helpful.

We started off with the Double Stacked Quesadilla and let me tell you – YUMMY!!! Tommie is not a fan of the guacamole, but I am and it was delicious. I might have to make this appetizer my main entrĂ©e next time. Then Tommie ordered the Grilled BBQ Chicken with Mashers and Skillet Beans.

He liked the chicken, loved the mashers (mashed potatoes), and thought the skillet beans were pretty good. The skillet beans are green beans that are cooked with red bell peppers and bacon.

I had the Reuben, which wasn’t GF, but just to add – they had thee best corned beef that I’ve ever eaten! It wasn’t the best Reuben (I hold that honor for my mother),but this was definitely a close 2nd.

Overall, we will definitely be going again and we highly recommend it to everyone.


Holiday World and Splashin' Safari

You would think that since I grew up Indy, I would have been to Holiday World by now. However, I find myself 27 and wondering what Holiday World is like. So, Tommie and I decided to head down south for vacation this year and check it out. While we were researching Holiday World it was exciting to see that they had GF options for Tommie.

For lunch he had a GF Double Tarzan burger (basically a double cheeseburger with Kinnikinick bread), a baked potato, and Enjoy Life snickerdoodle cookies. His lunch cost a little over $6.00. You just can’t beat that – great price and a good size lunch. Later on, before we left we had some ice cream (of course that shouldn’t shock you if you read my ice cream review).

Basic overview of the park: we spent most of the day in the water park and had a great time. They have free parking, free soft drinks and water, and free sunscreen. The park was very clean and the staff was nice. Make sure you take cash, because you'll need it if you decide to rent a locker. Also, make sure you wear water shoes or flip flops when running around the water park (your feet will thank you). We don’t have children and therefore most of the non-water attractions didn’t really pertain to us. I would say that overall, it is a great place to take a family and a good deal for the price.


Ice cream in Cincinnati

Understand that when I say that I love ice cream, I really love ice cream. I could probably eat ice cream everyday and never get tired of it. Dairy Queen, Coldstone, Baskin Robbins, Ritters,..I’ve tried them all. Edy's, Breyers, Kroger,…tried all of the store-bought brands also. So, when we go on vacation – I find it my personal duty to search out new and exciting ice cream experiences. Ohio had plenty of options and here are 3 that I particularly enjoyed.

Dojo Gelato
This was my absolute favorite!!!! Gelato is like ice cream’s creamier more flavorful Italian cousin. It was so good and had so many options that I couldn’t select one flavor, so I decided not to limit myself. I tried ‘pomegranate sorbeto’, ‘raspberry goat cheese’, and ‘orange blossom pistachio’. Tommie tried ‘sea salt caramel’ and ‘Mexican vanilla’. I could have seriously sat there and eaten this gelato all day long. The price was right also, we tried 5 flavors and the bill came out to just above $8.00. So where can you find Dojo? Findlay Market. Here are the links for both Dojo Gelato and Findlay Market:

Tommie and I had a great opportunity to take a night hike at the Cincinnati Zoo while we were in Ohio and we met some great people on the hike. A wonderful local couple told us we had to get some Graeter’s before we headed back home. They suggested that we try one of the ‘chip’ ice creams because the chips were humongous. I had ‘peanut butter chip’ and ‘toffee chip’. Tommie had caramel and vanilla w/ chocolate sprinkles. I gotta say, the couple didn’t lie – those chips were crazy big. Tommie and I were definitely satisfied and Tommie was hoping that we could make a second trip before we left. If you go to their website, you can find local stores here in Indy that sell the yummy ice cream.

UDF: United Dairy Farmers
Eating GF at the Cincinnati Zoo is pretty much impossible, unless you take your own food. However, they did have ice cream. It was pretty darn hot the day we went and Tommie and I spent around 9 and half hours at the zoo so our snacks only lasted for so long. We decided that we just had to get some ice cream to hold us over till dinner. When we headed over to the ice cream shop I noticed that the brand was called ‘UDF’ and I had never heard of it. Then I saw a sign labeled ‘United Dairy Farmers’. Tommie and I both got vanilla and I gotta say – pretty good.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fogo de Chao

Tommie and I decided to start off our vacay with lunch at Fogo de Chao. We had heard many a great reviews from co-workers and friends and so we had to try it out. So what did we think...it was pretty good. I would definitely make a reservation (which you can do online at their website). The place was pretty empty when we first arrived, but we went early and by the time we left it was pretty busy.

The first course is a salad bar - which I thought was pretty great. Tommie enjoyed it a little, he was mainly there for the rolls (which are GF) and the meat. The salad bar has everything from fresh mozzarella to hearts of palm to prosciutto. Then comes sides and meat. You have an unlimited supply of polenta, garlic mashed potatoes, and grilled bananas. I must say, the polenta was one of my favorites and the potatoes were fantastic (this coming from a girl who isn't too crazy about potatoes). They will also start bringing out baskets of warm bread. Then the meat...and more meat...and more meat. Actually, there are 15 types of meat! Basically, you get these little cardboard wafers with one green side and one red side. When you're ready for meat, just turn the card to green, when you need a break, turn it to red.

We didn't have room for dessert, but the waitress told us their papaya cream actually broke down protein and would make us feel less stuffed. I don't know if this is true or if it has a 'placebo effect' but the cream was excellent and we managed to make room.

Overall, it was a good experience, and I'm glad we went. That being said, it was expensive (we paid $90 for lunch, that was with a $16 tip). I'm not sure we would go again, but it was fun.