When we rolled up to NYC’s First Annual Gluten Free Eat Up at Freddy’s Bar and Backroom in South Slope (Brooklyn) on Sunday, February 9th, we weren’t ready. Steph (@GFFoodGuide and glutenfreesteph.com) and I knew that going Gluten Free has become wildly popular over the last few years, but we were not expecting Freddy’s Back Room to be so packed we could barely step in the door. But packed it was, and once we got over the initial shock of seeing so many other GF die-hards, we elbowed our way through to just about every table in the place. We sampled practically everything and chatted with the Gluten-Free Geniuses behind the locally made artisanal snacks and sauces and breads and sweets. We had a great time and got to eat a ton of things we never thought we would be able to enjoy again (hello!?! Whoever thought I would be able to eat amaretti cookies ever again?!?!) so if you have a hankering for Gluten free foods done well then head out to the next addition of Levine’s General Store’s Gluten Free Eat-Up at Freddy’s Bar and Backroom on March 9th.
I[heart]Polvilho: These crunchy and airy gluten-free snacks were my favorite and the most unusual discovery of the Eat-Up. Made from a simple mix of Manioc (cassava) Starch, eggs, and a few other ingredients, these light, super crunchy baked treats are my new favorite snack. Sure, they look so easy I am going to try to make some myself, but I doubt they are going to be as tasty as the ones coming out of I[heart]Polvilho Bakery.
KimcheeLicious: Before I went Gluten-Free I used to love a good sandwich. In fact, sandwiches are one of Keith’s specialties, so I loved to pick up a crusty loaf of organic sour dough from Bread Alone and let Keith work his magic with whatever other fixings I had picked up at Farmers Market. You can imagine how devastated I was when I cut bread completely out of my diet (I am a major skeptic when it comes to the mess of crappy ingredients that go into Gluten Free bread substitutes that you can buy at the grocery store). So, needless to say, you can understand why I had a lot of hope riding on this kimchi grilled cheese sandwich. A gooey mess of soft cheddar cheese and tangy kimchi surrounded by crispy bread, I never would have thunk to slap these two super foreign ingredients between two slices of bread and heat them through on a panini press. Wow, did it work. Had I not already been stuffed, I would have gotten myself a second grilled cheese sandwich. It was so good and it so worked!
Krumville Bake Shop: When we were kids, we would pop Amaretti Cookies into our mouths non-stop (or at least as quickly as we could unwrap them). I thought that I had eaten my last crunchy little cookie long ago. Never was I expecting to be able to eat Amaretti Cookie, especially on that tasted so distinctly like my childhood, just bigger and with a more chewy texture. I loved these cookies, and I also loved Krumville’s Olive Oil Focaccia and chocolate chocolate chip cookies, which I shamelessly sampled way too much.
Gone Pie Vegan Bakery: Run by an old pro, Gone Pie is what every Vegan Gluten Free Bakery should be: tasty, friendly, and overflowing with beautifully wrapped chocolatey treats. Though I wouldn’t have minded taking home a piece of everything, I cut myself off after I picked up a chocolate covered rice crispy treat, a mint heart, and a salted caramel peanut butter cup.
Yum Pies: One of the most torturous things in my now gluten-free life is going anywhere and not being able to order the dumplings, or the empanadas, or the ravioli or the tortellini, or any other amazing type of goodness wrapped in dough and deep-fried or steamed. Imagine how delighted I was when I saw the golden flaky crust of the Yum Pies. We ordered both flavors, and simply put, these Yum Pies were empanada voodoo. Though the filling was great, I was intrigued by the light flaky crunch of the dough, and loved every bite of these treats.
Monsieur Singh Lassi Pops: Though I have been drinking sweet and savory lassis for longer than I can remember, it never occurred to me to freeze them in Push-Up pop molds and sell them for $4 each. Kudos to Monsieur Singh, both his Mango Lassi and the Honey Lemon Lassi flavors were tart, slightly sweet, and full of spicy herb flavor. Though it was around 20 degrees outside, I was dying to try one of these, so I bought it on our way out and walked down 5th Ave slurping up the tangy mango goodness as I whined about the wind and the cold. Nailed it!
See a Full List Of Vendors Here: Gluten-Free Eat Up Vendors
What do you think, Harlem? Should we ask Deb to Bring her Magical Gluten Free Caravan Uptown? It would be a much better commute than going out to South Slope Brooklyn once a month!