Category: California

Inn on Randolph: Napa, California

If you are seeking a highlight travel experience away from the hustle of a city, whether you or your loved one are someone living with celiac, gluten intolerance, food allergies or not, look no further than the Inn on Randolph.

Tucked into a darling residential area of Napa, this beautiful inn is simply full of gems. From the little coffee and tea station in the main room to the fresh cookies upon arrival {made according to your specific food allergies–yes, mine were egg free}, you’ll feel like you entered a different world. People speak gently and with a smile; no ask is too great.

               

Oh, and of course, the Inn on Randolph is 100% gluten free.

When I asked the owners about why it wasn’t a more prominent feature on the website {you really have to search for it!} and about how many people with food allergies and/or celiac/gluten free needs come to stay at the inn, I was surprised. The innkeeper told me that they find only ~20% of their guests even need their gluten free offerings.

Now, wait a minute. I travelled across the country for a gluten free inn. However, the Inn on Randolph also is one of the most well-kept, clean, treasures of a stay I’ve ever had. People just happen to choose this inn without even knowing that even bite of food they consume is gluten free.

Each room can host two individuals; I was traveling with my mom and sister and stayed in the Fowler Suite + Union Room. Baskets of goodies greeted us upon entry (besides the home baked cookies!) and the staff noted that every toiletry item was 100% gluten free and allergy friendly as well. The simple sigh of relief that ensued from knowing that I didn’t have to dig into my suitcase for safe shampoo and conditioner made the trip all that more special.

The next morning, Chef prepared a lovely breakfast accommodating every single need of our table–including low sugar for the 2 type 1 diabetics. We even had egg free muffins to start! On my way out of the inn, they handed us their cookbook and some extra egg free cookie dough, since it wouldn’t spoil in my carry on during the flight home and they saw my pure delight in having something so special awaiting my arrival.

  

Thank you so much to the Inn on Randolph ladies. You are creating a world of relaxation and beauty for all of your guests–but especially for those that have extra concerns when traveling, like me and the loved ones who travel alongside me. Though we were only able to stay for one night, it was so special. I cannot wait to return.

Take it easy, but take it.

Brianna

 

Napa, California Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Name: Angéle Restaurant

Cuisine: French

Celiac Safe? Yes

Accommodates ALL allergens? Yes; limited options for some but fully safe

Impressions: Though few options for someone with shellfish allergies, they did a beautiful job preparing a gorgeous from-scratch french meal of chicken coq-au-vin with the most divine whipped potatoes. An unassuming exterior reveals a beautiful interior with staff that is extremely willing to dedicate time and energy to preparation and understanding of any food allergy need–and delivery of a dish that was very flavorful and perfectly safe. What more could you ask for?

 

Restaurant Name: Hurley’s Restaurant

Cuisine: Californian/American/Mediterranean-Inspired

Celiac Safe? Yes, with gluten free menu {owner’s child has celiac/food allergies!}

Accommodates ALL allergens? Yes

Impressions: Without a blink of an eye, every single allergy will be flawlessly accomodated at Hurley’s for a perfect meal. Our waiter was extremely kind and practically had every ingredient {both in the literal dish and the preparation–important for those of us who cannot have specific oils that appear in odd places!} memorized for every menu item and wanted nothing more than to give me a safe and tasty experience. He returned to the table after we’d begun to ensure that the food was flavorful enough, which is always so appreciated! I had a Moroccan Vegetarian Tagine that night that I can only hope to semi-replicate at home.

 

Restaurant Name: Torc

Cuisine: American “with global influences”

Celiac Safe? Yes

Accommodates ALL allergens? Yes

Impressions: I have never had chicken as good as the chicken I consumed at Torc. Yes, I went there– bold declaration. As soon as you sit down at Torc, place the order for the chicken that will take 45-60 minutes, order some appetizers, and wait for it. It’s worth it. With a jumble of high-end touches with comfortable diner-esque checkerboard napkins and other such bits, Torc is a unique atmosphere that is entirely welcome. I started with the tuna tartare {sans toast} and some brussel sprouts {they were in brown butter–who could deny?!} + mushrooms and then the 3 of us traveling shared the chicken {though listed for 2, is plenty for 3 people}. It is served with fennel and the flavors are stunning. Do not miss this place, nor this chicken. Seriously, folks.

 

Restaurant Name: Auberge du Soleil

Cuisine: Fine Dining; global cuisine

Celiac Safe? Yes

Accommodates ALL allergens? Yes

Impressions: *Important Note: this dining experience was a gift for many recent occasions that I have been greatly looking forward to, as the foodie you all know. If you have a special reason to indulge in dining, come here or to any of the little spots tucked away in pockets across the globe.*  The food I consumed here is barely able to be described in words. Three courses, one of which is usually dessert though replaced by a third food course due to difficulty in providing a “unique and special” dessert course that would be safe for my allergy profile, graced the table with a vast array of spices, proteins, produce, and decorative elements.  Auberge du Soleil deserves the endless awards and accolades that are given to it each year — and the chef has created a menu that is extremely conducive to all food allergies without extraordinary changes in the food profile. Photos do better justice, though still cannot fully capture this culinary experience. Feel free to reach out to me for more information about this one– I’d be happy to talk about it endlessly!

Celiac Haven: Mountain View, CA

As most of you know from my 140 character tidbits and endless photos {via Twitter/Instagram @breezygfreezy}, I just spent a week in Mountain View, CA to train for my new job! I expected to make a big grocery run {which I did, albeit a smaller run} for 3 meals a day while I was there–made easier by staying in an Air BnB with a kitchen!–I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was spending the week in the most incredible celiac haven, complete with restaurants abound and sunshine every single day.

Here are the places I was able to get to on my first of hopefully many trips!


  1. Farm Hill
    You know you work for a special company when your boss finds a spot that is not only gluten free, but 100% gluten free, for your first day’s lunch with the CEO. With incredible paleo options, I was able to get a great low carb chicken box with cauliflower rice and lots of tasty veggies! It was perfect, and not to mention stress-free as a completely Brianna-friendly facility! They were extremely accommodating of any allergen, and didn’t use any soybean oil in house. I got a little excited and forgot to take a picture–so here was my view during lunch on the rooftop!
    IMG_3054.JPG


  2. Oren’s Hummus
    I quickly learned that everywhere in Mountain View understood gluten free for a celiac, not just the fad. While this place is not 100% gluten free, the only gluten on the menu was the pita and the dessert! The fryer was canola oil, so you bet I indulged in some gluten free falafel! I went with the rest of my department and we ordered an amazing hummus plate to share as a table– the waiter brought a “gluten free basket” when everyone else got hummus…veggies! So fun, and so tasty!


  3. Asian Box
    Another 100% gluten free spot. I was floored. And not to mention, every place in my review was within 5 short blocks of our headquarters! I never get safe asian food–considering gluten, soybean oil, shellfish, most nuts, etc. appears in the majority of the cuisine. This place was completely aware of caring for allergies other than gluten, and it was so good I went twice! I was floored to have things like crispy shallots on top of my beef 🙂 I think I could eat there every single day.


  4. Amici’s Pizza
    Despite the reviews on Find Me Gluten Free, I decided to check out the website for this pizzeria, and man am I glad I did. I have a feeling that after some rough reviews, this management team overhauled their GF protocol–now stated directly on the gluten free menu {see below}! I invited some of the team over for dinner and ordered in gluten free margharetia pizzas, chicken wings, and caesar salad {complete with soy-free caesar dressing!} for everyone, and we all loved and indulged. I felt like a college kid with my pizza and wings 😉 PS- the crust is from Mariposa BakeryScreen Shot 2016-07-10 at 7.54.36 PM.png


*Bonus: Red Rock Coffee — this place is a non-profit coffee shop I found to visit every morning before work! Besides their delicious coffee and beautiful mission, they have lots of gluten free individually wrapped pastries, cold pressed juices, cheese sticks, and yogurts!

IMG_3053


This city almost had me in tears every time I ate– I’ve never felt such peace, simplicity, and happiness. I ate out without fear. I never felt a hint of sickness. I am so grateful to each and every one of these establishments for making my visit so special, and for keeping me so safe. Until we meet again.

Take it easy, but take it.

Brianna