Posts Tagged ‘Carluccio’s’

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New gluten-free breakfast menu at Carliccio’s

August 14, 2013

We had no food in the house on Sunday morning and, if I’m honest, were feeling super lazy so we ate out for breakfast. (Hooray! My favourite! Promise I didn’t put any undue pressure on my other half to make that happen.)

At Carluccio’s we expected to get the standard breakfast sans bread but the waiter produced their newly released gluten-free breakfast menu and said they now have GF bread too. So we had the hugest, most satisfying breakfast ever. Nice one, Carluccio’s.

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We spotted a gluten-free chocolate and coconut cake in their bakery too. It would make a nice treat for a special occasion.

I love their bakery and grocery shop. The packaging is beautiful. The red tuna tins you can see in the window were featured in Red Magazine as plant pots for herbs which is a neat idea for your kitchen.

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Can you trust a waiter with your gluten-free order?

May 6, 2012

Anne Wollenberg’s Observer article  on food allergies makes me think not.

According to two studies in the UK and the US, over a fifth of restaurant workers surveyed thought someone with an allergy could eat a small amount of that foodstuff, and over a fifth thought it was fine to just pick it off a finished meal. As Anne says “they can’t” and “it’s not.”

I love to eat out but for my boyfriend and his family it is too often a frustrating and a sickening experience (literally) with upset tummies and low energy for the next few days after a carefully ordered meal was laced with hidden gluten.

So, here’s to the food heroes I can strongly recommend who provide an allergy menu and have knowledgable and helpful staff who make what is often a frustrating and embarrassing ordering experience into no big deal.

  • Wahaca – ask them anything. They’ll circle all of the gluten-free menu options on the menu quickly and confidently. Shame it’s not just printed on the menu though. Have a margarita for me.
  • Carluccio’s – tasty gluten-free corn pasta on a special gluten-free menu. Allow extra waiting time so they can boil a fresh pot of water for your meal. No cross-contamination in this kitchen. Antonio Carluccio is such a legend.
  • Leon – heaven sent. Clearly labelled gluten-free and vegetarian items. Tasty hot boxes with brown rice, coleslaw and a choice of a hot main. Pecan pie to finish too! Positively scrummy.
  • Nando’s – peri peri chicken, chips, rice and salad. Avoid the peri peri salt.
  • Wagamama – special allergy menu for all kinds of concerns. We were going to take some gluten-free soy sauce in case the meal was bland after all the fun stuff was taken out but it was very tasty. We had a bottle of prosecco to celebrate*.
  • McDonalds – really? Well yes. Their fries aren’t covered in flour or crazy glutenous spices like Burger King. Also, after a few quizzical looks from the teenage cashier they’ll whip up a Big Mac without the bun and serve it in a breakfast container with a knife and fork. Hash browns and breakfasts without the muffins are also safe. My other half likes to eat a Big Mac with fries like a chip butty. Hey, I didn’t say it was glamorous but sometimes you just gotta eat.

Do you have any other tried and true recommendations? Be a pal and let us know in the comments section. Cheers!

*Wagamama is a new addition. A few weeks ago we went through the usual Food Dork work up to get ready to give the waiter the run down. It’s difficult, it’s embarrassing, you know they’re going to ignore your concerns and decide that you’re just some bozo on a health kick. Our waitress was so cool about the whole thing that we felt a little embarrassed for building it up to be a big deal. It was amazing. It felt normal!

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Carluccio’s for Valentine’s dinner

February 15, 2010

I love eating out but it’s often not possible to dine out with English Boy unless we eat the same boring dishes. Even then there’s no guarantee that the food hasn’t been cross-contaminated in the kitchen. The way I satiate my appetite for eating out is by dining with friends. I never dreamt that a poison pasta palace like Carluccio’s would serve gluten-free food. On a night out with friends I discovered that Carluccio’s DO serve GF food. In fact, they make their own gluten-free pasta and have a full gluten-free menu! You have to wait a little longer for your meal as they prepare the pasta in separate pots so as not to contaminate your dish with gluten from the main dishes. Their GF pasta is corn pasta and it is really tasty. It doesn’t taste like fake pasta. 

Now we LOVE Carluccio’s. I recommend the Giardiniera (buttery courgette with pasta, chilli, parmesan and garlic – unfortunately not served with spinach balls which have breadcrumbs in them), Amatriciana or Frutti di mare. For dessert, the gelati is GF – I love a scoop each of bitter chocolate and arabica coffee together. Mocha goodness. The sorbet is NOT GF so steer clear.

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We were given Carluccio’s vouchers for Christmas and got an email voucher for a free bottle of wine a few weeks ago so dinner there seemed like a nice (and cheap!) thing to do for Valentine’s Day. We’re not too bothered about celebrating on just one day, (last year it was a quick supper at Terminal 3 at Heathrow before I flew to Australia), but we wanted to get out and do something together this year as I’m off to Australia again soon. 

I booked online and wrote a little note about having some gluten-free pasta set aside. It was a great move. The staff were really attentive from the moment we sat down. The manager took us to our tables and was more than happy to take me through seafood items on the main menu that they could adapt to be GF. I was really disappointed to see that Amatriciana, my favourite pasta dish, was no longer on the GF menu. 

For dessert, I was really looking forward to sharing a few scoops of gelati. I asked our waiter to double-check that the gelati was OK but he returned to say that it was no longer gluten-free so we didn’t have any. I really hope he was wrong. 

The mains and desserts we ordered were delicious but this was the first time I’ve been disappointed by Carluccio’s. At the time I didn’t really mind and we had a lovely evening but it hindsight it was a bit of a shame. I’m going to find out what’s happened to  my favourite dishes!

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