Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Two Cheeseburgers in Paradise


So, when we last left off, I was telling you about the highs and lows of eating breakfast while on my honeymoon! But enough about breakfast, let’s move on to lunch! Actually one lunch in particular: Gluten Hates Me visits Cheeseburger in Paradise!

If you follow me on twitter, then you know that I was invited to dine at the popular chain Cheeseburger in Paradise and try out their new:

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gluten free menu!

In all honesty, you guys know that I am ALL about the LOCAL food. I’m not big on chain restaurants…but I’m also no going to turn down free food. So I RSVP’d YES and boogied my gluten free booty to a booth! And actually, there aren’t any locations in North Carolina, so it was pretty serendipitous that CIP contacted me the one week out of the year I was within 2 miles of a restaurant! :)

I was pretty shocked by how large the menu is, and while it’s mainly burgers without buns, it’s still nice to know that the wait staff are fully aware of what being gluten free means. (Ahem…Cracker Barrel)

And CIP even puts their promise in writing:

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And speaking of fresh, when Parrish and I pulled up to the restaurant, there was a truck unloading food at the back. And it wasn’t a Sysco truck with pre-packaged nonsense, it was a refrigerated truck with FRESH produce! It’s all about first impressions. :)

I ordered the:

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and Parrish ordered the:

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And for once in a blue moon, when our food arrived I actually had order envy. Parrish’s burger had big chunks of jalapeno. TASTY

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Mine had big chunks and mushrooms…and while it was really good, Parrish’s was REALLY REALLY good.

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I do love mushrooms though :)

Every bite was delicious, which with burgers is pretty rare. You almost always get a little bite that’s a little…questionable. But not these! They were…

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AND they have gluten free veggie burgers!?! I’m never able to find gluten free veggie burgers! Do you guys ever have any luck?

Plus, since Parrish and I never buy ground beef, it was a really nice treat. We savored every bite!

And every sip!

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I don’t even know what this delicious cocktail was, but was INSANE-ly delicious! Our super sweet waitress came over with it to celebrate our honeymoon, and because the bar had accidentally made an extra! :)

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Fruity, Smoothie

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So overall, would I recommend Cheeseburger in Paradise to a gluten free diner?

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And will I dine there again? Sure! While I love local, chain restaurants do add a certain “uniformity” to training their wait staff and chefs on what being gluten free truly means. And I pretty much fall head over heels in love with a restaurant who takes initiative to help me dine there. (Ahem…Cracker Barrel) I mean I’m ga-ga over P.F.Chang’s. (call me)

So there you have it. And speaking of paradise…

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I miss it here.

First day back to work was H.A.R.D. hard.

But I did just make a bangin’ batch of kale chips that’s definitely making this day better.


Liz said...

haha love it! i bet parrish fit right in with his guy harvey stuff. wish there was a cheeseburger in paradise a little bit west of destin!

Courtney Maida said...

CIP sounds like they do it RIGHT! What recipe are you using for kale chips?

MoonGoddess said...

Oh lady, you now have me craving a burger big time!

With a name like Cheesebuger in Paradise I'm on board to try them, but to hear that they have a gluten free menu AND treated you to a meal to try it just makes me want to visit them even more! Love it!

...must go check them out! :)

& don't get me started on Cracker Barrel! The name alone bugs me. Borderline racist & now oblivious? yah.. way to go.

Marlow said...

Kale Chips- I'm going to post about them soon, but it's pretty simple. I tear the curly kale in to big chip pieces off the stalk. Then I rinse it and give it a few spins in my salad spinner. After super dry, I spread them out on a baking sheet in a single layer, spray with cooking spray, and then season with what you like. I typically use steak seasoning! Cook until SUPER crispy!

Anonymous said...

I am thinking I need to order a bunless burger soon. That looked so good. I usually steer clear of it but sometimes I just need a good burger.

Shades said...

Nice review, and it sounds like their food is pretty good.
But I still have a hard time accepting a pretty popular chain going so far as to create a gluten free menu and properly train their staff, but not take one more step and offer a GF bun. I really hate opening a gluten free menu and it just saying "order without bun", especially for a restaurant specializing in hamburgers. That's not a hamburger; it's a meat patty with toppings. There are several GF buns now that are quite tasty. I can't wait until a chain offers a real GF menu substituting rather than excluding. I think that day is coming but we need a chain like this that seems to get it to take that leap.

Kate said...

I agree with Shades...it does sort of bum me out when most of a gluten free menu is "leave this off, leave that off" rather than gluten free substitutes. Those do look delish though! And FYI 99 restaurants now have a gluten free menu which includes gf hamburger buns. Not sure how widespread the chain is...they are about like an Applebees or TGIFridays.

Marlow said...

Shades and Kate- I totally agree!!! And I think that in all honesty, that the more chains become aware and the more we order from these menus, they will see that we are a viable pool of consumers! :)

Shades said...

Marlow - just following up on an old topic. My wife contacted Cheeseburgr in Paradise about offering a GF bun and this was their response. Good News!

Thanks for contacting Cheeseburger in Paradise regarding our Gluten Free Program. You'll be happy to know, that a Gluten Free bun is something we have been working on for quite some time now. We take our quality very seriously, and we never wanted to offer a GF bun just to have one. We wanted to make sure that the GF bun we offered is something we would eat ourselves. Recently we believe we have found that bun. Some of us even preferred it to our house bun. Now that we've found the right recipe, we are working on someone who can produce this bun for us for all 32 of our locations. It shouldn't be long. We look forward to exceeding your dietary needs in the future. Thank you very much for making Cheeseburger in Paradise your restaurant of choice!

Warm Regards,
Your Friends at CiP