Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!
Thanks to a posting by Erin Smith (Gluten Free Globetrotter) who I actually met at the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest (Stamford CT), in a Facebook Group, I was aware that New York was hosting it’s first GLUTEN FREE Oktoberfest. Now, having lived in Germany for a few years and attended the world-famous Munich Oktoberfest, to have a GLUTEN FREE version sounded fun and adventurous!
(Thanks to Erin, we actually booked the early-bird tickets for this event, through Eventbrite so even enjoyed an early-saving of $10 on the tickets price of $55 per person)
The official blurb said; “New York City is the first gluten-free event of its kind on the East Coast. GF Oktoberfest was created so that people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease could safely come together and mingle while enjoying a selection of over 45 gluten-free ciders and beers and an unlimited amount of gluten free food. To add to the fun, meet some of the cider makers and brand ambassadors! Feast on a full gluten-free Oktoberfest menu with traditionally mouthwatering sausages, meatballs, pizza, pretzels, desserts, and much more.There will be vegetarian options too!
“GF Oktoberfest was founded by Jeffrey Reiss, founder and owner of Pie by the Pound, a New York City restaurant that specializes in the gluten free pizza. In 2004, Jeffrey discovered his own gluten intolerance and adopted a gluten free lifestyle. At his restaurant, Reiss prepares gluten free pizza, sandwiches, desserts and sells a wide variety of gluten free beer and cider, making Pie a food haven for the gluten free community. Reiss says he strives “to maintain one of the biggest menus of gluten free beer and cider on the East Coast with a rotating list of favorites.”
So it’s easy to know why, we were there: to try different GLUTEN FREE beers and Ciders, and of course, the GLUTEN FREE food (without worrying about whether it contains GLUTEN!). And whilst it seemed a little pricey: it was unlimited! Upon arrival, the Venue is usually a regular GLUTEN FREE cafe/ Restaurant: so one to try on another occasion in Mid-town NYC and although it did get busy in the long and thin venue with a few pinch-points (where people congregated) it was well suited with good lively party music (not that German but maybe more suitable for the NYC crowd) and plenty of staff walking around with platters of GF food! And whilst the small glasses were a couple of mouthfuls: it did what it said on the tin: and provided plenty of tasters and they were unlimited, so you could go back and try it again, and again!
I have to confess I don’t drink much, and certainly since being diagnosed a Coeliac, I rarely drink beers so I did start with a GF beer and moved onto a Strawberry Ale (which was good but not quite sweet enough. But then we discovered Ciders. Strange, as many ciders are usually GLUTEN FREE but it was the variety of flavours which I hadn’t seen before. It’s been probably twenty years since I drank Cider (the last time was probably when I was a student and it was a cheap drink at the Uni Bar) and that’s now changed after trying Ginger Cider, Pear Cider, Elderflower Cider and of course Pineapple Cider! Oh Wow! I must have gone back to this “sample” over a dozen times as I loved the sweetness of this drink!
And the GLUTEN FREE Food: it was pretty good: plentiful with staff wandering around offering small portions of traditional German delights. They weren’t shy in wandering the room, offering a good selection of snacks, and they never ran out (which is a good thing when you advertise an event as “unlimited”. Indeed, we had to turn them away, like many others, as in reality, there is only so much you can eat and drink!). Regular and Spicy Mustard and Tomato sauces were available on the tables: it was well organised.
The Cheesy Potatoes were best eaten with the spicy mustard and the meatballs were tasty and meaty.
The German sausages were good with individual portions of different ones. (They look different but actually taste very similar but again, it was great not to worry whether they were GLUTEN FREE) and served with a little bit of sauerkraut in the individual plastic pots). Thankfully, there were staff members collecting these pots as I did feel a little greedy as we stacked hem up!
And two different kinds of Pizza: both vegetarian and delicious. No soggy bottoms here (which is a problem I have found with GF pizzas. And tasty toppings: fresh and good to match with the drinks. In addition, they shared GF German Cheeses and GF pretzels which are a very traditional snack on the Continent (as well as in America).
And Sweet-Potato pieces with a crunchy outside skin and deliciously soft inside.
Of course, we had a selection of sweet treats as well:
Both these desserts were served with plastic spoons and I personally loved the Apple Streusel. It was moist and very light and had a crunchy topping to it. Delicious after all the sweet Ciders and Beers I had tried.
So would I go again: Absolutely! The GLUTEN FREE Food was tasty and generously distributed, the GLUTEN FREE Ciders (and Beers) were free flowing and it was great to try something different, even if we flew from the United Kingdom to the Big Apple to try it!
A selection of the brands:
Gluten Free Airline Meals covered on this blog include (click on the picture to open up the reviews):
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