When I was a little girl, every Sunday morning, I would have swimming lessons and then head over to the Pickle Barrel restaurant for the most unbelieveable mile-high french toast and potato latkes. Sometimes, we would even return for dinner, my favorite being the spaghetti and meatballs. It is one of my first foodie memories and one of the best.
Thirty years later, my family and I still love going to the Pickle Barrel, but not just on Sunday mornings and not just for the French toast anymore. Just like our taste buds, their menu has grown and evolved to keep up with the needs of its customers. While they do have a team of unbelievable chefs at each restaurant, there is one woman who has spear-headed all of this change: cookbook author, nutritionist, and chef, Rose Riseman.
Rose Riseman has been developing special menus for Pickle Barrel for the past few years, ranging from healthy family favorites to a new, healthy spin on kids' meals. However, her latest venture is her most ambitious yet: Gluten-Free menu.
I was introduced to this menu a little while ago through a tasting dinner I was honored to be a part of. Prior to attending the event, I did a bit of research on what eating "gluten free" involved and have to admit that I was a bit dubious of what to expect. After all, the reason I fell in love with the Pickle Barrel was for their breads and pastas, the exact items that eating gluten-free does not allow.
Rose explain how each dish had been developed by sourcing the most delicious breads, pastas, and other gluten-free ingredients possible. My skepticism began to fade. Next she told us how each restaurant that serves this menu will be equipped with separate equipment and a designated chef to ensure that there is no cross-contamination between the gluten-free menu items and the regular menu. The rationale being that for someone who is intolerant to gluten, even the tiniest amount can make them feel terribly ill. Wow. That really impressed me. But does that mean that the only those who do eat gluten-free should eat this menu? Certainly not, especially because of how delicious it all was.