Last week Marc and I stole away to the beach during the middle of the week. Chris was awesome - he was working from home and helped with Joe's obligations so we, rather I, could play hooky. I know that now that Marc's graduated and searching for his first "real" job being able to do things like this may not be in our future. So I asked him if he would take me to lunch at Lovey's for my birthday and he sweetly complied.
Lovey's is our favorite lunch spot in Wrightsville, NC. It's just a few minutes away from the beach and we always, always stop at Lovey's whether to buy lunch or fill out our picnic. It's a great health food store and cafe. There are wonderful gluten free specialty items in the store with some that even our local Whole Foods doesn't carry.
The cafe is great - we've never had an issue with cross contamination after several summers of visits. Make sure your order taker knows that you are gluten intolerant and don't just "prefer" to be gluten free and they will take care of you. The sandwiches and wraps are perfect for a picnic on the beach. Their menu is varied and there's something for everyone from vegan to omnivore. There's also a large food bar with hot items and lots of salads.
One word of caution - I avoid the pastry case entirely. There are some wonderful looking gluten free treats but they sit on plates next to, above and below regular treats and I cannot risk that cross contamination. They have some that are pre-wrapped on the counter and there are many other options in the grocery section to choose from so no worries.
This time Marc picked the chicken quesadilla and I ordered a Sunshine Burger grinder - as I almost always do. Both came with chips, his with salsa, too. We picked up some drinks and a treat and went straight to the beach.
We found our parking spot down near the end of the beach where the dunes are so beautiful. Weekdays in May are usually quiet but the beach was nearly empty. We gathered all our gear and just about as soon as we got settled the wind kicked up and the drizzle started.
Oh well, we were still at the beach, still having a great picnic and still hanging out together!
Marc's lunch looked amazing - the brown rice tortilla was crispy and filled with chicken and cheese and all kinds of veggies.
But eating it in the wind and drizzle proved difficult. =D
My Sunshine Burger Grinder is almost exactly what I make but I never have Green Goddess dressing on hand and it's part of what makes Lovey's different and "beachy" to me.
Pictures were pretty much impossible with the wind so you'll have to trust me that it tasted much better than it looks here.
For our dessert we had wandered through the gluten free section while we waited for our lunch and Marc found these goodies. They were really sweet and chewy and perfectly wonderful. Loved the coconut to chocolate ratio. Far too sweet to be in our usual rotation but perfect for a splurge. How the package got a little melted sitting in the cold I will never know.
Just after we finished the cookies the sun came out again and it was gorgeous.
Marc swam a bit and then we walked and watched the kite surfers taking off and gliding across the waves and sky. I love the chance to hang out with my guys and I know how precious these times are. Before we knew it we had to leave but not before one more quick trip to Lovey's for a few groceries to take home and coffee. We'd both been off coffee for a few weeks and we both feel much better for it. Still it was getting cool out again and a hot cup sounded great. I think I will make it a very occasional indulgence.
(((Another quick stop into a shop yielded a birthday gift for Joe. Shhh! I can't tell you where or what because his birthday is tomorrow!)))
We no sooner got on the freeway and the heavens opened up. Serious downpour with lightning flashing across the horizon. Marc was an excellent driver and I felt safe enough to try to capture a picture of the lightning that was entertaining us. Marc pulled this shot off video I took.
We made it home safe and sound with not a drop of rain having fallen at our house. Even with that rainy drive home, there's nothing as relaxing as the beach for me and I can't wait for our next trip.
When it comes to eating out in Wrightsville and Wilmington, we really have not explored too much. We often pack picnics and Lovey's is so convenient and great we haven't felt the need. When we stay overnight we have a kitchen so we usually cook something easy. But on our way into Wrightsville we noticed a new Mellow Mushroom and when I checked it out online later I found there's one in nearby Wilmington, too. Both locations carry gluten free crusts. We've had really good luck with the few Mellow Mushroom locations we've tried so we'll definitely give it a shot sometime this summer.
But good news for people who do want/need more options in the area. A couple of nights ago I was looking up a restaurant that Marc and Marie will be going to in Wilmington with her family this weekend and found this new-to-me site Eat, Drink and Be Gluten-Free with a Wilmington dining list. I've only had a chance to skim through Kimberly's site but I know we'll be back to check it out.