|Laura & Birthday Girl Cara today|
Today I met Laura and Cara at The Irregardless Cafe for Cara's birthday lunch. The Irregardless Cafe is a Raleigh institution. It's a little green house turned into an award winning restaurant that is known as a farm to fork, vegetarian and green establishment.
|Christmas Laura waiting for her Chili Relleno!|
|Delicious? Yes! Pad Thai? Close.|
While the Pad Thai was good, it wasn't anything like any Pad Thai I've had anywhere else or have made at home. I was initially disappointed because I expected what I know to be Pad Thai, but I could appreciate the freshness and flavors and over all really enjoyed my lunch.
I had even told Chris later that I felt like it was a safe, good gluten free meal and even told him that I'd go back if that is where a friend wanted to go, but it just wasn't a spot I would probably choose myself.
When Laura invited me to join in on Cara's birthday I jumped at the chance to meet Cara who I only knew over the phone. I wanted to try The Irregardless Cafe one more time to see how I felt - I figured it would be a three strikes and you're out or a third time's the charm meal.
While the Irregardless lunch menu only has a few gluten free options, the dinner menu shows many more. When I compared the two I realized one of the things marked gluten free at dinner were on the lunch menu but not marked as gluten free. It was the amazing Chile Rellenos that Laura had at Christmas.
Today the Irregardless was quieter and we had a great waitress. Wait staff can make or break any dining experience but all the more so when you have to avoid gluten. I mentioned to her that I'd looked at the dinner menu and noticed the discrepancies and she assured me the Chile Rellanos were, in fact, gluten free so I quickly ordered them.
|Happiness on a plate!|
Oh my goodness, third time was the charm! A large poblano pepper is sitting atop a roasted tomato and balsamic reduction - so yummy you want to lick the plate. Between the sauce and the stuffed pepper is a black bean cake. And the stuffed pepper is full of a Spanish ratatouille rice. Every bit of it was amazing. I ordered the vegan version - without the smoked gouda or cream fraiche - I can't imagine it being any better than it was.
So now I want to drag Chris there as soon as we can get him there so he can try it, but I think we'll go for dinner when there are a few more gluten free choices to check out. I'm glad to have tried one more time because now I have a special spot I can really look forward to.
It was so great getting to catch up with Laura and to hear about her move and getting to meet sweet Cara. I felt blessed to have been able to sneak away from my responsibilities for a couple of hours and enjoy some fellowship with these wonderful women.
Check out Laura's post today and her healthy mocha shake. It sounds amazing!