Restaurant Review: Psycho Donuts

Restaurant Review: Psycho Donuts

It’s been too long since I last visited Psycho Donuts to enjoy one of their gluten-free donuts. Part of the reason for the gap in time was I never really knew when they were going to be available, sometimes once a month. More recently, for a short trial period, they have GF donuts every Friday, so no calling, just show up.

I have to say, I was really excited about this visit. Psycho Donuts is famous for their crazy flavor combos, such as Cereal Killer (fruity cereal on top), Kooky Monster (topped with crushed Oreo cookies and blue drizzle), and the Dead Elvis (cream filled, bananas, bacon, peanut butter and jelly). The last time I had a donut was Katz Donuts (boxed and frozen, Sprouts Markets) which are delicious warmed up.. But you can imagine the feeling of walking in to buy fresh!…the mouth-watering scent! And in that aspect, Psycho did not disappoint.

GF donut options for 5/15/15
GF donut options for 5/15/15

The GF donuts are stored in clear plastic takeout containers in a back area separate from the displayed donuts up front. The “Crazy Nurse” pulled out a container and placed it on the counter. I was actually confused because there were 5 donuts in the container, one of each of the GF flavors that day, and I really only wanted one donut (at $3.00 each). She told me that I could get whatever combination I wanted, however, because of the way they’re packaged, I couldn’t buy several of one kind. So I opted to buy 3 of the 5 GF “flavors” they had that day – maple bacon with chocolate, strawberry chocolate, and peanut butter chocolate chip. The “Nurse” who helped me said the official Psycho names would be on the website, but the pictures on their site “menu” are only for their regular donuts, not GF, probably because the GF flavors change weekly.

I was rushed and ate them out of the paper bag with my fingers, however, the donuts really REALLY needed to be on a plate and enjoyed with a knife & fork; the icings were gooey, the toppings coming off easily, and the cake itself was dry and firm, so imagine the mess I had trying to break off a piece out of the bag. Ugh!

The best flavor (of course!) was the maple bacon chocolate, really strong, with the perfect mix of salty & sweet. My son felt differently when he tried a bite, he didn’t like how hard the bacon pieces were, “too chewy”. He complained about how hard the cake was, expecting soft & moist, which none of the donuts were. The strawberry chocolate was topped with dried strawberries which weren’t appetizing to look at but were deliciously tart and did remind me of chocolate covered strawberries. And the peanut butter chocolate chip’s topping immediately had that peanut buttery texture that sticks to the roof of your mouth and I enjoyed that.

I did take 2 days to eat all 3 donuts, so I savored the flavors. This will probably hold me over for several months before I pay them another visit; though the flavors were good, the donut cake itself was too dry for me.

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Restaurant Review: Dona Esther’s “Gluten Free” Menu

When my husband and I went to Dona Esther Mexican restaurant in San Juan Bautista http://donaesthermexicanrestaurant.com to enjoy their Artichoke Enchiladas this past May, it was my first visit since going GF last August.

Whenever I eat out, I always ask, “do you have a GF menu?”, but I was surprised when the waitress said, “yes” and returned with a 2-sided fully laminated menu! Unfortunately, as I looked it over, I saw discrepancies in what I thought was correctly, or incorrectly, deemed as gluten-free. Flautas gluten-free? Tostadas gluten-free? This was too good to be true! So I asked, “do you have a dedicated fryer? A separate fryer for your gluten-free items?” She said, no, they had only one fryer. I told her these items can’t be gluten-free if they are fried in the same fryer with everything else. To which she responded that they weren’t. I asked about the chips on the table and she said they were fried in the same fryer, so then the nachos on the menu were not gluten-free either.

We should have just left, but I ended up ordering their Veggie Fajitas (pictured), with corn tortillas, which was delicious. Although I did not have a reaction, you must question whether there is cross-contamination in their kitchen because they really don’t know what “gluten-free” means.

Be cautious, even when a menu is provided.

Great combination of fresh vegetables in their fajitas!
Great combination of fresh vegetables in their fajitas!
Restaurant Review: Red House Cafe in Pacific Grove

Restaurant Review: Red House Cafe in Pacific Grove

This last week, my hubby & I went to Monterey to celebrate our anniversary. Had a great meal at The Red House Cafe in Pacific Grove (as usual). Our favorite waitress is familiar with GF eating and is always helpful; they are willing to substitute and change any menu item (“…Please be aware that many of our dishes have ingredients which are not listed on the menu. If you have any restrictions, please inform your server.”) I got the Grilled Lamb Chops, served with sautéed vegetables, mashed potatoes, but no au jus sauce (flour). I cannot remember the last time I had lamb, and it was delicious, perfectly grilled with just the right amount of charred flavor, mmmmm! Ate only one of two on my plate, so I had leftovers to enjoy when I got home.

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Unfortunately, they didn’t have any GF desserts. Maybe next time! And while you are there, check out Miss Trawick’s Garden Shop which is basically behind and under the restaurant on Lighthouse Ave.

Restaurant Review: L&L Hawaiian BBQ

Restaurant Review: L&L Hawaiian BBQ

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There is an L&L Hawaiian BBQ close to our house, I pass it and smell the scent whenever I shop at Costco. My son loves their Chicken Katsu and whenever he has it, it is a celebration (for him) and that delicious scent is in my house, making my mouth water. I have resisted the urge to taste it.


The last time I went to Costco, I stopped in to ask whether *anything* on their menu was GF. I got a weird look and the woman wasn’t understanding, as I think most aren’t.

Yesterday, my husband stopped at L&L to get himself & my son dinner (I fend for myself on evenings like this and I’m fine with that). I got a text that he found an employee who understood GF and said ALL their meat is soaked in a marinade that contains “wheat”. I’m out of luck ever eating there, but the scent, the mouth-watering scent, can be mine GF and dollar-free.

Restaurant Review: Pizza, Pizza, Pizza!

Restaurant Review: Pizza, Pizza, Pizza!

The night I first ate GF last August 2013, we ordered a special pizza from Patxi’s Pizza Campbell. I had searched online for local GF pizza places and it had high marks, plus it was close by. Upon his bringing it home, I told my husband the pizza was not correct; they had used real cheese, not soy cheese. I couldn’t eat it.

I called the restaurant, spoke to the woman I ordered the pizza from, she said they would deliver the corrected pizza to us. I confirmed it would take 20 minutes for cooking and then some added delivery time, figuring dinner was coming in no more than 40 minutes, we waited.

Pizza arrived 1-1/2 hours later, close to 9pm! It was one of the worst pizzas I’ve ever had, as well as one of the most expensive 14″ 3 topping thin crusts at $36!

That was a bad first day of being GF and I was afraid for the future of my eating. I love pizza, so going gluten-free put a damper on eating really delicious, covered-with-cheese & meat, thick & chewy crust meals with my husband & son. When they ordered a pizza, I made something else. And with Patxi’s, I’m holding a grudge…we have not, and will not, return.

Since that first horrible experience, I will usually use Udi’s GF Pizza Crusts and put veggies and soy cheese on it when hubby & son order pizza. That’s the quick and easy pizza, and the GF crusts take up little room in my freezer.

More recently, I have found 2 great places that have good GF pizza. One is Top This! Pizza in Los Gatos, an assembly line pizza service that is reasonably priced and occasionally has coupon offers on Groupon. For $10, you get a GF crust to top with your favorite pizza toppings. My husband actually preferred the GF crust to the regular crust they offer. And the Warm Caramel Apple Pie GF crust pizza we took home was incredible! (I am not sure whether the caramel topping was GF.)

And last week, I enjoyed a “real” pizza at BJ’s Brewhouse. Except for the cheese (they do not have soy), I was taken back to childhood with a meaty 10″ pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, and olive ($9.50 for GF crust, $1 per topping). The waitress said she’d add a single item to the pizza, no extra charge because I didn’t have cheese on it, however she charged me anyway (my bad for not noticing before I got home), so the total was $13.50 for this delicious meal, and worth more to me than that. It gave me faith that I can locate great GF food even at places that wouldn’t seem to be GF friendly.

IMG_1389 My tasty Udi’s.

IMG_1362 BJ’s Brewhouse pizza.