Product Review: Buen Sabor Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpea & Sweet Potato Picadillo)

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Buen Sabor Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpeas & Sweet Potato Picadillo)

Product: Buen Sabor Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpea & Sweet Potato Picadillo) – $4.99+

I love discovering products I might have not seen, might be new, or just may not have noticed in the past when I go grocery shopping.  Such is the tale of me and a line of frozen entrees by the company Buen Sabor.

Whole Foods.  Freezer section.  At least, that was the beginning of this tale for me.  Grocery shopping on a budget isn’t easy…but sometimes you just have to make exceptions to the budget rule.  Especially when you have events to be at every Tuesday evening (running event) by 6 p.m.  I don’t like to turn up late, because then I feel like I need to try to catch up to everyone, and with the current day-to-day status of the injured hip…I just don’t like to take risks.

Taking risks with food that fits into my kind of restrictive diet…that is sometimes worth splurging on and taking a risk.

So, yes…Buen Sabor.

Buen Sabor was created by Sarah, who grew up on an organic farm in Maine.  With the help of her mother, she used to cure, can, freeze, and dehydrate almost everything they ate.  The family freezer became an invaluable asset to a busy family that wanted to enjoy humble foods that tasted great.  When Sarah became a new mom in 2008, she delved into the quest to solve the “busy persons” food dilemma once again.  And, with all that she learned growing up on the farm, she harnessed that knowledge and started Buen Sabor.  The team at Buen Sabor is passionate about offering simple, crave-worthy foods that…yes…come from the freezer.

In fact, Buen Sabor actually wants you to become a “freezer believer.”  One thing freezer meals have going for it is convenience.  But another thing is…given the right ingredients…they can actually be a clean eat.  Buen Sabor is deeply committed to creating the best possible (and super convenient) food.  All of the sauces are made from scratch, their vegetables are picked and cooked at the height of their freshness, and the proteins are cooked just right and then frozen immediately to preserve the dishes most naturally.  Don’t knock delicious frozen meals…simply put, freezing food is nature’s pause button…it is, literally, the most natural preservative there is.  Frozen foods are nutritious, have real nutritional value, are convenient, and naturally preserves foods.

Buen Sabor aims to build a business that creates as many happy customers possible, who are able to spend more time doing the things they love.  They want their products to exceed all expectations as far as quality, focusing on freshness, flavor, and nutritional value.

But do they achieve this?

Well, I picked up one of their vegan and gluten-free meals at Whole Foods that afternoon, to keep in my freezer for those rushed, hurried, “I need to go run hill repeats” Tuesday nights.  Leave work, rush home, eat, change, out the door to drive over the river to meet with a group who simply…runs up a hill…jogs down…repeats it for some set amount of time.  It means Tuesdays are rather stressful and rushed.  So I grabbed the Buen Sabor Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpea & Sweet Potato Picadillo) for me and my roomie opted for one of the meaty dishes…the Arroz Con Queso Y Trocitos De Chorizo (Savory Chorizo-Seasoned Rice With Cheese).

Super easy to warm up.  I made Cathy’s first, simply by cutting a slit into the plastic on top of the tray and warming it up for 5 minutes.  It sits for 1 minute and then…ready to eat.  It doesn’t LOOK amazing like it does on the box…but it smelled good.  And when Cathy ate it, she said it was good…for a frozen meal.

Okay…

So, needless to say, I wasn’t feeling too optimistic about the Buen Sabor Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpea & Sweet Potato Picadillo).  Just like with the meaty one, the vegan one also had the plastic film sliced through to allow everything to steam.  Into the microwave for about 4-5 minutes.  I let it go for 5, because I have an old microwave.  Peel back the film and stir, letting it stand for one minute.

And…much like Cathy’s…upon taking it out of the microwave and pulling back the plastic, the meal really doesn’t look appetizing.  It looks…like a frozen microwave meal.  The picture on the box is GORGEOUS…but this is just sort of…one tone…one note…brownish.  LOL!  Over rice.  That being said, once I stirred it up, it looked…slightly more appetizing.

Looks aside, I decided it was time to test the frozen meal waters myself.  And, you know what?  I was actually really surprised.  I mean, packed with flavors.  Just loaded with a hint of spice, fresh vegetables, and rice that ended up cooking to perfection.  I was expecting something bland, perhaps tasting as unappetizing as it looked.  But I was blown away by the flavors.  The chickpeas and potato reheated gorgeously.  Nothing got mushy  And I love that quinoa is included for a bit more of a protein boost.  Picadillo translates into “little (savory-yummy) chopped things.  And the aim of Buen Sabor with the Buen Sabor Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpea & Sweet Potato Picadillo) was to deliver “a delightful dance of flavors with roots in the Caribbean and Spain.”  I might have devoured mine long before Cathy (who had a headstart on hers) finished hers.  A little spicy, but I have an iron stomach for the most part, and I knew this wouldn’t bother me while running hard up some hills in a local park.  SO tasty.  So good.  And really good for you too!  I loved the spice and the bit of heat that each bite brought.  And I love that brown rice is used instead of white.  YES!!  This company is speaking my language.  None of the vegetables were mushy or soft.  Everything had great texture and heated through perfectly.  All-in-all…a dinner win!  A convenient, easy dinner win.

Speaking of being really good for you, let’s take a look at the ingredients that Buen Sabor puts into the Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpeas & Sweet Potato Picadillo)!  One thing that Buen Sabor prides itself on is that they don’t add any hormones, antibiotics or preservatives to their food.  Their products are 100% natural.  Pure and simple goodness.  The Buen Sabor Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpeas & Sweet Potato Picadillo) is made from brown rice, onions, quinoa, chickpeas, water, sweet potato, tomatoes, red peppers, poblano chili peppers, olive oil, spice, sea salt, garlic, corn starch, and smoked sweet paprika.  All real ingredients.  Nothing fake. Nothing that has me questioning my dietary choices.  I love that.  This particular meal is gluten-free, vegan, contains no added sugar, and has no trans fat.

Now, let’s discuss nutrition, shall we?  A serving of the Buen Sabor Picadillo De Garbanzos Y Camote (Chickpeas & Sweet Potato Picadillo) is 1 cup (159 grams) and there are 2 servings per container.  Except, if you’re making it an actual meal…you’ll eat the entire thing like I did.  No worries, nothing bad or outrageous with these stats.  For one (1) serving, however, you will be taking in 160 calories, 5 grams fat, 0.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 570 mg sodium, 25 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams dietary fiber, 3 grams sugar, and 5 grams protein.  LOVE IT.  Even after running 8 miles of hill repeats, I still felt full.  And the heat didn’t bother my system at all.  Good food to fuel a tough run that day.

Check your local natural foods stores for the Buen Sabor products.  Honestly, you won’t regret it.  Freezer section.  Good stuff.  Very good stuff.  I think I might have to pick up a few more…at least until this group stops meeting…which, sadly, happens in a couple of weeks.  But, it’s always good to have a quick meal on hand…because you never know when time might get away from you or something might come up!  Buen Sabor…has your back!

Product Review: Miti Miti Latin American Foods Plantain Chips

Miti Miti Latin American Foods Plantain Chips

Miti Miti Latin American Foods Plantain Chips

Product: Miti Miti Latin American Foods Plantain Chips – $6.00

It was in my January 2015 Cube (Happy New Year) that I was introduced to a plethora of new products from my Cuisine Cube subscription.  Healthy options to get your New Years resolutions rocking and rolling and to start the year off on the right track.  It ranged from gluten-free oatmeal to dark chocolate covered rice cakes (both of which were fantastic).  But saddled into the seat for a snack in January was a product that left me overly excited and jumping for joy and eagerness to try.

Plantain Chips.

Oh hell yes!

So, before I trudge further into my review of this little packaged snack of tropical goodness, let me first tell you a little bit more about Cuisine Cube.  I discovered Cuisine Cube through a Groupon offering of sorts and from my first box to my current one, I have been hooked.  This is a subscription service that sends you a box each month that is loaded down with 5-6 full-size gluten-free products for your foodie tastebuds to enjoy!  No joke.  These products always include something for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and dessert…and every now and again, you get a bonus item.  It’s fantastic.  Really.  And subscriptions start as low as $29.99.  So, be sure to skip over to their Web site and check them out.  Better yet…try them out.

Why?

Because you will be introduced to products like Miti Miti Latin American Foods Plantain Chips!  Talk about biting into something I wasn’t expecting.  I have sampled plantain chips before, but this was the first time they actually snacked like a chip.  Usually I find them way too sweet, but with the blend of tropical and robust flavors that Miti Miti Foods adds to these dried plantains, you get a little bit of everything.  First of all, each and every trip is crunchy good.  I mean…CRUNCHY!!  I love that.  Chips should be crunchy, even when made out of fruit.  They are seasoned with paprika, coriander, and cardamom…giving them an added savory feel.  It really cuts down on the sweetness. And that’s where the magic happens.

I LOVED these chips.  Seriously.  They reminded me of really good french fries.  You know…those savory crispy ones…not the mushy, squishy ones.  Yep.  That’s the flavor they carried.  Sort of like a really amazing potato chip.  I couldn’t stop eating these.  Seriously.  I popped one to try.  So did my roommate.  Her initial thought was that they were “chalky” but I didn’t get that at all.  I found greatness.  I found something amazing and different.  I found…probably one of my favorite snacks to date.  I am addicted to them.  They are perfectly fried to a golden brown and carry everything my palate wants in a snack.  Having the bag in my general vicinity is dangerous…because it is one of those snacks that if I start eating, I can’t stop.  Which is why I have to dish out the serving size.  With the sweet and savory flavor with that perfect crunch in each bite (the thinner chips are my favorites…but they all are crunchy), I’m beyond addicted to these.  I won’t go to rehab either.  If I want chips…these are what I want.  From now on!

So, let’s take a look at the ingredients that go into a bag of Miti Miti Latin American Foods Plantain Chips.  These chips are made from plantains (obviously), a seasoning mix that includes salt, garlic, onion, black pepper, oregano, paprika, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, coriander, and cardamom, spices, canola oil, and garlic powder.  This snack is not only gluten-free, but also cholesterol free, sugar free, and vegan.

As for nutritional information…fear not.  These equal or might even be better than your standard potato chip.  And trust me…you’ll prefer these over a potato chip any day.  A serving size is 30 grams (or around 15 chips).  This serving will give you 160 calories and 10 grams of fat.  One serving will also provide you with 120 mg sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates and no sugar.  One serving also gives you 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of protein, making it a good snack that can take you through to dinner time.

Feel good about snacking again!  Don’t feel guilty about a treat in the afternoon or with dinner.  Miti Miti Latin American Foods make it so you can feed your snack side with something different and more nutritious than the standard potato chip.  Thanks to Cuisine Cube, I am feasting away on Miti Miti Plantain Chips and loving every bite.

Recipe: Gluten-Free Charred Corn Tacos (with Homemade Taco Seasoning)

So…I was back from some time away and without my CSA bin for yet another week.  I still had a couple of produce items from the week prior in my fridge.  Nothing that would have gone bad while I was out of town for the weekend…but…you know…just some things I hadn’t gotten to just yet.  One of these items were 2 ears of corn.  I had previously grilled up the other 2 ears of corn that were in the bin…and I really, really wanted to try something different this time around.

So, I went on a little bit of a hunt…and somehow discovered the amazing recipe for Charred Corn Tacos (as well as homemade (so it can be gluten-free) taco seasoning) from Joy the Baker.  I was elated.  Because I love tacos and because it was definitely a different and unique way to consume said corn…and do something different with your average tacos.  The best part?  This recipe was super easy and I just needed to swing by the grocery store for a couple of items that I didn’t have due to not getting my produce bin.

If you love tacos…I highly recommend these.  If you are a carnivore…I swear, you won’t even miss the meat!

Recipe: Gluten-Free Charred Corn Tacos (with Homemade Taco Seasoning)

Gluten-Free Charred Corn Tacos (with homemade Taco Seasoning)

Gluten-Free Charred Corn Tacos (with Homemade Taco Seasoning)

Servings: 2
Time: Prep 25 minutes; Cook 15 minutes

Ingredients for Taco Seasoning:

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

 

Directions for Taco Seasoning:

Toss together.  Store in a jar.  Apply liberally to most everything.

 

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Charred Corn Tacos:

  • 2 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut from the cob
  • a handful of chopped scallions
  • a handful of sliced cherry tomatoes
  • a seeded fresh Serrano pepper, chopped
  • a liberal amount of homemade taco seasoning
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 1 ripe sliced avocado
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Directions for Gluten-Free Charred Corn Tacos:

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the corn and allow to char for several minutes.  Stir infrequently to allow the corn to really char.

Remove from the heat and stir in scallions, cherry tomatoes, jalapeno, and taco seasoning to taste.

Warm up the tortillas.

Spoon the charred corn into the tortillas.  Top with avocado.

DEVOUR!

~*~*~

My roommate declared this one of her favorite taco dishes that I have ever prepared.  And, a couple years back we did what we called a “Tour de Taco” where I did different flavors and versions of tacos throughout the entire week.  To hear that sort of exclamation really made my day.  The char on the corn really does make all the difference, so be sure you start to get that blackened color on the kernels.  These aren’t too spicy…and the seasoning is perfect.  Honestly, it just brought this wash of flavor to the entire dish.  Top off however you like.  I added kale to mine for a bit of a leafy green.  It was awesome.  My roomie had me whip up some vegan Sriracha sour cream and I topped mine with hot sauce.  However you like it…it’s yours for the making.

Restaurant Review: Alma Cocina, Atlanta, Georgia

Alma Cocina, Atlanta, Georgia

Alma Cocina, Atlanta, Georgia

Restaurant: Alma Cocina, Atlanta, Georgia

So, here I was in Atlanta, Georgia…having completed a marathon earlier that morning.  I spent the afternoon doing the tourist thing…scoping out the CNN Studios and just walking around and enjoying the city.  Trust me…after a marathon, it’s best to keep moving.  That being said…another important thing to do after running is to begin proper recovery.  And part of that is nutrition.

A big part of that is nutrition, actually.

Prior to the race, my roomie and I had thought that we’d simply return to Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria for dinner.  Then we ate there…and were not impressed.  At all.  So, this meant new plans had to be made.  And, after watching some Food Network and seeing guacamole…I was craving.  Mexican.  Mmmm…guacamole.  Yum yum!  So, I got onto my Find Me Gluten Free app and discovered that not far from the hotel was a nice Mexican joint called Alma Cocina.  I pulled up the Web site, glanced at the gluten-free menu and thought…this might be a great place to try.  I passed the laptop to my roommate so she could take a gander, and she agreed that Mexican sounded good.  So, we made 6 p.m. reservations…and called it a night.

I marathoned.  I did the tourist thing.  I walked…a lot.  I discovered that I was hungry…and still had an hour to go before dinner reservations.  Cathy decided that we should start ambling that way because she wouldn’t feel bad walking in at 5:30 p.m.  I liked her logic, so that’s what we did…killing off a bit of spare time by wandering around the block and checking out the Dragon*Con hotels.  Because…why not?  Around 5:30 p.m., we strolled into Alma Cocina for dinner.

We were greeted immediately upon entering.  I told them that we had reservations at 6, but we were here early.  They said it wasn’t a problem, and took us right to the table.  We were seated and they went to check off our reservation, returning a moment later with some menus, including the gluten-free menu for me.  AH!  They read the reservation.  YAY!  I was feeling good about this already.

Alma Cocina's Gluten-Free Menu

Alma Cocina’s Gluten-Free Menu

As we looked over the menu, our server came over to get our drink orders.  I was recovering…so water for me.  Cathy did the same…because she’s a copy-cat.  Just kidding.  But…she did also get water.  When he returned, I inquired as to how big the sides were.  He said they were relatively big…so I pondered for a moment, but we went ahead and ordered the Gluten-Free Guacamole ($6.00) as a starter.

After leaving to put in the order, our server returned and asked me if the gluten-free was a food allergy or just a dietary choice.  I told him I was a Celiac and he nodded and said, “Okay…so cross-contamination is not okay.”  He hurried off.  I might have arched an eyebrow at Cathy.  They really do pay attention.

Alma Cocina's Gluten-Free Guacamole (served with chayote...not chips)

Alma Cocina’s Gluten-Free Guacamole (served with chayote…not chips)

Our appetizer of gluten-free guacamole came out a few minutes later.  It was this little bowl of gorgeous, creamy…yet chunky, mashed avocado with all the right seasonings and additions.  But…no chips.  The server said that to prevent cross-contamination, the tortilla chips were replaced with chayote.  I was intrigued!  He then asked if we were ready to order…and at this point we were.

Cathy went ahead and ordered the Fried Avocado Tacos ($14.00), which consisted of crispy queso cotija, poblano pesto (which she says I need to make!), roasted tomato…and yes…fried avocado.

I went for the sides…because the only other option on the gluten-free menu for me would have been the Vegetarian Platter and that just sounded like too much.  So, I opted for ordering the Mexican Chopped Salad ($4.00), which was a mix of jicama, chayote, red onion, ancho chile powder, and cilantro.  I also ordered the Black Beans and Poblano Chili Rice ($4.00) which came with pico de gallo.  Orders in…we were left to our appetizer.

The guacamole was amazing!!  Seriously.  It had red onion, serrano pepper, red onion, lime, cilantro…everything that I make mine with at home.  And it tasted fantastic.  Cathy told the waiter when he came back to see how it was that was amazing…almost as good as mine.  Hee!  But…what really made this a standout, believe it or not, was the chayote.  No lie!  The sweetness of the chayote (which, in case you haven’t googled it yet…is an edible plant that is pear shaped with a thin, green, wrinkly skin and white flesh.  It is sort of like a squash…but sweet.  And it can be eaten raw, cooked, mashed, baked, boiled, fried, etc.) was just what the guacamole was needing.  Now, at home I eat my guacamole with tortilla chips.  If I can find chayote in one of the numerous stores I shop in…that won’t happen ever again.  This is above and beyond tortilla chips.  This plant was made for guacamole!  Between the two of us, Cathy and I made short work of the guacamole.  In fact, we were just polishing it off when our entrees arrived.

Now, the chef got a little creative with my Mexican Chopped Salad.  Seemed they were out of it, so he went ahead and pretty much sliced up all the components and made a version of the salad for me.  It looked delicious and fresh as it was settled down in front of me.  And I was beyond intrigued by my green rice and super-delicious looking black beans.  Oh yeah…I was one happy marathoner.

We were left to enjoy our dinner and Cathy dove into her tacos…declaring them one of the best things she has ever eaten.  And praised that poblano pesto to the roof.

I started with the Mexican Chopped Salad.  It was an amazing array of textures and flavors.  I loved the jicama and how it tasted when mixed with the chayote.  The red onion brought a bit of bite to what, otherwise, would have been way too sweet.  As it was…I got about 3/4 of the way through before calling it quits.  It was delicious…but with the chayote with the guacamole…I needed some spice and some heat.

I turned my attention to the Black Beans and Pobalno Chili Rice.  Oh my gluten-free gods…this was delicious.  It is so simple.  So basic.  And yet…the flavors were awesome.  I loved to scoop up some of the beans and rice together.  I loved the little bit of heat that the beans had with them.  I loved the sweet, with a hint of heat, rice…and how it was green.  Pablano chili rice…for the total win.  I was enamored with this side.  I sort of wished I had ordered two of them.  But, I was getting full fast.  Rice and beans will definitely get that tummy full.  Carbs, fiber, and protein, baby!  But it was what I needed.  And I polished that plate clean.

And I was full.  The waiter came to take away the dishes and asked if we were interested in dessert.  We passed because both of us were now quite full.

Wow…what an amazing restaurant.  The atmosphere.  The service.  The overall experience…I would go back in a heartbeat to Alma Cocina.  I felt like they were very mindful of my food allergies and took great care when it came to preparing and serving my food.  LOVED every moment of our time there.

Alma Cocina's Side Orders of Mexican Chopped Salad (left) and Black Beans and Poblano Chili Rice (right)

Alma Cocina’s Side Orders of Mexican Chopped Salad (left) and Black Beans and Poblano Chili Rice (right)

Restaurant Review: Seviche – A Latin Restaurant, Louisville, Kentucky

Seviche - A Latin Restaurant, Louisville, Kentucky

Seviche – A Latin Restaurant, Louisville, Kentucky

Restaurant: Seviche – A Latin Restaurant, Louisville, Kentucky

After a lot of talking about doing it…and then never…never…ever getting around to actually doing it…my roommate and I, along with our co-worker, Justin, have been making a point of visiting various local restaurants in the ever-expanding foodie city of Louisville, Kentucky.  And why shouldn’t we?  It’s in our own backyard.  We live here…and yet we fell into always going to the same spots over and over again.  And yet, Louisville is really finding its voice in the culinary world.  Why overlook the spoils that we are readily provided?

Yesterday, we upgraded a little as far as restaurant choice.  We opted to go to Seviche – A Latin Restaurant, located on Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky.  In all the years I’ve lived here, I have often walked by this restaurant, gazing in as I’ve passed…seeing the white table cloths and wondering…what the food was like.

Tack onto that the fact that the restaurant’s kitchen has three-time James Beard semifinalist, Anthony Lamas, at the wheel.  Anthony Lamas has been featured at the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival, the Charleston Wine and Food Festival, and Bobby Flay’s Breeders’ Cup “A Taste of the World” event.  He proudly serves only sustainable seafood at Seviche.  He opened Seviche in 2005 and since then, the restaurant and Lamas has garnered major praise and attention.  Esquire magazine said that “Seviche has emerged as one of America’s best and most innovative Nuevo Latino restaurants with plenty of the chef’s personality in every dish.”  It later states that if you have time for one meal in Louisville…you should make it Seviche.  In 2011, Lamas won the title of Extreme Chef on the hit Food Network show by creating a wedding menu with $99 worth of ingredients from a 99 cent store.

As for the restaurant itself, it was named “one of the ten great places for Latin flavor and flair” by USA Today in 2009.  Louisville, Kentucky is very lucky to have this little gem.  Honestly…I was impressed, hands down, even before I reached the restaurant.

Here’s why…

You see, with my special dietary needs, I tend to look at menus ahead of time and then get in contact with the restaurant itself in order to better prepare for my visit.  It’s always good to know if I’ll be dining on a protein bar while my friends eat or if I, too, can indulge in the food that is being served.  That being said, I sent an e-mail to the General Manager, Hap Cohan, who replied promptly to my inquiry about gluten-free and vegetarian options.  After all, I was heading to a restaurant known for…seafood…so I wasn’t sure what would be good for me to eat.  He replied that they do not have any gluten-free vegetarian options on the menu, per se, but the chef would be more than happy to make something for me.  They often do a local vegetable plate with whatever fresh produce is in house…or they could build an entree with the items that are on their regular menu.  He also recommended the gazpacho that was served during the summer.  He asked for my name and party I am dining in so he could notate my requirements on the reservation so the chef and manager on duty would be aware when we arrived.

And when I arrived, I didn’t even have to specifically ask for the gluten-free menu.  The hostess was already grabbing for it for me.  I felt a lot of relief.  We were seated and given a chance to look over the options for dinner.  I was really stoked about being all dressed up for dinner at local restaurant that has received so much praise and high accolades for its food and its chef.  I already had an idea of what I’d be eating…but then an option caught my eye on the gluten-free menu.  So, I think I had my mind made up right away.  As for drinks, while they had an amazing list of alcoholic beverages to choose from, with a 20 mile run awaiting me the following morning, I stuck with water, which comes with a cucumber in the glass.  Refreshing.  And different.  Loved that.  When Justin arrived (fashionably late), we all settled in to decide on what we’d like to eat that evening.

Time to place our orders.  Justin went with the Mahi Mahi Tacos ($19.00), which included pico de gallo, cabbage, and a cuban lime aioli.  Cathy went off the specials menu…ordering first the Sopa de Dia, which that evening was a Chipotle Cheddar Potato Bisque ($7.00).  With that, she went out of her comfort zone, ordering the Albacore Tiradito Seviche ($15.00).  She always said she hated tuna…so this surprised me.  Turned out she forgot Albacore was tuna.

As for me, I ordered the Roasted Beet Salad ($13.00), which included lemon arugula mojo, capriole goat cheese, and mustard.

Seviche - A Latin Restaurant's Roasted Beet Salad

Seviche – A Latin Restaurant’s Roasted Beet Salad

With our orders in, we were able to sit and chat, drink our water (or in Justin’s case…his mojito)…and just talk about whatever we wanted…that didn’t involve work.  As we all work together…that seems to be the way of it.  And it’s nice that way.

When food arrived, I was just blown away by the sheer beauty of the plates.  First of all, every plate on our table was a different size and shape.  We joked with the waiter who brought out the food about it being culinary Tetris.  But, we managed to get it all on the table and soon we were diving in.  Cathy first tried the soup, immediately falling in love.  She said it was right at her heat threshold…the perfect amount of spice and heat without it killing her palate.  This is saying something because, as stated before, she is a heat and spice wimp!  As for her Albacore Tiradito Seviche…she was in love.  It was paired with watermelon, yuzu, and chili flakes with it.  And yeah…she was enamored.  With TUNA!!  I applaud her foodieness.  I told her not to judge tuna by the stuff in the can.  She agreed!

We asked Justin how his Mahi Mahi Tacos were, and he was already done with one of the two he was served.  Obviously…he was impressed.  This was good, because he didn’t look at the menu before coming to the restaurant and had a bit of sticker shock at the prices.  It was good that the food did live up to the cost.  Besides…sustainable seafood.  That’s important.

But…with the gluten-free vegetarian dining at a Latin Restaurant known for seafood dishes…well…I was the tricky one.  First of all, the Roasted Beet Salad looked stunning.  So bright and vibrant.  Beets are a great food for runners.  So, that was part of the reason I chose it with my long run the following day.  It’s supposedly like legal doping.  Who knows.  I’ve grown very fond of roasted beets, so this salad won me over.  Pairing it with the goat cheese and the mojo and mustard was fantastic.  Fresh tomatoes were scattered about the beets as well.  Super delicious.  I savored each bite.  And this was not a giant salad by any means.  But every bite of it was amazing.  I definitely cleaned the plate.

When our waitress returned…we had clean plates and smiles on our faces.  She inquired if we were interested in desserts.  Cathy said…”We are always interested in desserts!”  She retrieved the dessert menu and we made the initial inquiry as to what, if anything, was gluten-free.  She didn’t think anything was, but went to the kitchen to check.  She returned a short moment later, saying that the renowned The “Avocado” dessert was gluten-free, as was the Bourbon Butterscotch Pudding and the Housemade Ice Cream.  Since they were known for The “Avocado,” Cathy and I decided we had to get that.  So we decided we would split it.  Justin got one all to himself.

The “Avocado” ($7.00) is avocado ice cream, formed into the shape of half an avocado and sitting in a chocolate shell.  The pit is a bourbon chocolate truffle.  It is accompanied by dulce de leche and a coffee pine nut soil.  It definitely sounded intriguing.  And…hello…avocado ice cream.  SOLD!

This dessert was gorgeous.  Literally…gorgeous.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was plated beautifully and totally looked like an avocado.  I love whimsical dishes and this definitely was a fun play on a favorite food.  All in delicious dessert form.  It looked gorgeous, but how did it taste?  SUPER!  Cathy took the “pit”…the bourbon truffle…and ended up saving it for last because, while she is not a fan of bourbon…she loved the flavor of that particular morsel.  The avocado ice cream was fantastic.  Seriously.  It was mild, but had light citrus (perhaps lime) notes to each bite.  The chocolate shell was crumbly and yummy.  And that dulce de leche…the best pairing with the avocado ice cream and chocolate.  As for that coffee and pine nut “soil”…when you put everything together…it was magic in your mouth.  I was beyond impressed.  I was in dessert heaven to be honest.  One of the best desserts I have ever been served.  Seriously.  EVER!

I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment about visiting Seviche if you had just one restaurant to go to in Louisville, Kentucky.  Be prepared for a high quality meal…and with that…higher prices than someone might be accustomed to paying.  But Seviche, the servers, and the chef all took great care of me and worked with me and my food allergies.  For that, I am forever grateful.  And the food…it blew me away.  I’ve been spoiled.  I loved every bite of everything I ate there.  I’ve heard good things about their guacamole (also on the gluten-free menu), so next time I venture to that restaurant…I think an appetizer might be in order.

For what it’s worth…Seviche is worth its weight in gold because it really does put out fantastic food, great service, and it’s all right here in my own city.  I am one lucky gluten-free girl.

Seviche - A Latin Restaurant's The

Seviche – A Latin Restaurant’s The “Avocado” dessert