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Posts Tagged ‘gluten free dining’

Gluten Free Bakery Options Come to Kennebunkport Maine

October 15th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

 

A new coffee shop and bakery comes to Kennebunkport!

A new coffee shop and bakery comes to Kennebunkport!

Kennebunkport Maine restaurants have done a great job jumping on the gluten free bandwagon, but the coffee shops and bakeries have been slow to meet the demand.  Earlier this year, Mornings in Paris, an “old world” style coffee shop located in the heart of the Old Port of Portland, opened a new location here in Kennebunkport Maine.  They’ve brought a tremendous assortment of teas and coffee varieties, great WiFi (for free), and delicious treats to town.  But since the Maine Stay Inn has oodles of tea and coffee available 24 hours a day and bakeries and gluten free diets generally don’t mesh well, a visit to Mornings in Paris was not at the top of my to do list.  This weekend, though, an old friend dropped by for a visit, so we decided to go for a stroll through Kennebunkport Maine and enjoy the glorious fall weather.  After exploring town and taking lots of pictures of the fall foliage, we decided that a warm beverage was just what we needed, so I finally got to cross off this item on my “to-do” list!

The outdoor bistro tables and market style umbrellas set the tone for a relaxing and inviting afternoon respite.  After opening the doors, a wave of wonderful spices and the aroma of freshly brewed coffees got my appetite going.  Much to my surprise, there were quite a few gluten free treats available!  How could I have ignored these gluten free treats all

... and they have gluten free treats!

… and they have gluten free treats!

summer?!  With cookies, whoopie pies, and cupcakes available, I felt like a kid in a … bakery!  The only thing that I needed to complete my afternoon rendezvous was a warm drink to hold during my walk along the ocean, and while the Pumpkin Latte was getting rave reviews, I needed something a little lighter to wash down my gluten free indulgence, so an Oolong tea fit the bill nicely.  While I chose to take my nibbles to go, the inside eating areas were comfy, cozy, and interesting to look at – no plain white walls here.  So even during weather that’s not quite as ideal as yesterday, Mornings in Paris is going to be a great spot for an afternoon cup o’ joe.  So all of us at the Maine Stay are happy to welcome the Mornings in Paris Bakery and coffee shop to Kennebunkport Maine and love their gluten free options!

Special Diets at a Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast

July 12th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Even cinnamon buns can be gluten free!

Even cinnamon buns can be gluten free!

Anyone who’s been on a strict eating plan of any kind knows that the idea of venturing out to eat can be very daunting, but at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, we take very special care to prepare a delicious and nutritious diet for those on special diets.  As you may know, we have nearly 15 years of gluten-free cooking under our belts – and that’s in real chronological years, not some cockamamie summation.  But because food allergies have been on our radar screen for so long, we’re able to take the same great care with nearly any other special diet thrown our way.  One of the simplest special diets we accommodate at the Maine Stay Inn is vegetarian, and, in fact, not a single entree contains meats of any kind – we only serve meats as a side!  So even if you do forget to mention it, we’re happy to leave it off your breakfast plate.  Now vegan diets can be quite a bit trickier, since they include no animal products of any kind (no eggs, no milk, and definitely no Maine lobster), but after quite a bit of experimentation, we’ve got a solid repertoire to make sure that vegan guests can enjoy our typical gourmet breakfast as well.  Combining gluten free and vegan can be even trickier, but we’re slowly mastering the art of creating “normal” texture without regular flour or eggs.  Now, it’s definitely possible that a vegan won’t have the exact same breakfast as the omnivore at the next table, but it will certainly be delicious!

Food allergies are becoming a growing concern, and we’re happy to plan menus around food allergies or sensitivities.  That said, there are allergens on the premise, so there is always the remote chance for cross contamination, but our kitchen staff is extremely diligent when it comes to allergies, especially because more than a few have food allergies themselves!  The only thing we ask is that those following special diets of any kind give us 7 days notice so we can appropriately plan menus, food orders, and equipment needs.  But don’t worry – if it slips your mind you will still get a handful or reminders before you arrive.  Since we love breakfast so much, we want everyone to be able to enjoy the carefully crafted morning meals at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, even those on special diets!

A Guide to Your Gluten Free Bed and Breakfast Getaway

June 23rd, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Gluten free breakfast? No problem!

Gluten free breakfast? No problem!

For many people, the words gluten free and bed and breakfast don’t seem to belong in the same sentence, because they think of muffins, pancakes, and french toast, which don’t typically mesh with a gluten free lifestyle.  Unless you’re at the Maine Stay Inn, that is!  My family first started learning about gluten free diets nearly 15 years ago, when I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, and we’ve been cookin’ up a storm ever since.  So when we came to Kennebunkport, it was only natural to bring our expertise in gluten free cooking to our bed and breakfast.  That means that when we have gluten free visitors, we pull out all the stops to make them our signature gourmet breakfast, but gluten free!  Don’t worry, you won’t leave the table hungry here!

However as we all know, you can’t start the day without a great breakfast, but you also have to have quite a few more meals over the course of the day (especially on vacation), and exploring unfamiliar restaurants and eateries can be a little stressful when you’re on a gluten free diet.  Fortunately, we know the Kennebunkport restaurants like the backs of our hands, and we’re more than happy to share that information with you.  Sure, restaurants with gluten-free menus make it easy to know what you can and cannot eat, but we’ve also experienced first hand which chefs are responsive to alterations, which kitchens can keep those special requests straight, and which places, unfortunately, seem to make  mistakes.  Plus, we can keep you in the loop about places for snacks, take out, and tasty treats that are gluten free friendly too!  So it’s time to put your feet up and relax, because you really can enjoy a gluten free bed and breakfast getaway in Kennebunkport Maine!

A Maine Bed and Breakfast Gluten-Free Recipe

August 28th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

For more than a decade, the owners of this Maine Bed and Breakfast have experienced gluten free cooking first-hand, as their daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Sure, it was a challenge at first, learning about what foods are safe and what aren’t, what kinds of starches you can substitute and what just won’t work, and especially what kinds of things you can bake with.  But there’s one “always safe” recipe that is a sure-fire home run: meringues.  And since it contains ingredients most of us have on hand, it sure is easy to whip up a batch.  But enjoy them quickly, because they won’t last long!

  • 3 egg whites

    What could be better than enjoying a delicious gluten-free snack while watching this sunset?!

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 dash of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Separate your eggs, placing the whites in a mixing bowl and reserving the yolks for some other treat.  Beat egg whites on medium-high until stiff white peaks form.  Reduce mixing speed to low and add remaining ingredients.  Spoon no more than 1/3 cup onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving plenty of space for expansion.  Bake for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven or until surface is beginning to crisp.  Reduce temperatures to 300 degrees and bake another 30 minutes.
  • OR, for a fudge-y twist on an old favorite, add 1/4 cup cocoa powder and a handful of toffee crumbles and mix/bake as otherwise directed.

Fortunately for us and guests of our Maine bed and breakfast, we can pop these delectable treats into the oven almost whenever.  But be forewarned, they won’t last long (or at least they don’t around here!).  So next time you are searching for an easy and delicious gluten free cookie, look no further than this one for traditional meringue and one with a fun new twist!

Finding Gluten Free Pizza in Kennebunkport Maine

April 27th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

Even in a place known for its dining scene like Kennebunkport Maine, there comes a time when visitors and locals alike just need a good pizza.  Now, because of some incredible foresight and strict zoning laws, you’re not going to find a Domino’s or Papa Gino’s anywhere nearby, but even that wouldn’t help us gluten-free folks.  Fortunately, though there are three places in and around Kennebunkport Maine where you can satisfy that craving without compromising your diet (not the waist-watching one – sorry!).

So if you’re anything like me and feel that a cheese-y slice of pizza should be followed by honking helping of ice cream, check out the gluten free pizza offerings at Duffy’s, which is conveniently located a few doors down from Dairy Queen.  With its accessible location on Route 1 in Kennebunk (perfect for your day trip adventures) and a dining room overlooking the Mousam River, it’s probably a better spot to hit for lunch than dinner.  But since any meal warrants dessert, you still shouldn’t miss out on the DQ.  But

gluten free pizza in Kennebunkport Maine

The new gluten free flatbreads at One Dock are a must try!

closer to your home-away-from-home at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, you’ll find Federal Jack’s Brew Pub.  With a gluten-free menu (but be sure to ask for it), it’s particularly friendly for gluten-free patrons.  But you’ll have to keep looking for a GF beer, because while it would fit their identity as a craft brewery, that option hasn’t yet joined their repertoire.

Sometimes, though, you just want to have it all –  a great grownup atmosphere and some stellar pizza.  Fortunately the new menu at One Dock fits the bill perfectly!  Just steps from the Maine Stay in the heart of Kennebunkport Maine, you can relax in their upscale, lounge-like dining rooms and enjoy the sophisticated setting.  Despite the fact that my server had yet to try the gluten free crusts available for their flatbreads (read: pizza not cooked in a genuine pizza oven) or the inventive crab meat and scallion topped version, I decided to give it a shot.  And, boy, was it ever a win!  As someone who has always been a little skeptical of pizzas without marinara, the combination of mozzarella, scallions, and crab meat atop a white sauce sounded a bit outside my comfort zone, but not anymore.  While the average person might have been a little disappointed by the not-so-crispy crust, that was fine by me, because that signaled on very important thing – it was cooked on a pan.  And any gluten-free eater knows that dramatically reduces your chances for cross-contamination – way to go One Dock!  So despite indulging in a decadent starter, I was somehow able to pack away all six of the generous slices, though it took me so long that I needed the last two pieces sent back for a warm-up (which, I might add, was accommodated with a smile).  There’s no question – this gluten-free pizza is sure to be a hit and a regular staple of my dining routine in Kennebunkport Maine!

Great Casual Kennebunkport Restaurants

April 21st, 2012 by Judi Hauer

Today, as I was discussing Kennebunkport restaurants with a new employee, I realized that it might be helpful to share some of the insights.  Fortunately for us, and for all visitors to our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, this community is filled with great places to dine, and not all of them call for snazzy outfits or result in astronomical bills.  And even in April, before 100% of restaurants have opened their doors, there are lots of places for a good casual meal.

Quite a few are just a short walk from the Maine Stay, meaning on warm nights light tonight, you’ll be just as content meandering out to dinner as hopping in the car for a meal.  In Dock Square you’ll find Federal Jack’s, a brewpub, which is also home to Kennebunkport Brewing Company. Best known as the largest craft brewery in the state, you’ll enjoy beers tapped directly from the

Pedro's Restaurant sign

Pedro's bright blue sign is hard to miss!

holding tanks to the bar – you can’t get much fresher than that!  But their food is excellent as well, with a large menu sure to please anyone in the family.  And with a large gluten-free menu, even food allergy sufferers will find something satisfying.  Diagonally across the street, you’ll find Ryan’s Corner House, an authentic Irish pub serving up traditional fare like bangers and mash, corned beef and cabbage, and shepherd’s pie.  Though you will find seafood on the menu, it’s great for visitors of our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast who are ready for a break from lobster and clam chowder.  Still walking distance from the inn, but located in the heart of Lower Village Kennebunk, you’ll surely stumble across Pedro’s.  This Kennebunkport restaurant is hard to miss with its oversized metal rooster outside and great patio complete with fire pit.  But you’d really be missing out by not trying one of their incredible margaritas with homemade syrups or their authentic Mexican cuisine.  Under the same ownership, you can enjoy a great casual meal at the Ramp at Pier 77.  This vintage style sports bar offers incredible harbor views and great food.  Plus, you might even catch a glimpse of local lobsterers hauling in their catches on the pier.  But whatever you choose for a casual meal, these Kennebunkport restaurants have got just the thing to satisfy your cravings!

Bandaloop Restaurant Reopens in Kennebunkport!

April 18th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

While this week was notable for lots of things in Kennebunkport, the reopening of Bandaloop Restaurant topped the charts of many locals and visitors alike.  Last night marked the restaurant’s reopening after a nearly eight week long hiatus, and with temps

Bandaloop in Kennebunkport

Bandaloop and its red doors

well into the seventies when its signature red doors opened at 5, it felt more like summer than the start of spring!  Despite the fact that no one at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast has given its new menu a test run yet, three couples decided to head over.  And guess what?  There were six glowing reviews this morning around the breakfast table!  Now while that’s not really a surprise, it is always nice to hear that nothing’s been forgotten after a long vacation.  But because we always test out the restaurants in Kennebunkport and the surrounding towns (just to make sure that we are appropriately guiding our guests to place that suit them best), I am now looking forward to my first spring dinner at Bandaloop even more than ever.  However, since we just dove headlong into a living room renovation project, this meal might just have to wait a few more weeks.  Don’t worry, though, this project is being done in stages to avoid disruption of the guest experience.  Yes, we’re all very excited about to have them serving again, but selfishly, I am glad to have another great option for gluten-free dining close by.  Even more important, though, is the fact that the reopening of Bandaloop is a big milestone in terms of restaurant availability in Kennebunkport, because now over 75% of eateries in town are open.  Now, not all are operating at their height of summer hours, so be sure to check with innkeeper or staff at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast just to be safe!

How Our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast Handles Food Allergies

March 13th, 2012 by Judi Hauer

Over the course of the last several mornings, the breakfast conversation has included how our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast handles people with food allergies and other dietary restrictions.  It’s a challenge, that’s for sure!  Since I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy well over a decade ago, my family is very well versed in gluten-free cooking and baking.  In fact, we won’t have a single day without a guest requiring a gluten-free diet for over a week!  Fortunately, we’ve got lots of tasty recipes up our sleeves to

guest brings eggs to kennebunkport bed and breakfast

Gluten-free guest brings a special delivery!

keep these visitors well fed and safe during their trip to Kennebunkport Maine.  Despite being very capable of whipping up GF meals, we do ask that you give us at least a week’s notice (but at the time you book your reservation is best), because we plan our menus about a week at a time and order food supplies accordingly.  We’ve got to make sure that the right ingredients are in the kitchen when you arrive!  As a special “thank you” to the kitchen staff at the Maine Stay, one gluten free guest brought us delicious free range eggs (note the blue color as compared to a regular egg) from her very own farm – boy were they ever delicious!

Of course, there are countless other food allergies to be faced with, and we always ask that you give us at least a week to prepare.  Sometimes we’ve just got to do some extra reading!  And we almost always have to do some extra taste-testing, because even visitors with special diet needs deserve a tasty and nutritious morning meal!  But as with nearly any food-serving establishment, we can’t guarantee that contamination cannot occur.  With a kitchen covering less than 50 square feet, it is even more of a challenge.  When preparing food for someone with a food allergy, we thoroughly clean the kitchen and make sure all the offending substances are away from our preparation area.   So if you or someone in your family has a severe allergy (particularly when it comes to nut allergies), we always understand when you need to bring along some foods you feel comfortable with.

Often, though, dietary restrictions aren’t limited to food allergies, so please let us know about any foods you can’t eat.  Yes, that means grapefruit too!  It interacts with many medications, and since it’s not an allergy, many people forget about mentioning it.   Especially during the colder months, citrus is a great option when it comes to fresh fruits, so don’t keep us in the dark, please! But our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast loves to provide delicious, nutritious, and, most importantly, safe foods for guests with food allergies, so let us know if you have questions about how we’ll handle yours!

A Kennebunkport Maine Clam Chowder Tasting

September 6th, 2011 by avadmin

There are two things that nearly everyone tastes while visiting Kennebunkport Maine – lobster and clam chowder (my apologies to the folks with shellfish allergies).  And while most people agree on what makes a good lobster, there is much dissension when it comes to chowdah.  Some like it thick, others prefer thin.  Some want lots of potatoes, while

Gran's Chowder House Kennebunkport Maine

Gran's was voted Best Chowder in Kennebunkport this year - now you decide!

others would rather pass.  There are the bacon fans and those who think it belongs on a burger.  Even within my own family, we can’t agree.  So instead of declaring who’s got the best around, here’s the scoop (or spoonful) on the recent favorites of guests at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast:

  • Gran’s Chowder House: This teeny take-out spot is a great spot for lunch, offering quiches, paninis, wraps and ‘wiches, alongside her famous pies and chowder.  Though I haven’t tried the corn variety, the New England Clam Chowder is excellent (and earns bonus points for being gluten free).  This year Gran’s was voted the best chowder in Kennebunkport, but as it is not thickened with flour, it is on the thin side.  As for the potato/clam ratio, there are approximately equal parts, and both are cooked perfectly.  The potatoes aren’t mushy and the clams aren’t too chewy (leaving no mouth full of rubber feeling).  For me, it’s pretty darn close to perfection, but to each their own!
  • Out in Cape Porpoise, Pier 77‘s signature clam chowder has a distinctly potatoey flavor (I assume they puree some to aid in thickness), but despite being thickened with flour, does not cling tightly to your spoon as some do (keep looking if gloppy is your thing).  But even if potatoes aren’t your fave, the views of Cape Porpoise Harbor and Goat Island Light are sure to bring you around.
  • Thick chowder lovers, don’t despair!  Despite the trend of restaurants, including many of those in Kennebunkport Maine, churning out gluten free options, staples like Mabel’s Lobster Claw and Alisson’s Restaurant have kept with tradition.  Their thick, ivory versions both offer slightly more potatoes to clams, but the recipe sticks to your spoon, requiring that extra lick to savor the last morsel!

    Clam chowder at Federal Jack's Kennebunkport Maine

    The new gluten free chowder at Federal Jack's

  • Federal Jack’s Brew Pub also offers a gluten free clam chowder, which definitely feels and tastes different from their old recipe.  Returning patrons might be surprised by the color and consistency, as both have changed. Instead of the previous snowy-white version, their new concoction trends toward the tan, while the famously viscous blend has thinned, but certainly not to a soup.  Though Fed’s chowder is saltier than some, it definitely goes heavier on the clams (though small), with slightly more clams than ‘taters.
  • Sadly, the chowder at Cape Pier Chowder House isn’t gluten free, but it reportedly features the highest proportion of clams to potatoes around.  Just barely off-white, their blend is thick (but not borderline pudding-like) but doesn’t overwhelm you with flour flavor.

Fortunately for my family (and, of course, visitors to Kennebunkport Maine), there are oodles of options when it comes chowdah.  So next time it’s your turn to decide – so slurp, slip, or spoon to your heart’s content!

Have Your Cake at Chase Hill Bakery in Kennebunkport Maine

August 10th, 2011 by avadmin

All of us at the Maine Stay love to eat, so when there’s something to celebrate, we reach for cake – and now there is finally a great bakery in Kennebunkport Maine!  Many people, both locals and visitors alike, have been bemoaning the closing of Port Bakery for nearly a year.  Once a staple in Lower Village, it shut its doors and gave rise to Pedro’s Restaurant, an

Chase Hill Bakery Cake in Kennebunkport Maine

Nothin' left but a few crumbs!

excellent Mexican Cantina (which we desperately needed).  So while we’ve relished a non-traditional Kennebunkport restaurant, there has been a noticeable gap in the area’s dining scene.
Without any warning or fanfare at all, a small chalkboard sign appeared, reading “Chase Hill Bakery.”  Rumor has it that quite a few years ago, long before my time in Kennebunkport Maine, Chase Hill Bakery thrived on Chase Hill (convenient, right?) and was something of an institution, with lines forming at 6 am for their freshly baked confections. And while they haven’t rebuilt Rome in a day, they are establishing a solid reputation for themselves with a small menu of pastries, breads, and pies.
Two very special members of the staff at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast have given us lots to celebrate recently, as one married her longtime boyfriend at the end of July and the other is walking down the aisle this weekend.  In their honor, before checking in guests and serving cookies at teatime today, we decided to have a little party, which needed a great cake to make it complete.  Instead of a less than mediocre grocery store cake, we now were able to order a lovely creation from Chase Hill Bakery.  This stunning chocolate buttercream frosted white cake arrived in a simple brown box, but there was nothing ordinary about what lay inside!  It was fantastic!  The proof is on the plate (or rather in what was no longer on the plate) – Chase Hill Bakery is a winner and a great addition to the dining scene in Kennebunkport Maine.