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Posts Tagged ‘taos’

Please note that the name of this restaurant has changed to La Cueva Cafe. Same location, same owners, same ability to accommodate gluten free!

I will apologize now, I did not take any pictures of our wonderful food. Last week we drove up to Taos for the day with my in-laws and my mother-in-law brought a tour book with her. She was reading it as we traveled and she discovered that Rellenos Cafe could do gluten free and vegan food! Woo-hoo! Perfect for us! So it was our first stop to refuel before heading to the Pueblo and the plaza.

Rellenos Cafe is located at 135 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, right on a corner. But be careful because you can easily pass it by as you go up the hill traveling north on Paseo into the central part of town. It is in a fairly nondescript building on the right just before you pass the old traditional plaza and it says “Wheat Free and Gluten Free” in big yellow letters on the front window. It is a very small place that looks almost “dive-y” with only a couple of parking spaces in the asphalt lot out front. But be sure to go in, you’ll be happy you did.

Despite the looming possibility of a summer thunderstorm, we chose to sit out on the cute little patio surrounded by coyote fence and gardens beyond. Partly because it is very small inside the restaurant, we’re talking like 4 tables and they were mostly full, but also because it was still nice outside and we had been in the car for a couple of hours. The patio was a little loud at times with big trucks clambering up the hill on the main road just beyond but it wasn’t too bad. I’ll definitely chose to sit on the patio again.

Right off, I mentioned to the waiter that I required a gluten free meal and he said that it was no problem, he would help me out. And right after he got our drink order taken care of, he did just that. He was very familiar with the entire menu and what was safe and what was not. He even stated that they would make things in a separate pan for me, without being prompted. He answered all my questions to my satisfaction and I felt totally taken care of.

There are many options, but it is typical New Mexican food, just with a sophisticated twist. So there are tacos, enchiladas, tamales and even the namesake chile rellenos are a gluten free option as they don’t batter and deep fry theirs. For me it was toss-up between the Seafood Enchiladas in Chipotle Cream Sauce or their signature Chile Rellenos en Nogada (stuffed with beef, raisins and walnuts and served in a walnut-brandy cream sauce). I ended up choosing the Seafood Enchiladas, which were wonderful! (Remember, I eat meat, but my husband does not. And I typically will choose meat, especially seafood, when eating out since I don’t make it. I apologize to the hard-core vegetarians for discussing meat.)

My husband ordered the Cheese Chile Rellenos and I asked the waiter to make that dish gluten free as well (separate pan) so that I could taste them. Both dishes were delicious. Enchiladas are typically stacked (layered) here in New Mexico, instead of rolled, and these were no exception. They were filled with shrimp, lobster and crab meat and smothered in a wonderful chipotle cream sauce and cilantro. On the side was pico de gallo, rice and pinto beans. The pinto beans were perfectly cooked too, they were nice and firm and not at all mushy. No refried beans here! (Although I do like refried beans.) The beans were wonderful with the extra cream sauce. Also, both their red chile and green chile sauces are gluten free, which is rare, typically they are made with flour. Our server was kind enough to bring some additional chile out and I enjoyed some of the green chile on my beans also. Yum!

Just as we were finishing our meal, the sky finally opened up and we escaped into the restaurant to wait out the gully-washer of a storm. While waiting, my family ordered some sopaipillas, which are not gluten free. Apparently they were delicious too.

While we waited in the now empty restaurant, we talked to our friendly waiter. We asked why they decided to provide gluten free meals and he told us that the owner’s wife had discovered she had issues with gluten when she was trying to become pregnant. When she removed gluten from her diet, she finally became pregnant after a lot of trying. This is a common refrain among celiacs and those with gluten intolerance, even though the Ob/Gyn community still does not embrace it as a possibility despite the studies showing that it is common. (Heidi at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom recently posted about this very topic. While you’re there, be sure to watch the video of Alice Bast from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness discussing her infertility problems and her battle to get diagnosed with celiac disease.)

Back to the food. The entrees are reasonably priced. We were there for a late lunch but I believe the same menu is in effect for both lunch and dinner. Full entrees ranged between $7-$13. So, if you happen to be visiting Taos, be sure to stop by Rellenos Cafe. I know we’ll be back!

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Hello, world! Sorry I have been away the past couple weeks, but we have had company – and we worked them like slaves!

No, really, we did.

Well, somewhat. You see, my husband’s parents came to town for their annual visit and we like to do home improvement projects with them while they are here. I should probably rephrase that… my husband and his father are really good at doing home improvement projects together! My mother in law and I are good at buying supplies and new home goods and supervising their work!

We’ve been in this house for about two and a half years now and there are a variety of cosmetic things we have wanted to do. But my husband and I prefer to work outside on the yard instead of inside and so we haven’t done much inside. My in-laws help to motivate us, especially since we have more helping hands to get things done! Last year they helped us figure out a good lighting solution for our kitchen, which had horrible, poorly located, contractor-grade lighting. And of course, while we were at it, we had to repaint the kitchen ceiling too, because for some reason, the previous owners liked to paint the ceilings the same color as the walls and the dark beige ceiling in the north-facing kitchen didn’t help the lack of proper light in the kitchen.

This past week we tackled a couple of projects. We, by which I mean they, my husband and father in law, hung cabinets in my tiny laundry room – now I can easily reach the detergent and rag towels – and I can hide all the dog paraphernalia in the cabinets – yeah! I love hiding things out of sight!

We also are preparing to get our concrete floors stained and sealed later this month and figured it was a good time to do a  couple of other things before that chaos begins. Like repaint the office/third bedroom. Once again, the ceiling had been painted, and this time it was dark blue. Along with one wall. I am not sure how I lived with it so long, actually. Probably only because I placed two giant bookcases on that wall which hid most of the blue. But nothing could hide that dark blue ceiling, except a couple of coats of paint! Now the office has four nice creamy walls, a white ceiling (I love white ceilings!), and fun, new curtains, which my mother-in-law and I shopped for while the boys were working on the cabinets.

We (they!) also hung a ceiling fan where there had previously been a horrid old light fixture. It looked like something that would be in your grandmother’s house that hasn’t changed in about 30 or 40 years. I am already loving the fan! This room doesn’t get the best circulation and we can’t leave the window open very far in here since the rain frequently beats this side of the house during monsoon season (now), so the fan feels wonderful here as I type.

Please don’t notice the messy, messy desk…I am a “piler” – I organize by piles. But I have 4 weeks to get this room organized and some stuff thrown out before we have to move our entire house into the garage so we can get our floors finished. Firm deadlines motivate me. But wish me luck. I am not good at organizing and throwing things away.

We also tackled another project that has been lingering for over a year now too. Once again, we had these horrible 1990’s-era brass and oak handles on our cabinets. They matched the cabinets fine, but they just looked so 90’s. (I guess the house was built in ’98.) But, they totally dated things. So over a year ago, I found some brushed nickel handles that looked really nice and changed all the cabinet handles in the kitchen, except for two. The two on the small, ‘fake’ cabinet fronts in front of the kitchen sink, the ones above the big doors below into the cabinet. You know which ones I mean? We could not find a tool small enough to get between the sink and the cabinet to be able to unscrew the handles. (Why the fake handles are there in the first place is a whole other question.) And we also had a sneaking suspicion that one of them was not screwed on, but glued on, for some reason. (Please, think before you do weird home improvements!! We often ask ourselves, why did they think that was a good idea?) So we decided to tackle removing the sink and replacing it, just to FINALLY change out those two stray, fake cabinet handles. Of course, my mother-in-law thought we might as well get a whole new sink and faucet while we were at it. So I let her twist my arm and we picked one out for the boys to install. Luckily it all went fairly smoothly and I now have a new, pretty, shiny, non-hard-water-stained sink and faucet to go with my final two cabinet handles! Yeah! Project finished after a year!

So after all that, we did take at least one day to do something fun. We drove up to Taos and visited the town and Pueblo, between summer thunderstorms. We also ate some yummy, gluten free food at Rellenos Cafe (more to come on that). My husband and I have visited Taos previously but we normally just headed for the hills for some hiking. This time we stopped at Taos Pueblo and took a look around. It was such a beautiful spot and I would recommend stopping and touring. It is one of the few Pueblos where you can take photographs (for a fee) and so I’ll leave you with a couple of my favorite photos from the day.

Tomorrow it is back to reality and back to the daily grind. And I will be posting more now that we’re back to a regular schedule. See you around!

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