Goat-cheese Stuffed Sweet & Spicy Peppers

Goat-cheese Stuffed Sweet & Spicy Peppers (like Macaroni Grill)
Many years ago, before I was gluten free, I had these at Macaroni Grill and they were amazing. I was out to recreate them.
Stuffed peppadew peppers 1
10 organic orange Doe Hill Golden Mini Bell (from our CSA)
4 red Peppadew brand Peppers (from olive bar at  our grocery store)
soft goat cheese (4oz.)
whipping cream or milk (about 3 TBSP)
basil, oregano, garlic, salt, & pepper (dash of each)
balsamic vinegar
brown sugar
GF panko bread crumbs
Bake the peppers (if using Peppadews, no need to bake).
Mix herbs, goat cheese, and whipping cream (we didn’t have whipping cream, so used some milk and that worked fine) and stuff the peppers.
Top lightly with some GF panko bread crumbs
Bake at 375 for about 6 minutes, broil for 2 more.
Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar Glaze.
I made the balsamic vinegar glaze by boiling 1 cup Bertolli balsamic vinegar with 3 TBSP of brown sugar.  It was delicious, but it did stink up house though!
Stuffed peppadew peppers 3

Boston Pizza – a celiac gem in Niagara Falls!

Boston Pizza

Located right in heart of Clifton Hill, Boston Pizza is your best bet for good gluten free food in Niagara Falls on the Canadian side.  The picture below is from the SkyWheel. Boston Pizza is also conveniently located across from the Clifton Hill stop on the red line of the tourist bus system (WeGo).
Boston Pizza area

As you can see below, they had a VERY large menu. Their servers also were very knowledgeable.  After the other difficult venues, this place was such a gluten free heaven that we had a few meals here.

Boston Pizza GF menu2 Boston Pizza GF menu3
Over a few visits, I had their oven baked wings, a salad, and their gluten free pizza twice. The pizza was the Kinnickinnick brand and extra yummy! (If you’re not familiar with this brand, first is one of the only soft gluten free crusts out there. It is also nut free, soy free, dairy free!)  All was delicious and safe! Also some yummy cocktails available. The gluten eaters in my party enjoyed their gluten pizzas as well.

Boston Pizza GF Kinnick3

Be prepared to wait for a table since this is in a busy area (worth it for good gluten free food though!) and service in Canadian restaurants in general (like Europe) was much slower than in the USA, just be prepared for that almost everywhere.

Margaritaville in Niagara Falls, Ontario – long wait but okay food

Thankfully not all our experiences in Niagara Falls were negative like the Hard Rock, we had two great experiences at Boston Pizza (review to follow) and a decent experience at Margaritaville.

Margaritaville4

This place was conveniently located next to our hotel and right across the street from Fallsview Casino. The decor wasn’t as impressive as other locations, but it still had a fun vibe.  We had a very long wait even though it wasn’t busy.

Margaritaville1

I thought for sure I took a picture of the menu, but I cannot find it. It was shockingly small (new as of May 2015).  It was very limited–essentially two kinds of burgers with gluten free bun and chips, no fries. It listed wings, but they were in a common fryer.  No signature dessert or anything you expect.
I asked the manager while we were waiting about gluten free fries as I was going to go elsewhere if they didn’t have fries.  They were kind enough to do in a pan just for me, but based on their actual menu, I would say this is now a terrible choice for gluten free / celiacs.  Which saddens me, because as a chain, I usually count on Margaritaville in tourist areas for great gluten free choices! There were no gluten free dessert options either. The burger did have incredible flavor.

Margaritaville

Hard Rock Cafe in Niagara Falls, Ontario – fell flat

Recently we went on a road trip: Niagara Falls, central Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. I wanted to share the good and the bad from the places I ate with regards to celiac / gluten allergy (I also don’t eat pork, pumpkin seeds, or nuts).

Hard Rock Cafe –
Sadly, this place was the worst of our Niagara Falls trip in every way, despite a decent selection on the menu:

Hard Rock Cafe GF Menu3

The setting: This is one of the smaller Hard Rocks I’ve been to and the atmosphere itself just wasn’t as impressive as usual, but to make matters horrific, the speaker system went out while we were there and there was a constant LOUD buzzing for almost 10 minutes! I have no idea why it took customers trying to walk out before they at least turned it off!
Also, getting there with any disability would be impossible unless you wanted to eat outside in the heat at street level!  I could not find an elevator and the escalator up was hard to find but existed, while the escalator down was not working (my bad ankle was acting up at this point in the trip).

Hard Rock Cafe GF1
We obviously went there for the gluten free menu, which seemed to have a lot of options: burger, steak, grilled salmon, grilled shrimp, ribs, grilled chicken sandwich, but it was very small when eliminating the fried items and what was celiac-safe after asking questions! Even then, they didn’t take it very seriously. They first brought me fries as a side with my burger even though they were not safe gluten free and not what I ordered (mashed potatoes).  Then they re-served the same burger with mashed potatoes put where the fries were. It also had the lettuce, tomato, and onion, and mayo on it–which I asked for none of!  The prices were outrageous and that is accounting for high prices that are normal in Niagara Falls, these were doubly ridiculous compared to any rational price.

The food was terrible: the two “normal” people in my group said the food was bland and had less than no flavor (one got chicken macaroni & cheese, one got a burger and fries).  My gluten free burger was just so-so for flavor and the mashed potatoes were flavorless!

By this meal, we had gotten used to the slower pace of service, but this server was terrible. He forgot half our items (literally, didn’t bring some of our drinks until asked twice AND forgot specifics on food), didn’t check back, didn’t top off any empty drinks!

(As always, I was not compensated for this review in anyway.  This is merely retelling of my personal experience to help others with allergies.)