Despite the dietary bumps in the road I mentioned in my last post, the drive to Colorado couldn't have been more amazing. Every stretch of the road transformed into a secret haven of visionary awe.
In Utah, we oohed and ahhh-ed at Cedar Breaks National Park. We had never heard of it before my Dad spotted it on the web, but as we stared down the canyon of reds and greys, we couldn't imagine why.
Once we reached Colorado, the natural beauty only increased. We drooled over the rivers and loved discovering a small river valley at a gas station we stopped at.
When we finally rolled into the house we rented for our Colorado expedition, though, we were ready to see another kind of beauty: delicious gluten free food. And boy, did Coquette's Bistro deliver!
I first learned about the entirely gluten free bistro, bar and bakery from my online research, but we decided on it for our first dinner after the house owner recommended it as well. Only an hour after getting out, we piled back in the car and headed to Downtown Colorado Springs, where Coquette's has been recently relocated.
When I first stepped foot into the restaurant, my jaw dropped as I stared at the rows of desserts lining the front shelves. Then I started reading the dinner menu, which is topped with the statement: "We share your food anxiety if you are allergen prone and prepare here everything on the premises is is to insure safety. Everything we do is gluten free/wheat free-soy protein free and all breads and sauces are made in house from scratch."
I was no less impressed by their dish variety. Fried chicken and waffles, lasagna, savory crepes and French fries...all equally gluten free!
Despite being overwhelmed by the choices, my family and I decided on the BBQ bacon burger, Cider battered Fish N Chips, and Chicken Pot pie served with a side salad and truffle fries.
When our dishes arrived thirty minutes later, I was literally in shock. When I saw the croutons in my Mom's salad, I had to stop myself from asking to make sure it was gluten free. Thanks to my generous mother, I devoured the salad right away, savoring the crunch of fresh croutons and sweet bite of their homemade lavender vinaigrette.
Then I tackled the BBQ bacon burger and some of the truffle fries. Pre-diagnosis, I was a major burger fiend. When I bit into my beast of a dinner, though, it was my first burger in a year. To me, it just isn't the same without a soft bun on top. Coquette's made the wait worthwhile. Their homemade bun tastes soft yet crisp, and didn't have a weird aftertaste like some gluten free breads. The burger itself was cooked perfectly and the BBQ sauce and bacon made this a treat I'd definitely eat again! As for the truffle fries...all I can say is yum! Crispy and thin with a slight bite from the truffle oil.
I equally loved my family's choices and savored the ability to take a bite out of anyone's plate without worry! The chicken pot pie was to die for! The flaky, dense crust trapped all of the juices inside, perfectly marinating the chicken, onions, potatoes, peas and mushrooms. It tasted extremely rich, but the mushrooms differentiated it from the typical pot pie.
As for my dad's fish and chips? I'm not a big fan of fried fish, but these won me over! The coating flaked off in my mouth and the fish still tasted fresh and moist.
And, of course, a meal at Coquette's isn't complete without dessert! Mom and I took our time placing the order, weighing the delicious possibilities of cake versus cupcakes versus cookies. In the end, we settled on a Snickers Cupcake and chocolate chip cookie.
The Snickers cupcake ended up being our least favorite of the two. The frosting was the best part - a delicious creamy blend of peanut butter and chocolate. The cupcake base was less impressive being a little dry and less strong in Snicker's flavor.
The chocolate chip cookie, though, disappeared within a day. The texture was flaky, yet strong enough to not crumble like many gluten free products like to do. As for the taste - talk about yum! The base tastes slightly nutty, almost like peanut butter or a cinnamon cookie. The big chunks of chocolate chips dispersed evenly throughout made it the perfect treat to snack on (or devour!).
By the time we rolled out of Coquette's, my stomach and I were in awe. Under no exaggeration, I ate the best food I've ever tasted that night, gluten free or not. Coquette's reinvigorated my belief that food doesn't need gluten or soy to be tasty. Just pure recipes, inventive chefs and a whole lot of hungry mouths. And this hungry mouth is devouring Coquette's at least one more time before we leave, so watch out for more food news!
Have you ever eaten at an all gluten free eatery? What's your best meal so far? Comment below!