Gluten Free Food, Fun and Festivities with Dr. Schar!

This weekend is a BIG weekend for Chicago Glutards.  It is the sixth annual GFAF Expo. This is the first year I am not volunteering, so my experience this year will be much different for me.

But on to tonite!  This evening Schar Gluten Free hosted a “Gluten Free Food, Fun, And Festivities” evening at D’Agostino’s Pizza.  It was a night for locals, bloggers, and expo vendors to get together, kick back, relax, and enjoy some delicious and safe food.

I need to start with the food because I ate so much I was afraid I would need to be rolled out of the restaurant.  It was SO GOOD!!  There was Chicken Parmesan, Chicken Salad made with Chicken Tenders, Chicken Tenders, and 6 different types of pizza (Cheese, Pepperoni, Sausage, Vegetarian, Margherita, and the Dags Special).

Chicken Tenders

Chicken Tenders

The salad was your standard issue restaurant salad.  What made it great were the pieces of chicken tenders on first.  At first, I thought there were croutons on top of it, which made me question the Gluten Free training program, but when I looked closer, I realized it was chopped up pieces of tenders.  The tenders themselves were YUM!  Don’t think the overly crispy ones that I used to inhale at fast food restaurants when I was a kid.  This was real pieces of chicken, properly coated, not crispy at all, but with a flavor that was just calling out to be dredged through a sauce and enjoyed in a bite or two.  As you can see from the picture, they were a hit.

Chicken Parm

Chicken Parm

I need to admit that I have never had Chicken Parmesan before tonite.  I really did not even know what it was.  For the uninitiated like myself, it is breaded chicken that is quickly pan-fried, topped with pasta sauce and mozzarella and served on a bed of pasta or rice, in this case fusilli corn pasta.  Since I am unfamiliar with the dish, you can take my opinions with a grain of salt, but I really felt like there was a TON of sauce on top of the chicken and barely any on the pasta, so it tasted a bit dry.  This was not my favorite dish of the evening, but some dish had to be the least favorite, right?

So. Many. Choices!

So. Many. Choices!

Lastly was the pizza.  OMGoodness, the pizza.  I ate soooo much pizza.  First off, I have to say that the restaurant only offers a super thin crust pizza, so if you want anything else, you need to pass.  But if you don’t care about the thickness of the crust as long as it tastes good and the toppings are good, then you will like this pizza.  I did not try the cheese, pepperoni or sausage pizzas, partially because I really wanted to try the other flavors.  The vegetarian pizza had spinach, onions, mushrooms and tomato and made my mouth smile, which tends to be rare as I love my meat pizzas.  The Dags was topped with sausage, mushroom, green pepper, and onions, I thought it was tasty and went back for seconds.  But the pizza I went back for thirds was the one that I was told that I HAD to try — The Margherita.  The crust is coated with olive oil and garlic, then topped with basil, tomatoes, mozzarella, and a bit of parmesan.    Seriously, some delicious things going on with that pizza!

But honestly, the best part was meeting up with friends like Sarah, Mary, Denise, and Andrea; getting to meet people I follow on Twitter like GFreeLaura, RockinGFgal, and Gluten Free Betsy: bloggers whose work I enjoy including Alissa and Elyse; and finally getting to meet people who are making it happen in the GF industry like Denise, Ken, and Anne from Schar, and Jason and Darin from Find Me Gluten Free.  I know there are many people I missed, but it is late, I had a margarita and some Angry Orchard, so I hope they forgive me.

Just some of the amazing GF people that came out in a hail storm.

Just some of the amazing GF people who came out in a hail storm.

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