After surviving the bake-a-thon of Christmas and endless gorging on ham, green beans and dinner rolls; we were feeling the need to go out to eat last night. As I have mentioned before, we do not often go out to eat because of the sheer quantity of our food allergies. Even restaurants that claim they can do it, often miss the basics to avoid cross contamination. My boys and I react to any missed step. Sadly, we have wound up hugging the porcelain throne before even finishing our meals at a restaurant. In a way, we are a perfect litmus test…but no one wants to volunteer for that kind of stomach flu feeling of death.
That said, I have to give props where they are due. Here in Austin, Tx, Tex Mex is a very big deal. But even with this type of food…which should lend itself to being gluten, dairy, soy and egg free, I had never found a restaurant to get it consistently right….until I dined at Maudie’s Milagro. They have the largest allergen free menu I’ve seen, and I’ve never tasted anything bad from it. But most importantly….and nearly unheard of, I have never had an allergen reaction from Maudie’s. Not nausea, not digestive, not hives, not swelling. I can even have their frozen skinny margarita. El restaurante es perfecto.
Another reason we do not go out to eat as often as we’d like is the budget. Paying for dyslexic intervention for three boys is far more life altering than anyone supposes. So eating out is indeed a luxury and a treat. Last night was both, and we had a wonderful time.
One of the best things on the GF menu in my humble opinion is the fajita dinner. We typically order chicken fajitas for 4 (the 3 boys and me). Of course my hubbie Scott can get whatever he wants there since he was blessed with the gift of no food intolerances. And he’s well trained in keeping his food within his borders, never sharing a utensil with any of us, using a clean spoon to scoop out salsa, etc. We must treat food we are allergic to as poison…because that is exactly what it is to us.
The fajitas for 4 comes with corn tortillas, a huge amount of grilled chicken, peppers and onions, sides of refried beans and rice for all…which all pass our allergy test. We can have it all! In addition to that, the fixin’s include, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, shredded lettuce and pico de gallo. Since their guacamole contains sour cream, we have to leave off the cheese, guac and sour cream. In place, they give us double the pico de gallo and about 10 slices of fresh avocado. It’s a feast.
But of course there is no way that we can even get to all that because before the fajitas ever come out, we fill up on the unending rounds of salsa and gf chips, made in a dedicated fryer…free of soy in the oil. So at the end of every meal, we ask for containers for the remaining chicken…all the way down to the shredded lettuce. There is a good reason for that. It’s called Day 2.
We usually have enough chicken, peppers and tortillas left over to serve each boy and myself 2 fajitas the next day. And typically, enough rice as well. But my favorite part is the fixin’s. I use the avocado slices and pico de gallo to make Next Day Guacamole.
Next Day Guacamole
10 slices of Avocado (about 2 whole avocados)
1 cup of Pico de Gallo
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 T of chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeño pepper (seeded and chopped)
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of powered garlic
I mix all of these together in a bowel and serve with our favorite GF tortillas chips, Xochitl Blue Corn. It’s as easy as it gets. Guacamole is easy to prepare in general, but I don’t always have every ingredient on hand…and sometimes don’t feel like chopping. With the pico de gallo already done, this is a snap…and I ALWAYS have lime, fresh cilantro and jalapeños on hand. This makes enough to serve the boys and me. Scott won’t touch guacamole…which I don’t think is natural.
So when you consider that our meal at Maudie’s covers an entire second meal, it makes it money well spent. And what of the shredded lettuce you ask? Well since it’s stored with the pico de gallo, it has little bits of peppers and tomatoes mixed up in it, giving it the same Tex Mex flavor. It is absolute perfection on top of a regular ole hamburger. And there is just enough for a family of 5. Give you one guess what we are grilling tonight.