Monday, June 15, 2009

Restaurant Review: Rafferty's - North Conway, NH

My husband and I had the pleasure of checking out Rafferty's in North Conway yesterday afternoon. Our main purpose for going was to speak at the celiac support group that meets there (3-4X/year), but we quickly realized that we had stumbled upon a special place! Rafferty's is a casual restaurant and sports pub, complete with John's Red Sox & Patriots memorabilia. Linda & John bought the restaurant around the same time that their daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease. They wanted her, and others like her, to be able to enjoy a delicious meal out - so they created an extensive gluten free menu and got involved in various support activities. Their efforts have been reinforced recently, as their son was diagnosed, too.

First off, the support group meeting. It was such a nice event - and I'm not just saying that because I was the guest speaker! They had waitstaff pass out samples of yummy gluten free pizza with various delicious toppings. Two different desserts went around (both contained sugar, so I relied on my non-GF husband's taste buds as well as the group participants). All reports were that the apple cake was moist and tasty, and the easy microwave chocolate cake in a mug was, too (see the recipe for this one below). Linda demonstrated how to make the chocolate cake for everyone, which was a big hit. They also took the time to get many products donated to hand out - everyone left with either boxes of GF cereal, crackers, cookies, mixes...

...and then it came my turn to order off the GF menu. There are so many offerings, it was hard to make a decision! I kept telling myself that I don't have to try everything right now - I can come back! I ended up ordering the onion rings and the chicken florentine alfredo pizza. Let's just say, I'm embarrassed to admit that there was nothing left! The onion rings were amazing! John & Linda told us that it took them 3 years to develop a GF batter that tasted good and also stuck to the rings. They are OUTSTANDING! I hardly shared with my husband... On to the pizza - the crust was great! It wasn't too delicate, so you could pick it up and eat it like a regular pizza. The toppings were delicious - alfredo sauce isn't something that I ever have, so this was a real treat! The chicken was tender and yummy, too!

Rafferty's also has GF options at the bar, including my favorite beer - Bard's and one of my favorite hard ciders - Magner's. Oh, and they change up some of their menu items, like pizza toppings, about every 6 months or so just to keep things even more interesting.

Rafferty's is also a vendor for pre-packaged gluten free items. You can view the list of available goodies by clicking here.

We are already planning our next trip to the mountains around a visit to Rafferty's - keep in mind, they are closed on Tuesdays.

As promised, to quickly satisfy that sweet tooth craving, here is the recipe for the Microwave Chocolate Cake in a Mug (thanks, Linda!):

Mix all of the following in 1 mug (makes a single serving):

4 T sweet rice flour
4 T sugar
2 T cocoa powder
1 egg
3 T milk of some kind (dairy, soy, rice, almond, hemp...)
3 T oil
dash of pure GF vanilla extract
3 T chocolate chips (optional)

Microwave for about 2 min on high (1,000 watts). Don't be alarmed when you see the cake rise up higher than the mug. Eat right out of the mug, or convert to a plate and top with whipped cream. Enjoy!

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