Wild Bamboo

wild bamboo

I am a sucker for a good bowl of pad thai. It’s probably one of my favorite dishes ever. As I’ve said, I had the best pad thai I’ve ever eaten at Chaang Thai in West Virginia. But unfortunately, I can’t drive six hours to WV whenever I get a craving. So I have made it a personal mission to find the best gluten free pad thai in New Jersey. So far, Wild Bamboo is the top contender. But it’s not just the pad thai that’s good, everything else is too! They have a pretty decent sized gluten free menu, covering all the bases—appetizers, soups, salads, fried rice, curry, pad thai, “chinese classics,” and desserts. Here you can see the full menu, but you’d have to visit to see the full extent of gluten free offerings, since they aren’t all marked on the main menu. This is one of those places that I was so excited to find, and even more excited to eat at when I realized how delicious the food is! It’s in Pier Village right on the beach—what a great spot to be in! You could spend the day on the beach then pop in and get some lunch or dinner. In the warmer months, they have some outdoor seating so you can enjoy the nice weather with your meal.

lettuce wraps and chicken satay

First up is the appetizers. We ordered the Chicken Satay. So, I’m not really sure what happened, but our waiter said something was wrong or something happened and he brought us Chicken Lettuce Wraps and said the Satay was on the house. We didn’t really understand why, but hey, we got some free food so I won’t complain. The most confusing part was that the Lettuce Wraps weren’t on the gluten free menu, but he assured us that it was gluten free (which was confirmed by the fact that I didn’t feel like I was dying the next day). So the Lettuce Wraps were awesome, I loved them. I think they were even better than  P.F. Changs’ lettuce wraps, which I also love very much. The Chicken Satay was pretty good too. I liked the peanut sauce a lot, but the chicken was coated in some curry flavors, and I’m not a huge lover of curry.

mandarin salad

The first time we visited I wasn’t that hungry, so I got the Mandarin Salad and added grilled chicken. It was so yummy and really refreshing. I loved the little pops of juicy mandarin throughout the meal. The dressing was pretty tasty; it didn’t say what the dressing was in the description of the salad but I think it was the ginger dressing. There are only two things I would like to change about it. First, I wish the chicken was diced rather than sliced, because, as I’ve said before, I like to get a little of everything in each bite, and the sliced chicken makes that hard. Second, if I got this again I would get it without red onions. I’m really not a fan of red onions but I forgot to ask to omit them, and the flavor kind of took over the dish.

pad thai

Now onto the most important part. The moment we’ve all been waiting for. The Chicken Pad Thai! This is some seriously awesome Pad Thai. The flavor is amazing. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I still have to say that Chaang Thai’s pad thai is better, but this is definitely the next best thing. I think my favorite part about a pad thai (besides the flavor of the sauce of course) is the peanuts on top. It gives it a great crunch and a little contrasting texture. One of the best things about this Pad Thai is that it’s just as good left over. It reheats so well you would think it was freshly made. And I appreciate that in a meal, because that means I can eat it again and it will taste just as delicious!

I’ve also tried their Thai Pineapple Fried Rice, and my dad has gotten the Massaman Curry. I love the fried rice—pineapple in fried rice is one of the greatest ideas ever. It’s just so fantastic. My dad enjoyed the curry, but I can’t really comment on it because I was too focused on my pad thai to try it. Now, they also have some desserts, but I’ve never gotten around to trying them. Usually if I’m in the mood for dessert after my meal, we walk down a couple doors to The Corner Cafe & Bistro for some gelato. Overall, I love Wild Bamboo, and it is now my go to restaurant when I’m craving pad thai!

Have a restaurant suggestion for my next pad thai taste test? Tell me about it in the comments so I can give it a try!

(Also, make sure you like Gluten Free Deliciously on Facebook! 🙂 )

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Panda Asian Fusion

panda asian fusion

When I was first diagnosed with celiac, one of the first things I missed was good ol’ takeout Chinese food. My all-time favorite dish was lo mein, and although the lo mein at Panda Asian Fusion in Freehold, NJ isn’t exactly like the gluten-y version, it’s pretty darn close. They also have a full gluten free menu—seriously, this menu is huge—which is always a big plus. They even have a sign by the door that says gluten free!

panda asian fusion gluten free menu

It was almost overwhelming to look at all these options! This is one of the largest, if not the largest, gluten free menus I’ve ever seen. I think I forgot what it felt like to have a full menu of options. It was so exciting! When I ordered off the gluten free menu, instead of bringing those crispy noodles with duck sauce, they brought a little bowl of Chex with it! I mean how cute is that? I got the General Tso’s Chicken Combo Platter, which comes with chicken fried rice and a gluten free egg roll (yes, you heard that right, it’s a gluten free egg roll). And that egg roll (although very flaky and messy) was fantastic!

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This was soooooo good. Like, incredible. I couldn’t even believe it was gluten free; I felt like I shouldn’t have been eating it! It was crispy and juicy and the sauce was amazing! I can’t even explain how much I love this. The fried rice was also very good, although I had to add a little extra soy sauce to it. But that’s just because I love soy sauce a lot. My mom got the Shrimp with Broccoli Combo Platter, which was also delicious. The shrimp were so juicy and tender, and the sauce was very tasty!

panda asian fusion gluten free shrimp with broccoli

Now, I couldn’t go to a Chinese restaurant that has gluten free lo mein and not get it. So my mom and I shared an order of the chicken lo mein. I am also just realizing I consumed a lot of chicken at this place (General Tso’s chickenchicken fried rice, chicken lo mein). Anyway, this lo mein was soo yummy! I’m calling it lo mein but it technically isn’t; they just call it Chicken Noodles on the menu. But it’s as close as I’ve ever gotten to gluten free lo mein so that’s what I’m callin’ it! The flavor was great, the noodles were cooked well, and it was just awesome.

panda asian fusion gluten free lo mein

Panda Asian Fusion is overall just wonderful. When I’m craving some good takeout Chinese food, this is definitely one of my go-tos. The staff seem like they’re knowledgable about gluten free, so you’re not worried about getting something that’s not actually GF. When you go to Panda Asian Fusion, you can expect delicious food and friendly service. It doesn’t get much better than this when it comes to gluten free Chinese!

I’m gonna do a little comparing here, too. So one of my first ever reviews was P.F. Chang’s. Don’t worry, my love for P.F. Chang’s still goes on, but I am torn between which I like better. It really depends what I’m in the mood for. Do I want beef? Do I want noodles? Do I want chicken? Do I want fried rice (I will say P.F. Chang’s does do this better)? It all depends, it’s so hard to compare them! I will say Panda Asian Fusion is more reminiscent of traditional takeout Chinese to me. No matter where you go, you will absolutely get amazing food!

Chaang Thai

I would like to start off by saying this: Chaang Thai has the greatest thai food I have ever eaten in my life. A very bold statement, I know, but this food is fantastic. We discovered this place when we were dropping my brother off at college last year, and we had to find places that I could eat. I had pretty low expectations; I didn’t think West Virginia seemed like the kind of place where I would eat some of the best gluten free food I’ve had. I was proven very, very wrong.

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Every time we visit, the Chaang Pad Thai and Chaang Fried Rice are a must-have. We literally cannot go here without getting them. This pad thai is the best pad thai I’ve ever tasted. I can’t quite put my finger on what makes it so delicious, but whatever it is, it’s amazing! Ever since I tried this, I’ve tried pad thai from many other restaurants, but there’s just nothing that can live up to how good this is. As for the fried rice, while I cannot say it is my favorite fried rice ever (it’s a very close race between this and P.F. Chang’s), it is delicious. My favorite thing about it is that they put pineapple chunks in it—the pineapple gives it such a great flavor. I absolutely love both of these dishes!

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My dad is a curry kind of guy, so he got the Chaang Coconut Massaman. I tried a bite and thought it was tasty, and my dad calls it “delicious, wonderful, and authentic.”

I love this place so much that when my parents went to visit my brother at WVU for a football game, I had them bring me back a meal from Chaang Thai. Another great thing about the food from here is that it’s just as good as a leftover. Specifically, this is nice for the pad thai, because in my experience rice noodles haven’t really held up well after being reheated.

Overall, I love this place so much. There is no question that this is one of my favorite restaurants ever.

Link to Chaang Thai menu

P.F. Chang’s

For my first post, I thought I would start out with one of my very favorite restaurants! P.F. Chang’s has so many gluten free options, and they’re all listed right on the regular menu; no request for a special GF menu necessary.

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The food is fantastic, and as my lovely Aunt Cat states, “every dish I’ve eaten tastes just as amazing as their gluten-filled dishes.” And they really do, you won’t miss the gluten because you won’t even taste the difference. But you can see that it’s gluten free; they serve GF dishes on special plates and serve GF sauces in little red dishes. The staff are very knowledgable about gluten free, and we once spoke to the manager who informed us that they are very careful in their kitchen to prevent cross-contamination. My family and I go here so often that we have a regular order: chicken fried rice and Mongolian beef. These two dishes are so delicious I could go on forever. I personally love rice, so fried rice is a no-brainer. The Mongolian beef is described on the menu as “Sweet, soy-glazed 12oz sliced flank steak wok-seared with scallions and garlic” (we substitute scallions for broccoli just because we think it’s better). This seems like such a basic Chinese dish that you could get anywhere, but no one does it better than P.F. Chang’s!

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Chang’s Fried Rice

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Mongolian Beef

Occasionally we also get the Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps as an appetizer, which are amazing. The chicken filling is so delicious and I love it so much. Some other dishes I have gotten that are just as great are the Singapore Street Noodles and Chang’s Spicy Chicken. And for the times where I feel like treating myself, I get the Flourless Chocolate Dome, and WOW is it fantastic! It’s so rich and so chocolatey, which is perfect for someone like me who always has a weakness for chocolate. It’s nice that they offer this, as many other restaurants don’t offer GF desserts.

Flourless Chocolate Dome

Flourless Chocolate Dome

Obviously, I will definitely be returning in the future…many, many, many times…

Link to P.F. Chang’s gluten free menu