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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Recipe: Peanut Noodles!

peanut noodles

This recipe combines two of my favorite things: noodles and peanut butter. I got the recipe from Food Network, and it’s so creamy and flavorful and just plain delicious! I love to sauté some vegetables and combine them with my favorite brown rice noodles and this amazing peanut sauce. And the sauce is literally one of the easiest things to make! All you have to do is throw some stuff in the blender and turn it on. This is one of my go-to recipes, and it’s definitely one to keep in your recipe lineup.

What you’ll need:

  • 12 oz brown rice spaghetti (my favorite is Tinkyada)
  • handful of matchstick carrots
  • handful of broccoli slaw (which has broccoli, red cabbage, and carrots, so you could always just chop up some broccoli and cabbage)
  • a few slices of zucchini, cut into strips
  • about a tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1-2 chopped green onions
  • crushed peanuts, for topping
  • (you can add any meat you want; most of the time I just use veggies, unless I have some leftover grilled chicken or something like that that’s easy to toss in)

(For the sauce)

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I like Jif)
  • 8 oz coconut milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime juice concentrate
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

How to make it:

  1. Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package
  2. While your pasta is cooking, sauté your carrots, broccoli slaw, and zucchini in a wok or pan in a little bit of canola oil
  3. Just before you add your pasta, put your green onions and garlic in the wok and cook for another minute or so. Then add in your pasta to the veggies
  4. For the sauce, put all your ingredients in the blender and blend it all up until it’s nice and creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust ingredients as desired
  5. Add as much sauce as you’d like to the pasta and veggie combo, and mix it all together
  6. Plate it up and top with the crushed peanuts

And there you go! You have delicious Peanut Noodles that will make your taste buds as happy as can be. This is such an easy recipe. I barely have to do any work, because most of the vegetables I use are the ones that come in bags and are already pre-cut. Literally the only things I have to cut up are the zucchini and green onions, and that takes no time at all. I even have a jar of minced garlic, so I don’t have to chop that up either. And of course you can add whatever vegetables you have in your house! I am obsessed with the flavor of this sauce, and the crunch of the peanuts on top just makes it even better. I could eat this all day every day.

The best thing about the peanut sauce in particular is you don’t just have to use it on pasta. I’ve used it in the past as a dip for an avocado summer roll (courtesy of Wegman’s). You could also use it to dip veggies in. Or as a sauce for chicken, fish, or shrimp. You could even try it as a salad dressing. I almost always have leftover sauce, so you will definitely have the opportunity to experiment with its different uses. Any way you eat it, it will be a creamy, delicious delight.

peanut noodles

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