Mon Ami Gabi, Reston, VA

Mon Ami Gabi

Product:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
Service:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Accuracy:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
Gluten Free Options:2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)
Average:3.4 Stars (3.4 / 5)

Laura, Ryan, and I ate at Mon Ami Gabi for lunch today at their Reston Town Center location on this beautiful day in May.
Reception was a bit awkward.  On a day like today we would have loved to eat outside, but they said it was a 20 minute wait, even though the tables were half full.  We ended in up sitting inside, but close to an open wall, which made it a little better.

They knew we were gluten free, but brought bread.  The waiter noticed the gluten free menu and offered gluten free bread, but brought out enough for just one of us.  He did correct this too.

After that things got better.  I ordered the Make Your Own Bloody Mary.  We’re getting closer to our May destination review so I’m always there in my head.  They bring out the Grey Goose Vodka and send you over to the fixing bar.


Make Your Own Bloody Mary

For lunch Laura had the scallops, Ryan had a kids hamburger (no bun) and I had the steak with bernaise sauce.  Both were good meals, but I think we’ve had better.

Mon Ami Gabi Scallops

Mon Ami Gabi Scallops


Mon Ami Gabi Steak

Mon Ami Gabi Steak

I would go back, but I’d try something else next time.


Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint, Sterling VA 

Product:5.0 Stars (5.0 / 5)
Service:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Accuracy:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
Gluten Free Options:5.0 Stars (5.0 / 5)
Average:4.4 Stars (4.4 / 5)

I love this pizza!  Ok, I should probably have built this article up to this point, but it’s my blog.  Seriously, the pizza is great at Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint. The ingredients are fresh and there is a plethora of combinations to make everyone happy.

As previously reported, our family has allergies to gluten and intolerances to dairy.  Maddio’s creates awesome pies for us too.  When we order the gluten free crust we tell them it is due to allergies.  They immediately stop everything and clean the counter tops, change gloves, pull out cooking trays dedicated to the gluten free pizzas only, and they use toppings from sealed containers.

The Sterling location does a lot for the community.  They host school spirit nights and fundraisers for the community.  Giving them a real hometown feel even in the megalopolis of Northern Virginia.

It’s a place where everything is fresh, from the pizza dough that’s made in-store each day to the locally-grown veggies that are delivered every morning.
It’s a place with almost limitless options. First you choose whether you want a handmade pizza, gourmet salad or toasted panini. Our pizza has 3 different dough options, 6 different sauce options and over 45 different cheese, meat or veggie toppings.
It’s a place where you build the pizza … without getting your hands dirty. You talk directly to the pizza maker and tell them exactly what you want. “A little more of this.” “A little less of that.” “And can I add that too?” Until it’s exactly how you want it.

It’s a family joint. It’s a hangout. If you’re looking for a restaurant franchise, it’s a perfect, new franchise opportunity.

It’s a place where all this comes together to make the perfect pizza. Your perfect pizza. So come to Uncle Maddio’s and see if it’s your kind of place.

They are struggling a little with their phone in orders, though.  Laura can’t eat their cheese, so we order a gluten free pizza without cheese.  Unfortunately, the pie makers are having a difficult time understanding why someone wants a pizza without cheese.
The management team of Chris and Chris have done everything possible to make these errors up to me. They are actively working with their team to get special orders right.  So they’ve earned my loyalty.


Ford’s Fish Shack, Ashburn, VA

Food:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
Service:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Accuracy:4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
Gluten Free Options:3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)
Average:3.8 Stars (3.8 / 5)

Tonight Laura and I dined at Ford’s Fish Shack in Ashburn.  Ford’s is a local restaurant chain that was established in 2010 with another location in Chantilly, Virginia. This is the first time visit to this location and overall it was a good experience.

Ford’s does not have a separate Gluten free menu, but have several items available and they are willing to discuss any allergic needs to better meet your needs.

I ordered Ford’s Fantastic Lemonade; one of the signature drinks from their Hand-Crafted Cocktails.  Ford’s Fantastic Lemonade blends Smirnoff Blueberry Vodka, Cranberry, Pineapple, and Orange Juice to make this libation.  

I liked the drink, but felt that “fantastic” is a stretch to describe it.  It was refreshing, but a bit light in the flavor.  I don’t think it will be my go-to drink during future visits, but I have not crossed it off the list.  The drink costs $9.

For dinner both Laura and I ordered the Maine Fried Seafood Baskets with Sautéed Sea Scallops.  Mine came with French fries while Laura had the sweet potato fries.  Ford’s uses a separate fryer from their breaded entrées to avoid cross contamination.

Scallops and Fries

The scallops were okay.  Other restaurants in the area have better scallops.  The coleslaw was pretty good, but for some unfortunate reason Ford’s uses a preservative with Gluten in it to maintain freshness. The fries were ok, but tasted like they hadn’t changed the oil in the dryer in a long time.  This meal cost $19.90

Scallops and Sweet Potato Fries

The reason why Laura’s plate looks sparse is because her meal was completely Gluten free due to her allergy.  As stated above Ford’s coleslaw was not Gluten free which was unfortunate, but we were surprised to find out that their sauce and ketchup were also not gluten free.  Ford’s didn’t offer, but to be fair, we didn’t ask for any gluten free substitutions.

Laura says that the sweet potato fries were good, but a little soggy.  They were seasoned with a little bit of an Old Bay favor so they had a savory flavor to them.

Her meal also costed $19.90

For dessert I had the Banana Pudding.  This was fantastic.  Fresh banana, caramel, whipped cream, vanilla wafer in a fantastic mix to end the meal on a high note.  Served without the vanilla wafer makes this the only gluten free dessert Ford’s offers, but it’s a good one at $6.50

Banana Pudding

Overall the experience was a good one.  The food could have been better, but on par for the price (at least for the area).