The Great Googa Mooga certainly lived up to its greatness this weekend. As I mentioned in my last post, I was attending the event in Prospect Park with some friends and was eager to dig into the gluten free goodness the festival had to offer. I was a bit upset when I heard from others that Saturday was quite the cluster, lines were crazy and many were only were able to taste two dishes from the over 75 vendors that were represented. Luckily, my friends and I had a plan of attack – we went early in the morning and had no issues waiting.
Between meeting Gary Reloj, co-founder of www.omgfoodie.com, Ali Fedotowsky, former Bachelorette and host of 1stLook on NBC and tasting delicious dishes the day could not have been more perfect for this aspiring broadcast journalist!
Let’s get to the good stuff, below are some highlights of the delicious GF foods that must be tasted, and must be tasted ASAP!
Free Bread: This was my first stop! For obvious reasons I felt the most safe here. After speaking with Karen Freer and tasting her delicious treats, I needed to know where I get them beyond the gates of the Googa Mooga Festival. Although Karen, a Celiac herself, doesn’t have a storefront you can order her delicious food by visiting http://freebreadinc.com/order.html. The flavor and texture of the bread was delicious. More specifically, the JALAA made with Japaleno, sharp cheddar and buttermilk was to die for! Toasty hot with at touch of butter, is certainly something I would recommend for dinner parties and to enjoy at a restaurant while your friends are munching on bread. I must note, my friend Ashley (not a Celiac, but a foodie) said this was her favorite dish of the day!
Big Gay Ice Cream – Besides for the fact that owners Doug and Brian were hysterical and lovely to speak with, their milkshake was FANTASTIC! I’m not a ginger or curry lover on their own, but together the Ginger Curry milkshake was a match made in gluten free heaven. For those who are curious, the shake most reminded me of a coffee flavor. A stop at Big Gay Ice Cream is a MUST on your summer to-do list! While all of the flavors at Googa Mooga were gluten free that’s not the case in the store so be sure to ask. Doug and Brian were adamant that if you ask for help in store that they and their staff will be extremely happy to accommodate their customer’s dietary needs. It’s important to trust the people serving you, and I felt completely at ease after two minutes of speaking with them. For more information visit: http://biggayicecream.com/.
The Big Banana: There is nothing I love more than chocolate covered bananas, especially a freezing cold one on a gorgeous hot day. Once again, these owners were very knowledgeable on Celiac disease and had other great options as well. The bananas are all packaged individually. They do say they may contain traces of wheat, but I did speak with the staff and they told me the chocolate covered banana was gluten free and there was no issue with cross contamination. More information can be found at http://www.rockawaybeachclub.com/
There were many other places I had contacted before the event that had gluten free foods, unfortunately Arancini Bros. the gluten free meatballs I was looking forward to trying were being cooked in the same fryer as the other ones and I couldn’t risk cross contamination. They smelled delicious so I think I’m going to have to add Arancini to my summer bucket list and hope they can accommodate me in their shop!
All in all the day, company, food, and music were great at the Great Googa Mooga! I am so happy I took the time to prepare for the day and pack a few of my own snacks so that I could enjoy the same experience as my friends and 40,000 others! With a little dedication and research it’s nice to know that it’s possible to go to a food festival and dig in just like everyone else! If you are planning on going to an event or concert and are unsure of how to prepare for it please reach out and I will be happy to help you!